22. Te Anau

Saturday, March 4: Sunny with a few clouds about over the mountains and a string wind in the afternoon

Steamer’s Backpackers

The harder tasks were waiting this morning, as everything easier was disappearing. The library is open Saturdays from 10:00 to 3:00 so that enabled two sessions of relatively fast internet after the breakfast of OJ, two toasted cheese sandwiches and coffee had been dealt with. Met Shoko as she was waiting for her bus which would eventually take her back to Auckland. I let the spot tracker run a full course of 20 minutes, but apart from the ‘OK’ button turning off after that time, nothing much happened.

First task on the net was to get transport to the bus station, which eventually worked. Copied the bus times & destinations in Dunedin into a text file and I hope that at least that action would make me remember them. St Clair Hot Saltwater Pool looks inviting for some time next week.

Had a look at the tracks from the Dusky in Google Earth, and they are very erratic in places – but apropos of missing hgt files there was not much else to be had. The hour was up fairly quickly and it was time to look for something for lunch. Four Square still had some sandwiches left over from the day before (chicken, lettuce & mayo, and ham & mustard for $2 a round) and that was considered sufficient. Had them back here with an apple and then set off back to the library. Managed to get the booking confirmed for 7:40 tomorrow morning for all of $7, and that should get me there on time (Te Anau Transfers, teanautransfers@gmail.com, phone (020) 483 2628).

Had a hokey-pokey @ the Tiptop takeaway for $3, then a long stroll afterwards took me down along the waterfront to the harbour – a part of town that I had never been to. Mainly residential, of course, but lots of playing fields and nice houses, and a lone kite-surfer braving the elements and flying above the waves for seconds at a time. By now the “gale force winds” that Gort had seen on his weather prediction yesterday were coming into full swing.

The ipod still had to be charged, which might mean downloading half of the internet, so I decided I might try that from Luxmore Lounge. Sure enough there were a couple of episodes of Science Friday that had to be downloaded, and the device could be synchronised and was charging in a regular fashion. However on inspecting the device more closely I found a folder called ‘SRTM’ with two zipped files of the altitude data, although the names were a little different and had to be change in the program. But it looks like that was where I hid them.

Then the really hard part. First the colour scheme on the SX120’s display had to be made bright enough to be readable in sunlight. Then the zoom setter had to be updated and made available to both the A470 and the SX120. Having a look at the CHDK wiki page I decided it needed some minor editing; managed to log in after a couple of attempts and fix the text, and eventually my programs. Then the intervalometer had to be customised.

First of all, I did a sanity check of the button presses and they seemed to work OK. Then I transferred that part of the program into the script and tested it in the camera. Should have noticed that the custom timer values have to be set before the operational CHDK loading takes place. (Is there a way of setting the timer delay by software? Zero delay would have to be standard/hard wired because the rest of the program determines the shooting interval; but it would be interesting to determine the number of shots.)

Anyway the experiment worked with a series length of 1, for two different bracketing values and the pictures came out OK. Stuff is getting done. Perhaps some real sequences in Dunedin & Nelson.

By now I was getting a bit hungry and took off for town with the definite resolution of having one or two lamb shanks. Which was all brought to an abrupt halt when I ran into Peter outside the Tiptop takeaway chewing on an ice cream. His offer of spaghetti bolognese seemed unassailable for the price, which was that I should go & get a bottle of red wine to suit. Briefly inspecting the wines @ FreshChoice I settled on a bottle of Jacob’s Creek 2015 Cabernet Shiraz, which seemed suitable.

I was in the dining room a little ahead of the appointed time, writing the diary and briefly taking over the cooking, which really is simple enough. We still had too much water for the spaghetti, heaps of sauce, the grated cheese from yesterday, bread, salad (spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, capsicum) and my butter. As we became less able to finish things off, we gave the sauce to a Spanish woman who joined us for a bit. But otherwise it was Lee & Peter’s night out.

Towards the end I tried CSIing Peter’s brackets but could find no Photoshop equivalent of grain extract/merge, and the internet was increasingly iffy, so we decided to call it a day; Peter gave me his contact details & I gave him a copy of Te Ika, signed & dedicated.

Back in the room, although it was already quite late, I packed a few things together, and there were a few messages from Mika, who is leaving on the Milford tomorrow.