Archive for July, 2011

Spinning Yarn: Ring Them Bells! #98

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

 Not something that is heard on Sunday mornings where I live now, I really miss the Church bells calling us to worship, so the sound of the bells pealing from the tower of the Christchurch Cathedral caught my attention, calling me to God’s house in New Zealand’s South Island capital. A gorgeous stone building, it was a bit marred by the scaffolding surrounding the front, and holding it upright and safely – a precaution as a result of the earthquake of the previous October.

 Inside was tidy and clear of debris, but the scars were still showing. Originally from Canada where everything is in two languages (French and English) it was a very special treat to hear the Gospel in the melodious Maori language, (with English translations). God’s message reaches all.

Spinning Yarn: Knitcola and the Spinning Shop #97

Monday, July 25th, 2011

 Ashford is a worldwide and famous spinning wheel company, very popular with all spinners, and, located in Ashburton, on the way to Christchurch, I fully intended to stop and visit, telling them about Antarctica and my spinning adventure. It was 4pm when I arrived, and the sign on the door said closing at 430pm. Whew! Just in time!

 Nicola is a lovely lady who has a long association with Ashford wheels, and who now runs the on-site shop stocking wheels, accessories and fibre of all kinds. We had a great chat about all things spinning and she gave me a tour of the shop. It was 530pm when I left I left happy, more informed and with a much needed spinning boost!

Spinning Yarn: On the way to Christchurch #96

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Following the well marked highway, I viewed the spectacular coastline all the way to Palmerston, where I just had to stop and walk along the beach. Looking out over the Southern Ocean I raised my hand in a fond greeting to the Frozen Continent 4 days sail away and turned my attention to walking the tideline, where, tangled in the washed up seaweed, God gave me a Paua shell! Whole and complete! What a find! (I collect seashells, and have done since I was about 6years old, living in Nova Scotia).

 Under a bit of time constraints, I gave myself only an hour at the beach. The shell safely tucked in my pocket, I could hear the car, and the highway, calling me on to the next stop.

Spinning Yarn: How Far toChristchurch? #95

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Leaving the ship was not a complicated as it could have been. We said all our passenger goodbyes the night before and had only to wait for our bags to be put on the dock. Some passengers had hotel reservations for Dunedin, some had planes to catch, others had more local sightseeing to do…And me? Well I needed to hire a car – one way —to Christchurch.

The car rental company I spoke to before I left Melbourne told me to call them when I arrived in Dunedin – and I did – but they were not open for the public holiday! Nor were they available the next day, so I boarded Orion without having booked a vehicle. Upon our return, a Saturday morning, I called again. They were open this time, but sorry, they do not do one way trips. (They could have told me that in Melbourne!) Obviously, I was not happy, but I was not worried, either. …..Faith…..

 Out on the wharf, the car rental companies and taxis waited for us to farewell the Expedition Team, lined up to wave us off and give us our parting gift of a  souvenir photographs CD. The Lady from the local rental company very kindly drove me to the tourist bureau, where another learned lady located the rental car I was to have – right in town! Within 40 minutes of leaving Orion, I was back on the road and away on the next leg of my adventure – A drive up the East Coast of South Island.

 Maybe I should have asked for a map…..Nah…..

Spinning Yarn: Last night Entertainment #94

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

 Cathy and Terry, the entertainment coordinators, organized a show for us, using the multi-talented crews, both Ship and Expedition. Minimum resources brings out invention, and we marveled at the song, dance and acting skills of each and every person.

  The Expedition Team and the Ship Crew exposed their fun side and the fact that they too could spin yarns, when the re-written words to “I am Australian” became “We Shared Antarctica” and the costumes matched each person’s specialty as well as each verse! Alasdair McGregor became explorer Dumont D’Urville by draping tricolour cloth and wearing a simulated tricorn hat; Dr Alex Watson, draped in white cloth and properly coloured makeup around his eyes, became the only known species of Antarctic bird who wears glasses! David Sinclair donned his penguin hat and waddled around with his camera….

 The Zodiac drivers, the kitchen staff, the hotel staff all took part – lots of singing and dancing and wild applause! Most enjoyable and well thought. Such hidden talents behind the scenes!

Spinning Yarn: What a Swell Ocean This Is! #93

Friday, July 1st, 2011

 The weather had certainly been favourable for our whole trip, so these 10m swells were a special treat. Orion is a small ship by comparison to some who travel the Southern Ocean, certainly with only 100 passengers while other ships take several times that, so I am not so sure that the Captain thought it was such a special treat. Orion is a well-appointed and courageous little ship, ably captained and engineered. Stabilized and making good time, we left Campbell Island behind and made way for Dunedin, sad to be ending the adventure, but glad to be almost back on land again.

 Lisa and I took time to do more spinning and knitting over the last few days and she was pleased with the result of her efforts – a gorgeous scarf of exotic Llama fibre, in two colours, spun by hand, knitted by hand (using chopsticks!) and worn by neck.

 You remember the song? I hope Fred Astaire will forgive my paraphrase of his line, “What a swell party this is”.