On Friday, we visited Matui Somes Island, which is the middle of Wellington Harbour. We caught the ferry across from Days Bay, which is always a great day trip. My super-husband volunteered to look after the kids on the island for a while so I could do some sketching! He's a keeper, that one.
View from the island looking towards Eastbourne
The island was named Matui by the Polynesian explorer Kupe, after one of his daughters. The europeans named it Somes Island, and nowadays the island is called by both names.
Sheep on the island
In recent history, the island has been a quarantine station, an internment camp, a military base with gun emplacements and a degaussing station (that is where the WRENS demagnitised the hulls of boats), and most recently, a wildlife sanctuary.
The Matui Somes Island lighthouse. I sketched this from the hill behind it, near the gun emplacements. There is a large seagull population on the island, but they left me alone while I sketched!
The wind really picked up by now, and I realised that the seagulls were soaring in the wind very close to me. So they were almost stationary in the wind, which was a great chance to sketch them. I practised using a medium tipped grey pen again. Although I think a finer tip would have been better.
This is the sheep shed, which is one of the many old buildings on the island. By now it was so windy, I was actually being buffeted by the wind. So I turned my sketchbook upside down, so the wind would not whip the pages - worked a treat. But I think if I had been using a free-flowing ink pen, the wind would have actually blown the ink across the page, it was so strong. Medium tip Staedler grey pen.
We played on the beach on the lee side of the island for while, waiting for the return ferry. We could actually see starfish in the rockpools, and the fastest moving shellfish I have ever watched. It was like watching a slow-motion dodgem cars. My three-year old and I were transfixed for abou 10 minutes just observing them. Then I sketched the wharf above, although the ferry came before I could put the wharf crane in. Still, although it took longer, I prefer this style of sketching with a finer 0.05 black pen, than the bigger medium tip grey pen.
A map of our day.
A gratuious photo of somewhere completely different, a church in Northland, New Zealand.