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

Fuchsia, The First of the Spring Blooms

Our Fuchsia have been out for 3 or 4 weeks now, or at least some trees have. And they are always the first sign of the “New Year” Flowers generally appear before the leaves, but although never as flamboyantly in bloom or as colourful as some of the exotic species, they never the less are an important part of our nectar feeding birds food sources, as we will see flowers at least until mid January.

As a post script this link may be of interest to Fuchsia fanciers

Our local Tuis and Bell Birds are showing interest and I’ve been seeing more of them around. Bird song is always a bit muted over winter, but again, these last several days it’s been good to hear them “On Song”

Stewart Island Generator

One of the Scania Diesel Power Plant supplying Stewart Island

Power on Stewart Island

One of the issues any resident of Stewart Island has to come to terms with is the high cost of energy. As I say to my guests, this Island runs on Diesel Fuel. There have been many investigations into possible alternatives to diesel engines for electricity, but so far none have really stacked up on a cost benefit analysis. We’ve apparently been “promised” $3 mil towards the cost of a couple of wind turbines. And of course it’s very had to turn down “free” money, but without the free money I very seriously doubt it’s financial viability.

A different Way

So it was with some astonishment I read an online article in Popular Mechanics  see here I would have put that all down to Isaac Asimov had you told me. But then some  (all ??) of the advances in the last 60 years would probably have similarly qualified back then.  I followed up on the company name, and found Enrod Energy.  Well, who knew. I have no idea whether it would work across Foveaux Straits, but as they had a contact address and I was not really busy I sent them an email suggesting that for a really “Hands On” commercial trial what better than Stewart Island, and got back the following :-

Greg Kushnir (Emrod Energy)
8/08/2020, 5:13 pm NZST
Hi Peter,

Thank you for showing interest in Emrod!

We are actually preparing a proposal for powering Stewart Island from the mainland. 

It looks very doable and cost-effective with the potential to significantly reduce power cost on the island, increase available power, secure continuity of supply, and reduce environmental impact (e.g.e replacing reliance on generators).

I hope we can get the island community, Powernet, and government to support the implementation of a wireless, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly solution. 

Thanks for your support,

Greg Kushnir | CEO

So maybe Nikola Tesla’s Idea will finally reach fruition. 

Female Blackbird in our Bathroom

Resident Blackbirds

I’ve posted before about our resident Blackbirds. And while we do enjoy their company I do wish their parents would toilet train them. They quite happily come inside and check out the dogs lunch. This afternoon Iris went into the bathroom to do her teeth, and low and behold there was a young female perched quite happily just watching. It was a pretty unpleasant day outside, and I guess she thought.. warm and dry is better