Monday, February 18, 2008

Just another weekend in paradise

It got off to a bit of a false start with my Thursday afternoon flight being cancelled because of the weather. I immediately re-booked for the following morning for the etra flight they put on at 8am. Tommy met me at the airport and we went up to the bach to get coffee.
We decided that it was too breezy to go out in the bay so we decided to pack all the kayaks up and head to Harataonga and then see what would happen. Once there we loaded our gear onto the yaks and paddled down the creek to the beach. The surf was quite big but we decided to head out and try and find a more sheltered spot to base ourselves. Getting through the surf was a bit of fun but we all got through without any spillages. Gina did well considering she wasn't too keen to begin with but she paddled through like a pro.

We found a small beach around the corner and paddled over there to make it our base. Tom and I both had a fish while the others fished off the rocks for bait fish. Once they'd stocked up on bait we all went out for a bit more fishing. Tom and I cuaght enough snapper for everyone to have some for dinner so when we caught up with Tim and Angus to find that Angus had caught a good sized Porae we knew we definately had plenty for dinner. Gina had already gone back by this stage but we tried fishing a little longer before heading back. The swell seemed bigger on the way back in. Tim and Angus beached okay but Tom and I both canned out!
We called into the Club on the way home and ended up there until quite late with the guys getting a bit carried away playing table tennis.
Everyone woke up pretty late on Saturday morning so we mooched around the place until the afternoon when we decided to go to the hot pools. First though we went for a drive to Whangaparapara and had a couple of beers at the lodge. By the time we drove back to the track to the hot pools all the vehicles that had been there had gone so it looked like we would have the place to ourselves. I'm not entirely sure how long it takes us to walk the track to the pools - half an hour maybe - it's always quicker to get there though than coming back. Tom and I climbed into the main pool where the track meets the stream and proceeded to soak while the others explored a bit further up the stream. After a while we were starting to over cook and about then Angus came down the track to tell us they'd found a deeper pool further up. We bundled off up the track and climbed over the rocks to find a fabulous pool - deeper and more like a spa pool ... ahh... bliss!
The walk back to the car after our soak was a bit more sedate than the trip in as we were all so relaxed. Of course... we had to call into the club for the boys to get their ping-pong fix on the way home.

It was an early start on Sunday morning to get down to the wharf and try another spot of fishing. The conditions weren't fantastic but we'd been out in worse. We decided it was too breezy to venture out of the bay so we drift fished our way back along the coast and into the bay. The fish started coming onto the bite when we'd been out for half an hour or so. I kept two snapper for the bin. As we were driftining at different speeds and in different dirrections it was hard to say how the others were doing but once back at the wharf we had 6 snapper to take home for lunch. you don't get it much fresher than that!

The sun came out fierce after midday and having had an early and active morning, once we'd had our fill of fish we all found our own spots out of the sun for a bit of a kip. We roused ourselves about 4 o'clock, all a bit grumpy from sleeping in the heat, so the cure for that was to head to the bottom end of Kaitoke beach for a swim and snorkle around the rocks. Once in the water all the earlier grumpiness faded and we had a great time swimming. Tom came out of the water with his pockets stuffed with mussels so Tim and Angus took up the challenge to get us enough for dinner... hunter-gatherers!

Dinner was of course mussels - some steamed and eaten out of the shells and the rest I made into mussel fritters. It's a fantastic feeling to end the day knowing you've provided yourself with a couple of meals from catching to cooking. I had a fantastic sleep that night!

Sadly, Monday morning rolled around and it was time for me to head back down to the airport to catch the 7:30 flight back to the shore. Still, I can't complain... we seem to pack so much into our days that I felt as though I'd been away for a week!

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