We were up and out the door by 9.00am as Paula and Dex had some people from Samoa coming over to have a look at his plane. It was decided that we would be dropped off at Mt Maunganui whilst Paula and Dex went out to the airport to meet with these people interested in the plane.
It was a glorious day with very calm seas and no wind. There was definitely an autumn nip to the air but as long as you kept walking it was fine. We had made the decision that we would walk around the base of Mt Maunganui (the Mount as locals call it) which was a three kilometre stroll.
Gosh, how can you go past this kind of scenery which is just repeated over and over again as you walk anywhere along the New Zealand coast line.
The twisted trunks are the trunks of the Pohutukawa tree which grows up to 25 metres (82 ft) high, with a spreading, dome-like form. It usually grows as a multi-trunked spreading tree. Its trunks and branches are sometimes festooned with matted, fibrous aerial roots. The oblong, leathery leaves are covered in dense white hairs underneath.
The tree flowers from November to January with a peak in mid to late December (the Southern Hemisphere summer), with brilliant crimson flowers covering the tree, hence the nickname New Zealand Christmas tree. There is variation between individual trees in the timing of flowering, and in the shade and brightness of the flowers.
We came across this large sea lion who was just drifting around the shore line. We didn’t know if he was injured or not as he seemed to stay on his back with his flipper extended and raising his nostrils out of the water to take a breath. He didn’t seem distressed at all.
This is coming to the Pilot Bay Area of the Mount which is inside the harbour and is protected from the elements. The Port of Tauranga is located in the harbour and container ships and cruise ships use the harbour’s waters. The Tauranga harbour entrance is the shipping channel to the Port of Tauranga, New Zealand’s largest export port. Shipping movements can take place at any time, day or night, through the main channels, therefore recreational craft must take care in these areas.
Paula called so we caught up for a cuppa coffee and a bite to eat and then went out to the airport to wait for a friend who would fly the plane for Dex. Dex cannot fly yet as he is waiting for his medical clearance letter from the doctor tomorrow due to his shoulder surgery last week. His friend drove over from Rotorua to take the potential buyers up for a spin and show them how the plane can perform.
Dex has spent many an hour sitting in the cockpit fish spotting for Sanford’s which is the biggest fishing fleet in New Zealand. He has done fish spotting now on a full time basis for nearly 25 years.
After buzzing around in the skies for about 20 minutes, they returned to the hangar. We put the plane to bed and then headed off to the house as we have about 20 people coming to a pot luck dinner tonight. Paula and Dex had arranged all the food earlier in the week so it was just a matter of us putting it out on the table and giving the place a quick tub up.
We had a great evening meeting all their lovely friends and having a good old natter about what we had been up to and where we are heading. After clean up, there was just enough time for a card game of Aggravation and Golf. Aggravation was certainly rubbing Fraser up the wrong way tonight and thought there at one stage that he was going to toss all his card in but restraint pulled him back from the brink.
So all in all a better day than yesterday though the shingles are still making their presence felt. Each day they should be less bothersome we were told by the doctor.