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


Our orchid season is well under way, and in fact our earliest to bloom ….. Corybas acuminatus or Dancing Spider Orchid is now well into seed phase.  Lots of Corybas oblongus  … Spider Orchids in flower, and festoons of our two early Earina’s are well out. In fact some around our house are now finished. And Ladies Slipper are still out. But they are really odd, as they’ve been out for 3 weeks or so. Only 2 months earlier than normal. I know of only two patches of Bird Orchids. One on a local road bank, and it is well out. The other is on Ulva and seldom flowers. Our only patch of “Big Red Spiders” (that I know of) is well in flower.  And I’m seeing lots of flower stems on our Odd Leaved Orchid, so hopefully in a few weeks we’ll have a good display. Lots of Pterostylis banksii and australis on Ulva. My favourite roadside patch Pterostylis bluff has had itself mowed, but a couple of smaller patches have escaped. So maybe I’ll have a yarn to our roading guys and offer to look after the bigger area. Mowing is actually good for many of our roadside orchids, as it keeps their habitat clear of overwhelming competition from other species. But it needs to be done no later than August, when the new stems start to emerge.

So lots for our guests to see. And for most a real “Eye Opener” to discover just what we have in our forest and road sides.

Dancing Spider Orchid

Pterostylis bluff.
known on Stewart Island as Kaka Beak orchid 

Pterostylis banksii .. Green Hooded Orchid

Big Red Spider Orchid

Big Red Spider Orchid

Earina aestivalis,
Bamboo Orchid

Earina mucronata,
Bamboo Orchid

Chiloglottis cornuta
Green Bird Orchid

A Ring In
This not an orchid. I THINK it maybe Nertera depressa.
This flower is maybe 2 mm across, which is why a magnifying glass is so handy





I hadn’t been on Ulva for a few weeks, and so was surprised, though perhaps I shouldn’t have been, to see several sets of Robin parents and well fledged juveniles. Lots of Yellow Heads about, and by the chirring, lots of fledged juveniles as well. We saw several pairs of Saddle Backs, but no sign of young ones.


Wet Day

It’s quite a dull, grey day as I write this. And these are the sort of days which will test our solar power plants ability to keep up with demand. This morning we were at around 74% storage. At 1218 we are at 85% and showing a recharge rate of around 1kw over present usage. Projecting this forward we should end up at around 95% of our total storage of 24 kw hours. We won’t run the electric water heating of course, as I only turn this on when we hit 95%. We are waiting on a new widget which will do this automatically. But in the meantime it’s all done by me.

Yesterday was fine, but with high light cloud. We hit 95% at 1100, and turned the diesel water heating off, and the 3kw electric heating on until 1900 when our storage dipped below 95%. At this time the water temp in the cylinder was at 85 deg C. Our diesel consumption for the day was less than 1 litre, when pre solar it would have been around 7 litres. So quite a significant saving.