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Bazza
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote ="wull"]Great reading Barry, i wish i could go on one of those trips.
great life! Smile[/quote]

Thanks Wull ..... am planning another if yourself or anyone on the forum
keen on joining in.

In the meantime the tale of the recent saga continues ( below)

On reaching Gisborne located a mercury dealer with the intention of buying
a new coil. They did not have one in stock & said they would prefer to check it
over before ordering one in to establish that was the actual cause of the problem.

So we had to "cool our heels" in Gisborne opting to stay at a nearby beachfront
camping ground to attend to laundry etc. & as previously mentioned was the only
time in the 2 1/2 mths. The only time at a motorcamp that is, not the only time
we did our laundry but found laundrettes more convenient from thereon.
Gisborne is where Capt. Cook on his initial voyage on the HMS Endeavour ( a
converted collier) first sighted NZ. In actual fact it was the cabin boy & "Young
Nicks' head" was so named in recognition of his discovery.

Of course a Dutch Captain Abel Tasman almost 100 yrs. before was first, but only
stayed briefly not bothering to claim in for Holland ( just think of the fishing you could
have had Hans had he done so ). Cook on one of his subsequent voyages aboard HMS
Resolution eventually did so for Britain but probably only to get the jump on the
French who were about to claim it.

Anyway late afternoon next day went to collect the o/b motor & were told the coil
tested OK but the cause was because the cooling channels had "salted up" causing
overheating which in turn was vaporising the fuel. To have it cleaned out would have
exceeded the value of the motor so opted despite being late afternoon, to move on
to the Ruakituri valley which entailed crossing some extremely hilly back country.
Unexpectedly arrived whilst still daylight so set about camping on farm that has
the Ruakituri river ( renowned for holding many trophy size fish ) running thru it. This
had been prearranged thru previous association with Dave the owner who now retired
still lives there having passed on the operation of the farm to a daughter & her husband.
We felt very privlileged to have been granted permission to camp/fish there. Here are
some pics & at the risk of turning the thread into a history lesson will elaborate on the
fascinating aspects of this rather remote area later. Last two pics on this post taken soon
after arrival & one shows boat down.

Was out fishing next morning at the river a short walk from camp.

Les was looking forward to catching his first rainbow, but lost about 6 fish after hooking
probably because he fought them too hard being used to SW flyfishing in Queensland.


Almost certain at least two of the fish lost were over 10lbs but he finally landed this
smaller rainbow which was later enjoyed smoked.

A smallish brownie followed.







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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ruakituri valley cont.

This is very rugged country with some stunning scenery & a lot of history.

On the steep cliffs in the background of the previous pics wild goats can
more often than not be seen walking across the almost sheer face of the cliffs
to lick the exposed minerals. Every so often a couple of billys will have a scrap
with the vanquished usually experiencing a rather speedy descent to the river
below.

The area was probably the last stronghold of the Maori warriors opposing
European colonisation & consequential loss of tribal land. The most notable
being a self appointed chief named Te Kooti who inflicted untold casualties
against the colonial armed forces & managed to evade capture until finally
in frustration he was given a pardon & some land.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Te_Urewera

Many Maori had a right to feel aggrieved over losing land for they had no
conception of land being sold. It was regarded by them more in a spiritual
sense as individuals or tribes belonging to the land rather than owning it.
Therefore very often when they unknowingly passed ownership of often thousands
of hectares of land in return for maybe a few blankets, axes & trinkets or
suchlike they thought they were simply giving permission for the newcomers
to live there with them .... only to find they could no longer live there themselves.

Dave is passionate about the history of the area to the extent he wrote &
carried the cost of research & publishing. He felt there were several old
identities still alive with tales to tell but unless they were recorded then most
would be lost forever with their passing.
http://www.landsar.org.nz/Resource.aspx?ID=775
( scroll down to pg. 7 ) SAR = Search rescue

Anyway we had planned to have a surprise outdoor dinner for Dave in appreciation for being
let camp & fish on his land. Timing was good as was very close to his birthday therefore
we were pleased when he accepted the invitation so we got things underway

Pre dinner drinks



Entree = cashew crusted freshly smoked salmon
Mains = Roast chicken, gravy & veges
Flowers = arrangement picked from a 50 mtr. radius



Les relating his tale about being pursued by a giant mudcrab in Cairns



Had arranged to purchase a couple of Daves' book & for him to present Les with his
autographed copy as a surprise momento.




Next day traveled further up the valley ( pic below) to fish different territory & met a
contingent of fellow f/fishers from France that were camped there. In fact met quite a few
French anglers throughout the trip, particularly in the Sth. Is.



To be cont....


Last edited by Bazza on Wed May 12, 2010 5:52 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cont ....
Reluctantly left The Ruakituri ( but like Gen Paton said "I WILL return ) passing thru
heaps of Hawkes Bay fishing opportunities in order to visit G/Kids in Martinborough
& perhaps work on the o/b motor.

Cooper ... Hazel & Audrey .... hence the name of my new boat = CHA


We took the head etc. off the motor clearing the coolant channels & poked around with
wire in the cylinder block as were reluctant to remove it from the piston with no ring
compressor on hand to reassemble it. Right from the start water had been flowing from
the "tell tale" outlet .... which I had always thought indicated cooling water was circulating but
not necessarily so it seems .... as it merely means the impeller is working.
Anyway after reassembly, it seemed to work ok when tank tested, therefore we were
feeling rather pleased with ourselves. This however was rather premature as presumably
blockage in the lower chamber remained .... which did not affect the running whilst it was
running in a tank without the prop .... but were later to find the original problem remained
albeit improved, when being run under normal load conditions.
There is a lot of fishing around this area ..... but unfortunately most of the rivers were
coloured & running high. Therefore we opted to visit a special little known of river ( so special
it will remain nameless ) that could well be fishable, as it proved to be. It is situated in semi
wilderness country on private land which we had previous permission to fish providing we did not
attempt to shoot/hunt any wild deer, pigs or other game.


Was here 15 to 20 kms from the coast ( so would be fresh water) that Les whilst trying to spot
trout looked down to see a large flounder right at his feet. Up untill then we had not realised
that flounder were andromonous, but they must be, as I was later to sight one on the shore
a Sth. Is glacial formed lake that had an outlet to the sea about 20 kms away.
That evening the wind began to build until at one stage during the night, we thought if increased
further the m/h might be blown over. Next morning the wind raged up the valley & the hitherto
tranquil river almost had waves you could surf on. As the river was unfishable under those
conditions decided to drive to the coast to have a look.


Looking out to sea in these pics what appears to be low mist/cloud or fog is actually the
sea being lifted off the surface by the offshore wind so decided it was no place to launch a small
boat today!!
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On returning to Martinborough reviewed our options & as we were running behind our
roughly planned schedule decided that if we could get a booking on the ferry we
would cross over to the Sth. Is.

Note :- The following event is going to take time to relate but will make it as short
as I can.

O.K. about 12 yrs ago I made the acquaintance a Chinese national wanting to set up
in business & maybe start a new life with his family in NZ.
Chen & myself investigated numerous business possibilities however nothing eventuated
before he accepted a position with a NZ company that was experiencing a virtual explosion
in demand for its' product in China. The irony was that after awhile they in turn sent Chen,
along with wife Lee & by then two sons George & Alex back to China to help manage that
end of their business.

A firm friendship between us had developed before, during & after these events but eventually
as so often happens contact became very sporadic.

Anyway it seems a few days after we left on our trip Chen & family arrived in Auckland intent
on showing their two boys some of the country in which they were born, also renew contact
with old friends & acquaintances. I received a call from my wife that they would like to meet
up again but at that point in time it seemed highly unlikely to eventuate.

We managed to secure a ferry booking at short notice, drove to Wellington & I decided to visit
the gents' at the wharf terminal whilst waiting to board. I was near the head of a short queue
when I heard a familiar voice asking a question behind me, turned to find it was Chen & am not
sure which one of us was the most surprised. We were booked for the same crossing so had plenty
of time on the 3 1/2 hr. trip to catch up on things. Les & I were planning to go the French Pass in the
Marlborough Sounds & managed to persuade them to change their itinerary to join us. Had they
or ourselves realised what a torturous drive in it would be on near dark, none of us would have probably
considered doing so. However as it turned out, it was to be a magic time for all involved even if the sleeping
arrangements became rather stretched beyond normal capacity.


Time for a late dinner then everyone seemed to enjoy a good nights' sleep probably due to being
so tired after the rather arduous trip in. So tired in fact probably did not fully appreciate the sunset
......... or was it the sunrise ?



Next morning after a good sleep in awoke to our magical surroundings .........


Took Alec & George fishing ... they were excited to catch their first ever fish, namely blue cod highly
regarded for their eating quality ( If not in this instance for size )



To be cont ......


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

French Pass cont ...
French Pass is so named after Capt. D'Urville a Frenchman who discovered the pass
between the mainland & D'Urville Is. ( named after him ) which allowed a speedier
journey between Nelson (Sth. Is) & Wellington (Nth. Is) It is remarkable however that
they managed to sail their ships thru the pass as the tide rip at certain times is tumultuous.



That evening we all enjoyed a meal of fresh cod fillets, crayfish & paua etc. ..... also Chen
who normally does not drink alcohol paid tribute by imbibing in a glass of my homemade
2009 sauvignon blanc that had been brought along for such a special occassion.




Next morning we bid our reluctant farewells & they moved on.
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Invicta
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im thoroughly enjoying this Barry I hope there is plenty more to come Very Happy
Its also great to see the young kids catching fish.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superb acount of your trip Barry, well done
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Bazza
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Chris & Invicta ....... pleased you are enjoying them, was wondering
if it may have been getting a bit tedious. Yes Invicta .... heaps more to come
altho am away tomorrow for a 3 or 4 day break fishing around Coromandel.
Below a couple of xtra pics from French Pass. Re catching the blue cod ... it
often was a real mission to get them up into the boat before the barracouda took
them & they were BIG coudas !


This is a Weka a flightless bird not that dissimilar to a kiwi apart from the Kiwi being
nocturnal. Commonly known as "bush hens" they are generally very human friendly
if they do not feel threatened. Reputed to be excellent eating tasting much like chicken
but less fatty they were once widely hunted for food. Fortunately am pretty sure they are
now protected altho maybe not in the Chatham Is where they are very prolific & night
hunting is a popular activity with 20 or so per night not uncommon. This was one of
several that frequented the DOC free campsite & had become rather cheeky as they
were relatively unafraid of humans also very opportunist in grabbing food from the
table when you were not looking.




Lee & Chen ( aka Jenny & Richard ) spotting fish from the wharf



Paua ..... yum my favorite shellfish ( black abalone) ....... now virtually unaffordable unless
you are fortunate enough to find & gather your own. The price explosion due to the recent
influx of Asian immigrants who hold it in great reverence & are prepared to pay between $300
to $400 kg alive, which means including the weight of the shell. The shell has beautiful colouring
( will be a pic later on ) & used for paua jewelery & traditional Maori decorative artifacts etc.



Homemade Sauvignon Blanc

To be cont ......
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Bazza
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi at this point I would be grateful if someone would kindly tell me how
to preferably convert a short movie file to a still image so I can post
them to the forum or alternatively how to post a link.

They were mistakenly taken in movie mode, presumably when shutter
was held down after pic was shot.

The files are currently being held in HPimage zone, mypictures, the sony
image file, most on cd & a few still in the camera.

This thread now getting close to where it will be timely to post them.

Cheers Barry
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Barry,
Movie files can't be uploaded to the forum unless they are hosted on somewhere like Youtube
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Safari cont.
Had a far less traumatic trip out from French Pass in daylight & more leisurely.
At the end of the Rai valley where it joins the main hwy. we stopped briefly at
a roadside reserve adjacent to a delightful spring creek ( forgotten the name )
where we sighted about six trout or more to the point Les spotted most them, then
pointed them out to me.
For some reason I often have a problem spotting fish ( have tried many different
Polaroids ) & this was to prove to be a distinct handicap to most Sth. Is fishing
where it is almost a pre requisite, conversely Les is quite adept, sometimes even
spotting them as we were driving over a bridge.
Anyway we reasoned these particular fish being so accessible would likely well
fished to & angler wary so opted to leave them in peace.
We then headed towards the Nelson Lakes stopping at Top House for lunch ( wild
venison ) Top House situated close to St. Arnaud was in the 1800's an important
stopover for the stagecoach is Cobb construction ( mud & straw ) & is reputed to
be the oldest privately owned pub in the Sth. Is. & the bar section possibly the
smallest. Anyway is a must visit if in the area & an overnight stay if possible
for a rather quaint experience, memorable meals etc. all included in a very reasonable
tariff. Way back it was the scene of a multiple murder by a whisky crazed jealous
Meantime the perpetrator sat in a chair under the veranda & before the police arrived
blew his brains out with the shotgun he had used to shoot his supposed rivals .... the
pellet marks still remain overhead & the shotgun now a rusty curio.

http://www.tophouse.co.nz/

http://www.tophouse.co.nz/gallery.asp

The pub/bar is the small building to the right

To be cont.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved on the short distance to Lake Rotoiti intending to night fish the outlet
& source of the Buller river & is usually very productive at night, but was not
yet mid afternoon & it started to rain heavily so decided night fishing would not
be very pleasant so moved on to a nearby river I had always wanted to fish.
By this time the heavy rain had become a deluge, tried fishing for awhile but
soon gave up with the river rising rapidly & was thoroughly soaked.

By then all the rivers within reasonable proximity were flooding so opted to
move on to the upper West Coast, which holds a particular interest to me
due to the mining history, mainly gold & high quality coal. I love the history
associated with the area when in it's boom time the population exploded with
many settlements springing up, most of which have gone into decline, largely
surviving by virtue of the residual coal mining, however there are numerous
small museums displaying the history of the area with the larger museum in
Westport a must to visit. On a brighter note the coal mining industry is undergoing
something of a revival with several new high tech mines being opened. The reason
for this is that altho the area has long be recognised as producing the worlds
highest quality clean burning coal giving extremely high heat this was of some
advantage when used around the world in steamships the advantage was lost
with the passing of the era of steamships. However with high quality coking coal
now in high demand for the production of all manner of specialised alloys it now
commands an unprecedent premium & is almost 100% exported after being railed
to the East Coast.

One of the most intriguing settlements is Denniston which was establish around
the late 1870s ..... the amazing thing being that way back then it was built in about
4 yrs. ( today with modern transport & communication it takes over a decade)
O.K. not that amazing you reckon ..... but it is over 2000 ft above sea level rising
steeply & a town was built there. An engineering masterpiece known as "the incline"
carried the coal in open wagons on a rotating rail track to be loaded on to trains to be
transported to Westport. The wagon system was unpowered relying on the descending
weight of coal to return the empty wagons, up a 45 degree slope in parts. Where the
slope plateaued for a short distance a transfer station was built where the wagons were
detached from the first track & re attached to the second all manually. The most demanding
job however fell to the brakeman who was responsible for countering the uneven weight on
the cable. It was not unknown for the cable to snap sending everything plummeting down to
the bottom of the slope. Furthermore initially apart from an arduous rough walking track the
wagons were the only way of transporting people & materials up & down at speeds of up to
50 mph.. It is recorded that several women so terrified by the trip up that they spent their
entire remaining life up on the mountain rather than face the trip down which was maybe
understandable given that some had plunged to their death in an uncontrolled roller coaster
ride when a cable snapped.

Denniston is the bleakest place imaginable even in the summer but in winter is usually has
snow ........ why on earth anyone chose to live there is almost incomprehensible. Some no
doubt had there reasons as it was a unwritten obligation to never asked anyone as presumably
many were hiding from something, as often or not the law. This would surely not have been the
case of over a hundred of professional miners that were brought over from Cornwall when the
tin mines there were being closed.

Testimony to the way it was constructed is the fact the incline was still operating until the late 1960's
& may well still have been operating had it not been destroyed in the Inangahua earthquake.

http://www.denniston.co.nz/photoalbum.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denniston,_New_Zealand


A book worth reading is "Denniston Rose" a fictional tale based on historic fact
of a young girl taken there by her mother & the life endured.

Update 10/05/10 :- an article featuring in the travel supplement of this mornings' newspaper
covers the restoration work currently underway to tun Denniston into a tourist destination. It is
intended that you will be able to join a tour where you will draw a job to be assigned a job such as
existed in the early days & will be dressed in appropriate kit .... sounds like fun!


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=10644174

As the rivers were clearing backtracked to Reefton ( the first place in the Sthern hemisphere to
have electric power no doubt financed by the goldmining activity. The rivers around there had
cleared so opted first to fish the Rough river renowned for its' trophy fish albeit challenging.



The sand & rocks in this river are speckled with what looks to be glistening gold but
presumably is iron pyrates ( fools gold ) at least I hope so otherwise we have left missed
out on an entire fortune.
It was just a bit further up from here I took on of my many tumbles in the river .... was
only when I met up with Les again & began to fish another stretch found out must have
broken my new sage 6 wt. in the fall.


This is where we set up the table for dinner & Les looked down to see a trophy sized fish
actively feeding. It was very tempting to "have a go" but decided that feeling slightly
unstable after a few drinkies, negotiating a steep bank of loose rocks leading to a deep pool
may not be the best of ideas, so had another drink instead with dinner.






Cannot locate pics to appropriate place ..... larger pic relates to where I broke my rod
& dunked my watch as well which died shortly after .... had always mistakenly thought it
was waterproof ....... fortunately the camera proved it was.



The pool where I found Les fishing & then discovered had earlier broken my rod earlier


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn ....... still doing it .......... might have to give up ........ seems as tho both pics
have same file number so keeps duplicating one or the other.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoops ..... just realised missed out a day or so before Nelson lakes area spent fishing
the Motueka river ( will put it down to old age )

The Motueka is reputed to hold the largest population of browns of all the Sth.Is rivers ...
was told last drift dive count tallied 570 per km in some stretches.

Be that as it may .... we found this did not mean they were readily caught & to our shame
only managed a couple of tiddlers.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

O.K. jump forward again to after the Rough river we moved to Larrys Creek
( not sure why it is called a creek as has a substantial flow of water ) enough to
give me a couple or more dunkings anyway on the large & often slippery rocks. I felt
slightly less geriatric when baby brother Les took a tumble or two as well.

It was here that those pesky sandflies were at their worst, swarms of the buggers
intent on biting any exposed skin not layered with insect repellent which would wash
off periodically anyway.

I can remember after being bitten a thousand or so times & lying in the water, waders
full of not freezing but very cold water after a dunking, murmuring to myself ........
"Happy Birthday Barry..... what a great way to spend it" as it was indeed my birthday.
The celebrations were not completed tho until later on put a 6" tear in my new gortex waders
climbing over a barbed wire fence !

Beginning to think it might be true what they say about me being accident prone.

Understandable no pics to remind about that little sojourn, particularly as we were camped
kms a rugged little used milling track that followed the river & went to start the motor next
morning only to hear a sickly ineffective response from the starter motor. For once in my life
I had the foresight to invest in a rechargeable jump starter unit altho when I got it out ( 3 weeks
from being charged ) Les said "No way will that thing start a diesel truck motor" which caused
me concern as he knows more about those matters having circumnavigated around Australia.

To my relief & his amazement we connected it to the truck battery turned the starter key to the
hear the very welcome sound of the motor starting. Was rather puzzled why the battery should
be low as was only a few months old ... nevertheless hoped a charge up would fix matters so
moved on to camp beside the Inangahua river after gaining permission from the farmer to drive
thru his land.


OMG ....... At first ... horror of horrors .... thought that was a bald patch but after recovering from
the shock finally realised it was a cap I was wearing!

Would have been more than happy to spend a few days fishing/exploring this locality
............ BUT

Next morning with baited breath tried the starter motor only to hear the same previous sickening
sound ..... once again the portable jump start unit came to the rescue much to my gratitude &
Les's wonderment, nevertheless we both agreed it had been a great $90 investment. With the
motor still running we both agreed we would need to get the problem sorted asap so packed up
& called into a local engineering workshop that had been suggested & kindly phoned by the wife
of the landowner .... perhaps to be pc that should read co owner.

The guy was ultra helpful & charged next to nothing for the time spent but after testing concluded
the problem lay with charging rather than the battery but anything further was beyond their resources
& would require an auto electrician ..... the nearest being at Greymouth so the decision was made
that there was no sensible alternative given the semi remote localities we intended to visit.

So ........ off to Greymouth it was


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