Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Waiheke Snapper Fishing Pilgrimage

Every year, about this time, two keen sailors / fishermen take to the Hauraki Gulf in search of manhood, cold beer and snapper fishing. And so it was this year, the September Fishing Trip, short though it was, plied the waters at the bottom end of Waiheke Island (eastern end) in search of their elusive quarry.

Roger listening for fish at Anita Bay, Waiheke Island

Well, we got in a good sail on the Wednesday from Westhaven down to Man-O-War Bay. We arrived just on dusk, threw a couple of lines over the side and brought in a snapper each for dinner. Very nice. We had an Epic Pale Ale to celebrate and possibly another one... I'm pretty sure there was a pickled onion or two involved too. First night in the bag! John 1, Roger 1.

Next day up at the crack of dawn and fished Anita Bay. John 7, Roger 2. Hooks Bay for the night... I think every time I go here (and it seems really sheltered from a westerly wind, the wind howls in the rigging and I spend the night getting up repeatedly to check on our position.

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The 'bottom-end' of Waiheke is 20 NM from Westhaven, Auckland.

Friday we went back to Anita Bay and scored a couple of lovely snapper in the 32-35cm size. John 2, Roger 1. And as the day wore on, headed back towards Man-O-War Bay where we settled over the trench on the northern side. Good fishing spot! Roger 9, John 2. Roger was maxing out his daily catch and catching them 2 at a time! Of course we were eating the fish each night and collecting fillets and whole fish in the freezer, making sure we always were within the daily catch allowance. All good... very good.

We did try the new Shimano Lucanus lures too, and some softbaits. And we dragged a sparkling silver lure around Waiheke. Enough said.

Bait that worked... squid, pilchards, bonito, final score John 12, Roger 13. Looking forward to next year when we assail the Bay of Islands, all going to plan. Not sure what beer at this stage.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Northern Loop

Beautiful Saturday spring morning, ride in the offering, lawns to mow... later. The possibility of a run with the group via Hwy 16 to the Mangawhai Tavern for lunch was a temptation indeed!

Such a nice day meant that the roads were full of bikes, and also those who would stop said bikes and extract cash. No not me, but two of the group were stopped, one for alleged speed and the other for his number plate being on its side. 135km/hr is evidently too fast. I never would do something like that...

The Mangawhai Tavern.

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After lunch we returned via Puhoi - I have been there before, but there were so many bikes there, and real atmosphere. Along with all the bikes and bikers was a wedding - very weird... the coiffured and the great unwashed.

Bring on the summer!

Monday, September 1, 2008

My Blue Bottom

I have, or more correctly, my yacht has, a nice blue bottom - Seaport Blue to be exact. It's boat maintenance time and having done the engine a couple of weeks ago, it was time to tackle the anti-fouling and the zinc sacrificial anode, which means taking the boat out of the water.

This year I used the floating dock, and I can whole-heartedly endorse them as a great way to get a water-blast clean and easy access to your bottom over the weekend. [Ken on 379-0934 or 027-497-2039]

I managed washing, sanding, touch-ups, 3 coats of anti-foul, the sail-drive and folding propeller and some painting and touch-ups in the cockpit. I decided that the anode didn't need to be changed just yet, so I cleaned that off and we'll take a look at the end of summer.

I can report that I slept well each night :-)

Come 7:30 on a beautiful Monday morning we slipped off the dock and very nearly kept going out into the harbour, before I realised that I had better go to work... ha, oh well, I have my fishing trip to look forward to in a couple of weeks.