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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arrived back in town ready to buy a hot steak & kidney pie along with a thick shake for lunch when I noticed a sizable disturbance
going on in the town square. It transpired it was The McGillicuddy Serious party doing battle with Alfs' Imperial army both of whom
( I kid you not ) are legitimate registered political parties that delight in lampooning the regular parties proving lunacy in NZ is still
alive & well albeit sadly equally applicable to the policies of the regular parties.

The former have policies designed to form the country into a republic whereas the latter dedicate their efforts into maintaining the
status quo implemented dictated by the realm & no doubt would be supported by Blankday etc. as are Scottish in origin .... or maybe
it is the other way around.

Confrontation extends to doing battle with paper swords along with flour & water bombs whilst dressed in ridiculous uniforms.

The melee was still in full swing by the time I had finished lunch & was about to return "home" for a much needed late afternoon nap.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am going to do some shameless name dropping here by declaring due to unforeseen circumstances, also happening to be in the area,
we were fortunate enough to attend the no expense New Years' eve extravaganza party put on by James Cameron & wife.

They have chosen to live here in the South Wairarapapa in between producing / directing movies in the US & elsewhere such as "Titanic",
the " Avatar series of movies" "The terminator" etc.

Have just discovered the battery on my camera was near flat therefore has not recorded any of the shots taken but will see if I can "borrow"
one or two to post to this thread.

Needles to say, it was quite a do with an estimated 200 to 300 guests, endless food, as much top quality wines as you could drink, a band,
special effects, gifts & would estimate a staff of at least 50 making sure every need was taken care of, doubt if I/we will experience anything
like it again in our lifetime.

Found one ..... not a very impressive one admittedly & hopefully will be able to add a couple that the team of professional photographers took
that apparently will be sent to all the guests in due course.

A couple more albeit poor quality due to camera battery running flat, first one when about to leave for the event & it was taken early in the evening
before things got fully underway.

You may notice I am employing my much practised " best walk " just in case they are looking for a geriatric, pot bellied male sex symbol for the next blockbuster!

Next a blurry shot of one of the food serving areas after which the camera battery died.

Next day set off for home but as there were reports of road closures & traffic delays due to a number of fatal accidents
( not a very good start to the new year for many families ) we opted to have a stopover at a motel where this beautiful
1931 special edition Chrysler was parked outside a nearby unit.

Why is it that back then the various auto manufacturers produced quite distinctive models whereas nowadays they all look
almost identical & have to look at the badge to find out which company made it !
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Off to youngest daughters & SIL's holiday home in a couple of hours .... certainly is a busy time of the year.

Steve has just brought a boat so expect we will get out fishing once or twice.

Not all that hopeful of the results as unfortunately the area has & still is being plundered by commercial fishers
utilising 4000 hook long lines so intend taking the flounder net to set in the estuary in the hope of netting some flounder.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Decided to arrive at Cooks Beach a day earlier than planned in order to capitalise on the weather window due to close
in again on Friday.

Next day Steve was keen to get out fishing in his new boat but the wind was to prevent us from going too far out.

The estuary that boats launch from had struck me as likely flounder territory even tho had never seen any nets set
there so decided to give it a go by leaving a net set whilst out fishing or more appropriately going for a ride in the boat,
as sadly the once prolific fishing locality has been largely depleted, so like all the rest we returned back after 3 or 4 hrs
fishing without having boated a single fish.

On our return checked the net & found it held a nice sized flounder, so having established there were flounder to be had decided
to leave it out overnight.

Had wondered why, if there were flounder there then why were others not setting nets but was about to find out why when retrieving
it the next morning for :- It held 2 large parore ( which are a curse to remove from a net ) 1 X 295 mm snapper, an undersized flounder
then along with the usual debris, over 100 paddle crabs.

Anyone that has had paddle crabs tangled up in a net will know what a mission it is to remove them so when ashore lay the net out on a grass
reserve to begin the ordeal.

This involved iki spiking the crab to despatch it then laboriously tearing the legs off then manipulating the body clear of the entanglement
however was not long before that plan was well & truly thwarted.

My daughter who is an avid member of SAFE ( save animals from exploitation ) the folk that recently exposed the bobby calf scandal objected
to one of Gods' creatures being treated thus so was left with no alternative than to store the net back in its' box crabs et al & bring it back
home the next day, which illogically meant instead of a speedy despatch they were going to endure a lengthy expiration.

So this morning I had the un envious task of working my way along the net removing entangled crabs that were by now becoming decidedly
woofy. Paddle crabs have eight legs in total but it seemed as tho most of these had 20 or more judging by the time it took to break them all
off then extricate the remaining body.

About the only upside to the exercise was that I now have a burly bag full of crushed up paddle crabs.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Due to xmas etc. being so busy it seems like ages since I have had a chance to get out in my own boat & had
to pull the plug on a trip out Vinnie & I had planned yesterday because of the weather, so set out early this morning
to chance a brief slot of weather being forecast.

Conditions were ideal on the way out but was puzzled by a strange shape in the distance almost like an island that
had sprung up overnight. However as I got closer it became obvious it was an anchored cruise ship but was in a very
unusual location for a cruise ship. There have since been sketchy news reports of some sort of incident aboard the
"Celebrity Solstice" with a group of troublemakers arrested but totally unsure if there is any connection & if it was linked
to any type of terror attack.

It appeared it would be a day for unusual sightings when this Chinese junk sailed past in the distance.

The fishing was ok but were plagued by undersized fish disproportionate to the keepers then had a one hour plus wait
whilst the tide changed & the bites went slack. Managed to get a feed or two however the weather conditions were deteriorating
with a bristling SW wind against the tide which could be likened to being in a huge washing machine. Common sense prevailed &
decided it was time to call it a day when a heavy wave sent my sprawling colliding with the chair that then parted from its' mountings
under the impact.

The silver fish is a trevally which are primo as sashimi, the pink / silver are snapper a prime eating fish & the one with a slice missing
from its' tail that was used as bait is a kawahai known elsewhere as "sea salmon" & are a really hard fighting fish altho opinion is divided
re eating quality so is a case of either love em or hate em !

Broken seat.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After waiting for what has seemed an eternity the tides & weather forecast came together to at long
last suit a day out on the Kaipara.

Vinnie & self launched about 7 - 30 then set off to or normal fishing area setting the net on arrival in the hope of scoring
a few flounder. Initially when we began fishing we were being plagued by constant bites & hook-ups from sub legal size fish.
However it was slack water when most of the bigger fish go off the bite but once the current began to run the bigger fish
began to bite so the contents of the chilly bin began to grow. When the tide had dropped somewhat, with a good haul of fish
onboard we decided to try trawling for scollops. This was a first for Vinnie so he was full of beginners' anticipation of a mighty
haul, whereas I was silently less optimistic as on the occasions I have dredged that area the maximum tally from a haul was
maybe 7 or 8 & quite often zero so was expecting it would take quite awhile to have our daily limit of 20 ea. Kept the first haul
rather short, considering it to be a test run just to see if we were anywhere near where the tasty little critters were hanging out
so imagine my amazement when it produced 17 scollops ! Made the 2 nd haul a bit longer which scored us a further 27 making
the combined total in excess of our limit from only two short hauls, an unprecedented result for myself personally, particularly
as they were all a good size with only one a throw back.

Went ashore to collect oysters but stopped short of our combined limit of 200 as I was finding it too hard on my back. It appeared
the tide times advertised were an hour or so out of kilter so as we had run the bow of the boat onto the sand we had quite a lot
of time to kill before we managed to push the boat back into the water again. Went back fishing to use up enough time for the tide
to build to be able to retrieve the net but only managed two more fish for the bin.

It had been a very productive day overall & still had the net to bring in hopefully containing some tasty flounder.

17 X snapper
1 X large ky
3 X rays
40 X scollops
150 X oysters ( yellow bucket 1/2 full as well as those on the table )
2 X sharks

Unfortunately the results from the net proved far less successful with along with a heap of debris had zilch flounder & only
rubbish fish such as a small ray, a small shark, an undersize snapper however a major problem was encountered when we
caught sight of a massive ray threshing about after tangling in the net.

The threat presented by its' barbed tail lashing about left no alternative but to cut it free from the net & am sure most would
agree after viewing the pic below showing the 150 mm long barb along with a shorter supplementary one underneath. As well
as the barb which when lightly swung against a wooden pole embedded the point about 16 mm deep the entire length of the
tail had needle sharp spikes that on their own could inflict a lot of damage prior to having the barb driven deep into the flesh.

In the previous post it was mentioned that the drivers swivel seat was when bumped coming loose from its' mounting. It is held
in place by a 6 mm dia nylon strip which slides into a half 6 mm dia groove in the both of the housings holding the seat in place
but still allowing it to swivel 360 degrees. This had worked fine up until recently however it appears wear can occur causing the
housings to part similar to a clip on lid does on plastic containers.

In an attempt to make it functional once more I purchased 16 x 6 mm stainless steel grub screws for less than $10 then by putting
them in a cordless drill then presenting them to a bench grinder fashioned the ends into a 6 mm rounded end. These were screwed
in at regular intervals so as to engage with the inner 1 / 2 slot & am pleased to say it seems to be working better than ever plus if
it wears then the screws can be tightened.

Consequently am feeling rather please with myself for such an innovative seemingly successful repair.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow ... what a meal !

Have just enjoyed a feast of tempura parcels each containing 2 or 3 freshly caught NZ scollops washed down with
a good bottle of NZ sauvignon blanc.

Life certainly is good at this moment !

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has been so stinking hot therefore energy draining down here of late, it is proving difficult to get enthusiastic about
doing anything that requires effort, apart from blobbing out in the shade with a few cans of cold beer on hand.

Unfortunately this feeling has extended to fishing & does not take much of a reason to form an excuse to cancel or postpone a trip.

Yesterday was no exception despite having left the boat out already to go, went back to bed instead before finally half heartedly
pushing myself to make the effort eventually getting underway after much prolonged procrastination.

Anchored in usual spot which produced instant bites to a fault inasmuch as they were all eager little tackers that being undersize
had to go back. A couple of times had the rod bend over double with a mighty prolonged fight to follow prompting the thought "Ah
at last a monster" but each time they were what are called a "rat king" ie a sub legal size kingfish such as the one below.

The legal size for kingfish is 75 cm ( 30" ) but can reach almost twice that, reaching semi gamefish status, nevertheless the "rats"
invariably give a good account of themselves particularly on light gear.

Another occurrence that was leading to the false expectation of a heavy fish was when the rod would bend over, line would be taken
then after awhile the line would go slack. Took awhile until figuring out what was happening after observing a contingent of shags
( coromants ) hanging about noticing they would take turns at holding subsurface just out of sight then dive down to intercept the
bait which they seemed to have mastered the art of not getting their beaks hooked up. Likewise they would grab any fish being wound
in not to mention any undersize fish that was released alive & is amazing to see the size of the fish still wriggling & flapping that they
managed to work down their narrow necks.

It was the same scenario wherever I tried so finally decided I would return to the original possie & use up the remaining bait even tho it
seemed I was likely to only continue to feed small fish or alternatively the coromants. Had all but given up hope of avoiding the shame
of having blanked when in the final 30 mins a couple of just over legal size fish came aboard which will provide our evening meal tonight
however neighbours & friends who have surely come to expect fresh fillets whenever they notice the boat has gone out, sadly will not be
as fortunate on this occasion.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reckon the lyrical words of John Denvers' ballad "Some days are diamonds & some days of stones" in my experience
could aptly apply to fishing.

I have certainly had my share of "stone days" where everything seems to go wrong, in fact very seldom have a day where
there is not the odd "hiccup" or two.

However Tuesday despite having an assorted program of activities such as netting & scallop dredging along with more regular
forms of fishing the day against all odds proved to be a real "diamond day"

Since the last productive hassle free trip netting, almost every attempt has been a near or total disaster with the mesh getting
caught on just about anything it could but was not supposed to & even then when pulling it in, invariably seemed to be full of
rubbish along with the occasional non target fish. Reckon I am a slow learner but have come to realise the unwanted debris in
the water is heightened in volume by high tides and/or heavy rain.

With hopes of some success Vinnie & I set out early Tuesday morning. At last the tides seemed ideal, plus not only had there
been no significant rain for awhile but the net played out without getting caught up on the myriad of things it usually does &
set nicely in the current so was then off to do our regular fishing.

The fishing was a tad slow to start then began to gain some momentum with us catching a gurnard each which we had both been
lamenting the fact it was ages since either of us had caught one of these fine eating beautifully coloured fish.

Then we each caught a trevally which are prime fish for preparing sashimi which we are both fond of along with a slow but steady
number of reasonable size snapper including one monster that unfortunately broke me off. We had planned to dredge for scallops
then if successful, Vinnie ( who is a master chef ) had brought a portable gas cooker etc. with the intention that we would go ashore
to have a gourmet lunch of freshly caught & cooked scallops. The last time we were out we were ultra successful getting in excess
of our quota of forty in two short drags, however this time it was much harder nevertheless with persistent attempts managed to
score enough for our immediate needs. We were puzzled as to why we were getting far less per drag than on our previous trip concluding
it was most likely as we were using a significantly lighter chain than the anchor rope/chain used on the previous occasion to make
it lighter to haul back up but am inclined to think there was not enough weight for the dredge to sit well on the bottom.

Lunch ashore :- perhaps the only thing missing was a crisp white wine however our personal boat rule, of zero alcohol whilst at sea
ruled that out, nevertheless the cold bottles of sparking lemon drink Vinnie had brought went down well.

As can be seen there were zillions of oysters on the surrounding rocks but we elected to not add any to the pot for as happens at certain
times of the year they were not in prime condition so will wait until they fatten up.

After lunch we resumed fishing which once again was slow to begin with but after awhile continued to improve until we had our limit of
ten snapper each so was time to go & retrieve the net.

Hauling it in was relatively hassle free & was not long before we sighted a flounder or two to a total of about a dozen plus a couple that
fell free. What we did have as well were about 10 parore a vegetarian eater devouring mostly seaweed & suchlike. Opinion is divided as
to their eating qualities however many consider them preferable to snapper, particularly Asians & they are almost revered in Australia
where they are called blackfish fished for using a tiny hook baited with a piece of weed. Probably the reason they have been less accepted
here myself included, is that they have spikey top fins & razor sharp gills however as they get well caught up in the net we were committed
to take them in any event.

So we ended our "diamond day" with a total haul of :-

20 X snapper
2 X gurnard ( to the left of the scallops )
2 X trevally ( bottom left )
12 X flounder ( upside down otherwise would blend into background )
40 scallops
9 X parore ( between scallops & flounder )

After extracting the fish from the net we filleted a few parore & had to concede it did look quite appealing so Vinnie
took some to try, gave a coupleaway whole to Asian neighbours & the rest filleted then given to recipients without
telling them exactly what it was then will ask them how they found it altho an initial report declared it to be delicious.

So certainly was a "diamond day" as tides, weather, fishing etc. all fell into place then enjoyed a freshly harvested lunch
of scallops & had a heap of fish to provide a meal or two then give the rest away .... what more could we ask for ? A
couple of buxom randy blondes ( female ) perhaps but aah ... gotta be realistic I guess even if "dreams are free"!

By the way anyone inclined to think taking so much fish is irresponsible or greedy would like to say apart from keeping
enough for a couple of meals the rest is distributed free to worthy recipients such ass old folk that perhaps cannot afford
to buy fish or even if they can then cannot buy it anywhere as fresh. In fact there is a lot of work keeping it in prime condition,
filleting, skinning, boning, packaging then delivering. Nevertheless there is considerable satisfaction in being able to give
fish in prime condition to grateful recipients as a result of being involved in an activity I totally enjoy.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If last weeks trip out was a "diamond" day then to even things up today proved to be a "stones" !

Set out from the ramp pre dawn & watched the sun come up in its magnificent fiery furnace like early morning colours.

It was Eddies' first fishing trip out in a boat so was hopeful it would be a memorable occasion for him & it certainly seemed
as tho it was going to be when a fish was brought on board within a minute of the bait hitting the bottom. However it proved
to be marginally undersize & little did we know that was to the pattern for the day.

It certainly was not for the want of trying, as made the most of the calm conditions by travelling long distances to try a variety
of spots but everywhere seemed to be the same ie undersize fish despite an occasional heavy hit that failed to hold on.

As the day wore on the heat became exhausting & winding in undersize fish, re baiting then repeating the process became increasingly
frustrating as well as energy draining.

After several hours fishing ,apart from a couple of koheru all we had to show for our efforts was one singular legal size fish.

Eventually we decided that it was time to concede defeat & head for home.

Guess Eddie was not impressed with his first day boat fishing but other than that, it had been a pleasant enoughday out on the water.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usually whenever possible try to avoid taking the boat out on weekends due to the chaos at the ramps & the
boating idiots out on the water. However Saturday was the only window of opportunity with recent stormy torrents
of rain along with the possible side affects of the then impending cyclone Winston that has now hit Fiji causing

So Vinnie & I launched the boat on a lesser used ramp on the Kaipara where thankfully there were only half a dozen
or so vehicles with boat trailers parked there. It is a rather tricky making sure to follow the marker poles indicating
the river bed that forms the channel out to deeper water as going aground on a sandbank on a falling tide can mean
a long wait until the water depth starts to build again, by which time the marker poles may no longer be visible due
to falling light, heavy rain, fog or mist etc. I have a gps & route plotter installed but being technology challenged do
not know how to operate it. Anyway getting out was not a problem as was high tide but getting back caused some
concern given it would have to be early evening leaving little margin for error, however as it happened there were no
problems & we arrived back at the ramp well before falling light.

Our decision not to bring the flounder net proved quite fortuitous on sighting the amount of debris coming down the
river as a result of the recent heavy rain so had brought the mullet net along instead, with the thought of setting it
close to where we intended fishing & presumably away from the main flow of rubbish .... or so we thought.

After setting the net went out to fish seemingly hitting the jackpot from almost the word go with a respectable size
fish coming aboard in less than a few minutes. As can be seen in the background the conditions weather wise for that
day were near perfect.

After a short wait the action proved fast & furious with a constant catch of good size fish being brought aboard until
the coloured water from the rivers started to flow into our vicinity. Was about this time I was spiked on the palm of
my hand from a spike from the dorsal fish of one of the fish whilst removing the hook.

Now as anyone that has been fishing with me will attest I am very accident prone ( some would call it stupid ) & cuts,
spikes, bruises etc. on each trip ... nevertheless to the amazement of many have always healed quickly so had become
rather complacent. This time the spiking felt different to normal inasmuch as was very painful & began to cause concern
when shortly afterwards the area around the spike began to turn purplish blue. Stories abound about individuals that have
suffered the effects of a fish spiking that have resulted in serious problems with long term hospital care & even in rare cases
amputation, so must admit to being more than a trifle concerned. Fortunately despite never having had the need to use it,
carry a first aid kit aboard so tipped out the contents to see what might be appropriate. Settled on an alcohol sterilisation
patch held in place by a couple of waterproof band aids ( courtesy of Vinnie ) bound with bandage then a cotton glove over
that for some unknown reason had been on the dashboard & served the purpose of holding everything in place with the further
use of safety pins to keep it in place.

Wearing a glove along with trying to keep it dry as much as possible made releasing fish that had swallowed the hook or tying
knots ultra difficult that task fell on Vinnie who without exception obliged admirably.

We had intended dredging for scallops at low tide in order to kill time in pursuit of the tasty creatures but when about to set up
to do so realised it would be rather difficult considering we had left the scallop dredge back home in the garage.

Therefore as the wind direction along with the tide time were not conducive to going ashore we resumed fishing but could only
interest smallish fish apart from the occasional exception plus Vinnies notable accomplishment of boating two gurnard, one of
which was a impressive size .... but no pics ..... why ???

About this time to ad interest we agreed on a $10 wager going to the person that caught the biggest snapper over 50 cm & was
beginning to count my short change when Vinnie brought on board a sizeable specimen but I like the fish was "let off the hook"
when it measured marginally over 495 mm but nevertheless under 50 cm

We reached our combined limit of 10 snapper each so decided to go retrieve the net & attempt an earlier than scheduled return
to the ramp. Was then we realised just how much rubbish must be being carried down the river when we discovered the net buoys
close together indicating the anchors had dragged under the pressure of the current on the debris caught in the net so elected to
haul it on board rubbish & all but fishless apart from a spotty shark. Vinnie subsequently generously offered to take the net home
( which he did ) & return it minus all the rubbish.

So all things considered it was a very successful day albeit a long one without any major calamities arriving home well before our
previous ETA.

Filleted my share of the fish early this morning & had my theory of the flesh texture of fishing from the East to the West coasts
in Auckland ( they are less than 50 km apart at this point. ) is significantly different for whatever reason. Altho they taste much
the same the East coast fish undoubtedly have firmer texture whereas their west coast cousins have less firmer flesh often leading
to rather scraggly looking fillets when filleting the skinning, hence the current interest in googling Thai fish cake recipes.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had expected this report would have been coming from the Chatham Islands as that is where I thought I would be
around about now.

The Chathams are part of NZ but yet worlds apart in many ways. They are situated about 800 kms east of Christchurch
making them the first inhabited land to see the sun rise or set each day. They consist of eleven Islands with only two
being inhabited by a combined population numbering 600. The fishing is legendary altho traditionally largely unsophisticated
mostly using rope lines for hapuka & cod etc. Tonnes of crayfish ( spiny lobster ) are caught & are along with farming a mainstay
of their economy. Likewise paua ( NZ abalone ) are prolific along with the hunting of various species of wild animals including
pigs, wild sheep & cattle etc.

Anyway it has been high on my bucket list of places to visit for a long time now but unfortunately is relatively expensive place to
visit therefore each time it is being seriously considered, other destinations take precedence due to being more affordable. Had
reached the stage of having to decide if I really wanted to go enough to "bite the bullet" re the cost or flag away the notion entirely.

In the course of investigating the options discovered March / April are closed season on crayfish so as a couple of gourmet meals
of fresh crayfish were a high priority then those two months were ruled out of contention. Will not be back from China until some
time in May so will have to see what the weather is likely to be doing in the Chathams about that time.

Last edited by Bazza on Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reckon most of us have had a trip where everything that could go wrong does just that I probably
have more than most & have just returned from the latest.

Had cancelled a fly fishing trip last week due to the weather & the rivers being high so was rather
peed off when the forecast for area the trip had been rescheduled predicted thunder, lightning , rain
etc. so looked as tho would need to postpone yet again.

However come Sunday the conditions appeared to be decidedly settled so hurriedly packed gear into
the motorhome setting off about mid to late morning. Was an uneventful trip down, arriving about 3 pm.
however when I went to drop off fish fillets to the farmer as I try to do each time, found they were not
home so left them in a freezer in their shed leaving a note on the front door accordingly. Was negotiating
the series of gates around the milking shed on the way to the river when a young lady approached in her
car to ask what I was doing. Explained I had standing permission to drive down to the river anytime which s
he accepted saying she was a temporary sharemilker employed whilst Daryl & Ros were away.

First hiccup happened when a narrow gateway was blocked by a train of mobile feeding troughs that posed something
of a problem until I figured out away of maneuvering the last one allowing a barely adequate negotiable passage way.
Once thru made a mental note that if it began to rain would be a good idea to exit pronto before it became too muddy
to prevent sliding into a fence post or suchlike. After parking the motorhome went to have a peep at the river but as
I approached was sure that I could hear voices. This was confirmed a minute later arriving at the river to find a guide
in a raft with two clients on board who looked Japanese but in any event had no doubt disturbed the water considerably,
as they were casting rapid fire working the water almost into a froth wherever the guide pointed to as being a prime spot.

Was nothing I could do about that except accept the fact so went back to the motorhome to leisurely setup ready to fish
& as expected by te time I returned to the river they had moved on. Was very encouraged to hook into a fish on my third
cast but was no monster & it got off in any event. Likewise about 15 mins hooked a better size fish albeit rather dark rather
than silver however lost that as well so not a very good record up until then. Did manage two fish to the bank before calling
it a day however they were not as large or as hard fighting as normal but have been told this is often the case when fish have
used a lot of energy combating fast flowing flooded rivers.

Enjoyed a dinner of meatballs along with the drinks whilst cooking to salve a mighty thirst then accompanying the meal then
opted for a relatively early night but was still rather too hot in the motorhome to sleep but accepted if I lay there long enough
then would eventually fall into the land of nod, but little did I know unfortunately that was not to be. Normally Daryl arranges
to keep the cows in a different paddock to the one camped in but obviously the relieving sharemilker was not aware of this &
had allowed them into the paddock I was in which I did not think would be too much of a problem but was about to be proven
wrong again. At a certain time at night became aware the cows were amusing themselves pushing over the outdoor camping
table & chairs ( thankfully had not left the plates, cutlery & glassware out as often do ) so brought them inside.

Having been deprived of that source of amusement they then busied themselves, pushing, chewing on the outside of the m/home
whilst others busied themselves adjusting the wing mirrors, windscreen wipers or whatever. One of my jandals was missing from
where I left them outside the door so presumed one had eaten it however found it some distance away next morning after it had
no doubt served as the object of a game of bovine touch football.

I subsequently discovered that if a large group formed around the motorhome then blasting the horn sent them scarpering en masse
only to return again at increasingly shorter periods having decided that game was a lot more fun than playing touch football with my
jandal. At one stage noticed a light was shining on the ground at the front of the motorhome & on further investigation discovered the
cab door was ajar so door light was on .... surely they could not have opened it but given the concentrated licking being engaged in
guess it was not impossible.

Was about then the real problems begun when on checking on the door light found all the ignition lights on the dashboard were on &
I could not switch then off even by removing the keys. Was concerned the battery might be losing power so tried starting the motor
which to my relief jumped into life. Having managed to get it to start then found out there was no way to stop it apart from stalling it
in gear whereupon all the ignition lights would stay on even with the keys removed. To further complicate matters the 3 way fridge freezer
will not run on lpg whilst the ignition is on so that needed to be switched off rather than risk further depletion of power having it run off
the battery. Naturally all this feverish activity was hugely appealing to the bovine congregation, who normally would not be treated to
such entertaining nocturnal antics by a crazy human & would have to be content with munching on grass.

Tried to get some sleep but lying awake wondering what mischief the cows were up to whilst worried about how much power was being
drained from the battery/s, what best to do about the problem, is not particularly conducive to falling asleep so about 2 - 30 am decided
to drive in the dark across the paddock to where there was an electric fence I just might find the solution. Managed to find an opening so
by dropping the electric tape drove thru stopping on the downside brink of a slope then half asleep put the fence back up.

OK most problems should now be over namely :- Cows were on other side of electric fence & the motor could be jump started by running
down the slope if not enough crank battery starter power.

Right should be able to get some well earned sleep now .... think again buddy as after so much hyper activity mind is still racing so sleep
does not come easy. Nevertheless must have fallen asleep at some time because was awakened before daylight by the sound of rain on
the roof fuelling the fear of being stuck, even if managing to get the motor started & was then when getting up to check the ignition lights
felt something gooey underfoot which was actually an uncooked omelette on the carpet as a result of a carton of eggs falling out of a food
cupboard when traversing the rough terrain in the dark.

Lay awake until daylight to find the rain had abated so prepared breakfast managing to spill some milk on the carpet to go with the egg
residue after cleaning up the mess so decided might as well go fishing. The river was fairly high so for once common sense prevailed &
resolved not to attempt crossing the river particularly as the bottom could have changed significantly from the recent flood, but this
effectively meant missing out on 50% of the water normally fished. Hooked two fish losing one of them.

After thinking things thru came to the conclusion best to quit whilst ahead if the series of mini disasters could be considered as such so
motor started & headed off on an alterative route out which was marginally steep & slippery but was handling it ok until coming across
some electric fence tape on the brink. So had to stop take the tape down wondering if there would be enough traction to get over the
final hump which thankfully there was, so tape back up & on my "cheerful" way.

Have great respect for the mechanics in country repair garages as unlike their city counterparts they deal with such a wide range of repairs
their ability to fix almost anything is legendary, so detoured about 20 kms in the opposite direction to where one had existed, only to find
it had closed down so turned back again headed for home. At this point was trying to think what could be causing the ignition problem
reasoning that it probably is due to a malfunctioning solenoid that with diesel motors cuts off fuel to the injectors to switch off or to start
& if so then most repair shops unlikely to have a spare part in stock so probably best to head for home. Began to rain again so switched on
the wipers to find they would not work .... those bloody cows maybe ???? So here I was faced with a 5 hr drive in the rain, wiperless &
dead tired to boot craving a drink .... far from a sensible combination.

Rang a friend who was a 1/3 of the way in the direction of home & arranged to stay until the morning when I could start out afresh., having
enjoyed a drink or two in the interim Early next morning tried the motor & it started so all looked good to the extent I left the fridge/freezer
running off the battery for the next couple of hours or so, which was enough to drain the crank battery into a no start situation.

OK as a paid up member time to ring the AA & wait for them to send out a repairman with a jump start unit which duly arrived & with the aid
of his booster unit the motor started. Was then I demonstrated to him how I could turn off then remove the keys & the motor would still run
deciding I might as well keep them in my pocket .... that is until I reached the first corner ending up on the other side of the road with the
realisation that removing the keys causes the steering wheel to lock.

Rest of the way home was relatively uneventful altho driving much of the way in the rain without wipers is not a lot of fun, nevertheless
arrived back having avoided the worst of the rush hour traffic & the motorhome is now parked outside with the battery terminals disconnected.
Went to a diesel mechanic repair shop this morning & am booked in for Monday hopefully when the problem will be remedied without costing

Plans Vinnie & I had for an overnight trip taking the motorhome with the small boat on the back, along with him towing my larger boat with
his wagon proposed for this week has meantime been put on the backburner pending developments.

Last edited by Bazza on Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel for you Bazza but that was very entertaining. Very Happy As a farmer I worked for in NZ said to me once - "This country ain't for pussies" Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BristolFlyer wrote:
I feel for you Bazza but that was very entertaining. Very Happy As a farmer I worked for in NZ said to me once - "This country ain't for pussies" Smile

Probably hundreds if not thousands of such stories BF & below is one a mate sent me that happened in the 60 s' followed
by an account of my first such experience way back in the 50 s' .........

While this was fun to read sitting on a soft cushioned chair it must have the dead opposite for you. Reminds me of a sixties
hunting trip to the Ruahines in from Dannevirk with a wellington friend who was the proud owner of a brand new Porsche that
had the first metallic paint I had ever seen. We parked it at the end of the road in a fenced off part of the road reserve and
left for the hills. When we returned 2 days later the little paddock was full of Hereford steers which had not only licked every
inch of the car but also rubbed themselves with their hides full of dried dung in which sand and small stones were embedded.

To make it worse this paint was unavailable in NZ at the time and had to be imported from Germany taking weeks.

The ill-fated Porsche came to a sudden end when my friend hit a black bull on the Desert Road shortly after it was repainted ....
I can still recall the picture of the smashed car and the dead bull on the front page of the Truth Mag.


Yeah Herb reckon there must be a whole raft of such stories like yours & mine but yours probably the only one involving a 60 s' model Porsche.

Seem to recall my first was as a teenager having moved on from motorbikes due to them being relatively non conducive to forming relationships
with the fairer sex & became the proud owner of a well used 1936 ford 10 model "Y"

As with most cars of that era it had rubber clad running boards, the main purpose of which seemed to serve as a foothold in gangster movies, for
the cops or alternatively the baddies to cling onto the window frames whilst engaging in a gunfight with their free hand, whilst either pursuing or
trying to escape from each other as the case might be.

Anyway with the optimism bestowed upon youth used to tear off all over the country without any thought of it ever breaking down until it eventually

Was returning from a trip to the BOP with a couple of cases of apples on the back seat that farming relatives had given us to take back to the folks
in Auckland. Can remember it was just south of Tirau that it broke down but cannot recall why, other than could have been a broken axel which was
a relatively regular occurrence back then. A nearby farmer kindly let me leave my pride & joy on his property whilst I returned to Auckland to my
job then decide what to do about restoring the little puddle jumper to mobility.

My folk were away on holiday as it happened but a kindly uncle offered to drive me down then tow me back which we did in due course. Meantime the
cases of apples had been subjected to being confined inside a hot car for a week in the heat of summer.

Consequently they were on their way to doing their best to turn into cider ,with the resulting juice oozing out onto the running boards. This proved
irresistible to a group of free roaming pigs to the extent they devoured all the juice soaked rubber cladding, along with sections of the door seals.
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