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  Wednesday, 30 June 2004

My pick for desktop wallpaper this week is one from a couple of weekends back.  Kina esturay on a very still winter morning.

(click for 1024x768 desktop wallpaper)

7:36:21 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 29 June 2004

"Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
Chief Seattle

6:17:56 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 27 June 2004

I didn't let a little thing like heavy rain warnings put me off spending my first night away in my new campervan. I had thought about going on a kayaking or kiting mission but the weather has been terrible. Raining and blowing all weekend. Instead I went and parked up next to Mark and Pamela in Ample Karma on a cherry orchard near Renwick. They now have a Sky Television dish on their bus so I was able to watch the All Blacks beat Argentina 41-7 in the rugby test last night. 

I can report that the van is quite comfortable to sleep in and surprisingly warm. I did wake during the night when some big wind gusts began rocking the van on its suspension, and for just a half awake moment I thought I was at sea on a boat.

I returned to Nelson the long way, via Lake Rotoiti, this afternoon. I was hoping to see some snow left over from the cold snap last week but the rain has all but was it away.

So now that I've spent the night in it, and travelled over 500km in it, the van has lost that new car smell and feels like home (away from home).

Great weather for the ducks at Lake Rotoiti this afternoon.
7:27:17 PM    Comment []

  Friday, 25 June 2004

7:17:15 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 24 June 2004

For a long time I wanted a camper-van. I've been tentatively shopping for one for a few months now. This week I found the right one. Today I bought it.

I've just got it home, and its dark so no photos tonight, but its just like this one, except its four wheel drive (for driving on Muriwai Beach and the like) and has a 3 meter awning on one side. Inside is a sink, water tanks, table, seating for about 7, and room for a cooker and chiller. At night the seating is rearranged to become a huge bed.

This will not only be great for my kayaking and kite buggying expeditions, but also for my photography. I've learned from experience, that its not what you photograph, but when. The first and last few hours of light are the best for almost all landscape photography, and with this vehicle, I'll be in the right places, at the right times.

Now I just have to decide where to go with it this weekend. 8D
7:30:54 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 23 June 2004

Just one more fencepost shot ;)

(click for 1024x768 desktop wallpaper)

9:44:38 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 22 June 2004

Todays photo is a little bit of the coastline around Pohara, on the weekend.
10:08:07 PM    Comment []

Monday was the shortest day of the year. Its all downhill to summer from here.

Today winter really let us know what time of year it is. Nelson awoke this morning to snow down to 450m, which is the lowest snow around here in a decade. It meant the hilltops around the valley I live in were white, like the tops of chocolate muffins sprinkled with icing sugar. The mountain ranges to the south, which had the icing sugar look before, are now thickly covered in almond icing. Many roads out of town were closed this morning and only opened up to 'essential' traffic this afternoon. The risk of black-ice will be great tonight. I'm glad I don't have to drive anywhere.
6:36:22 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 21 June 2004

As promised, some shots from yesterday's trip to Pohara. I thought I'd bring you a few black and whites first.

The water in the Kina Estuary alongside the Motueka highway was like glass. This lonely jetty caught my eye.

I can't resist well aged fencepost shot. This one looks like it has been guarding this boundary for a long time.

Another shot of Kina Estuary, this time over the reeds.

Still to come, some colour panoramas of Pohara and views from Takaka Hill (as soon as I'm done stitching them all together in Photoshop).
6:35:35 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 20 June 2004

I went for a drive today. About a 250km drive to Pohara and back. Over the Takaka Hill on the other side of Golden Bay lies Pohara, with a North facing beach. I wanted to check out the beach as a possible kite buggying site for summer. It should be possible (at least on part of the beach) at dead low tide.

The other mission for the day was photography. I put three films through my SLR camera but didn't get back to Nelson in time to get them developed today. I think I got some very nice shots of the Waimea estuary this morning on the way out of town. The water was like a mirror, but those shots will have to wait till tomorrow night when I get the film back.

For now heres a shot I took on my digital from a lookout on Takaka Hill.

Check back tomorrow night for more...
5:02:45 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 19 June 2004

This afternoons quick test flight of my new Flow-form #30.
5:18:01 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 17 June 2004

Good News: My new KAP kites arrived today.

Bad News: Rain forecast for the weekend.
8:28:04 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 16 June 2004

My video player just died. It won't play, won't rewind, won't fast forward. In fact about the only thing it does do right now is tell time. Which is not bad considering I bought this particular video player in 1990! Even though it cost something like $800 back then, I guess I got my moneys worth out of it. I have a DVD player but I also have a collection of around 80 movies on video tape, so I guess I'll be shopping for a new one. At least it'll be significantly cheaper than it was last time.
7:55:59 PM    Comment []

Due to lack of things to blog about in the middle of the week in the winter months I thought I'd start a new regular feature. Wallpaper Wednesday. Each week I'll endevour to post a 1024x768 pixel image for use as desktop wallpaper.

To start it off heres a favourite picture of mine taken from the seat of my kayak last summer. This is the rapid where the Rai River joins the larger Pelorus River.

7:43:37 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 15 June 2004

I've been thinking alot (more) about Kite Aerial Photography, and I'm slowy getting the gear together that I'll need. By the end of the winter I hope to have a basic system built and all the bugs ironed out, ready for a summer of KAP.

My first KAP system will consist of:

  • 2x Sutton Flow Form lifter kites. One #16 (16 square feet) for general use and a #30 (30 square feet) for light winds. These will fly on 150 and 200 pound braided line (lots of lift!)
  • 1x Brooxes Basic KAP Kit which is an aerial cradle for the camera. Using remote control I will be able to pan the camera 360 degrees horizontally, and 90 degrees vertically (from the horizon, to straight down). And of course I'll also be able to fire the shutter from the ground.
  • picavet suspension system to keep the camera cradle level, no matter what angle the kite flys at.
  • 1x minolta 35mm compact fixed focus camera (second hand).
  • Some sort of soild wooden reel (can't be hollow) that can hold several hundred meters of 200 pound line.

I already have the camera, and BBKK (cradle kit), and picavet. The kites are on route from... um... somewhere; should be here this week. All I need now are the RC  bits (servos, transmitter, and receiver), and the reel. It's looking like I'll have to make the reel myself, as they just don't make them big enough, or strong enough.

In the long term I will build a second, custom camera cradle, big enough to hold my SLR camera. I could then use a variety of lenses (including fisheyes) and maybe even hang a small video camera from it too. I've still got alot to learn about remote control gear but I like a challenge.

Every where I go lately I find myself imagining what the scene would look like from 100 feet up!

6:00:57 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 13 June 2004

This afternoons adventure, Pepin Island...

6:38:21 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 12 June 2004

This shot is now my desktop wallpaper.

Looking through the cabbage trees across Cable Bay at the start of the track.

Half an hour into the walk and my calf muscles are burning!

Looking north-west across Golden Bay. Thats the tip of Pepin Island in the distance.

The other end of Pepin Island sits in the esturay. 

I will sleep well tonight...
9:44:36 PM    Comment []

Last weeks walk along the Cable Bay Walkway inspired me to get up early this morning (well early for a Saturday anyway), and walk the whole track. I did the return trip from the Cable Bay end, to the lookout I had walked to from the other end (about two hours each way).

I ran two films through my SLR camera and stacked a 128mb memory card on my digital full of huge panoramic views. I also have really, really sore feet! This is some very steep terrain. Goat country even! I am now resting tired legs, shifting through about 200 shots trying decide which ones to publish later. This could take a while so I thought I'd bring you a preview.

This shot is of the esturay behind Delaware Bay, Pepin Island, and Cable Bay at low tide. The morning sun reflects of the wet mud showing up the channels of the retreating water like viens in a leaf. It was the first shot I took this morning.

Tune in later for more...
6:33:30 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 9 June 2004

"One kind word can warm three winter months."
Japanese proverb

10:35:31 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 8 June 2004

I went for a walk yesterday afternoon. It was a cool, clear, and perfectly still day. There is a walkway which goes from the Glen over the hills to Cable Bay. Its only 5 minutes from home but I had never walked it before. The track takes about three hours but yesterday I just walked the first hour of it, to the first lookout. The views looking back towards Nelson were stunning. I will now make a point of doing the full 6 hour return trip taking my SLR camera gear with me.

In this photo you can see the Boulder Bank streching away into the distance sheltering the Nelson Haven from the waters of Golden Bay. The farmland in the foreground gives way to the sand-flats, then the Nelson Haven (at half-tide). Nelson is at the far end of the Haven by the harbour mouth.

(Click to enlarge)

10:22:23 AM    Comment []

  Monday, 7 June 2004

I uploaded a few (1 2 3) more prints to the CoffeeWaffle store last night. I also ordered a couple of poster prints of my favourites for myself. The one of Pepin Island is a real favourite shot of mine. It was about 15 vertical shots taken with my credit-card sized didgital camera, then carefully stiched together in photoshop. The other one I've ordered as a large poster print is the one of Pelorus River. This shot is the start of the Kayaking run we did several times during the summer, and always brings back memories of paddling this beautiful river.

I think I'll make some CoffeeWaffle greeting cards next ;)
11:00:51 AM    Comment []

  Sunday, 6 June 2004

"If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees."
Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

Photo: This afternoons cold, southerly wind whips the leaves of the cabbage trees at Wakapuaka Sand-flats.
7:14:50 PM    Comment []

Performance by Mark (dances-with-kites) Avery.
Choreography dictated by a Flexifoil Super 10 Powerkite, and a gusty 25knot Southerly this afternoon at the Wakapuaka Sand-flats.
6:30:33 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 5 June 2004

Haven't had much to say this week. The days are getting shorter, and work has been very busy. I've been hanging out for a chance to get the kite buggy out but I'm still waiting.

I'm expecting Mark and Pamela for the weekend. They should be arriving any time soon. I have to get into town today and get some food. How bad is that? Guests for the weekend and my cupboards are bare (I almost out of coffee too!)

Mondays is the celebration of the Queens birthday so a public holiday. I'm glad to... I need a break.
11:10:33 AM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 2 June 2004

"Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day."
Bertrand Russell

7:16:18 PM    Comment []

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