Annual Blessing of the Fleet

July 16th, 2010

It will be the 10th year running that the ceremony has been conducted in Australasia’s biggest fishing port, Port Nelson.

Thousands of people usually show up, and donations and takings from the many events planned will go to help the operating expenses of the Port Nelson Mission to Seafarers. (the charity also has funding & support from Port Nelson Ltd, various local churches & industries & the NZ Community Trust.)

This facility, on McGlashen Quay offers ships crew 24 hour access to the internet, and is staffed by volunteer hosts who open it each night.

The annual Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony is held to signify & celebrate the start of the main Hoki and Scallop fishing seasons.

The official ceremonies take place at the Seafarers Memorial on Sunderland Pier, just off Wakefield Quay and therefore it is also quite a sombre time, remembering the reason for that memorials monument.

The formal Blessing Service commences at 1pm tomorrow, and shortly there after at just after 1:25pm there will be a minutes silence to remember all those proud seafarers who never came back home. Some doves will be released and many ships horns will sound. Lord Nelson will follow up by firing his cannon.

HMS Pukaki arriving Friday am....

HMS Pukaki arriving Friday am....

HMNZS Pukaki arriving this morning, part of the NZ Royal Navy official presence.

Performing for the camera?

Performing for the camera?

Don’t know whether she was just posing for the webcam or not here.

CSAV Rio Illapel outside The Cut...

CSAV Rio Illapel outside The Cut...

VLCC about to enter The Cut at Port Nelson, arriving this morning from Lyttelton.

CSAV Rio Illapel entering the Haven having just transitted The Cut

CSAV Rio Illapel entering the Haven having just transited The Cut

VLCC now inside the haven.

CSAV Rio Illapel heading off back to Yokohama - Japan

CSAV Rio Illapel heading off back to Yokohama - Japan

Today’s visit was a bit of a whistle stop – boy they really do turn these big ships around fast today – in to Port, unload – load up – leave Port and all in about 6hours!

Fireworks start the precedings.....

Fireworks start the precedings.....

Fireworks tonight marked the official commencement of the Ceremonies.

As keen eyes may have noted all of todays photos above are snapshots from the Takeabreak Webcam that’s located above the Waterfront Cafe down on Wakefield Quay near The Boatshed.

Summit Rescue Chopper at home base

Summit Rescue Chopper at home base

The Summit Rescue helicopter is scheduled to conduct a demonstration sea rescue between 1:45 ~ 2pm on Saturday too.

Links to the other “Takeabreak” Nelson SnapitHD webcams are on the top left side of this page.

UPDATE:

Another Nelsonians view of the event is here with photos.

July 16 2010 | General and Nelson | No Comments »

May in Nelson is Rescue Helicopter Awareness Month

May 22, 2010

May is Summit Rescue Helicopter Awareness month.

May is Awareness Month

May is Awareness Month

Summit Real Estate and Summit Real Estate Agents (yes agents too – we contribute a set amount out of every sale) have been principal sponsors of the local Rescue helicopter service for over 3 years now.

Just recently Allister Nalder, one of the companies directors announced a continuation of this support for another 3 years.

Yesterday May 21st 2010 was the Annual Street Appeal Day where all the Summit staff donned the appropriate gear and went out on the streets.

Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel

Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel

Many local businesses, shops, streets and other locations were canvassed yesterday in our region, asking kindly for any donations.

Last night we were notified that the tally raised by this years appeal was $15,000!  Well done to all staff involved, a fantastic effort.

And as if we needed a reminder of the fantastic service that only a chopper can sometimes provide, this weeks Thursday front page of the Nelson Mail did just that.

It told of a reunion, after the story that gained national attention back last December, the Nelson Mail reported;

In December, a two-tonne tree stump smashed into Mr Williams’ back and slammed him into a tree while he was working on a forestry block near Okiwi Bay. The handle of his chainsaw smashed into his groin area and split it open. He nearly bled to death as his femoral (thigh) artery was punctured. The accident, and the actions of Summit Rescue Helicopter crewman Johnny Mulheron, who shoved his fist in Mr Williams wound for 30 minutes to stem the bleeding, attracted national attention.

In fact just a few days earlier on Tuesday, the chopper was back on the front page again, and next to that article was a photo depicting yet another separate incident where the chopper was involved in rescuing families trapped by the recent downpour and flash flooding up Tapawera way.

from Nelson Mail

from Nelson Mail

It’s real gratifying for me as a Nelsonian (likewise as I’m sure it is for all my Summit Real Estate workmates too) that us agents and our company supports such a crucial local resource.

As you know Nelsons Real Estate is surrounded by bush, mountains, valleys, National Parks, etc….in a nutshell  – plenty of places that don’t really have vehicle access…..and if they do….then its usually not quick and easy access in and out.

This type of geography often provides a real access challenge, even for the best equipped 4 wheel drive vehicles ~ so in such a diverse and topographically challenged region there is no doubt that the Summit Rescue Helicopter provides a life saving service.

You can see recent missions here.

Click above to see where the Chopper is now

Click above to see where the Chopper is now

You can see real-time live GPS tracks of where the chopper is now, over here.

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May 22 2010 | General and Nelson | No Comments »

Fabulous Nelson Photographic Panoramas

Local residents discover after residing locally for a period that they indeed take a more personal interest in the area, and no where is that more apparent that in wanting to recognise our surroundings. In Nelsons particular our case, that means a lot of hills and mountains.

After all the region is world renown for its 3 main National Parks, and many accessible peaks.

One of my colleagues at work has recently taken a local helicopter tour, well 6 folk all up it was, and one of the standouts for them was landing up on Mt Starveall.

Even the chopper pilot commented that he hadn’t experienced a better weather day to land up there than that.

IMAGE CREDIT – Markus Baumann – Skylark.co.nz

While checking out some photography on Mt Starveall, like the example of the view above, I came across a website run by Markus Baumann, a local graphic designer and nature & landscape stock photographer. Markus it seems likes panoramas.

Mt Starveall is not on the range just behind Nelson in an easterly direction, its actually on the next mountain range over. That’s what helps to explains the elevation you can see in the above photo.

In fact that range thats directly behind Nelson, thats those hills with the dark green patches about centre of the above pic is the Barnicoat one.

CREDIT – Markus Baumann – Skylark.co.nz

Hmmm lets clear this up – the range directly behind Nelson (in an Easterly direction) is called the Barnicoat range and as another of his photos, above shows, it too is completely accessible as this mountain biker illustrates. He is looking out over Stoke/Tahunanui to Rabbit Island and onwards to Tasman Bay.

CREDIT – Markus Baumann – Skylark.co.nz (image size is 7200 x 585px)

So if you were curious about those peaks out there across the bay, here’s Markus detailed photo…..you’ll have to click the above photo to get it.

According to his site, www.skylark.co.nz, the mountain panorama’s viewing angle stretches roughly over 100°, from the Lookout Range in Kahurangi National Park all the way to Abel Tasman National Park, with Tasman Bay in the foreground.

And if bandwidth is not a problem then you will just have to download this photos big brother, caution its a monster at an Image Size of 30000 x 2438px & 11mb in size, but its worth it.

IMAGE CREDIT – Markus Baumann – Skylark.co.nz

Here is the another panorama taken from 1528m Mt Starveall showing and noting the other peaks up there. (you’ll need to click on it to see the full panoramic image)

Thanks again Markus for allowing me to show these photos here.

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March 06 2010 | General and Nelson and New Zealand and photography | No Comments »

Marlborough abuzz, Frost Fighters attack!

The control tower responds “yes Hotel-Echo-Lima-India. You are free to start”.

Nelson helicopter pilots made a mass exodus to Marlborough on Thursday and Friday nights this week to join a squadron of “Frost Fighters”.

Frost Fighters?

At this time of year the fruit and the leaves on the grape vines are vulnerable to any unseasonably late cold snap / frost. And it has been reported that in recent years up to 100 helicopters have been in the air over Marlborough buzzing the vineyards.

Helicopters, although a very expensive option, prevent frost damage by circulating the warm air trapped above the freezing conditions closer to the ground.

They weren’t required on Thursday night, but there’s talk of being on standby for the next few nights. According to an article in The Nelson Mail there are 670 Helicopters in NZ, and 85-90% of them will be out on a big frost night at this time of year.

Helicopters were also on standby in other wine growing regions of NZ. Happened a few times last year too.

In recent years we have seen local growers implement large windmill type objects that spin wide blades as a substitute for what the helicopter can do.

PHOTO – http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

November 08 2008 | Nelson | No Comments »

Hope you don’t need us, but we’re there if you do…

It’s a good feeling knowing that the company you work for, actually “puts something back” locally. Our region is blessed with 3 major National Parks and plenty of remote bush.

here to help

The Summit Rescue helicopter is a valuable service which definitely benefits directly the local community.

According to the fabulous staff the most important time is that critical 1st hour. If they can reach and action an injured person within that time, then the chances are significantly increased positively for that individual’s progress.

Eurocopter AS350

Just recently, final USA approval has meant that our local Summit Rescue helicopter now has two pairs of night-vision goggles. We had a chance to look at these a while back when they first arrived in the country. Colour me impressed.

One point I found particularly interesting was that with these night vision googles the pilots can see a cigarette lighter flame or the glow from a mobile phone from many kilometres out.

They made mention at the time that anyone venturing out into the country for a hike or trail needs to take a light source with them, even if they think its only going to be a daylight trip. Even a small unit like those small LED torches is much better than nothing. Many folk who venture out during the day don’t take such an item because being daytime, they feel they won’t need it. However if they get injured or become lost then daylight can turn to night.

There is a satellite tracking system installed in the Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel rescue helicopter which allows you to track its movements on individual missions, and you see that here>>

.. so when you are buying or selling your property with Summit Real Estate, then along with Summit, you too are actually contributing valuably back into your own local community.

October 24 2008 | Nelson | No Comments »

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