Thursday, September 16, 2010

A day at my new office!

Whales jumping around! Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia

These photos are taken from the Whale Watch boat I am currently working on in Hervey Bay. They are southern Humpbacks.

Double Breach!!! It was a real breach-fest out there

Such awesome creatures to see throwing themselves around

Less than 100 metres from the Boat 'Thats Awesome'

The Whales are in Hervey Bay from mid July until early November where they come to rest and play before heading down to the depths of Antarctica for 3 months of feeding. An awesome thing to experience!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

An epic encounter

Last weekend we went on an adventure. There were no bookings for Ecocruz and John the Captain had been wanting to take the boat to the Poor Knights marine reserve when we had the chance for a diving and snorkeling and diving trip. The weather looked prime so we locked it in.

We went out on Friday night and sailed over to Marsdens Cross, a bay just out of the Kerikeri inlet. On sunset we enjoyed a display of bottle nose dolphins doing all kinds of acrobatics and when it got dark we jumped in the water with diving masks on and experienced the sparkling phospheresence which is always a trip! One of natures epic wonders.

The next day we headed out deep, aiming for 200-300metre water to try and find some Whales or Dolphins or maybe catch a Tuna. At around 10am we heard on the VHF that a pod of Killer Whales were in the Bay so we immediatly turned the boat and headed for where they had been spotted. We had alot of ground to cover and travelling at around 6 knots we decided to jump in the dinghy and boost over to find them equipt with my underwater point-and-shoot and some snorkeling gear.

There were Orcas which were in wo groups, we followed these four which had parents and their young.

The first time I jumped in I was shocked to see a big shark in the Bull Orcas mouth, it was amazing to see such predators in action in the Ocean!

The young Orca was curious and came up to the dinghy a few times, most of the time they were on the move and hard to take photos of!

They are awesome creatures and it was epic to see them underwater and be in their territory, an experience I'll always remember.

I also took lots of photos at the Poor Knights and I'll continue this blog soon.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

More Waitangi Day

Leaky Waka

Kai Time!

The Waitangi day celebrations wouldn't be the same without the amazing selection of Kai on offer. Theresloads of stalls set up everywhere serving anything; hot hangi, mussel fritters, fry bread, steak sandwiches, crepes, sea food, and when you get too hot you can get half a watermelon filled with a few scoops of ice cream. mmmmmm.

Look at that menu! I had two mussel burgers.

For those of you who don't know what fry bread is its a bready dough mix deep fried in fat. Greasy goodness, chur!

And heres Ray, he supports the 28 Maori Battalion.

Waitangi day

Its time again for the national celebrations of Waitangi Day. 2010 the year of the Waka. 170 years since the signing of the Treaty.

I had the job again of going around the grounds and taking photos of all the action. This year the Waka played a big part, there were over 30 Waka from all around the North Island and I was keen to capture some of these canoe boosting around. Heres some photos from the launching of the Waka the day before Waitangi Day.

A haka given as a Nga Puhi Waka was launched.

The mighty Ngatokimatawhaorua with the Navy Friggit and a charter boat in the background.

Getting ready to launch the Waka

The Haka given as a Waka rows past the shore.

The mighty Ngatokimatawhaorua which was built in 1940 for the centenary of the signing of the treaty. It is 37 metres long, was built of 3 sections of Kauri timber and carries over 100 people. It was launched this Waitangi Day for the first time in 5 years.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

out in the fresh Open Air

This is a quick overview of the New Years festival we helped organize in the Bay of Islands. Dan Bregman and I took the photos and Dan did the write up. Cheers to all that helped out and attended and thanks to the three Chris's for the massive task of organizing the festival and letting us use the land. It was awesome!!!!

With so many different options for celebrating new years, it seems difficult to make a decision where one will go these days. Gisborne, Ingagnahuna, Matakana and Coromandel are all names that spring to mind when thinking of events that run over the switching of the years. However, there are also many smaller more modest festivals, which offer a more intimate option for punters to be part of. This year I opted for the wayward wanderer approach in choosing where to be for the 31st of December, 2009.

Venturing from Dunedin, across Cooks straight, and continuing north to the Tai Tokerou lands of the Far North. The roads eventually led me to an open paddock, set against a 360degree view of farmland and bush, next to a laughing lake, in the back blocks of Pakaraka. Open Air was what this festival was called.

The brainchild of a group of mates who were keen to celebrate the coming of the new year with some good music, a relaxed atmosphere, a group of happy people and most importantly, to be amongst what Aotearoa has to offer...the open air. However, it was not to be without a series of trials and tribulations. Liability insurance, securing a venue and funding the operation were a few of the hurdles which had to be navigated before Open Air could be fully realised.

But the Northland resolve never faulted, and every hurdle thrown their way was was pushed aside with a collected calm; it had to be a success...and so it was to be.
This wasn’t the standard issue commercial style of New Years festivals, that can be found around the country. Everyone present helped to make it what it was. Whether it was to help build the stage, position flags and teepees made from bamboo and sheets, usher people into the site, cook up a feed or two, or to pick up a guitar and strum out a melody that people could work to; everyone involved placed their mark, and put an imprint on how it was to turn out.

at 6pm, on the 31st, everyone gathered around the stage to partake in blessing the land, the people and the festival. A mihi was made by Christine, followed by a karakia which we all joined in on. This payed homage to the cultural roots that are firmly in place throughout the Far North and its people. Formalities complete, it was time to begin the fetivities.
First up was Cameron, who took to the stage with a guitar and a collection of songs to get everyone warmed up. A throwback to campfire sing-alongs, Cam strummed and sang us from dusk to the early evening. Enter the first of many DJs, ........ began to spped up the tempo, and offered a gentle invitation to move people toward the dance floor.

Without warning countdown had begun and the new year had arrived, followed by many a new years hug, kiss, pash, high-five, wolf whistle and man-hug. With the countdown over, the DJs got itchy fingers, and the decks began to spin once more. The music continued on into the wee small hours, as did the moving feet of the revellers who danced under the nearly full moon
So to conclude a long winded, much reminised account of a New YEars I will remember for years to come, I offer a challenge to our readers: Dare yourselves to venture where the crowds don’t go, where the gig guides and promoters haven’t heard of, and where the mainstream isn’t allowed entry. Get out and about over the summer period and search out the jewels in the rough, such as Open Air.

Happy New Years to all, and we look forward to taking in all the 2010 has to offer us.

Tu meke whanau,

Peace from Dan and the Potluck Palace crew