Back on the boat again to head to the North Island. James sis run out to get a few pictures of the Picton Harbor – alas another place we just passed through. . We spent the afternoon at Te Papa, the national Museum in Wellington. Here is a colossal squid that was found in Antarctica while fishing. This sperm whales we saw yesterday eat the giant squid and that was impressive enough. I can’t imagine what eats these squid. It was easily 10 feet long.The fishing exhibitions also bring back other dead creatures for the museum. This is the skeleton of a pygmy blue whale. It nearly took up the length of the room at a pygmy size! It was wonderful though to spend the day at the museum. We could readily spot animals we have seen in our trip so far. It felt familiar and made leaving the South Island a little easier.
There was also an exhibit called “Our Space” that was satellite photos of New Zealand placed in the floor and backlit. Some of the tiles would activate pictures on the wall. It was neat to go through and see what we would identify. Oh yes we were here – which of these glaciers is Franz Josef – look at all that farmland…. It was also wonderful to see all the kiwi try to find their homes. I’m thinking a number of these simplified would make great tapestries We found that we had become comfortable in the South Island. We were learning where everything is and the names for everything. Reference to something like Hokitika reminded us of carving pounamu. That was the wonderful part of the museum. But at the same time, we are clueless on the North Island. It’s almost like we’ve come to a foreign country. The city and town names flash before our eyes and I don’t even know what direction they are. We feel lost again. It’s time to take it one day at a time again.
There of course were a number of exhibits about people. This is Te Aurere Iti. It is a 1/3 sized model of the Te Aurere which is a replica of the canoes that the original Maori used to sail to New Zealand. I was glad to see there were sails, but I still cannot imagine coming across the Pacific from Polynesia in this! The full sized Te Aurere is presently being used to make the voyage again which includes the entire triangle across to some of the islands off Chile. I can’t imagine…. The lateen sails were woven flax or harakeke.