Thursday, 28 November 2013

Land of the Long White Cloud 1

As you probably know the blog is entitled Somewhere Far Away. Sometimes I think this is a philosophical statement (as in somewhere far away from the norms of society) but mainly it is because I often find myself far from home. Today I am about as far away as I could possibly be: South Island, New Zealand.

Here are a few images from around Bank's Peninsula.

View from the Scenic Drive along the edge of the old volcano looking towards Akaroa (the Long Bay)
Large adjacent bird of prey: Marsh or Australasian Harrier (an endemic species)

White-faced heron

Here be an old 'Tri Pot' (used for boiling whale blubber to recover the oil therein) because we are again on the trail of the whalers here in Bank's Peninsula.

Plate on tripot reads: Whaling Tripot used by Capt. Hempleman Peake 1835

The whalers came here in the 1800s looking for the liquid gold that the whales contained and they also found a green and pleasant land where many aspired to live. 

In 1838, Jean Langlois, the captain of the French whaling ship Cachalot attempted to buy Bank's Peninsula from the local Maori Chief. He returned to France and arranged for a group of colonists to be shipped across the world. But by the time that they arrived in 1840, accompanied by a French naval vessel, the treaty of Waitangi had been signed and New Zealand was already a British Colony. 

Today people flock to Akaroa to interact with cetaceans rather differently - plate on side of boat reads Swimming with Dolphins'

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