On Sunday, Gaby and I sailed on the Ted Ashby from Auckland Harbour to Gulf Harbour. The Ted Ashby is a ketch-rigged deck scow, one of a fleet of Heritage Vessels from Voyager: New Zealand Maritime Museum here in Auckland.
Before we set sail, I noticed another boat, the SS Puke (which does not mean what you think it means, but I love the name). The SS Puke is a steam launch built in the 1880s, another in the museum’s fleet of Heritage Vessels. What a great hobby vessel!
The Ted Ashby is a boat built in 1993, based on a design typical of the scows typically in use around New Zealand between the late 1800s and early 1900s. Scows were used frequently to haul heaps of stuff and were great for areas without harbours, as the flat bottom allowed the boat to anchor near shore and rest flat on the low tide.
A view of the waterfront as we leave Auckland Harbour.
We pass Rangitoto on our way north to Whangaparaoa Peninsula and Gulf Harbour.
The weather turned and the wind was a bit cold. We bundled up to keep warm.
The manual anchor winch.
After 4 hours, we made it safely to Gulf Harbour! The Ted Ashby was in Gulf Harbour for filming. In the 1970s, a pirate radio station operated nearby, 12 miles offshore, in a scow. The Ted Ashby will be made up to look like that pirate radio station for an upcoming documentary.
We took the ferry back from Gulf Harbour to Auckland Harbour. The ferry is quite fast, just 45 minutes return!
It got cold again. Night time temperatures dropped by about 5C.
I’ve had to run the heaters at night; although, I can usually turn them off during the day, as the temperature rises above 16C.
At least the Sun is up earlier now.
And, sets later in the evening.
Morgan enjoys his walk around the volcano. We greet other dogs and look for birds as we amble through the park.
Winter still has a grip on us, for a while yet, it seems.
Spring will arrive on it’s own schedule.
For now, I keep warm around the oven.
The other day the weather forecaster said our weather had transitioned to a Spring weather pattern. Translation: Frequent storms out of the west, preceded by warmer Northerlies and followed by colder Southerlies. It’s been a pretty wet year. It’s been pretty wet for the last two years, in fact. At least Spring should be a bit warmer, if not less wet.
Signs of Spring are popping up all around. Bulbs have been flowering around One Tree Hill for the past few weeks. The cows calved a couple weeks ago.
Newborn lambs frolic around the paddocks. Morgan was keen to have a play.
That reminds me… Yesterday morning, whilst walking Morgan, I spoke to a neighbour who mentioned he had a spit…
Yesterday was a bit wet; a good day for baking. I set about mixing up a batch of sourdough. By late afternoon, bulk fermentation complete, I shaped two boules, placed them in banneton and put them in the fridge to retard final fermentation overnight.
This morning I was up at 5 AM (I slept in!) and baked off two sourdough boules. I always love the smell of fresh baked sourdough. Delicious.
This time I froze one boule as soon as it cooled. I wrapped it well in aluminium foil and plastic wrap. We’ll see how it does when I pull it from the freezer in a few days.
In the meantime, I simply couldn’t resist cutting off a thick, almost custardy, slice of bread, still warm from the oven. Someone had to do it.
Morgan and I walked around the volcano the other day and we passed a paddock with cows and their newborn calves.
I got to thinking about beef and was inspired to bake another batch of light brioche hamburger buns.
Last year we had a pretty good crop of jalapeños. We ate our fill and there were still plenty left, so I picked the remainder, fire roasted them, and stuck them in the freezer. They freeze well and it’s very easy to pull a few out of the freezer when you want them and pop them in a hot oven for a few minutes to defrost. I sliced a couple and topped the burgers with them.
I like to keep my burgers simple. This burger had mayonnaise, red onions, cheddar cheese, jalapeños.
I like my burgers coarse ground and medium rare – warm enough to melt the fat in the grind and create a juicy burger.
Not too bad. I would prefer the cheese to be a bit more melted, so next time I’ll leave them under the broiler for a longer time. I chose an aged cheddar (Vintage), which is a good sharp cheese, but it ended up overpowering the jalapeños. I may try a more mild flavoured cheese with good melting qualities next time. Havarti, perhaps? The light brioche buns are good and can handle the burger juice just fine without being chewy.
Morgan took me for a walk to One Tree Hill the other day.
On the way to the park, we found a Nikau Palm that was flowering.
The remainder of our walk was uneventful, save for the occasional sheep and pheasant.
This afternoon we drove out to St Heliers to walk along the beach.
The forecast called for a chance of rain. Luckily, the weather was fantastic.
Morgan just wanted to run on the beach.
It was such a nice afternoon, we decided to take a walk along Big Manly Beach. The dogs were happy to get some exercise.
It was a great afternoon to be on the water.
Such a gorgeous beach. We’ll have to visit in the Summer and go for a swim when the water is warmer.
We turned back just as the Sun set below the ridge.
Just time enough after our walk to have a feed at a local restaurant before heading back down to Central Auckland.