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

Is it Summer ??

Just so we remember

The last several summers have been remarkably settled … last summer I never got wet while guiding on Ulva, and I had only had to lift the inflatable onto the davits a couple of times due to high wind.

This year has been a reminder of what the Island can throw at us …. like years in the past we had almost forgotten. I have had 3 wettings before Christmas, and a couple since, and lots of really breezy days. We no longer have Talisker, using one of the local water taxis, but we would have had the inflatable  hoisted many times.

Sails Ulva Island Tours

A large launch rolling her way across the Inlet
in around 45 kts of westerly.

Onion Orchid, Sails Ulva Island Tours
There have been a few onion orchids about,
but for a species that almost grows like a weed even they seem to have struggled.






It’s been the worst orchid season I can remember, with many species producing only a handful of blooms, and those vanishing quickly. The small spiders were probably the best of them, but even they were poor. One stump with perhaps 200 plants and normally 30 or 40 blooms this year had around 5.  I’ve seen just 5 Ladies slippe blooms, and all them in our garden. One black orchid, and to add insult to injury some prat picked it.

Still Enjoyable

But not withstanding the sometimes damp and windy days our guests have still managed to enjoy the Island, and we’ve had several kiwi sightings, both on Ulva and several guests have also seen birds at locations we’ve suggested around the village.

This video was shot on my cell phone, and it was only as I processed it that I noticed a robin following the kiwi, obviously doing its opportunistic feeding trick.

And talking about robins, there seem to be significantly fewer juveniles around begging on their parents, and also lots of parents quite obviously not collecting food for a family.

These up and downs are of course to be expected, and the Ulva Island population should be easily robust enough to shrug off a bad season.


Video shot on Ulva Island 16/12/2016  

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