Monday, March 9, 2015

About last (last) weekend

Oh, are we already into a new week? Already? I still haven't quite caught my breath yet after last (last) weekend, and last weekend just gone. They go so quickly, don't they?

So here's what we got up to last (last) weekend. It all started on Saturday with a visit to the Auckland Beekeepers Club apiary to see the hives being opened and the honey extraction process.

Kien and I have watched this process many times on youtube, so it was really nice to be able to see it for real.

We are all pretty excited to get ourselves a hive which we are going to put onto our roof. Urban beekeeping is such an exciting prospect. I'm wanting to enrol in a course (night classes) in May to learn all about hive management and the beekeeping laws etc.


On Sunday we went to the Stardome Observatory - specifically to see rocket launches. We thought they were going to launch real rockets, but alas they were just water rockets (which Jef has already got/done/rigged up at home). But it was still a good outing. We saw a cool show about our solar system, and we looked through the solar telescope to see the sun spots. Kien ran around, collected cicada skins, and climbed trees while watching the water rockets propelling up into the air.

We even found a live cicada, which we suspect is ready to shed its outer layer since it was so placid and even let us touch it.


We then went home to grab a few things and headed out on the yacht to the deep fishing hole near Stanley Bay.

I caught a couple of small snappers which we released, but other than that there was no fresh fish for dinner. It was fun to be out there on such a beautiful day, and the cityscape was beautiful from our vantage point.


Back on dry land in the early evening, and it was time to head off to the Auckland Lantern festival.

Kien loved the dragon dance.


That's all folks - except during that weekend I also converted part of our berm out front into a vegetable patch.

Yay, looking forward to beets, onions, kale, silverbeet, spinach and bok choy over the coming weeks/months.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Beautiful sunset at Devonport

So yesterday after we got home from Kien's swimming lesson we headed off to Devonport Wharf for a spot of fishing. We were hungry for some fresh mackerel.

Whilst here we witnessed the most amazing sunset.

When the sun had dipped below the horizon the sky was even more spectacular.

It was a fabulous summer evening of fishing, and all the more worthwhile with Jef catching 2 mackerels. Jef BBQed his, and I baked mine. Delicious!

Monday, March 2, 2015

The day I jumped out of a plane

"The highest tandem skydive in New Zealand’s North Island. Jump from a massive 16,500 feet. Skydiving with no limits. You’ll be skydiving 5029.2 metres with an insane 75 seconds of freefall. It’s the Ultimate Rush." That's straight off Skydive Auckland's website for the Ultimate Rush jump that I did on Saturday 21 February. Wow, it was an experience! I want to do it again!

It wasn't scary, honestly. If I compared it to my bungy jump last year I would say that plummeting off a bridge was scarier. Doing a skydive is just downright fun.

My dare devil friend Lynette and I were booked for a 2pm session, but due to the weather they asked if we could come earlier. So we arrived, and after showing us a short video trying to sell us their video and photo packages at exorbitant prices, we suited up.

Then we met our guides whom we would be strapped to and made our way to the plane across the road.

We had a short briefing before we clambered into the very cosy plane. Meanwhile our family and friends were close by and probably bored out of their brains with the waiting game.

Then it was take off time.

The view of the Kaipara Harbour was amazing from up there; the river formations snaking inland, the water that usually looks murky was blue from the reflection of the sky with the sun shining on it. Then the plane slowed down at 12,000ft to let the first lot of jumpers out, after which time we took our oxygen masks off and slid forward in preparation for the door to open.

Looking up at the plane as you tumble out of it is amazing. 75 seconds of free-falling is astounding (and very cold).

Once the chute popped open it was a gentle ride back to the ground. It was so peaceful up there. I felt like a bird gliding through the wind with an unencumbered view of the beautiful Auckland. The landing area loomed quickly, and then we touched down.

Here's a video Jef took from the ground. For those reading this via e-mail the embedded video may not show, so you can click on this link here to view my parachute landing.

Woohoo, another tick added to my list of to-do adventures .


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