Sunsets and Gardening

We had some calm and sunny days over the weekend, so I took it pretty easy on Sunday. Well, that was the plan. Take it easy, do some gardening and write an update for BENIsLAND. However, my generator just refused to start up. I cranked her and cranked her and after 30 or so times, I sat down and thought about what could be wrong. Then I cranked her another 30 times or so, before giving in. 

It was a bit of a mystery as she worked perfectly the night before. This led me thinking that there must have been a blockage somewhere, so I took the fuel line etc. off. Oh, did I have fun! It only took two and a half hours to undo 6 screws and take off the 3 cm fuel line. No blockage! I gave up for the day and went over to my mate’s place to watch some movies and for dinner. Today, I wiggled with the engine a bit more, put the fuel line back in place and – oh wonder, oh wonder – she runs beautifully again. Still don’t know what was the initial problem, but I’m happy that it works again.

Summer is just around the corner, there is plenty of sunlight on the property, the trees and gardens are growing fast – unfortunately, so are the weeds too – and I noticed the other day, that I’m able to see the sun set. The pictures did not turn out great at all, still got to figure out how to best capture the sunset.


I’ve been wandering around the house site for some hours now – often aimlessly, just sitting down and observing – thinking about landscaping and other future projects. My plan is to build small self-contained units on the property. The following pictures was taken from the spot, where I plan to build my first unit.

I will build a self-contained unit right here for myself. This spot is quite sheltered and access to and around the house site is easy.

A few of the fruit trees are blossoming now, most of them are starting to show signs of fruit, my plums should be ready in 4-5 weeks.

These plums should be ready just around Christmas.
There are two mature plum trees on the site and they seem to be doing alright.

There are two or three apple trees which are blossoming at the moment and most of the rest looks quite similar, and I believe they are peach trees. Two of them, those that get most of the morning sun, are carrying a healthy amount of fruit.

Looks like peaches.

The neighbour has a few bee-hives and there is a lot of bee activity here as well. I've got a lot of manuka trees and you know what they say? Where there are bees, there are good gardens. I caught this one doing the naughty thing to an apple tree.
Radish, coriander, spring onions and salads. All grown on site. It's not much, but I can pick a few things every day and in a couple of seasons I should have mean gardens going.
It took a while to dig them out and wash them and I like to pickle these.
In a few months I should be able to harvest my own tomatoes.

My internet connection is starting to play up again, it’s 2030 and there is still quite a bit that I need to do. I’m sailing to town (Auckland) on Wednesday. Looking forward to the sail which I will be doing with a friend on a 24 foot yacht. Also looking forward to catching up with some mates in town and to buying solar panels and a few other supplies. I will be heading back to Great Barrier Island on Friday. This time with Gary on the Spirit of Breaker Bay, a 30 foot ‘Easterly’ sailing yacht.

So yeah, stay tuned as it is usually a great adventure sailing (cruising) in the Hauraki Gulf crossing the Colville Channel.



9 thoughts on “Sunsets and Gardening”

      1. Yeah she was gusting around 35 knots alright, the yacht has a deep keel and can go places. When I get nervous on her, she’s only playing. Sailing from Auckland to Barrier is definitely not for the faint hearted. You need experience to be able to stay calm and trust the boat. Of course we check the forecast on the radio all the time and channel 16 updates on any significant forecast changes. When you get caught out in the channel, there isn’t really much you can do, besides staying focused on the job and staying on the boat!

        1. Good to hear you had a safe ride. Being on the run and on top of those rollers is just plain awesome, isn’t it?! Cheers

          1. Yeah, it is good fun, but you get over it after a while. I rather enjoy calmer seas and sailing on the reach, then you can take the journey easy and have a couple beers….

  1. Another great update Ben. Looks like you have made some good progress around the property and the fresh fruit and veges are just tops. You are right….will have the mean harvests coming along in a seasons or twos time.

    We’ve just moved house (still on the shore) and Bridget is setting up the vege garden. You give some great inspiration!

    1. Cheers mate, yeah things are coming together. Was briefly in town and got me a solar panel, a wet suit, some supplies. Got me a puppy today. The weeds are taking over here again, got to get into action soon. A bit sick of the south-westerlies though. Sailed back yesterday in a 30ft yacht, the Colville Channel was moderate to rough, some nice rollers on the back. We gull winged it all the way from town. Good fun, but could do with a bit less wind…

  2. Such a beautiful bowl of salad! I see lots of progress and I believe that is so rewarding for you to see the blossoms and fruits on the trees. Good luck for building up your self-contained uni and nice to hear your are safely back from Auckland.
    Cheers, 🙂

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