Yesterday we sailed down from Urquart's Bay to Kawau Island after a week in Marsden Cove Marina.
A number of our friends were preparing their boats to be left on the hard in the marina and we came to visit and help out. We also had a full week of wet and windy weather. Even some the fishing boats came into the marina. They often anchor out in Urquart's Bay but Gale force winds and threat of up to 7 metre swell drove them in.
Our sail down yesterday was in a gap between weather systems. We arrived in the long well protected bay of Kawau Island in plenty of time for dinner and well before today's blustery conditions. This photo is from one of the Weather forecasting apps that we use with added route information. The course I've drawn is less direct than the one Tim actually steered.
Several weeks ago now, we visited friends, Rob and Jan, who have an olive orchard to help them harvest the olives.
This photo was taken in December, which is Spring here, when Tim and I visited to look after their dog, Indy. It's a lovely part of the country.
Rob and Jan had laid out the nets under the trees and had started picking before we arrived. We had taken the wrong turning off the motorway and added a very pleasant hour to our journey on some extremely hilly and winding picturesque roads.
They have two types of olive one gives a creaminess to the oil and the other gives it a peppery bite. Together they make a very tasty interesting flavour.
There are a number of ways to remove the olives from the trees. The riper the olives are the easier they come off the tree, more oil can be pressed from them, but the more likely they are to be eaten by birds.
The trees were a mixed bunch. Some had loads of olives, some not so many. Some had all green olives and some had a mix of green and the riper black ones. When to pick is not always a straight forward decision - see When do I pick my olives for more information.
Most of the picking was done by hand, and Jan and Rob had a good of people to help over the 4 days of picking.
Jan gathering up the olives into the green baskets and picking out the worst of the branches. Most of the leaves and branches are dealt by blowing them out of the olives before they pressing.
The green baskets are emptied into large orange baskets.
The orange baskets are transfered into the truck that will transport them the olive press.
Once the olives are picked they need to be kept cool and dry and taken to be pressed as soon as possible.
You've probably notice a quality control issue in some of the photos. Hand picking olives is oily work and no amount of wiping will remove it from your hands or camera lens. My camera is water proof so no harm done but I wish I'd noticed earlier. The leggings I wore still have oily knees months later.
From when I started this blog, we have now moved on to Waiheke Island. We are well placed in a bay on the west coast of the island. We have the ferry terminal to Auckland and we can catch a bus outside the terminal to tour to the island. Now we just have to wait for some more dry weather.