Wednesday, March 22, 2006
MIST AND RAIN
For the past few days, the island has been shrouded in a mist. There has been some light rain, and the very odd heavier shower for a few minutes. But not enough to put much water into the rapidly emptying water tanks.
On Sunday, no planes came in. Air New Zealand flew overhead twice, but the visibility was too poor, and they returned to Auckland.
We all had our fingers crossed this morning. There were short periods when the sun shone through the cloud cover, and we were sure that conditions were improving....then the fog would descend again, and the mountain would disappear from sight.
Our Kim has been very anxious. She was planning to return to Auckland to see her very ill grandfather. The delay was very upsetting for her.
We gathered at the airport at lunchtime today. Would the cloud clear long enough for a landing?
There was a cheer when first the Brisbane plane, and then the Auckland plane touched down safely within minutes of each other.
Alas, we still await the arrival of the Sydney passengers who were due in the weekend. There has been talk of a midnight flight tonight.
Rhaelene, our weekend bride, is most anxious, because she is awaiting the arrival of some of her family and wedding party. She knows that the delays can go on for many days when this weather pattern sets in.
It is times like this that you are conscious of your geographical isolation living on an island.
The mist and showers have provided some relief from the dry conditions we have been experiencing. The plants in the garden have been most grateful for the damp relief. But the moisture has added very little to the level of our water tanks and reservoirs.
The island wells continue to protest about the overuse of their limited supplies. Many have gone on strike altogether.
The island has, in recent years, gone into a number of horticultural ventures, such as palm seedlings, to diversify our economy. But these industries potentially require large amounts of water, especially in the establishment stages, as do many of our 'landscaped gardens,' our lawns, even our dusty cars!
This is one of the most serious problems we face. We really need to deal with water management issues, and learn to strike a balance.