The Stingray Incident

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

The Stingray Incident

“He’s been stung by a crayfish,” said the boatie, pointing at his friend.
He meant his friend had been struck by the barb of a stingray…
Oh no…

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BEING Rescued

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

BEING Rescued

As well as rescuing a few people we’ve also been rescued ourselves a few times during our time on the Island…

“If I was casting a movie for some boat stealing villains, murderer types, the three guys coming to our rescue would have fitted the part perfectly…..”

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About the Island

Posted by on Aug 28, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

About the Island

The Island we live on in the Hauraki Gulf is 60 acres (24 hectares) in size, with three sandy beaches. The highest point is just 50 metres above sea. To us, the island is the perfect size. I can walk around the inside of the whole island each morning in about 45 minutes. It’s a manageable size; not too big and not too small.

I’ve walked around the island over a thousand times….

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The Moth Incident….

Posted by on Aug 26, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

The Moth Incident….

In early 2011, I was back in the city for a few days for work when Nigel called from the island to report – quite chirpily – that a moth had crawled into his ear one night while he was lying in bed reading.

He was quite upbeat about the whole incident and I thought it was rather funny. I laughed. Probably too much.

And then there’s a thing called karma.

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Introducing Bruce and Carol (Black Backed Gulls)

Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Introducing Bruce and Carol (Black Backed Gulls)

Bruce and Carol are the resident Black Backed Gulls, an unprotected native species of New Zealand. They live for about 28 years and mate for life.

We live on their turf and they’re hugely territorial.

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Introducing Dangles

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Introducing Dangles

Meet Dangles, the Red Billed seagull, one of my favourite birds on the Island. He is recognisable by his legs that ‘dangle’ when he flies.

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Our Pest Free Story

Posted by on Aug 2, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Our Pest Free Story

When we arrived on the Island we thought rats were part of Island life – in fact the opposite is true, islands are the perfect places to eradicate pests.

Here is our story of becoming pest free.

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Beach Clean-Ups

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Beach Clean-Ups

I walk two of our three beaches every day and along the way I pick up any rubbish that has washed up.

At one point I started photographing the weird and wonderful finds I discovered on the beach; from children’s plastic toys to jandals (flip-flops) to plastic clothes pegs.

Here are some of favourite discoveries…

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The Limping Weka

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The Limping Weka

Nigel casually asked one night if I’d seen the Weka up the top of the island hobbling about with something attached to its leg. No! I hadn’t.

The next morning on my walk I looked about but saw nothing. Nigel left for the neighbouring island for parts he needed and after he left, I spotted a limping Weka out the front of our unit. And sure enough when I got close, the Weka had fishing line wrapped around its foot.

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Review: Castaway on the Moon

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 in Blog, Film reviews | 0 comments

Review: Castaway on the Moon

I have discovered the best castaway movie. Ever.

Googling “Castaway Neflix” – looking for castaway movies; I noticed someone mentions the 2009 Korean “Castaway on the Moon” movie as a must watch. I’d never heard of it but after more googling, the movie gets rave reviews and 4 out of 5 stars.

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Introducing Kate

Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Introducing Kate

Kate is a young Black Backed Gull, who cannot fly.

Her parents are Bruce and Carol, the resident Gulls – and she had a brother, Wills. Kate and Wills were the 2013/2014 chicks and hatched out on Gull rock. (The 2012/13 chick was Jeffrey who hatched on the jetty).

Just before we left the island for another Island Keeping job in July 2014, Kate appeared out the front of our unit with an injured right wing; it hangs low, as if it’s dislocated at the shoulder, meaning she could no longer fly.

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The island winter routine

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The island winter routine

Reading our winter routine from five years ago – things have changed slightly. And it changes with season and over time – though some elements stay the same.

Firstly we have a routine. On an island we could just ‘lie about all day’ and do nothing. But we don’t. Since Day One we’ve been really strict, keeping a Mon-Fri work week and work days and a weekend off – though some weekends we inevitably carry on working – Nigel on his boat projects or island work if the weather is good and me on my study or work if the weather is bad.

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Getting supplies – an athletic adventure

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Getting supplies – an athletic adventure

A trip to top up our food supplies is an athletic adventure – one where I usually manage to bruise or scratch my legs, and at the very least, get wet feet.

(Once I even got quite a nasty ‘jetty rash’ on my stomach from sliding over the edge of the jetty, face down, so I could dangle my legs down and drop down into the boat (without missing it and ending up in the water) which was a huge drop below in the water. My jersey and various layers of t-shirts rode up leaving my stomach exposed as I clung to the jetty, slid over the edge, and my stomach scraped over the rough timber….ouch! )

The trip – currently – usually goes along the lines of:

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Review: The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in Blog, Book Reviews | 0 comments

Review: The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife

My fixation with islands also extends to sailing stories and to lighthouse keepers (in line with our ‘island keeper’ theme too).

I’ve already read The Light between Oceans, a fiction book about a lighthouse keeper – interestingly the movie of the book is being made in New Zealand – and then I came across this autobiographical book by Jeanette Aplin on Google– and it’s set in New Zealand!

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The Winter Island Routine

Posted by on Aug 8, 2010 in Blog | 0 comments

The Winter Island Routine

We wake up, and get up around 7.30am – pretty slothful really. Most people have had breakfast, showered, packed school lunches and got to work by then. I hate mornings, and prefer to not get up before the sun. It’s winter time after all and there’s no power for a while yet, so pointless getting up in the dark.

Then I go for a walk around the island, firstly down to the beach out the front to say good morning to the Oyster Catchers and Dotterels and check they’re all okay. Then with Georgie in tow – unless she gets that you’re not fooling me, you’re going to walk in a big circle and come back here, so I’ll just wait here look in her eye.

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The island – first impressions

Posted by on May 8, 2010 in Blog | 0 comments

The island – first impressions

So. I’m living on an island. A deserted island even. One that Nigel fondly describes as a cross between the Mary Celeste (a ship discovered in 1872 sailing but with no one on board ) and Hi De Hi (the British holiday camp).

It’s deserted because the holiday resort that it once was has been closed down and the buildings, conference centre, restaurant, squash court and swimming pool have been left to collect spider webs – and house the warring populations of wekas and rats.

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