Sunday, 31 December 2017

I saw the Diamond Princess!

Last Friday on my day off I walked down to the beach to catch the Diamond Princess leaving port. I waited there for about 15-20 minutes before I saw it slowly make its way around Mount Mauao and then emerge behind the rocks.

This baby can hold 2,670 passengers and travels mostly around Asia during the Northern Hemisphere summer and then around Australia and NZ in the Southern Hemisphere Summer.

As for me, I'm choosing this day to relax - thankfully I'm not working today which is New Year's Eve for us so I will miss the busyness that I'd normally be facing at work as it is now over the Summer season. But I did work last night as I do every Saturday and didn't get home until about 10.30 so today being quite tired there's not alot going on.

Hope everything is good for you - Happy New Year!

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Even the trees were decorated!

In the weeks leading up to Christmas I attempted to drive or walk around the city to visit houses that had been decorated with lights. Sadly in the suburb we live in there wasn't really alot of choice, but I did find this one that was about 2 streets away. This 2 storied house is behind the trees so you can hardly see it but the trees are covered as well as a couple of reindeer on the lawn. These ones would no doubt be solar powered - the same type as I have on my deck outside.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

It's volleyball season!

December/January is premium holidaymaker season here. There's been plenty of people in our town enjoying the beach and Summer sun. I had to work right up until Christmas eve, normally I don't work Sundays but I was rostered on for half the day - thankfully I was able to head home just after lunch which was nice. I won't get any time off as I will have been there for a full year in February so we will most likely go away for a week then.

Hope you've had a restful few days over Christmas.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Merry Christmas from New Zealand

I hope you're enjoying your day so far. We were up bright at early this morning, after opening presents we were out on the beach enjoying a walk - so nice feeling the sea on my feet.

We even made a Sand man called Sandy in the tide that was coming in - except this one only has 1 eye.

Lots of people enjoying the warm sunny Summer sunshine including surfers, kayakers and dog walkers.

Looks like Santa left a little friend behind outside this person's front door. Hope all is good where you are :-)

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Wooden Christmas trees in Tauranga

On my one day off this week (Friday morning) the teens and I drove into Tauranga City to look around the shops. I was originally going to try and find the Winter Wonderland in Goddards Shopping Center but after walking around we couldn't find it in the end. On our way back to the car we heard these clever men playing some awfully good blues music, surrounded by wooden Christmas Trees that have been placed around the area.

These wooden Christmas trees have been made to celebrate the festive season and each one has been decorated and adorned with badges from various organizations and local community groups. They're something different don't you think?

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

New Zealand's Christmas Tree

Every year between November and December these flowers start to bloom. Named the Pohutukawa Tree, they line most coastal roads and beaches, loving the sunshine and sandy conditions. They are aptly named New Zealand's Christmas tree and the vibrant red flowers are reminiscent of the time of the season. The myth is that if they flower before Christmas day then we are in for a good Summer - so far that seems to have come true.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday :-)

Friday, 15 December 2017

Christmas lights in Papamoa

Every Christmas each suburb in the city decorates their houses in decorations and lights etc. There are light trails you can follow and last weekend we chose Papamoa which is about 15 minutes drive from where we live.  We probably should've left a wee bit later because once we got there the sun was still setting. The words in the above picture "Wairakei" mean water in Maori - I'm guessing the owners of the house want to see some rain as it is very very dry here.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday :-)

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Bluebottles are back!

The temperatures here have been so warm that in the last week the beach has been littered with these scary creatures. The Portuguese man o'war or "Bluebottles" as they are otherwise known are nasty and can inflict an evil sting, sometimes causing people to die.

These are apparently meat eaters but other sea creatures such as the loggerhead turtle, blue sea slug, and ocean sunfish love to feast on them. I would say the King Tide from last week most likely bought them in from the ocean, this morning they were all gone so hopefully they have been reclaimed to the seas.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Our Oystercatchers Harry and Sophie

Meet Harry and Sophie, Mount Maunganui's resident Oystercatchers. Every year they come to our main beach to nest and raise babies.

The Department of Conservation are pretty good at putting up cordons around the nest along with sandbags to protect the chicks.

We carefully walked around the area and I managed to get this photo of the baby that's hatched out this year. Looks like he/she is quite happy.

People have been pretty good at staying away from the nest and there is a no dog policy on this part of the beach. Hopefully this family can keep coming back here in years to come.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Roses are loving the Summer heat

This week we've had record temperatures reaching up to the mid 20s to early 30s (celsius). The weather is scorching, good old me has to use sunblock of factor 40+ in order to be protected and that's when applied every 2 hours - I blame the English skin I have.

Anyway it looks like the roses at Robbins Park Rose Gardens are loving the sun. Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

This week's Spring king tide

This week we've had a king tide and a supermoon, sadly where I live it's mostly cloudy and overcast at night despite the lovely blue skies and hot Summer weather. This morning I had to dodge the waves a few times as the tide came up to my feet but these surfers will no doubt enjoy it.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Surf Rescue Challenge 2017

Since it's Summer here now - started 1st December I decided to walk a little further than I normally go. Instead of walking part way down the beach I walked to the very end and saw the beginnings of the International Surf Rescue Challenge for 2017 in the midst of being set up.

This event goes for 3 days, it's held every 2 years, there are 8 national open teams and and 4 youth national teams from NZ, Australia, England, South Africa, USA, Canada, France and Japan.


Finally we have sunshine. This week the temperatures at night are low with the west coast getting down to 2 degrees celsius. But...the good ...