Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Goodbye to Gita

The day after the storm we certainly have several reasons to be thankful.  Waking up to a lovely, calm, sunny day is one of them. And hunkering down here in Marchwood Park camp we felt we got off rather lightly.  There was surface flooding, which has drained away, and the strong winds buffeting the van made me feel quite uneasy.  But the wind died down by bed time so we had a restful night.  Where we are at present, we certainly escaped the worst of the weather.

You may remember we (luckily) made the return journey from Golden Bay over the Takaka Hill in Monday.  Just look at it now – badly damaged and closed with 16 slips.

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One of the many slips on the Takaka Hill

Helicopter footage shows the Takaka Hill road cluttered with mud, debris and fallen trees. The highway was closed at 4pm on Tuesday as the weather worsened. The damage, currently being cleared by contractors, will take several days to get through. Food supplies for Golden Bay's 5000 locals and 1000 stranded tourists will be delivered by sea tomorrow. Medical supplies have been delivered to Golden Bay Health Centre, with help from Civil Defence.

Our planned day trip to Kaiteriteri Beach was put on hold today because of road closures, so we went to check out the wharf instead, finding several things of interest.  There was the rusting wreck of the Janie Seddon on Motueka's foreshore. Built in 1901 in Paisley, Scotland for the Government as a submarine mining vessel, the Janie Seddon spent most of her career on Wellington Harbour.  In 1947, the Janie Seddon was sold for use as a trawler to Talley’s Fisheries Ltd, but vessels of this size weren’t permitted to operate in the fish-rich coastal waters of Tasman Bay. Her use was changed to that of a coal bunker.  Her working life came to a sad end, laid up at the wharf in 1950, beached in 1955, stripped of everything useful and hulked on the beach at Motueka. 

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Al that remains of the Janie Seddon

Everyone knows of Farewell Spit at the top of the South Island – but most, like us, are probably unaware that Motueka has it’s very own sandspit.  The Raumanuka and Motueka Sandspit is an internationally recognized sanctuary where thousands of shorebirds roost, feed and breed.  This sandspit is very flat compared to it’s bigger cousin further north, so does not photograph well from the shore.

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Motueka Sandspit

And then there was another hidden treasure down on the wharf -  the Talley’s Outlet Shop.  Recommended by campers we had been chatting to further north, we didn't know anything about this shop.  We purchased fresh fish for our dinner, and some frozen  prawns – would have liked to buy more goodies but our freezer space is limited in the caravan.

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Talley’s Outlet Shop

There was one more place to visit – Brown Acre Villas – a Lifestyle Village similar to the one we live in and developed by the same developer.  We had a look around, met the President of the Body Corp, and swapped notes about our respective villages.   

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On the way back to camp we stopped at a street sign which has a family connection.  Green Lane was named after an English  relation of mine who jumped ship at Motueka.   Once the ship had set sail he was free to start a new life in the colonies and did quite well for himself in business, married and had quite a large number of children.   

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