Sadly, hundreds of whales have died overnight on a New Zealand beach after a mass stranding thought to be the largest in decades. The Department of Conservation (DOC) discovered 416 pilot whales had beached themselves at Farewell Spit in Golden Bay at the top of the South Island, with more than 70% perishing by the time dawn broke on Friday. DOC staff and dozens of volunteers were on hand this morning trying to save the remaining 100 whales.
Peter Wiles, who was one of the first volunteers to reach Farewell Spit, said “It is one of the saddest things I have seen, that many sentient creatures just wasted on the beach.”
Andrew Lamason, a team leader for the DOC Takaka area, said the stranding was the largest in living memory, and although he had “no clue” why the whales had beached themselves this time, Golden Bay was conducive to strandings because of its shallow bay, which made it difficult for whales to swim out once they’d entered.
At high tide, at 10.30am, the 100 remaining whales were successfully refloated, but early in the afternoon at low tide 90 of them re-beached themselves. DOC staff and up to 500 volunteers are now focused on keeping the surviving whales as healthy as possible until the next high tide at lunchtime tomorrow.
The stranding at Farewell Spit makes it the third largest whale stranding in New Zealand’s recorded history.
In 1918, 1,000 whales beached themselves on the Chatham Islands, and in 1985 450 stranded at Great Barrier Island off the coast of Auckland. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of whale strandings in the world, and since 1840, more than 5,000 whales and dolphins have beached themselves on New Zealand shores according to DOC records.
I have done posts on the model village of Port Sunlight before - both on my Rambles blog (the Edwardian tea rooms) and on my 'On the Wirral' blog (housing styles and the memorial). I've also done various posts on the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight.
Port Sunlight is somewhere that Partner-who-loves-tea and I regularly visit and we called in there last month and had tea in the tea rooms that used to be the Post Office.
The Post Office and houses in Greendale Road shown here were built between 1891 and 1894 as part of the model village of Port Sunlight. Built by Lever Brothers to house the workers in their soap works the village was characterised by wide roads and broad pavements. Many of the buildings here were built to look like they were from the Tudor period, this is known as 'mock Tudor 'style.
Last week Partner-who-loves-tea and I paid a visit to younger daughter, son-in-law-and-friend-who-loves-otters and baby Katie.
Katie had smiles for her Grandma.
And for her Mum.
But she wasn't quite so sure about the strange bearded creature....
Talk to the hand!
On Thursday Katie fitted snugly in her car seat and her Dad drove us to Stover Country Park. Mum, Dad, Katie and Grandpa had a walk around the lake. It was wet, or rather, extremely wet. All Katie saw was raindrops on the hood of the push-chair.
Katie may be the centre of attention for the visitors but Roland was more interested in a parcel with paw prints on it!
And Misty had to cope with the indignity of being picked up.
All too soon our visits were over. I hope it's not too long before we see you again, Katharine Rose.
P.S. A special thanks to Partner-who-loves-tea. Since I am no longer able to drive she has to do all the driving and when we travel long distances it can be hard work and tiring. Some of this week's driving was in the dark and wet but fortunately the snow that was forecast kept away.
P.P.S. Younger daughter - please don't forget to let me have the recipe for the lovely dinner!
Thanks for stopping by! Would you like a cup of tea or coffee? And please, sit for a spell. If you enjoy my posts, please feel free to follow me or subscribe to my blog. This is a word verification free, family friendly blog, so everything I share here is for all ages. I am a happily married man in my late sixties who lives on the Wirral peninsula, near Liverpool, in the UK.
I'm a blogger - and nowadays that seems to be my main occupation. Rambles from My Chair is my main blog. I’m a retired local government executive - now studying how to survive a neurological disorder that gives me various problems but, hopefully, a whole new outlook on life and an increased sense of humour and perspective. There is a saying in Sweden "man måste vara frisk för att orka vara sjuk" ~ "you have to be well to cope with being ill"....
I enjoy most forms of communication and postcards are a special favourite. I used to blog as Scriptor Senex which is Latin for Old Writer but now Google only lets me post as John Edwards.
“He’s not so old. He’s just the age that he is, that’s all.” (Gerald Hammond)