Saturday, November 5, 2011

Will we wont we???

I think wont must be a word from the dictionary of Lindsey. Is it a proper word? I use it all the time.
Today we came up to Speedwell. Before we could leave we had to wait for the plane to come and pick up Christopher's father Bruce. The wind was going into the north and we don't often leave when it is a northerly because it builds up too big a swell in Eagle passage. The wind is supposed to stay in the north for the next four days and we really needed to get up to Speedwell. After much umming and ahhing by Christopher Theo arrived at the jetty at 1pm with the sentiments of we will load and leave and if its too rough we can always come back. The dinghy was lifted out of the water and put on its cradle, that's generally a bad sign. To be honest looking out to sea it looked okay to me but I have seen Christopher coming across from Flores Harbour to Speedwell having left Flores with a slight breeze and it getting so rough in the short space of 40 minutes that the boat was dissapearing in the waves. We had a good run up with only the last 20 minutes getting a big bouncy. Even that was okay because it was on the nose. We had a few minutes as we came around the last point where she couldn't decide if she wanted to dive or roll and proceeded to try and do everything at once. The swell was building in the harbour and it was a rush to get everything unloaded. Today we are carrying a gang way of all things because my mother is coming out to stay for a couple of weeks and other then putting her in a net and lifting her off with the hi-ab it would be very difficult getting her on and off the boat. She is pretty obliging but I don't think she is going to go for the net thing but it would be funny. Unfortunately by the time Christopher got Theo out to moorings the swell made lifting the dinghy of the back of the boat really difficult and it now has a hole, nothing that a bit of fibre glass wont fix.
Today we watched a program on the American dust bowl on the history channel. We missed the beginning of the programme but it was really interesting. Our islands suffer from severe erosion. There are several reasons for it. In the past the islands have been severely over stocked and the fringe of coastal tussac has been eaten out by the sheep. The islands are also very dry which combined with our never ending wind keeps the erosion going. We have been trying to address the problem since we bought the islands. On George we have started two tussace plantations, one is doing very well, the second is planted into pure peat and has taken but at a much slower rate. It is self seeding however and new plants are coming up but it is a massive job. Conservationist suggest that just fencing the area off from the sheep will lead to the land regenerating itself but we have had one area of approx 100 acres that has now been fenced off for eight years and absolutely nothing has grown. We believe this is because nothing can get back because of the prevailing winds. On the positive side last year we purchased our own seeder and over sowed some areas with Yorkshire fog. To many this is a weed but when you are trying to cover bare ground you have to go with something that has the best possibility of growing. We planted in bare areas, areas of sorrel, which is natures replacement but animal wise has no nutritional value and in all other areas of vegetation. We were very excited when we went out last week to see some growth in the bare ground and some in the rush but nothing in the sorrel. Christopher has read that the sorrel gives off a toxin which stops any other vegetation taking hold. This is a problem because we dont dare open the ground up because erosion would almost certainly set in immediatly. I don't think you will see the erosion problem on George Island solved in our life time but hopefully we will make a difference. We are now heading into our third week of no rain, the dryer the season the worse the erosion problem as even the sorrel can't cope and it will die off.
Lastly for today my lovely little miniature ponies came home. I have now had them for 10 months and they are at last getting the hang of the fact that coming home means treats.

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