Saturday, April 20, 2013

Away from the boat

As you may have noticed, we have not posted much in the last month. Rani and I are back in the UK and Canada, respectively. Rani is visiting with her family and will attend the wedding of her niece, Sandy, in May, and I am spending time in Vancouver with my family. We will be back on Ladybug in mid-May, when we haul her out for bottom painting and annual maintenance.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Windigo Update

The yacht Windigo was abandoned on a crossing from Tonga to New Zealand. When we last heard, it was drifting NE from the position at which it was abandoned, so it came as a surprise to learn that the boat washed up on the coast of Australia, well to the west.  Here are a couple of links to articles: ABC Coffs Coast  and NZ Herald

The couple who owned her were surprised that she had been stripped of her valuables before they reached the scene, but this is not surprising. The same thing happened to a friend of ours who's boat was washed ashore during hurricane Jimena in Mexico. I was interested in the issue of ownership of an abandoned boat and this article has a skeleton outline of international law. Interestingly, it seems that the ownership of the vessel remains with its owners even if they abandon it and that this even extends to articles that float free or are jettisoned from a wreck. Unfortunately, in reality one must stay with a vessel or post guards on a wreck to prevent looting or salvage claims.

Monday, April 1, 2013

In the news - New Zealand Conservation

This piece from the Whangarei Times of April 1, 2013:

Lord of the Rings fans are up in arms over the New Zealand Department of Conservation's decision to use over-sized stoat traps to control the increasing population of Hobbits on the North Island. A spokesperson for the department stated that "Despite similarities between our country and Middle Earth, Hobbits are not endemic to New Zealand. They have no natural enemies to control their population. and they compete with native species for both food and space to build their hillside homes."

D.O.C. is using over-sized stoat traps to control the Hobbit population on the North Island.

The Whangerei Times has recently learned that during the filming of The Hobbit, at least eight Halflings went missing from the set in Hobbiton. In the last year there have been more than a dozen sightings of Halflings. Some believe that they may even have crossed the Cook Strait to the South Island, most likely as stow-aways on the inter-island ferries.

A statement posted on the website of the Auckland Lord Of The Rings fan club reads: "Putting Hobbits in the same category as wallabies, stoats, and possums as introduced pests is ridiculous. Hobbits breed slowly and take at least 40 years to mature. At the very least, they [the New Zealand  D.O.C.] should make use of live trapping and relocation..."

Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings films and most recently, The Hobbit, declined to comment.