Welcome to Stewart Island & Sails Ashore +64 3 219 1151 tait@sailsashore.co.nz

Australian Fires

During my Forest Service career I was fortunate that I didn’t do much forest fire work, and apart from controlled burns I can remember only one wildfire, and that was quite a small one. But they really weren’t my favorite occupation.

I’ve been appalled by the fires currently ravaging Australia. The video footage appearing on TV is hideous, with crowning fire, wildlife and habitat destruction , as well as the property damage and destruction.

Area Burnt

But the thing that really sheeted home the scale of it all was a comment that over a million hectares had burnt. That really got my attention, as its over 5 times the area of Stewart Island

Season Preparation

Iris and I have been busy getting our chores behind us in preparation for what’s looking like a busy season, Our central heating and domestic hat water system has been shifted to a new boiler room on the end of our back veranda, so no more crawling under the house to service it. And our old hot water cupboard has now almost 3 times the space and is all  lined with white melamine board, cork tiles on the floor, and draft proof to boot. Much improved, and will make drying laundry just a doddle. We’ve also retired our old gas hob, and replaced it with an induction cooker. Something of a learning cure, but so far very happy, even more so thanks to a great Black Friday deal.

Sails Ashore new boiler room



Bamboo Orchid in heavy flower



The Clematis was excellent this year
Or at least before the spring gales wrecked it



Red Spider Orchid



Anisotome at Lee Bay



I Think this small stem will become a Caladenia Orchid.
I’ve seen very few, and have my fingers crossed



And if it is this is what it’ll look like



Enjoying a Weka



Bird Nest Orchid


Spring Life

In amongst the chores I’ve been busy with Ulva tours, and of course the Spring cycle of our orchids and other blooms provides lots for our guests (and me) to enjoy.

The slide show is just a fraction of what we’ve seen. And like all seasons some have been prolific, while others I’ve really had to search for

Door are left open at Your Peril

We have several blackbirds who look on us as an easy “Touch” for extra rations, which they get outside and in the same place each time. But their cheek amazes our guests, as they’ll walk inside, often through two or three doors, past our dog to see whats on offer. And generally they show great reluctance to depart, always by walking and usually looking quite hurt that we don’t appreciate their indoor company.

We were over on Ulva the other day visiting with friends who own the private land. And they have similar issues with the local weka.

Weka on the prowl for treats
Weka on the prowl for treats at Ulva


Nosy Blackbird
A visiting blackbird


Our afternoon on Ulva with our friends  was a good chance to catch up, as this was their first visit since last summer. The day was a bit wet, but cleared up as they took us back across the inlet. And as a bonus we had an escort of Bottlenosed Dolphins