Sunday, May 31

High-tech troubles in paradise

This video was filmed in December 2001.
You might wonder why the most recent blog posts have all been of days gone by.
Well, my camera broke down. It refused to zoom – stayed at the wide-angle setting all the time. Mind you, it still recorded to tape which is an improvement over last time it went belly up. Back then something weird happened with the sensors and I got pixelated images and garish colours. I had to send it back to New Zealand three times before it worked properly again. It took eight months in total to repair.
This time it’s been a mere month – that’s assuming that the repair is effective. I’m heading to NZ for a few days so I’ll pick it up and see.
I had a back-up camera but it’s feeling its age and no longer has the strength to load and eject tapes.
On top of that, I can’t get on to YouTube to upload videos. In fact, most days I can’t get on to YouTube at all unless I use a numerical IP address instead of the domain name. It’s only YouTube that’s inaccessible; everywhere else is fine so I’m storing the videos directly with Blogger at the moment. We’ve got a small home network and the problem’s the same for all the computers so it looks like a router malfunction and we’re planning to get a new one in NZ – the model we want isn’t available here.
Fortunately other hardware bits and pieces are available locally. My monitor started doing strange things - parts of it would pixelate and the desktop icons flickered. We replaced the graphics card (which was supposed to be pretty fancy and wasn’t all that old). The machine worked OK for a day or two and then the problem started up again. So we replaced the motherboard. Same thing happened. Fine for a day and then back came the flickers and blobs.
Ended up removing the graphics card completely and using the motherboard’s own graphics and (touch wood) it’s now working properly.
It’s beginning to look as though the fault lies with the graphics card not sitting properly in the case.
Living in a tropical island paradise has its drawbacks.
Back to the video.
The schooner Silent Lady spent a few years in Rarotonga when Skip Price was the owner. It was a beautiful boat and Skip did short day trips for tourists sailing from Ngatangiia Harbour out to sea and back. I’m a rotten sailor and I didn’t take any Dramamine so looking at the video makes me feel queasy all over again!
Skip sailed Silent Lady back to America for a tall ships festival and never returned. It is now owned by someone in Florida. Shame really as it really looked magnificent in this setting.
In an earlier blog (Flying High) I mentioned various air-related business ventures in the Cook Islands that have turned up their toes. I missed one – we had a helicopter for a while. It island hopped all the way from Australia to Rarotonga which was quite a feat. The company got a licence to operate here but unfortunately the chopper didn’t have a NZ airworthiness certificate (or something similar) and it’s not possible to get one here – the chopper would have had to get to New Zealand for that. Another dream bites the dust.
Water-based tourism ventures haven’t fared a lot better. Over the years we’ve had the Silent Lady, jet boats, jet skis, a hovercraft, and kayak tours. A catamaran, the Release, went aground during a cyclone but was replaced by the Hotel California which is still sailing away. Fishing charters and dive boats are also still going strong, as is the Reef Sub, but sadly many maritime ventures on Rarotonga have sunk without a trace.