Sunday, January 16, 2011


Last Saturday was hot. By 10am, when Stephen and I went out to Lyttleton to shop it was already smoking and by lunch, when we returned it was about 32 degrees centigrade. We unloaded the food, planted the pepper plants we had purchased, ate some food and grabbed our swimsuits. Then, along with our friend visiting from Whitehorse, we climbed back into the car and drove up into the Port Hills.

We wandered about Godley Head, from gun placement to gun placement. Unfortunately, the camera I had brought was dead, but you can see pictures from a previous trip here. It was a little different, as the tunnel walk was closed due to earthquake damage, but we managed to find some awesome tunnels to explore related to the massive underground gun magazines. We wandered back to the car and drove the twisting road down through Lyttleton and over to Corsair Bay, where we scoffed some tasty ice cream and then dove into the bay and washed the sweat of the day off our bodies. We returned home just as the wind was picking up and the sky was filling with the tell tale signs of Nor'wester.

[Nor'wester sky - the arch is just barely visible in the bottom left]

Now Nor'westers are definitely Canterbury phenomenon. Occurring when warm moist air from the Tasman Sea is blown up against the Southern Alps, the clouds are forced to drop their moisture (as rain) and rise quickly. As the cross over the mountains and drop down again they pick up a lot of heat from the plains and by the time they reach the East coast of the South Island it is a hot, dry wind that can sometimes reach gale force strength. The Nor'wester is often associated with an amazing sky and what is known as the Nor'wester arch, with dense clouds above the East coast with an absolutely clear sky to the West. Locally known, and widely accepted, to affect people's moods, it also usually means a poor night of sleep. Because it's so amazingly hot.

[Despite the wind, our BBQ was nice - as per usual]

So after, a tasty BBQ with our neighbours and friends, we settled into bed for a restless nights' sleep. Hoping tomorrow would maybe not be quite so hot.

1 comment:

  1. I sit at my desk looking out the west window. The wind skirls from the coast sending snow wraiths off the roof whipping under the eves before my window before blasting into the woods beyond. The air temperature has risen 15 C in twelve hours but the sharp wind means it feels just as cold as this morning. I've postponed my trip into the White Pass to another day.