City of Sails


Auckland city skyline from Westhaven Marina. Image: Su Leslie 2019

Auckland markets itself as ‘The City of Sails’ and with around one registered craft for every 11 residents (1), it’s easy to see why.

The city occupies an isthmus between two harbours, and it’s difficult to find a vantage point of Auckland that doesn’t include at least a glimpse of the sea.

auckland skyline from ferry2

America’s Cup (2) boat out practicing or something. Image: Su Leslie 2019

Westhaven Marina, adjacent to the CBD, has berths for around 2000 boats, making it one of the largest in the world. It’s also a great place from which to see the city skyline.


Auckland Harbour Bridge, from Westhaven Marina Boardwalk. Image: Su Leslie 2019


Auckland Harbour Bridge, from Westhaven Marina Boardwalk. Image: Su Leslie 2018

Posted to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge | cityscapes

  1. These are 2014 figures, but my personal guess is that the ratio won’t have changed much in the intervening years, and if anything there may now be more boats in the city’s harbours as Auckland has become a “destination” for superyachts.
  2. Auckland is currently home to the America’s Cup, after a 7-1 victory in 2017 in the Bahamas. The next challenge will take place here in 2021.

Playing for keeps

When the boy-child was at primary school, each year in around the second week of Term Three — maybe the first week in August — marbles started being played at school.

It wasn’t organised or announced. As far as I can tell, it was the most spontaneous, and in some ways the most momentous, event in the school calendar. For the boys anyway.

The craze usually lasted about two weeks before disappearing as suddenly as it came.

But in those two weeks, the boys experienced life intense and sometimes brutal: triumphs, failures, frustrations and anguish; rule-making, rule-breaking; bullying, humiliation and ranking — endless ranking. The marbles were ranked in value; the players even more so.

And always “playing for keeps.” Not just the marbles but the experiences too.

Posted to the Ragtag Daily Prompt | marble

A beautiful memory

Close up shot of cat sitting on couch back. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

It’s been two years since our very sick fur-baby walked out of the house and didn’t return. I believe she died on her own terms, but it took months, if not years, for us to stop seeing imaginary flashes of movement, and rushing to open the door to the sound of phantom scratching.

This morning I missed her particularly badly. Until my runny nose and sneezing began and I remembered how her (utterly wonderful) presence had started to trigger my allergies.

Posted to the Ragtag Daily Prompt | pet

Vast reservoir

Sandy Bay, Northland, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie 2019.

The sea is the vast reservoir of Nature. The globe began with sea, so to speak; and who knows if it will not end with it?” –  Jules Verne

Beyond the headland, the Pacific Ocean.

A summer day, when the sea is calm and the water clear, bodysurfers catch gentle waves and kids play in the shallows. On such a day it is easy to imagine that the vastness of the world’s largest ocean can absorb all the plastic and garbage and toxic marine-life-killing pollution we humans feed it, and that all our shit will somehow be absorbed and disappear.

Easy — and potentially fatal.

Posted to the weekly quotation-based challenge hosted by Debbie at Travel with Intent.