Posted by: maureenc | June 5, 2017

Quietude

One tiny piece of Heaven.

leaf and twig


eternal motion
of the river
invites tranquility

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Posted by: maureenc | May 31, 2017

Moorea

You hear people describe their coach tours through various countries:  “Wednesday afternoon?? We must have been in so-and- so.

That dear reader, is what happened to me visiting Moorea!  (Well, not exactly)

We set sail from Papeete dock about sunset and were told that 8am next day we would be anchored off shore from the lagoon encircling Moorea Island.

I still don’t”get” why cruise ships spend the night cruising, when the destination is only “A few minutes from the island of Tahiti by plane, and only thirty minutes by high-speed catamaran”…….. which I learned from a tourist brochure.

Anyway, by next morning my bronchitis was really making me miserable, so I opted for a quiet day on board Radiance whilst Margaret went exploring by herself, whilst I dosed myself up with Paracetamol and cough suppressant mixture.

I must admit that I was more keen to visit Bora Bora the next day, because I (mistakenly) thought that was where James A Michener had based his “tales of the South Pacific” and the now famous Bali Hai.

 

Perfect blue sea:Tahiti

 

Posted by: maureenc | May 31, 2017

Papeete Tahiti

 

After passing from Cook Strait into the south  Pacific Ocean,  weather conditions deteriorated as our course steered the Radiance between two tropical lows/Depressions. By the second day, our speed dropped from  22 knot down to about from 17.5 knot per hour .

Occasionally during a lull in the waves, Radiance would sneak up to 19k. and some passengers decided they were more comfortable staying in their bunks rather than struggle up  to Deck eleven to the Windjammer café for meals.

The swimming pools were emptied, no “rock wall climbing” or use of the 1/4 basketball court or mini golf or the running track was permitted, and even the sun lounges were tied down to prevent them sliding over the decks.

Passengers in the lower decks (4 and  5 in particular) were complaining about the “crashing” and “banging” that was so obvious during the night. Apparently the anchor chains and other equipment rattling around caused some people to have sleepless nights. As I always include  ear- plug  in my packing, noise didn’t bother me. Also we were on Deck Eight where there was very little noise, although my travel partner complained about the bed “jumping about”.

By day five of cruising the sea had moderated and early day six, with a glorious sunrise over the mountains of Tahiti we looked forward to the day ahead

Sunrise over Tahiti   as seen from our balcony

Then the Pilot ship came and snuggled up to Radiance and allowed the Pilot to board.

Pilot has been landed on Radiance, Papeete

Then the Tugs arrived to hustle Radiance into the port of Papeete. As all this was occurring it was interesting to watch air liners departing from the runway that jutted out into the bay.

Tugs, Papeete

I was most disappointed to learn that the Paul Gaugin Museum in Papeete had been closed some two years previously and all his works had been sent to mainland France. Whether they will ever return to Tahiti remains to be seen. As there was no works of Gaugin to savour, we lined up for a short morning tour to visit the home/museum of James Norman Hall, who with Charles Nordhoff was co author of the novel “Mutiny on the Bounty” which is the title of the 1932 novel by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall, based on the mutiny against Lieutenant William Bligh, commanding officer of the Bounty in 1789. It has been made into several films and a musical.

Until I visited the house, I was ignorant of the people involved and the modern day “history” of the mutiny.

Busts of James Norman Hall and Charles Nordoff: co-authors of Mutiny on the Bounty trilogy: showing decorations won whilst  aviators for both French and US air squadrons in WW1

In the gardens of the home, we saw examples of the breadfruit trees which Bligh attempted to take back to England, and gorgeous flowering Mussaenda.

 

Mussaenda blooms

James Norman Hall home (Arue)

AS we continued our visit by tour bus, the courier explained that there were only two main roads joining the areas of the island of Tahiti and how badly the roads became “car parks” during peak travel times. She spoke of how she left home four hours before she was due to do the pick up at the wharf……….the joys of living and working Paradise??

 

After leaving the gardens surrounding the home the tour bus wound its way to Venus Point

after pulling in firstly by a hilltop lookout for a quick look at the surrounding bays and reef enclosed atolls.

Perfect blue sea:Tahiti

Memorial to Captain James Cook visiting Tahiti to view the transit of Venus in 176

Before we arrived in the park area where the memorials to Captain Cook’s landing in 1769 or the memorial to Bligh of the Bounty were, we passed market stalls selling pareos and muumuu type gowns, as well as shell necklaces and shell “jewellery”.

Bounty memorial

Ship’s Company HMS BOUNTY

 

Just out from the beach were outrigger type light canoes resting on frames  to suspend the canoes above water level. I never did determine what degree of tidal movement there was around Papeete. Maybe the cradles were to prevent

 the boats from damage on rocky shelly beaches. I just don’t  know the answer.

When we finally arrived back near the ship, we decided to have lunch on board and then head into the city and check out the Municipal Markets in the city centre.

As it was mid afternoon many stall holders had decided to close: whether for the day or for a siesta we didn’t find out. To say we were disappointed with what we found was an understatement!

I had been told that along with the usual “touristy” clothes we should be able to purchase silk fabrics; even in the fabric and clothing shops along Colette street we found only coarsely printed Tahitian styled (read Hibiscus printed) fabrics. The fabric shops were so heavily stacked with bolts of fabric I was reluctant to remove any for a closer look.

Eventually we met with a delightful French gentleman and his lovely wife who were happy to tolerate my strangled French and talk with us and tell us more about their home and business. Both Margaret and I purchased goods from them and left with lighter purses.

 

 

Source: The Death of Sunbonnet Sue: It Couldn’t Happen to a Nicer Girl

 

It’s all Jill’s fault! I had decided last Monday to drastically reduce my fabric and fibre stash as I wasn’t quilting much these days–

Then I went to Book Club and Jill says she now knows why her mum used to refer to her as Sun Bonnet Sue: Jill had “discovered” novels with a quilting theme, and yes! the theme started with Sunbonnet Sue.

Jill can not handle a needle in any shape or form(she says) so she asked me about making a Sunbonnet Sue quilt, or wall hanging, or—-

I had buried SBS a long long time ago so I asked Facebook friends for ideas where to find patterns. Helen in Tasmania mentioned Bad Sue and Sin Bonnet Sue and Mr Google led me to Kerry’s wonderful blog dated 2014.

I LOVE it!

Posted by: maureenc | May 18, 2017

Catkins

Once again I share with you the photography and words of one of my favourite bloggers.

leaf and twig


the tree
inconspicuously flowers
with kitten tail blooms

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Posted by: maureenc | May 17, 2017

Another New Zealand port

The “Radiance” departed Picton wharf about 7pm on a fairly calm sea. Having heard stories over the years of how rough the passage through Cook Strait can be, I wondered how the evening would progress.

According to Wikipedia:

Cook Strait lies between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. It connects the Tasman Sea on the northwest with the South Pacific Ocean on the southeast, and runs next to the capital city, Wellington. It is 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide at its narrowest point,[1] and is considered one of the most dangerous and unpredictable waters in the world.[2]

The strait is named after James Cook, the first European commander to sail through it, in 1770.

Map of Cook Strait, New Zealand

Once again, we were blessed with peaceful cruising and the following morning, as our ship dawdled towards  Lambton Quay to dock, we crossed paths with an -“Inter-islander”  Ferry heading out towards Picton, some three hours  away.

Inter island ferry leaving Wellington

When I last visited Wellington (also on a cruise) I spent most of the day visiting Zealandia and the Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa), so this time I decided to ride the Cable car and enjoy the sights of Wellington from the lookout and tea rooms at Kelburn Park.

Cable car

 The cable-car coming up to Kelburn

Looking down towards the city from the lookout

Adjoining the Cable car station was the Wellington Botanic Garden which incorporates over 26 hectares comprising

the Lady Norward Rose Garden with over 3000 different species of roses; a sculpture trail featuring , among others, Henry Moore’s Bronze Form; a Duck pond; a Begonia House.

As my camera battery “died” at this stage, the Botanic Garden remains on my bucket list! Cruising  is a wonderful way to visit new places, but it’s only an appetiser or teaser: so much to see and so little time!

It was about 4pm we said farewell to Wellington to head north and east towards French Polynesia.

Departing Wellington

 

 

 

 

Posted by: maureenc | May 16, 2017

Cruising the Pacific

A chance email received about December 15, last year, gave my long dormant travel-bug a wake up call! The thought of some 18 nights cruising, visiting two ports in New Zealand, before heading into the Pacific to visit three ports in French Polynesia and then finally having a couple of days on the island of Oahu in Hawaii before returning home, had me scrambling to make arrangements.

However, before attending to travel matters, I checked first that my cat sitter extraordinaire was available to care for Sam.

YES! Anna was available to come and care for Sam, which left me free to plan my escape.

April 18 saw me dragging a rather heavy case  first around Brisbane Airport, then Sydney airport as I hunted for the coach to take me to the docks.

Memo to self: Do NOT pack so many clothes if there is a “next time” to travel. Do not allow for Wellington’s capricious weather.  PACK LIGHT.

Sydney Harbour by night 18/04/2017

We left the dock about 8.30pm and I tried to photograph the Opera House ,the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park, but the included photo was my favourite As the Radiance of the Seas approached the Sydney Heads, you could feel her anticipating the open waters as her movements became a little more lively.

After unpacking it was time to visit the Champagne Bar and toast to a happy voyage.

This bar became a favoured place to sit and read; converse with others and  (in comfort) watch the seas roll by.

 It was also a great place to sit ,people- watch and listen to the excellent music provided by various groups and entertainers.

After four days of cruising in calm and sunny conditions we reached the port of Picton, which sits at the head of beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound.

Picton does not have a large wharf: in fact “Radiance” caused a cargo ship to be on anchor as with 2,500 guests on board we took priority over the ship  which was loading timber for the Asian woodchip market.

I normally steer clear of having photos taken, but this is included to show the heaps of logs awaiting export.

 (I’m the white haired woman, and Margaret is my travel companion)

We joined a three hour tour of Picton, Blenheim and surrounds, which included the famed Marlborough vineyards and wineries, as well as a drive past the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre which presents a Knights of the Sky exhibition of WW1 aircraft and artefacts owned by (Sir) Peter Jackson with sets created by WingNut Films and Weta Workshop.

A short stop was made at Pollard Park where the autumn leaves were just starting their colour change.

Autumn leaves Blenheim

The coach then dropped us near a jetty where we boarded a catamaran to explore the Sounds, before leaving us to make our own way back to the dock to cruise overnight to Wellington.

Jetty,Anikawa

Posted by: maureenc | May 16, 2017

A dummy spit!

After composing several pages of descriptions plus photos  relating to my recent vacation, and “carefully” saving the draft before a final edit and publish:  I managed to lose the lot!

Back to the drawing board——-

Posted by: maureenc | March 9, 2017

In Hope, a poem for Thursday

Reblogged from another online friend In honour of International Women’s day. Thank youGilly

Lucid Gypsy

This Thursday instead of Lazy Poet, I’m re-posting a poem I wrote a few years ago, for International Women’s Day. Yes I know that was yesterday, but you know me by now, the other week that I got the day wrong for wordless Wednesday, and the syllable count wrong for LP!

In Hope

Cast aside your veil

Turn your face to the sun

Gather round the hearth

Your work today is done

Your sisters draw near

Feet planted to earth

They no longer fear

The lone walk on the trail

Your children breathe free

The mountains clear air

Well nourished with plenty

And wind blown away care

Your abundance is here

Take love in your stride

Future perfect and clear

Go forward with pride

Cast aside your veil

And no longer hide

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Posted by: maureenc | February 10, 2017

Tresel

Leaf and Twig touches so many triggers in my psyche. Please savour as I have

leaf and twig

fullsizeoutput_280a
outlined as it is obscured
all the same
the bridge remains

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