Local Heart, Global Soul

January 11, 2017

Having Issues With Over Exposure…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch have left the InterIslander ferry at Picton and are heading south.

About half an hour later we arrive in Blenheim, a small town that has grown exponentially after the area was found to be ideal for growing grapes some decades ago.

It is now the hub of a well established wine industry and more and more paddocks have seen transition from sheep farming to the cultivation of vineyards.

As I mentioned in a recent post, this road is partly closed at present due to the Kaikoura end of it suffering multiple large landslips in the November 2016 earthquakes, these photographs having been taken back in 2013.

I also mentioned that I had been unwell whilst in Wellington.

Before I realised that I was running a fever, we popped out to visit one of my cousins and I dropped my camera on the grass as I was getting out of the car.

Little did I know, I picked it up and it appeared to work fine so I didn’t think too much of it (just “Phew, Thank Goodness it’s working“) but it became apparent later that there was some stiffness in the lens when trying to zoom in and out.

Later, looking at the photographs I took, it appears that at some focal points something is going wrong with the aperture or lens.. or at least… something. I still wasn’t completely well so I didn’t see this until far later, but it’s why many of the photographs appear to have some issues with over exposure.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 8, 2017

Back Then This Road Was Open, Today They Are Working On It…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post, Family Kiwidutch have left Kaikoura behind and are heading towards Blenheim and then Picton, so that we can catch the InterIsland Ferry.

These photographs were of course taken three years ago, but in recent months a series of exceptionally large earthquakes have shaken Kaikoura, most of them having their epicenter in this northeastern area of the South Island.

New Zealand is of course no stranger to earthquakes, but have experienced many more than average since the large quakes that have rocked Christchurch since 2010.

This area is lucky in that it is sparsely populated, a magnitude 7.8 followed by the many aftershocks above 5.0  in a densely populated area anywhere in the world would be certain to cost lives.

Livestock were lost to the quake due to landslides and to that fact that in a few places the ground quickly opened up and then closed again (a terrifying thought but a mercifully quick death). This area is still somewhat isolated because of landslips on State Highway One on the northern side of Kaikoura, the slips to the south having been fewer in size and number and having been cleared in recent weeks.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The northern slips are predicted to take at least two months, so all traffic between Wellington and Christchurch is currently having to take the only other road north, the “inland route” , a journey that now takes at least seven hours.

Fortunately back in 2013 we didn’t need to take the Inland route and between three and four hours later were in Picton where the ferry awaited.

The crossing to Wellington was stormy and rough so we kept near the upper decks, I kept far, far away from food and we all got through the crossing intact.

There was a magician on board (for the Christmas school holidays) and he kept a lot of the kids distracted from the rolling of the ship with jokes, magic and balloon animals and shapes, Kiwi Daughter likes monkeys so was delighted that the man was able to fashion a monkey in a tree, Little Mr requested a bike, both kids were satisfied customers.

I’ve been in a far worse crossing in my youth and survived that (the chairs weren’t bolted to the floor in those days and with very roll the unoccupied chairs would start skidding towards the low side. When the opposite roll came they would repeat their movement in the opposite direction, as soon as I got in to Wellington that trip I found out that the ferry sailing in the opposite direction had been cancelled because it was deemed too rough to get through).

Luckily this storm was nothing on that one, but that said it was a very different experience to some of our other near-millpond  crossings. We peered out of the porthole at the InterIslander’s sister ferry going past us near the Wellington Heads… they heading into the worst of Cook Straight weather and us about to shelter from it. Wellington harbour was a welcome sight, even more so for Kiwi Daughter and I, as anyone who has ever suffered from sea sickness can attest to.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch) (Salt flats)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

 

January 7, 2017

Have The Local Residents Gotten Used To The Upheaval?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Three years ago in the first week of the New Year,  Family Kiwidutch were visiting New Zealand.

Having spent some time with Family in Christchurch and then relaxing in Hanmer Springs, we now head up State Highway One to Wellington.

Having passed through Kaikoura, we are now back at one of our favourite spots: the seal colony close to Ohau Point.

In life you feel like your natural surroundings will always stay the same, mountains, rivers and beaches are constants, it is the people that come and go.

Our human life-soans are just specks of time when compared with the things that make up the geology of the earth, Mother Nature has millions of years on us.

Recent months have changed that view however: in my lifetime the physical nature of the Kaikoura coastline has undergone a massive upheaval, and even stranger, the process took roughly two minutes. That is because a huge 7.8 on the Richter scale earthquake lifted a section of the coast line here clean out of the sea. The amount of uplift varies between half a meter up to just over two meters, and one 0f the biggest areas affected was the area around this seal colony. It might be a while before we are back here, so I will update photographs when I can, but the sight of seals basking on the rocks with their your pups will look somewhat different to the photos I took back in 2013. Who knows if the local residents have gotten used to the upheaval?… and what they now think of the new landscape around them.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 16, 2016

Overload…

Following yesterday’s post, …more photographs.

© RNZ Kate Newton

© RNZ Kate Newton

Supermarket in Seddon…

© RNZ Kate Newton

© RNZ Kate Newton

© RNZ Kate Newton

© RNZ Kate Newton

On Ward beach the coastal rock shelf, lifted by the force of the quake“.

© RNZ Kate Newton

© RNZ Kate Newton

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© RNZ Rebekah Parsons-King

© AFP. On the Clarence River a landslide creates a natural dam…

© AFP

© AFP

© New Zealand Defence Force

© New Zealand Defense Force

The evacuation of tourists and people in need continues in Kaikoura

© Reuters

© Reuters

 

November 15, 2016

It’s Worry About Friends And Family That Really Gives Me The Shakes…

© @danielbullen / Twitter

© @danielbullen / Twitter

It has been a turbulent week on many levels.

More background on this will come in a future post, but on Sunday Family Kiwidutch were having lunch with extended family when the sort of phone call everyone dreads left me breaking out in a cold sweat.

The friend on the other end of the line sounded very worried, the message: ” There’s been a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in New Zealand, you need to turn on the News…”

I started shaking,  anyone even remotely au fait of how the Richter scale works knows that this is not “just another quake“, this is a terrifying, Godzilla sized earthquake.

My heart was racing as I excused myself from the group, pulled out my phone and started dialing New Zealand family and friends.

Himself did the same from his phone: luckily everyone is safe and well and any possible damage that may come to light,  although heart breaking and soul wrenching after all these years of painstaking rebuilding, is in the end… …only stuff.

I got to News sites as quickly as possible, the epicenter seems to be slightly south of Hanmer Springs, our preferred mountain bolt hole whenever we visit New Zealand.

First and foremost Kiwi’s (the nickname for New Zealanders) will see that everyone throughout the affected communities are ok, from the very young to the very old. That water, food, electricity and other essentials are in order, then to get the roads, bridges etc back open … and then the rest of the clean up begins.

Only after that will we assess damage reports (if any), some time in the coming days… that’s what reams of insurance papers are for, right?

Kaikoura on the north of the east coast on the South Island is the largest community closest to the epicenter. Currently cut off by road from the outside world, the problem is not just the millions of tons of debris have to be cleared from the road but that in many cases entire hillside slopes above the mess have to be stabilized before it can be declared truly safe. A popular whale watching spot, with 2000 locals, there are also an estimated 1200 tourists are trapped in the town, but if past experiences are anything to go by, these tourists will not be left in the lurch as locals rise to the occasion and take excellent care of their guests.

Needless to say that is exactly what has been happening. I’ve been looking at various news sites and there is a Rescue mission on the way for Kaikoura and the link tells me that:  “After feeding 700 people the clean up begins at Takahanga marae, local business owner Dexarelli helps out.”

(Photograph © RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King)

(Photograph © RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King)

The piece then went on to say that: “Adelphi Bar and Restaurant chef Jason Timms said the crayfish would normally be destined for restaurants such as his, but they are all closed, many with extensive damage.”

(Photograph © RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King)

(Photograph © RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King)

Four NH90 helicopters will begin the evacuation of  the first 200 people from Kaikoura today, and their efforts will continue because damage to the town’s reservoir mean that drinking water will soon be in short supply. On the lighter side, although Kaikoura tourists get the earthquake “experience” and a helicopter ride for free, if the crayfish dinners continue, some of them may be reluctant to leave!

© SNPA / David Alexander

© SNPA / David Alexander

My father told me on the phone that this big earthquake had a long rolling movement. Rather than the sharp jolts of previous big quakes this was like the house was floating and rolling on waves on the sea, but some of the rolls were really big.

The weird noises that the ground and house made were creepy, but the thing that scared my step-mother and him most by far was the seriously long duration of the quake.

Earthquakes that carry on for more than a minute wear down the resilience of manmade structures so it’s a testament the strength of the New Zealand building codes that there are NOT buildings pancaked all over the country.

It’s also unusual that this was felt from Dunedin to Auckland, as a comparison, NZ is roughly the length of France, so that’s a big area for one quake to reach.

Strangely too, early reports suggest that this is NOT our biggestTrans Alpine fault” system that went, but a series of faults closer to the extreme edge of the east coast. That would be the same as a quake that size hitting California and it running along the actual coastline but not the San Andreas fault… if this is true then who knows what it all means… is the “big one” still yet to come???

Regular readers know that I constantly take photographs when we are out and about in the car. Our trips along State Highway One when we are in new Zealand are no exception. I didn’t manage to request permission to post these photographs, but I have given full credit and some links back to the pages from whence they came. I hope that this is permissible.

I hope that between the links back to my photographs and theirs we can give “before” and “after” views of what has to be one of the most scenic main trunk highways any country can boast of.

It’s just such a shame that it is now in the news for all the wrong reasons. It looks like New Zealand almost dodged the bullet when it comes to loss of life. My prayers and thoughts go out to those who lost loved ones. For the rest of us, the time, effort and cost of getting this very important road operational again will have to be borne, but meanwhile it’s the worry about family and friends that really gives me the shakes.

A few of Kiwi’s previous blog posts: Traffic Jam Kiwi-Style: Roads, Tunnels, The Coast …and Nature’s Nudists!

Whooo Whooo …catching a train, and dolphin (with a car and a helicopter!)

(Note: The dark area in the bottom right of the photo below is not the high tide mark, it is the sea floor that has been pushed up by the quake)

© The Associated Press

© The Associated Press

From:   NZ News: 7.5 magnitude earthquake in pictures

“A railway line is damaged by an earthquake, near Tirohanga stream south of Blenheim.”

© Anthony Phelps / Reuters

© Anthony Phelps / Reuters

Pic: Sgt Sam Shepherd/Courtesy of Royal NZDF

Pic: Sgt Sam Shepherd/Courtesy of Royal NZDF

Various other photographs…

© @alexperro / Twitter

© @alexperro / Twitter

© @alexperro / Twitter

© @alexperro / Twitter

 © Garden City Helicopters


© Garden City Helicopters

Written in the dust on the car: “driver out & safe“.

© @henrymcmullan / Twitter

© @henrymcmullan / Twitter

© @henrymcmullan / Twitter

© @henrymcmullan / Twitter

© @henrymcmullan / Twitter

© @henrymcmullan / Twitter

Marlborough District Council

Marlborough District Council

© ANTHONY PHELPS / Reuters

© ANTHONY PHELPS / Reuters

© @dickbricknell / Twitter

© @dickbricknell / Twitter

© Stuart Smith / Facebook

© Stuart Smith / Facebook

 

 

 

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