Serenity Sunday: Living it up in Leigh

I’m back at home again after my winter escape to a month of summer in New Zealand, and if I can get my cat Leo to stop walking back and forth between me and my computer screen and rubbing up against my hands for a few minutes, I’ll bring you a few of my fresh memories. During my second weekend there, Squiddy and Batty whisked us all off for a mystery surprise, which turned out to be three nights in a bach (it’s pronounced “batch” and is the New Zealand term for a short-term vacation rental property) in the town of Leigh, a drive of an hour and a half north of Auckland. My knee is not yet permitting me to undertake any strenuous hiking, but I am able to get around fairly well if I’m careful. The bach was very happily situated on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and the deck looked down through a magnificent pohutukawa (poe-hoo-too-KAH-wah) tree to a lovely cove.

DeckView 6665-6-7The first photo, which I merged from three separate images, is the view from the deck.

PathView 6649I made the second from a little lower on the hill, from a path that leads down to the cove, the first dozen meters or so of which I was able to explore before it became too steep.

One of the great things about this location is its proximity (a drive of only ten minutes or so) to Goat Island Marine Reserve, where we were able to go snorkeling twice.

Kelp 1788Since it was a weekend and the weather was perfect, there were lots of other snorkelers, so the water wasn’t as clear as when there’s less activity churning it up.  Consequently, I was able to make only two fairly-decent underwater photos, one of the kelp and another of a few fish between a couple of kelp beds.

Hiwihiwi and Triplefins 1801The Maori name for the larger fish is hiwihiwi (strangely enough, its common name is kelpfish) and the three smaller ones are varieties of triplefins.  I’ll be bringing you more of my month’s adventures in the near future.

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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12 Responses to Serenity Sunday: Living it up in Leigh

  1. Vicki says:

    Sounds like a great place for a ‘Surprise’ escape for the whole family (in visiting Leigh). That Kelpfish looks to be rather interesting. Shame the water wasn’t clearer.

    Hope the knee heals quickly so you can get out and about for some winter photos, now you’re back home.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks, Vicki, it was a wonderful surprise. I was delighted by the kelpfish too, though it looks a bit like a lionfish, and I’d hate to step on one by mistake–those dorsal spines look pretty nasty!

  2. Great winter escape. If you care to, there is a function in Pixel Genius’s PhotoKit Sharpener called HazeCutter that can help a lot with the clarity of the water. I did a quick copy of your hiwihiwi and applied the filter which cleared it up nicely. Probably not quite as clear as crystal clear water but improved.
    I hope the warmth sped up your knee’s recovery.

    • krikitarts says:

      I appreciate the tip, Steve. I haven’t heard of Pixel Genius, and will look into their stuff. I’ve just learned about Topaz Labs from Laura Macky and am considering adding a couple of their products to my after-capture tools as well. And yes, the knee’s behaving pretty well these days, thanks!

  3. Sounds like a great trip! I’m glad you had such a nice visit :).

  4. lauramacky says:

    Gorgeous! I love the blue waters.

    • krikitarts says:

      Laura, it’s so good of you to take the time to send another comment. I cannot get your new Inner Beauty post out of my head and find myself compelled to go back to it again and again to bask in its abstract glow. You’ve inspired me to try something new, too–watch for my new post later today. I have looked into Topaz and am considering a few of their wares. Nothing like a new toy or two to help to keep the creative juices flowing!

      • lauramacky says:

        I just happened to be checking my blog posts and it made me so happy to hear I could inspire you! I’m really liking the topaz products as of late. I hope I remember to check your post. I rely on that reader and sometimes I miss things. If you could ping me…if it’s convenient…that would be great. Otherwise, I’ll try to catch it in the Reader.

  5. Meanderer says:

    What a beautiful place. I like the underwater images – particularly the one of the kelp.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks very much, M–it was a real challenge to hold myself still enough to get any decent images because of the constant in-and-out currents that seemed to peak just as I was getting ready to fire off a shot. In my next life I may try a more serious go at this milieu, with a tripod and planning for spots with clearer water and a humble entourage of assistants…then again, I may try to stay content with the occasional opportunity for what I can only describe as practically shapshots. Glad you liked my kelp grab!

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