Archive for October, 2013


October 22, 2013

Just a quick update, we are still away from all communications and will be for another week or two at least! We have driven the 1hr 20mins from the cape to Houhora to get Internet/cell access. We are having such a great time, and the weather is stunning that we have decided to stay on……the fishing is not bad as the following photo will attest

Whilst Pat & Sue were off fishing off the rocks, I caught this beauty! Easiest fishing I have ever done, and it only took me 5 minutes.
Ok, I admit it, I swapped a fish from a local fisherman for a flat white coffee!! Amazing what a little charm can do 🙂

Back to work the rest of you, and back to the sun for us.

Off the grid

October 16, 2013

For the next week or so, we will be out of contact i.e. No cell phone, no Internet, no radio, but we will have TV reception! Yes, we are heading back up to the very top to Cape Reinga, this time to Spirits Bay and a few other places we missed last time. This time we will be traveling with Pat & Sue.

We hope to return with many tales of the abundant fish we caught, the efficient rain capturing devices all working and filling the tank at night – as it will only rain at night followed by lovely warm calm days, the great times, the BBQ’s…….well, you get the picture!

Water, water everywhere………..except here.

October 14, 2013

Some may think that we do little each day except for idly wander along beautiful beaches, check out local history and museums, throw the odd line in the water, sit around drinking and eating, or visiting markets, however the truth is that we do keep ourselves busy with all sorts of wee jobs. Our main focus this past week or so has been finding an efficient and effective way of harvesting rain water and somehow get it into our tank.

We have been mulling over this proposition for some time, you may recall that we purchased a bilge pump some months ago when we were in Whakatane. The problem we have is that the water tank requires mains pressure to fill as the water inlet is at the base of the tank, therefore any water going in to the tank has the pressure/weight of the water in the tank to force through. Until, a lightbulb moment, and yes, I (Bernice) will take full credit for thinking of it, the tank has two overflow pipes that exit the van at the rear, so open the locker which houses the large LPG tank and voila, there behind the tank within easy reach are the overflow pipes! There are two pipes one from each side of the freshwater tank. So we choose the pipe nearest the LPG tank. Next came all the ideas of how we would get the water to the pipe, this required some investigation.

20131015-111023.jpgsexy legs!

Lengths of hose, hose fittings, cable ties, and an inlet access point is placed next to the mount for the LPG tank so the next problem to think about is how we capture the water to get it into the tank. Plan A, B, C…….and a few more modifications are made. We can catch the water that flows from our spouting (see July 7 2013) in buckets, have the bilge pump in the bucket and have a hose running from the bucket to the tank inlet. But we can also utilise water caught on the awning, particularly if we angle the awning so the water runs to one corner, a funnel placed on that corner with a hose running to the tank inlet and job sorted. We make, we modify, we improve. Lists are made and shopping trip made into Kaitaia. The first improvement was made with the addition of a duel inlet to take the two hoses so both sources of water can be utlised simultaneously or singly.

20131015-111618.jpg dual inlet valve

Next, a larger funnel was needed to take the volume of water that comes off the awning, on a shopping trip we found some cloches that if inverted are good large cone shapes, complete with the perfect sized hole at the base for a hose coupling to be slotted in. Perfect, another piece of hose attached and into the tank goes the water. Now, we need to make sure debris does not work its way into our tank water, although we have a filter in place for our use in the kitchen supply, we need to keep out large particles of dust, dirt, leaves, insects etc. so a piece of filter cloth is stretched over the bucket used to collect water from the spouting. As well, in the funnel we have placed a small sieve lined with filter cloth. The water we pour in for testing purposes works brilliantly, now we need some rain. Therein lies the problem. We wait patiently, we watch the weather forecast, we see the rest of the country being battered by wind and rain…..and we wait! We are still waiting.

PS. Woke to rain this morning, however the wind was so strong that we could not have the awning out. As well, the wind was blowing the water gushing from the spouting everywhere except into the bucket!! Rain stopped by 9.30am, sun out, still windy though. Could someone with a direct line to the weather gods please arrange suitable weather for us please?

Quiet Sunday

October 13, 2013

What a way to start a Sunday. A mid morning brunch with Pat & Sue. A division of tasks and provisions was organised and set in place. I had made hamburger buns yesterday and had a few left over so they were toasted to provide the base for the bacon, poached eggs and asparagus that Sue provided, then this was all dolloped with warm, freshly made hollandaise sauce. To accompany this, we opened a bottle of bubbly; a Hunters Miru Miru of 1995 vintage topped with a bit of freshly squeezed Kerikeri orange juice whilst we toasted our good fortune to be living such a great life.

Pat & Sue ready to start.

A great way to start the week, or finish the week, depending on which view you take, sitting out in the warm sunshine, by the beach with great company, eating great food.

What made this Sunday particularly quiet is that I, Bernice, have lost my voice! Thanks to Roy for kindly sharing his bugs with me, I woke with a sore throat and no voice this morning. Oh well, I am sure it will return eventually to annoy all and sundry.

What a way to spend a Monday

October 8, 2013

How do you spend your Monday? Ours is usually spent the same way as every other day, poke the head out of the door to check on the weather, and then decide what shall we do today. Except for this Monday that is.

Roy has been battling a cold for a week, nothing too serious at the start but over the weekend he developed a nasty, rattly, hacking cough which was definitely not nice to listen to and I am sure was even worse for him. Unlike many of the male species, he does NOT suffer from ‘man flu’ and is just his usual self, no complaining or moaning, he just gets on with it. He seemed to be getting a bit better on Sunday evening but by Monday morning he was not sounding good at all. He was very short of breath and generally not looking well. So off into Kaitaia we headed and to a local doctor.

He got in to see the Dr fairly quickly. In Kaitaia the Dr’s surgery is handily located at the hospital along with many other local medical facilities such as blood testing and dentists. After having seen the doc, Roy was quickly ushered off round the corner for blood tests and X-rays before back to the Dr’s office for results. Then the Dr said he thought he heard something amiss with Roy’s heart, therefore an ECG was required. That was to be performed in the office next door, a knock on the door, enter, and greeted by hugs! Yes, it was indeed Wendy, Ann’s sister in law…small world. Anyway, back to the matter in hand, the ECG was done and yes, it showed 1. that Roy’s heart was racing and 2. it showed some evidence of atrial fibrillation. We were immediately taken around the corner for Roy to be admitted to A&E. After a bit of a lie down and a rest, another ECG was done, this time it showed that everything was fairly well normal again, as well, his breathing had eased a little, and his temperature had settled. Another bit of a wait, Roy slept. With evidence of the start of pneumonia, it was decided that the problem was more than likely the infection and the resulting coughing and wheezing that was stressing his heart a bit, and as things were settled for some time, an immediate course of intravenous antibiotics were administered. Here is the nurse administering the drugs.

20131007-214626.jpg ouch!

,Once drugs were administered, we were allowed to take him home with instructions ringing in our ears of lots of rest and prescriptions to be filled and administered.

All the while this was going on, friends Pat & Sue – who had driven us in – were waiting patiently for us at the library as they had kindly lent us their car whilst I took Roy to the Doctor. Little did they (or we) know that we would be away for so long. Mid afternoon, I did manage to sneak away and deliver their vehicle back to them so they could go and get their shopping done. They showed extreme kindness as well as patience in waiting for us, for which we sincerely thank them very much.

PS. It’s now. Tuesday and with a few good doses of strong antibiotics, he is looking and sounding one helluva lot better today. Now we batten down the hatches as we prepare for the strong winds and rain that are predicted.

Guess what’s for dinner?

October 5, 2013

Friday was the day for heading into Kaitaia to get a pile of chores sorted; which included grocery shopping, getting prescriptions filled, getting a haircut for Sue and I and numerous other bits of essential shopping which was duly all completed and by mid afternoon we were all back at Matai Bay in the glorious sunshine. Roy and Pat decided today would be a good day for having a go at fishing off the beach. So they duly sorted out their gear and headed off to throw their lines in the water. A couple of hours later they returned, Roy had caught a Kahawai early on and they had then used it for bait and then Pat landed this fellow.

So guess what’s for dinner tonight? Yep, snapper.


October 3, 2013

Yes, we really are truly sorry, but some of us have to wake up to this sight every morning!