Kaitaia & Maitai

Back in Kaitaia for refreshment and recuperation.  We arrived at the RSA to find friends Brian & Marj already parked up there.  They were ‘stuck’ waiting for parts to arrive to fix a leaking loo.  Also at the RSA was another vehicle also awaiting parts for a brake problem, we soon met the owners Reg & Rima who along with our other travel companions made for a lively group in the RSA at happy hour.

We also needed a COF (Certificate of Fitness) for the van as well as an engine check and general overhaul.  We duly booked the van in for the COF with the maintenance check to be done afterwards – yes, we know it really should have been the other way round but that was just the way it worked out.  Both services were done quickly and efficiently and we were reunited with the van by lunch time with the wallet only taking a minor battering!

With all this extra fishing gear we seem to be accumulating (Kite, winches etc), we decided we really needed to put a roof rack on the RAV so we can easily store and access the equipment so it seemed logical to store it on the roof of the car,  particularly as we use the car on or near the beach. 

So how many men does it take to install the roof rack?  Just two – Brian came along to help out.

rsa 3rsa 4rsa 5rsa 1

Roof rack installed, now to figure out the best way of securely storing the necessary fishing gear. 

With that all done, and with the prospect of more rain on the way we made the decision to decamp to Maitai Bay whilst it was still relatively dry underfoot.  Meanwhile. friends Barry & Sandra had made contact as they were planning to fly up to Kaitaia in their plane to attend a funeral, however, their plans also changed as the weather forecast was not pretty, instead they drove up from Taupo.  We arranged to meet for a catch up the following morning in Kaitaia over breakfast.  It was good to catch up with them and hear all their news.

Just as well we made the decision to move when we did, as when we arrived and doing our usual walk through before driving to our preferred parking place, we noticed some very deep tyre tracks where it looked as though someone had recently got stuck.  We shall not name the culprits but we did end up parking along from where Brian & Marj were already parked! They say take photos and only leave tyre tracks but I don’t think they mean it literally Brian.

3Before the hoards arrived!

maitai 6maitai 7

After the rest arrived, from left Brian & Marj, Reg & Rima, Jim & Judy, the Vannini’s and just around the corner out of view is Gail.

An almost perfect rainbow out over the bay

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Since we were here last some very artistic? visitors had arranged a series of posts with stones and/or shells on top.  A little different from the usual stone pyramids.

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Now another conundrum for you? How many men does it take to tie a knot?  Apparently it take four!

maitai 2maitai 3

L-R Jim, Roy, Brian, Reg

Actually they were tying stoppers in the backbone of one of Jim’s long lines!!!

This time I did manage to remember to take a photo of one of the happy hour gatherings

maitai 8 maitai 9

L-R Roy, Gail, Judy, Marj, Brian (obscured), Jim, Rima and the back of Reg’s head.  Ha – got your front view Reg! 

I should add here that Reg & Rima had initially planned to head back to Auckland from Kaitaia once their vehicle was repaired, however, we persuaded them to come and join us for a day or two, which eventually stretched to ten days. Rima is almost as keen a netball fan as Bernice is,  they watched the games together adding their knowledgeable commentary to the games.  And Reg is a keen rugby league man so he and Roy watched the final.  Although no one took up our offer when we invited all to come and watch the All Blacks play South Africa, maybe it had something to do with the fact that the game was on at 3.30am?  We don’t know what is wrong with these people – us keen fans were up cheering (albeit quietly).

The lunar eclipse was on display in the clear skies over Matai Bay, this was a rare red lunar eclipse and I managed to get a few half decent shots of the phases of the eclipse, without the use of a tripod I might add.

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According to Wikipedia – A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes within Earth’s umbra (shadow). As the eclipse begins, the Earth’s shadow first darkens the Moon slightly. Then, the shadow begins to "cover" part of the Moon, turning it a dark red-brown colour (typically – the colour can vary based on atmospheric conditions). The Moon appears to be reddish because of Rayleigh Scattering (the same effect that causes sunsets to appear reddish) and the refraction of that light by the Earth’s atmosphere into its umbra.

Whilst stationary at Matai Bay, we took the opportunity to try our hand at Kite fishing off Tokerau beach.  We decided it was time for us (Roy & Bernice) to have a go at fishing by ourselves without assistance from anyone else so that we could be sure that we could actually manage the process by ourselves.  After a couple of goes, we seem to have managed the intricacies, the first time we only managed to catch a bit of weed, but the second time we could not work out why our line only went out about 500metres before it stopped.  It wasn’t until we winched it in that we discovered we had managed to catch someone’s discarded tangle of line which effectively became an anchor on our line.  However, the next time out, we did come home with a good sized gurnard and very good sized snapper.  At least we did not get our line stripped by a torpedo like Jim did – grrrrr.

Rima came along for a ride on our last venture out kite fishing – she did follow us along the beach in her vehicle on one previous trip.  However, after we had to tow her out of soft sand a couple of times, she decided it was safer to come along with us in our car.  But back to the fishing, whilst the line was out in the water, Rima and Bernice discovered a very plentiful tuatua bed in ankle deep water.  After collecting a 20litre bucket full, and leaving the tuatua  to spit out their sand overnight, the following day Rima showed me the easy, un-hand-stabbing method of opening the tuatuas!  We ate some raw, steamed open a pot full,  and I froze a good container full ready to share with family later this month. 

For those who do not know what Tuatuas are – here is a brief description; known as tuatua in the Maori language, Tuatua is a species of edible bivalve clam. It is found on all three of the main New Zealand islands, buried in fine clean sand on ocean beaches. The large shell is asymmetrical, with the hinge at one side. Its closest relative, the pipi has a symmetrical shell.

  Tuatua

Dried and salted, they also make good bait for fishing.

After 10 glorious days it was time to move on again, we had planned to move on in the morning, however, late afternoon on the Thursday it started to rain,  Roy and Reg went for a walk around the exit route to test the ground.  

maitai 5Walking in the rain

It was already getting very soft in places so instead of waiting until morning, we packed up and headed out to the exit to spend the night on hard ground before leaving for Kerikeri in the morning. And just as well we did move when we did as the ground was very muddy and boggy by the following morning. 

And if you were wondering where the bird picture was – here it is!

26_thumbA Tui covered in pollen from a flowering flax bush.  This was seen in the RSA car park in Kaitaia.

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3 Responses to “Kaitaia & Maitai”

  1. Michael Parish Says:

    Great photos keep them comin cheers mike and Bernadette

    Bernadette & Michael.

    >

  2. Sad News | The Vanninis' Manoeuvres Says:

    […] We first met Judy & Jim way back when we first started this motorhome lifestyle when we were in Gore and spent lovely time with them at Fortrose in the Catlins at the bottom of the South Island which you can read about here.  We have met up with them at numerous times over the ensuing years and spent some lovely time together, including our trip together to Cape Reinga and points inbetween including   Waharau Kaiaua Matai Bay Cape Reinga Rarawa Kaitaia.  […]

  3. A flying visit | The Vanninis' Manoeuvres Says:

    […] not the first time that they have visited, there was the time when we were in Takaka, Kaitaia and in Thames.  As well as us visiting them at their base […]

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