Paua Hypertufa Pots and Tui vs Wood Pigeon

Four seasons in one day, is typical for spring in Bluff. It’s a busy time planning the garden for the season ahead.

The native birds start visiting to take advantage of the early flowering species. The Tui’s are always fun to watch, I was lucky enough to capture a hilarious interaction between a Tui and a wood pigeon.

I’m experimenting with Paua shell in my Hypertufa pots, It adds a whole new dimension to my pots.

Enjoy my latest video 🙂

I’ve decided to make Hypertufa Pots

25 years ago I learned how to make Hypertufa Pots. It was a process I really enjoyed and the results can be truly spectacular.

Rekindling my love of masonry, I am going to make hypertufa pots again.

My first pot was to be a large trough. I made a mould and got on with the job.

I made lots of mistakes but still ended up with a garden piece with loads of character.

large hypertufa trough

Watch the video of the making of this ugly beast of a pot 🙂

Song Of Wiataha

How I got introduced to the treasure that is Song of Wiataha.

This is the story of how I was introduced to another history of our nation. A history that goes back thousands of years.

Before Maori arrived from out of the Pacific, there was a nation of people living here and had been living here a very long time.

This nation of people are called Waitaha. In 1994 the Waitaha people broke their silence and told the world who they are in book called “Song of Waitaha”.

Stoney’s Waka update Dec 2022

The building Stoney was lucky to be able to store his Waka in, is being repurposed and he has had to move it.
A couple of weeks later he had to move it again.

The waka is okay where it is, for now, but shelter will be needed soon.

Stoney explains the origin of the name Pahi, one of the last Waitaha boat builders.
Pre-Maori, ocean cruising, double hull technology at its best.

Cementing a strong Southland connection.

If your are unfamiliar with the story of Stoney and his Waka have a look at my post –New Zealand Double Hulled Voyaging Waka.

NZ Built Kauri Yacht to be Restored

I travel to Picton to help Hamish move Saoirse to a slip at the Waikawa Bay Marina.

Saoirsa is a Steve Cox designed, Kauri Yacht, built in 1969 by Lional Jefcoat. She is to be taken out of the water for a make over.

In her class she is a combination of 140 years of single handed, ocean racing and cruising, technology and Kiwi ingenuity.

The weather didn’t play it’s part but I was able to have a good look around the area and catch up with what happened to Hamish’s carving after it was removed from the camp at Picton.
Picton Camp –

Hamish starts preparing the Kauri for the faces to be mounted on the cross beams of Stoney’s Waka.

Part 1

As Fortune would Have It – Short handed offshore yachts

The mission was to get Saoirse onto the slip at Waikawa Marina. Bad weather and an act of fortune gave me another week hanging out with Hamish.
I got to learn a bit more about Hamish and his boats while stranded on the Waikawa Bay Jetty.

Part 2

Enjoy 🙂

New Zealand Double Hulled Voyaging Waka

Pahi 63 James Wharrem Design

I had my eyes opened at the Picton camp but not in the way most people would think.
There was a loss of faith in the movement, too many tentacles reaching from every direction.
I went to add my voice to the tide of discontent but a side current took me into deeper waters.

So we went sailing, of course.

Hamish told stories of voyaging in the Pacific and all the time Stoney Bourke was popping into my mind.

Stoney is building a Waitaha inspired New Zealand double hulled voyaging Waka. James Wharram designed this craft and called it Pahi 63.

Stoney Burke 2015 shifting waka
Stoney Burke shifting waka 2015

Stoney has had to move the waka many times over the years. I was there to take a few photos on one such move in 2015.

Getting a hull out of the shed
Getting a hull out of the shed
Towing hull to new location
Towing hull to new location

Intrigued by Stoney’s waka project, it wasn’t long before I got word that Hamish was on the way to Bluff.

Stoney shared the story of the waka and how it came about. It’s a story that reaches back 2000 years and more.

Stoney spoke of ancient wisdom and Wiataha lore, more than one video could possibly tell.

This is the Story of Stoney’s waka and introducing Hamish to that story.

Hamish went home tasked with carving 12 faces, 6 male and 6 female, to go on the ends of the 6 cross beams.

Enjoy 🙂

Convoy 2022 The Straggle Muster – My Story

On the 26 February 2022 I became part of the Convoy 2022 Straggle Muster from Bluff to Picton.
I joined the convoy to show my concern regarding the inhumane and over reaching policies of this New Zealand Government.

The kindness and support given freely to us by New Zealanders was truly humbling.

I dedicate this video to the people.

Images of the police intervention at Parliament Grounds by Liberty Bytes

West Arm Power Station and Environs

In mid October 2021 I had the opportunity to spend a weekend at West Arm of Lake Manapouri. This is where the West Arm Power Station is situated.
This is a very beautiful and remote place in the Fiordland National Park. NZ.
I stayed at the Meridian Lodge and had all weekend to wander around and explore the area, I even got to go down to the turbine room of the power station, thanks to the lovely staff at Meridian.

The view from the Spey River Bridge, at the lodge, was incredible. I wanted to get a good shot from the bridge. The forecast was for rain to come in and I didn’t know how long it would last. The light wasn’t very good but I decided to get a shot while I had the chance.

Spey River
Spey River

The rain did come in but it eased off a bit of for periods and I was able to get a second shot of the same frame. I tried an HDR set-up for this shot.

spey river HDR
Spey River HDR

The waterfall behind the lodge was beautiful with the increased water flow.

waterfall behind the lodge
Waterfall behind the lodge

Needless I say I was in my element and I documented my weekend in a video.

Enjoy 🙂

For more information on the West Arm Power Station check out the Wikipedia Page

Hunting the Grebe Valley with Pete

I bump into Pete occasionally and I’ve gotten to know him somewhat. One day I told Pete that I had never really been hunting but thought I would like it. He then said he would take me out sometime.

The day came and off we went in Pete’s Honda Hybrid, all I knew was we would be out over night. I didn’t know where we were going or what to expect. I was a bit anxious, I think, understandably.

Of course I took my camera to record the trip.

This is my hunting story, enjoy.