Archive for October, 2015

Time spent at Matai Bay

October 27, 2015

I am becoming really slack at this blogging lark, I never remember to take photos and there seems to be enough to do in a day to keep me busy.  Of course this past few weeks has meant some very early mornings to watch rugby games, some mornings it has been a 2am start through to the 4am and 5am starts.  Up until the quarter finals we have had a few people joining us to watch it live on Sky, however as the tournament has progressed then All Black games have been broadcast on free to view TV which for me has meant, no need to get out of bed to watch the games as we also have a TV in the bedroom, and without others joining us I don’t have to get up and get dressed! Roy and I also enjoy watching all the games, not just the All Blacks, so it has been a bit of some early morning marathons.  In between the rugby there has also been the Netball to watch, and what with fishing and/or chores to do during the days, sleep has been in short sharp bursts!!

We did not go out fishing over the long weekend though, as there was a fishing tournament on in the area, which meant there was a large number of boats out and about. We are just a little nervous these days about lots of boats around our kite lines, so best to wait until everyone else returns to their working lives.  Although, that does not mean we have been without out fish, we have been given some snapper from some fellow motorhomer said, and other friends gave us some lovely fresh bluenose.  Then the other day campers who were in for the weekend gave us a lovely crayfish.


Crayfish just out of the pan


Enjoying every last tasty morsel.

We have managed to get a few jobs done on the van that we have been meaning to do for a while.  One was to install a shelf along the back of the two seater which tidies up that area nicely…..of course I have not taken a photo of it but I will do at some stage.  Outside we have gained a locker,  one of the external lockers contained a radio and CD player, speakers, iPod dock,  TV aerial and plug in point plus a 12v plug – the only thing we have used – we do not need to broadcast our choice of music to all and sundry, unlike some with their “doof-doof” music played loudly for all to suffer.  Anyway, we have now removed the entertainment section and gained another locker, which was quickly filled with the rest of the tools and other essential bits that were scattered in various hides holes throughout the van.  I have also had the labelling machine out so now everything is suitably labelled.  The screen door latch has been fixed – it was not catching properly.  The fishing gear has been tidied and refined and a few other odd jobs have been done.

We are now in Kaitaia for a day or two as we get some maintence work done on the van, then we will be heading back out to Matai Bay and its environs to continue relaxing and fishing.

Fixing, fritters and fishing 

October 21, 2015

It’s so nice to be back at Matai Bay, relaxing in the warmth and sunshine and generally keeping ourselves busy with one thing or another. 

 First on the list was a trip into Kaitaia to pick up the replacement fishing kite, line and accoutrements and also to check on mail that was being forwarded to us at Kaitaia as well as catch up with extended whanau.   The parcels were duly retrieved from the courier depot then it was back to the van and the beginning of getting our lines sorted.

 This is what the damaged kite line looks like when it’s removed from the reel.

Next  it was the task of joining the last of the old line onto the new line and wind the line onto the reel.  The traces (these are the short lengths of line with the hooks at one end and clips to attach to the dropper rig at the other end)  were put onto the trace rack and a few new ones were tied.  Now it was time to try it all out and a trip to Tokerau Beach was in order, as if the fish weren’t biting, we knew that there are plenty of tuatua (shellfish) to gather in the shallows.  

No fish were harmed in that expedition but the kite and line all worked perfectly and there were  plenty of tuatua gathered.  The shellfish were left in a bucket of sea water overnight so that they purge themselves of any sand, as there is nothing worse than eating gritty fritters.  Sue and I made two batches of fritter mixture using two different methods and recipes – one an Al Brown recipe and the other Lauraine Jacobs recipe with Lauraines  version getting the thumbs up from us all.

  Sue wondering who ate all the fritters?

Another day and we headed off to another beach close by to try our luck fishing (we can’t tell you where as you would all want to go there) this time with much more success, with good sized snapper being caught and brought home, and a barracuda returned to the sea to swim again.  Of course you will have to take my word for it as we were so busy living in  the moment we forgot to take any pictures. 

However, another day and we returned from a mornings fishing and with 6 snapper, this time I remembered to take a photo of the fish.

Shame I neglected to take a photo of our delicious dinners the past few nights though, they were pretty damn good even if I say so myself!

Back to Matai Bay

October 13, 2015

We left Uretiti last Wednesday as we needed to get a CoF (certificate of fitness) in Whangarei, we got there by 10am and joined the queue with us being 5th in line.  Four and a half hours later! we left VTNZ with our CoF but with a couple of jobs on a to do list before our next CoF is due.  We ended up staying two nights in Whangarei, staying at the Hatea Bridge parking area, or Tippy Bridge as it is known locally, catching up on jobs such as hearing aid checks for Roy, pedicure for me and some shopping.  We also managed to catch up with fellow motorhomer Frederick and his partner Ursula as he was  on a break from his camp manager job at Port Jackson on Cormandel.  We hadnt seen him since his brief stint at Shakespear so it was fantastic to catch up.

Next stop was Kerikeri for a couple of nights and a quick catch up with Roy’s cousin Stuart before heading northto glorious Matai Bay.  We did make a quick sojourn into Kaitaia to book the van in for some maintenance which will be done in the next couple of weeks, then it was out to the Bay to settle in for a couple of weeks.


Next on the agenda will be some fishing, hopefully some catching too.

Uretiti and a bother!

October 6, 2015

We have been at Uretiti just over a week now, and it’s just about time to move o and we will move tomorrow, initially to Whangarei where we ned to get a COF (Certificate of Fitness) for the van.   But back here at Uretiti we have tried our hand at fishing again and the weather was just perfect on Sunday for a day on the beach.

A glorious day

Time to send out the kite, this was our newly reskinned kite that we had only just got back from the kite maker after our previous mishap of shredding it to pieces, the pictures of that are here.  Whilst waiting for the kite to take our line out, I noticed something rolling around in the surf…

On closer inspection, it was a baby seal having a nice snooze in the shallows.  We just hoped that it was not scaring away all the fish.

We set the line out about 1.5km and settled back to await the snapper that was bound to be taking all the bait on the line.  Roy even went for a bit of a paddle

However, things don’t always go to plan and today was not going to be any different.  All of a sudden the line became very taut and the reel was pulled forward, oh dear, what was going on here, have we caught something really big….yes indeed, we certainly had caught something big – a speeding boat!!! Although it did not seem to slow the boat down, all of a sudden, the line went slack and the kite disappeared from view.  It seems the boat caught the line twisted it a zillion time before the line broke, releasing the kite, the dropper rig, the baited traces (and any fish that just happened to be on there).  Bother, or words that effect.

We hauled in what remained of the line with the last 500m of it coming back very twisted, stretched and abraded. 

The ruined line looking very pale and the worse for wear. Now we just have to set about sorting out replacing it all. Heavy sigh, what a nuisance!


October 6, 2015

I know, I know, still catching up on Melbourne blogs before we get back to some semblance of a “normal” routine. 

So just a quick update of some of the wildlife encountered on our recent trip.  First there was the Koalas nonchalantly sitting up a tree…and no, they weren’t   K..I..S..S..I..N..G as the old school ground taunt goes.  These Koalas were in some trees in a layby just off the road on our way to they Great Ocean Road, most of them were sleeping but I did manage to capture this one having a scratch.


Our next encounter was with birds, of all shapes sizes and colours


12   13


14  15

These colourful natives were all found in laybys on the side of the main road and fed out of our hand with the food that our guide supplied.

On our walk into the Otway forest, we came across another native, this time a snail, completely black and also carnivorous19This is a picture off the information board, however we did find one along our walk but I forgot to photograph it.