AS: Far flung southern lands 2019

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  • Barnabas-Aus, I see nasty things about that fire. Hope you are ok

    The fire a couple of kms down road seems to have dropped off mention but Cranebrook is still uncontrolled with several ignition points causing rapid spread.
  • Lothlorien wrote: »
    Barnabas-Aus, I see nasty things about that fire. Hope you are ok

    The fire a couple of kms down road seems to have dropped off mention but Cranebrook is still uncontrolled with several ignition points causing rapid spread.

    The Leggetts Drive fire is on the opposite side of town from us, so we are safe. It has grown in size from 24 to 202 ha since I last posted driven by a strong southwesterly. This brings back memories of 2000 when a similar fire was driven up over the Sugarloaf Range and jumped both freeway and railway to reach the shores of Lake Macquarie. A C-130 tanker rattled the roof tiles a little while ago on a waterbombing run just before the sun set.

    Our old street and the two above it have been evacuated, and friends from the next village northwards were also moved out. Mrs BA and I have been at separate functions for the last couple of hours, and people have been carefully watching developments.

    Our son lived in Cranebrook when stationed in Sydney. Fires like that were pretty much part of the routine. There were several instances of firebugs being caught and prosecuted.
  • Lots of grass in Cranebrook. Now extremely dry from drought and gales. Very suspicious that the fire had several almost simultaneous ignition points.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    Watching reports on all those fires... And as I'm in Port Stephens currently we had a beautiful sunrise due to the smoke from the Leggetts Dr fire.

    My best wishes to all across this country.
  • We've had floods in some parts of the country; gales, dry grass and a fire somewhere else; and yesterday a full-scale Wellington gale, which blew down a half dead whiteywood tree until it leaned on the two-metre fence built almost 50 years ago out of dunnage (my husband used to work for the Union Steam Ship Co so no charge for the wood).
    Neighbour of 45 years or so (and I taught her at College before that) came and was seriously worried that the fence might bring down the carport on to their cars. She knew a tree man nearby, who came today with two assistants and demolished the tree, which they too in to my neighbour (25 years) on the other side and sawed into logs for her fire.
    Job done, and the estimate of the cost wasn't too bad.
    But the fence, heavily laden with a wild ivy (to be trimmed on Friday) is leaning a bit this way and a bit that way. We're not in a hurry to deal with that.
    I've struggled with huge wind gusts when out and about (just hang on to something till the gust passes), but haven't had to worry about my trees before.
  • I was sad when our huge gum had to come down because of disease. It had already dropped three limbs and was dangerous. A much smaller gum also was diseased so it came out. Chopped up and stacked to dry for fire in a couple of years.

    There was a long dead tree on front fence line, getting a nasty lean towards incoming power. Council took that down.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    I just read an article on Lammington flavoured potato chips made by Smiths in Australia. Seriously Aussies, what's your country coming to?🙄.

    (Though having asked that I can imagine my middle brother trying them. He likes weird tastes).
  • I like weird combinations but that is not one I would like.
  • Heading for my daughter's place in the Illawarra tomorrow morning for a couple of days, hoping for some clear breathable air. It has been really uncomfortable here this afternoon, with smoke so thick I could hardly see the end of the street, thicker even than the fire which was so devastating for us in 2017. We hung washing this morning when things were relatively clear but, with increasing and fluky winds which blew the smoke our way, when I came to bring it in I was really struggling for breath.
    The small fixed-wing water bomber being used today seems to have used our terracotta-coloured roof as a navigation marker, going to and fro at about 200 metres altitude.
  • Safe travels, Barnabas!

    Sorry to read of the breathing difficulties. Hope the clearer air does you well.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Still keeping you all in my prayers - you really are having a tough time of it!
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Hope that the Illawarra is clearer air - the fire south from Nowra may be sending some up. Even here, it's been bad enough to send Madame back to the puffer.
  • Blowing a dog off a chain but the sky is blue, the air clear and the grandkids are a joy!
    Very tired as it's the longest I've driven since my heart attack.
  • Nephew who works at Sydney Uni says staff and students at Camden have been told to leave.

    Sleep well tonight and enjoy the grandchildren. We have had that gale for days and days.
  • And wishes for a good sleep and rest from me too.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Take it easy, Barnabas - don't be overdoing it!
  • Rain and thunder in the early hours — a couple of tremendous thumps above the house in particular would have woken me. It was recorded yesterday that NZ had received 100,000 lightning strikes in 24 hours, and obviously it kept on going.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Somehow we missed the worst of it, but they weren't so lucky further southwhere a state of emergency was declared.
  • I was just reading, and watching, that. My goodness.

    Hope more stable weather is on its way.
  • Hope it is still smoke free for Barnabas. It’s quite smoky here (from North Black Range Fire) and has been since late Saturday, and apparently continuing for several days. BoM appears to have added smoke conditions to the weather forecast.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    edited December 2019
    Meanwhile White Island is having its own hissy fit. Some people are believed to be trapped on it, and investigations are ongoing prior to a possible rescue effort. It is Aotearoa's most active volcano.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    White Island hissy fit
  • At least one dead. :cry:

    🕯️
  • Hope it is still smoke free for Barnabas. It’s quite smoky here (from North Black Range Fire) and has been since late Saturday, and apparently continuing for several days. BoM appears to have added smoke conditions to the weather forecast.

    Was relatively clear when we returned from the Illawarra on Saturday and yesterday, but the wind has changed today and the smoke haze is back, but not as thick as last week.

    Tomorrow is the scary day - 40plus in the valley and the merged blazes bearing down on settled areas. Cooler and more humid for the rest of the week.

    Praying for the victims of the eruption on White Island.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    Stay safe tomorrow, Barnabas. A particularly hot day, and it looks like temperatures are staying warm in the following days unlike here further east.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Have only just got home to the news that White Island, an active volcano off the East Coast of the north Island has erupted. 20 people are missing, one is dead and some are severely burned.

    From the news I think it may have been a group of Australian tourists who were on the island at the time of the eruption.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Climacus wrote: »
    At least one dead. :cry:

    🕯️

    Now believed to be at least five dead, and further rescue has been ruled out as it is too dangerous 🕯️

    I had heard the victims are Australian, yet another reminder of the shared experiences of our two countries :cry:
  • Praying for all concerned.
  • So sorry to hear the sad news from NZ.

    I was on White Island around this time two years ago. Tourists are offered gas masks in case of sensitivity to the level of gaseous sulphur compounds at ‘ordinary’ times, so it does not bear thinking about how people would cope with high levels of such gases, dust and hot rocks. Lord have mercy.

    I’m heading for NZ tomorrow, to visit the friends (in Auckland) who took me to White Island on my last visit. It will be sombre to share those memories now.

    Much sympathy for all of those worried about friends and family.

  • Difficult circumstances notwithstanding, Cameron, I hope you enjoy your visit to Auckland.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Prayers ascending for all affected on White Island.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Thanks for posting that Zappa.
  • Just heard from my eldest daughter in the Far North- there is a big scrub fire now burning, visible from the deck of her house!!
    She and her family are currently OK but she's really concerned for some of her friends.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    Hope her friends are okay. Lots of fires around...WA seems to be bad currently, and supposed to have far too many very hot days currently.

    Hope you are having a good time with friends in NZ, Cameron.

    Took my 3 nieces up Tomaree Head at Port Stephens yesterday. Saw the WWII gun emplacements, and great views of the bay, ocean and islands from 170m up. Wonderful to spend some time with them.
  • Excellent uncle-ing, Climacus. Still smoky here, although the closest fire is almost out. The more remote areas of Namadgi National Park are being closed for the rest of summer. Does anyone have any news of Lothlorien?
  • Excellent uncle-ing, Climacus. Still smoky here, although the closest fire is almost out. The more remote areas of Namadgi National Park are being closed for the rest of summer. Does anyone have any news of Lothlorien?

    See Lothlorien's post in the Aging Parents thread. Shocking news.
  • So sorry to hear Lothlorien’s news.

    @Climacus and @Kittyville - I am having a nice time with my friends, thank you. Nice weather and scenery, in a country with a decent, humane and thoughtful leader - all of which feels like the opposite of the situation back home now. I am making good use of an excellent ice-cream shop nearby to lift the mood when necessary (or even when unnecessary!)

    The trip with the nieces sounds lovely, Climacus. I google-mapped Tomaree Head and it looks beautiful.


  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Not that I am biased or anything, 😉 but NZ does have some lovely ice cream. Have you tried hokey pokey?

    The P.M's not bad either.😎
  • I will look out for the hokey pokey! my favourite ice cream at the local shop has so far been their 'flat white' - ripples of really strong, good coffee through a super rich vanilla...

    In the interest of systematic research, I will try to check out all the flavours... :wink:
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Proper thing, Cameron - that sort of research has to be very thorough. :smiley:
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Anything Kapiti is a good start
  • Indeed!
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Kapiti ice-cream is the best I've tried, although I have heard really good things about Lewis Road. I also like Deep South, but I don't know if that's available nation wide. At this rate Cameron you may need a larger clothing size - or a good exercise programme. :wink:
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Oh, climbing a few cliffs should suffice for him. Was it just a year ago that we scrambled up (in a steep hill sort of way, not your normal more demanding metier) the lesser known path of Parihaka, Cameron?
  • I think you may have me confused with another Cameron (which is just a screen name for me), @Zappa - I don’t think we have met.

    My Auckland friends have taken me to a few scenic walks over the years though. My icon picture is from the Tongariro crossing, for example. Another favourite was a visit to Nelson (with a fabulous dinner at the Boat Shed) and then on to the Marlborough region to go up (and down) Mount Stokes - amazing views. I always ask if the planned exercise is a “level walk” and they always say yes - on average (50% up, 50% down...)

    Anyway, back to ice-cream: salted caramel yesterday, which was delicious. The brand on sale at the local cafe is Kohu Road, but I will look out for the other recommendations too...

    So far I am managing to run most days, and have transferred the running calorie allowance from cake to ice-cream to lessen the waistline risk!
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    Ha ha. I haven't tried Deep South or Kohu Road...I shall keep an eye out. The last one I had was a triple chocolate extravaganza from Kāpiti. It was yum.

    The Tongariro Crossing is on my list for next year. I'll add Mt Stokes to my list should I cross the strait. Thank you.

    Went on a ecology tour out to Fingal Island today. Very pleasant, with a nice old lighthouse and ruined (fire) sandstone lighthouse keeper accommodation.
  • Yes, the Tongariro crossing is unforgettable!
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Cameron wrote: »
    I think you may have me confused with another Cameron (which is just a screen name for me), @Zappa - I don’t think we have met.

    Well I was a bit surprised to find him suddenly back in full force ... not sure when I last saw him shipboard.

    Next time you're "souther than 45" drop in. While I plug for Kapiti (and am a Kapiti boy geographically) Deep South is most acceptable. And yes, @Gallilit - I've made that crossing a couple of times about 45 years apart ... just heavenly.

  • The one time I made the Tongariro crossing was on my 50th birthday, so I think I won’t be able to equal your record for the repeat, unless I discover the fountain of eternal youth. (I have found its well known companion, the fountain of eternal immaturity, but I don’t think it helps much.)

    I really must try to see more of the South Island. Although I am on a very long trip this time (the joy of academic life that is sabbatical leave...) I am not getting around much. I have a visit to Christchurch planned at the end of my stay (end Jan), for a conference, but am tied to Auckland and environs for the rest of the time (which is perfectly nice). I do intend to keep coming back though, so perhaps next year...

    In the meantime I will be sure to consume some Kapiti ice cream if I come across it, in the spirit of shipmately friendship :smile:

This discussion has been closed.