Friday 23 February 2018

Nine Weeks In Napier- Part 4; City at Sea

Catch-up; and I've been waiting a long while to post this one. 

Remember I said on one of my Tauranga blogs, I'd love to see 'Ovation of the Seas'? Well it just happened that she was due in Napier a few days after we arrived.

I thought I'd head to the Bluff Hill Lookout to see her arrive, the lookout not only overlooks the Port of Napier, it has wide sweeping views out over Hawke Bay; south to Cape Kidnappers and north to Mahia Peninsula.

Due to the congestion around the lookout caused by sightseers on the narrow roads, during her last (and first) visit to Napier, all the immediate roads were closed to traffic. This meant a walk of about 1.5kms up hill and down dale to reach the lookout. Ovation wasn't due to arrive until 7am but I got there well in advance so I could see her come around the Cape and head across the Bay to the port.

There were quite a number of ships and commercial fishing boats at anchor offshore, I guess they had to wait their turn until after Ovation had berthed and her few thousand passengers has disembarked and gone for the day.

Once Ovation reached the breakwater two tugs steamed out to meet her. 

Here's something random for you; I have a personal connection with Napier Port's breakwater. Some of the rubble used to create the breakwater, once surrounded my childhood swimming pool. Much of breakwater rubble was once part of the Park Island 'Old People's Home' which collapsed in the 1931 Napier Earthquake. It then became the HB Hospital Board Farm which Dad managed for over 20 years. 

Most of the ruins were bulldozed over the sides of Park Island though some of the concrete foundations were left behind. Dad layed a floor and sealed one of these large concrete foundation squares to form our swimming pool. Many years later all the rubble (including the swimming pool) was transported to the Port to form the breakwater extension. You can read more about the farm (which is now Napier's Western Hills Cemetery) in this blog I did on a Living Memory

My sister Gaelyn, in the concrete foundation swimming pool
Moving right along (don't forget to click on the photos to view them in more detail)....

Logs waiting to be exported look like piles of toothpicks.

At 168,666 tonne, Ovation of the Seas is the fourth biggest cruise ship in the world and the biggest ship to visit New Zealand. She carries 4905 passengers and 1500 crew. 

Once the tugs reached her, they helped her maneuver around, ready to be backed into port.

There was a strong wind blowing and a low tide, the bow and/or stern thrusters on the ship stirred up the sea bed. 

There was about a 40 minute delay as they waited for the wind to drop and the tide to lift a little before Ovation...

...was carefully backed into her berth

A very long line up of tour and shuttle buses patiently waited to escort the passengers off the wharf...

Napier Port's tugs look like little egg cups compared with Tauranga's tugs and especially as they bobbed about in the churned up water.

Some passengers chose to stay and make use of the onboard facilities. The stand up surfing pool was popular and as soon as the ship had docked the waves started rolling. Ovation also has a sky diving simulator, rock climbing wall, dodgem cars, a circus school and an observation gondola on a hydraulic arm that rises 90 metres above the ship. I left before that was raised; you can see it in the photo above, at the front of the ship.

And wouldn't you know it, after closing the surrounding roads and making me walk all that way, there were only about a dozen people at the lookout and half of those were locals out on their morning strolls. And the only vehicles that made it to the top contained council workers who'd talked their way through the cordon!

One last photo looking out over the old port settlement of Ahuriri and the Ahuriri estuary to the hills of Poraiti behind. Before the 1931 earthquake, the inner harbour reached the base of the hills, the seabed rose 2 metres during the 'quake exposing most of the middle ground you can see here.

Perfume Point (a popular freedom camping spot in Napier) can be see on the right , the finger of land sticking out into the bay.

Footnote- I'll be out of internet range for a couple of weeks or so, so apologies but no blogs for awhile.

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Napier's Art Deco Week- A Step Back in Time


Just in case you hadn't noticed, I've been off the blog radar for the last week.

We've just had the most fantastic week parked up with approximately 200 other RVs on Napier's Marine Parade celebrating the 30th anniversary of Napier's Art Deco Week.

And, we managed to somehow (by being 8th in the queue) get the prime spot in the camp! The weather was amazing; every day hot and sunny and well over 30c. 

Sunrise- Spirit of Napier Fountain
In fact it was far too hot some days, and very muggy. But what amazing sunrises and sunsets I managed to capture from our coveted beachside spot.

We had no intentions of attending Art Deco this year, we've been to a few over the years and I've also written a few blogs on it too, but when we were finally ready to leave Napier it seemed a bit daft to head off one week out from Art Deco. I mean, think of all the photo opportunities I might have missed. 

And boy, do I have a few hundred photos! 

On their way to the Depression Dinner
It's going to take me a wee while to process them all but I'm determined to get through them and, like last time, I'll upload them to a Flickr album in due course and post the link here on another blog so you can peruse them at your leisure. 

Being parked just 1.3kms from the Soundshell and hub of the Art Deco festivities meant I could head off down the waterfront walkway to the various events, leaving David to relax in camp.

Family Deco Hat Happy Hour
And I guess this is now Part 5 of the Napier series.... 'but wait, I don't remember reading Part 4', I hear you say. That's because it's still waiting in the wings but I will post it next, I promise.

The next few blog posts might be a bit intermittent as we head off from Napier on Thursday, up around the East Coast where viable internet connections are few and far between.

Vintage Memorial Flying Display
Here are a few more Art Deco photos from some of the events to whet your appetite-

Vintage Railcar RM31 shuttle between Napier & Hastings-

NZMCA members about to leave camp- 

Deco Dog Parade (but wait there's many more cute photos! I took a photo of just about every entry, the Deco Dogs will have their own album!)

Gatsby Picnic-

Vintage Car Parade-

Soap Box Derby-

Celebrations on the Street-

Strolling (or biking) the Promenade-

 And this guy looked like I felt, come Sunday afternoon-

 I hope you've enjoyed this little sampler, I can't wait to show you the rest of them.

Here are the photo albums with plenty of Art Deco fashion, vehicles and entertainment-

Art Deco Vintage Car Parade- 2018

Art Deco Out & About- 2018

Deco Dog Parade- 2018