This week on Garry’s Corner

Well, I’ve been there and done that. It is an amazing country in which we live, the Southern Sounds should be visited by the four of you to appreciate the forces of nature that created this wonder of the world.

It is said the process started some 80 million years ago, with significant tectonic plate movement some 15 million years ago. After the uplift, the settling of what was to become New Zealand massive glacial movements, created the Sounds as we see it now.

Some 16 million years ago, scientists believe the climate was sub-tropical, something similar to Queensland now. 14 million ago, the climate went through a cooling period with the temperature dropping some 8 degrees, following 4 million years later when the Southern Alps average temperature settled at around 13 degrees. It is quite apparent climate change advocates were very concerned but weren’t around long enough to attempt to influence the next couple of million years. With any luck, if any of you readers are climate change believers, this evidence will indicate you will be well fossilised before you influence any change.

The Manapouri Power scheme is an amazing engineering achievement for a small country. The diversion of water from the lake to Deep Cove involved drilling through ancient schist with drilling both ways from top to bottom. Apparently when they met, they were one inch out of alignment – remarkable. The bottom-up crew consisted of 500 men housed on the ship Wanganella. On completion, the dredging of the bottom produced thousands of bottles, fairly understandable.

A quirk of nature – the copious amount of fresh water the rain provides rests on the surface of the salt water. This water, enriched by the vegetation it is filtered through, is full of tannin which creates a shaded sub-culture below the surface. Remarkably, the fresh water is three metres or more deep, those that dive go through murky waters before the crystal-clear shaded salt water.

I could go on and on, but better you visit yourself. Anyway, where else can you harvest 300 crayfish over three days without getting wet? Before you recoil in horror, of course we returned half to their habitat. Then the fish of the day, blue cod. I don’t think there is a fish I like better. 

I was the only Northerner out the five of us. Their view of the way forward for South Island racing is far removed from the NZTR grand plan. One so-called premier track has more racing on the synthetic than was proposed, which clearly endangers the strength of South Island racing. It never changes. Take racing away from the people, then the people leave. They won’t for a while in the South because they are fighters, they love their day in the sun at their clubs. I am not convinced that centralisation helps down there, it is a long skinny island, I just hope reason prevails. 

Then, among the rumours is the intent to rob the Breeders Stakes from Te Aroha. This is an iconic event, long supported by the studs, with prizemoney supplemented with donated nominations. Will the studs continue to financially support the race wherever it is relocated to? I doubt it. But then the Board knows best. Perhaps they may tack it onto the proposed synthetic Championship and make sure the winning adds no mana or value to the breeder. Ah, you are a grumpy old dinosaur.

I have included a couple of photos – the Deep Cove at 6am, the morning catch. Enjoy.


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