Friday, March 19, 2010

Sailing on Wellington Harbour

The NIWA office is on the edge of Evans Bay and we often see sailing boats and wind surfers racing past in the strong Wellington winds. It always looks like great fun.

Despite having been on numerous different types of water going vessels for work and play, I have never been on a sailing boat. So when the opportunity came up to have a go I signed up for a morning of sailing with a bunch of people from work.

So we rocked up at the sailing club and had a safety briefing and got into wet weather gear before heading off. The problem was that half the people on the boat had sailed before and several of us had no clue what we were doing. I spent the first 30 minutes just trying to stay out of the way and watching what everyone did when the instructor shouted tack or jibe. It is a whole other language of jargon that I have no idea about. I think I finally got a rough idea of what to do at the end of 2 hours on the water.

Helen, trying to stay out of the way as we race down Evans Bay.

The conditions were pretty hard - 20 knot winds with 30 knot gusts and 1 m swell. Not conditions you would catch me out in the kayak. However it turned out they were pretty ideal conditions to be sailing and you certainly got quite a bit of speed up going down wind and surfing the waves.

Because there were three boats we had a little race down Evans Bay, past our offices and then back to the boat club. I'm sure this was intentional to make our colleagues whose windows look out on to the bay jealous!

The other two boats in the back ground with NIWA offices just on the edge of the coast on the left of the picture.

It was a fun few hours and my arms are sore this morning as I did help with trimming the jib sheet (I think that is what it is called) and the main sail at the end of the two hours.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunny Sunday at Makara Peak

The sun was shining and my cold was pretty much gone so we decided to head over to Makara Peak. A huge storm blew through Wellington on Friday evening which brought a fair amount of rain. This helped the trails out heaps. They had be been getting dry and loose, but today they were just right - nice and grippy without being too slippery.

Storm about to hit Petone foreshore

We had a pretty crusiy ride to the top of the peak. I was extremely happy I could actually breathe properly. It was a bit windy at the summit so we only stopped long enough to catch our breath and take a quick photo of the new bike.

Posing at the summit of Makara Peak

After the photos we popped down the side of the peak on Zac's Track.

Helen railing one of the corners on Zac's Track

After decending most of the way down the peak we turned and head up Rimu to catch another fun downhill track. Two thirds of the way along Rimu, Helen manged to pick up a stick and turn her rear derailleur inside out and upside down. This pretty much ended the ride. Luckily we were able to coast most of the way back down to the car.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Making Jam

We have had a few weeks of consistent weather and after a slow summer, the garden is finally producing some fruit and veggies! I have had a lot of zucchini lately - so many I have had to give them away. I also found myself with a freezer full of raspberries. So I made some jam. Mothers and grandmothers the world over would be proud of me! It tastes pretty good - but not sure if is going to set? The problem is that I have 5 jars of raspberry jam and 5 jars of plum jam - I'm never going to eat that much jam in the next year. Maybe I can trade some plum/raspberry jam for some strawberry or orange marmalade?