Directional problems, Kai Moana aka Fortrose

Friday 28th October

Underway this morning, plans originally were to leave Gore, backtrack toward Te Anau to the go down the westernmost road through Monowai and Tuatapere to end up at the coast BUT……

Whilst staying at Gore, we met another couple Jim & Jude, who seem to have a similar story to us; they had a B&B, sold that, went on a bit of a trip to Europe, now live full time in their bus called “7 day weekend”.  Jim & Jude headed off yesterday to Fortrose as Jim wanted to do a bit of flounder fishing.  Jim apparently invited us to come and join them, so instead of leaving Gore and heading right, we turned left and headed toward Fortrose which is along the coast from Invercargill and is the start/end of the Catlins.

tulips 1

What’s all that colour over in those trees?

tulips 2


tulips 4

Are we back in Holland?? No, fields of tulips between Edendale and Seaward Downs.

We arrived in Fortrose and parked up along the estuary, and funnily enough we met up with two other couples that we had met at the Rally in Tapanui.  Pleasantries exchanged, we agreed to meet later for the obligatory happy hour.

parkedVan parked up at the estuary.

When we arrived Jim was about to set a net for flounder in the estuary.  So he and Roy waded out and anchored the net in an appropriate spot where we could keep an eye on it.  Then they took off to have a look at the whitebaiting at the mouth of the estuary.

at the mouthWhitebaiters at the mouth

Some of them were up to their armpits in the water where they were contending with the incoming waves as well as a strong incoming tidal current.  Not necessarily the safest occupation!

whitebait 1And the haul.

After they returned we went for a drive to the top of the headland overlooking the estuary entrance where there was a golf course.  On the seaward side of the golf course there was a row of trees which gave a good indication of the prevailing wind direction.

windswept 2 Windswept trees on the golf course boundary.  Estuary in the background.


18th hole  Its a hard life in these conditions

We had called over to Jim & Jude’s for a glass or two before dinner, when the guys noticed that the buoys on the net could no longer be seen.  The net had been dragged along the estuary down towards the entrance.  Whilst trying to figure out how to best rescue the net, a couple of whitebaiters came to the rescue, one had a small boat that he and Jim launched and went off to rescue the net, in exchange Roy stayed with the lady and helped whitebait along the shore. 

edgingRoy “edging” for whitebait.


The net, a tangled mess, was duly rescued.

net nestand this is what it looked like.  There is a red cod in there!

We then set about trying to untangle the net and also release the Red Cod that had been caught.  Roy & I spent the next 30 minutes or so, carefully untangling the net and sorting it all out (must be all that patience learnt doing jigsaws!).  Meanwhile Jim filleted the red cod as we felt that was only fitting that we give half of it to the whitebaiters in thanks for their assistance.

Roy was lucky enough to be given the whitebait that he had helped catch, there was plenty enough there for a decent patty or three.  I have to say that I have never cooked whitebait that fresh before, so fresh in fact that even after mixing it with the egg, the whitebait were still jumping, and even when they hit the pan, they were wriggling for some time as well!

It seemed only fair that Jim and Roy enjoyed the fruits of their labours

whitebait for twoOne patty, covered the whole frying pan,  big enough for two.


susset and finally a lovely sunset on the estuary.


Dawned a windy but fine day with little cloud in the sky.

Roy went early morning walking onto a beach at the back of the golf course.  It appeared to be a good spot for fishing and with an off shore wind a good opportunity for kite fishing.

sunriseBeach at dawn

After everyone was up and about a discussion ensued as to the best place to go kite fishing.   Some local people recommended that a beach further round than the one below the golf course was much more accessible.  So Jim and Roy took off to see what they could catch.

Frasers beachFrasers Beach

It was a beautiful day with a good offshore breeze, no shelter from the sun, but shelter from the breeze as we were below a ridge which ran along the beach.  After several hours we had launched three different kites, the first two proving too small in the breeze.  Finally we had the third one well out beyond the breakers in a current running, from the rocks at the beach end, parallel with the beach.   A great place for catching the passing shoals.  No such luck!  The baits were not even touched,  and then to top it all off the kite plunged into the water when we were retrieving it and it took some time to get it out.  So no fish for four hours of effort.  Hungry and thirsty we made it back to the camp, sunburnt as well.  Fortunately, Bernice thought that the fish quota may not have been filled so a bacon & egg pie awaited the hungry fishermen.

By this time it was low tide so Roy decided to try his luck gathering a few cockles aka clams with much better success.  An acquaintance of Jim & Jude had also lent them a whitebait net, so undeterred, the two blokes went off to try their hand at white baiting, with even more success.

  cockles 3

In the pan

cockles 1 

Dinner ready, Clams with linguine and a parsley, anchovy, caper dressing. Oh, the whitebait fritters were consumed for entree before we remembered to take a photo!!

cockles 4


A slow day after the busy day yesterday, the red sunburnt faces being kept out of the sun and wind today.  Bernice & Roy went for a drive to Tokanui, in the hope of getting a paper.  We are missing the ODT and we try and get  the Saturday edition so we can do the cryptic crossword.  However, no luck, so back to the van where we were met by a local farmer selling fresh free range eggs – great entrepreneurism, what is the one thing whitebaiters need?  Eggs for the fritters! 

Roy had been told of a better place to get clams, so off he went, but 5 minutes later returned.  Why?  He had a full bag of clams.  We split his spoils with Jim & Judy, as they had not tried clams before.

Jim and Roy decided to try their luck again white baiting, meanwhile Bernice broke out the wool and knitting needles.  After an hour or so, Bernice went out to check on the men, and spent the next hour or so, wandering along the beach with them, retrieving their catch from the net and cleaning out any strays.  1.4kg of whitebait later, we split the spoils.

 cockles 2

Clams linguine with tomato, red onion, coriander and a balsamic dressing.

Again an entree of whitebait fritters and the rest portioned off and in the freezer for another day.


Time to head into Invercargill, as there is no phone or internet connection here and as it is the end of the month, it is time to get accounts sorted, bills paid and a general catch up.


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