Better luck next year

on February 23, 2014

My first ever fishing competition didn't quite go as planned. We were soooo organized - but failed miserably in our execution. We had our alarms set for Friday 2am - but after a hard week of work were both too exhausted and simply slept in. Fishing had officially started at 5am - we didn't even get onto the rocks until 10am. What a waste of time.

The conditions would have been perfect. The sea was rough and everything would have been nicely stirred up for the fish to get into a feeding frenzy. Unfortunately that sea was a bit TOO rough. At least for rockfishing. And since we got ripped off when we bought the boat (which is currently in the garage) we had no other choice but rely on the rocks.

Were we successful? Let's just say if there was a category for catching rock cods I would have definitely taken it out. I caught heaps - and big ones, too. Apparently they are good eating fish. But this time not what we were after. Our highlight at the price-giving at night was getting a picture with Piho - who is one of THE biggest entertainers in New Zealand.

Saturday we were better prepared - wake-up call worked, we packed our bags and were at our spot by 3am. Yet again the weather was not on our side. The tide was so rough that we couldn't get onto the rocks at all. At least not without getting swept off. So we camped under a tree and slept for another 3 hours (well, tried to sleep anyway with the rain and all). Just before sunset we finally hiked down the cliff, hopped on the rocks and got our lines in the water. We actually got quite a few bites this time. But nothing worth mentioning *sigh* I caught one snapper and since it was legal I decided to keep it. I wanted to weigh in ONE fish. That was my goal.

We were only able to fish for 3 hours before the tide once again became too high and rough. Some pretty scary rogue waves pushed us off the rocks way too early. Just when we were about to leave Matt thought he'd caught the big one - his rod was bending down hard and whatever it was it was rumbling hard out! Felt like a massive snapper! But it was too good to be true :-( Turned out to be a stingray...

By the time prize-giving on Saturday was over we were absolutely exhausted. Went straight home and to bed. And I don't think I can remember us EVER having slept in until noon. But that's what happened on Sunday *lol* And I was sore from climbing up and down those cliffs with tons of bait and berley and food on my back. But hey - it was a great experience, we had a good time despite our luck of success... and YES I will enter again next year *heehee*

The Queen of Rock Cods

on February 21, 2014

I'm afraid we haven't had a good start into this year's Beach & Boat Fishing Competition. Everything was planned well - just not executed to plan ;-/ Matt and I were so exhausted that neither of us woke up to our alarm clock this morning and slept right in. By the time we finally got to the rocks it was already 5 hours into the comp, the tide wasn't ideal and our fishing spot had been taken. BUGGER!

We tried to make the most of it. Found another spot, berleyed up and cast our lines. 4 hours later I'm afraid that rock cod in the picture was the best I could come up with. Too bad it's not one of the target species that gets you prices. Matt caught 2 snappers but way too small to even be considered. I lost more bait to shags in the water than actual fish and caught more seaweed than anything else. What a shame.

But at least we had a good time :-) And that's what it's all about in the end. We met a guy who's been in the comp for 5 years and has NEVER been able to weigh in a single fish. I sincerely hope I will do better than that. Matt managed to at least weigh in one snapper last year that was quite close to the mystery weight, too.

Tonight's mission will be a lot better planned. We still have until 4pm tomorrow to catch the big guys. COME ON FISHIES!!!!

Best gym in the world?

on February 09, 2014

THE OUTDOORS! Instead of going for a run after work today I spontaneously decided to go up Mt Parahaki. Hadn't done that in a while - man I should have remembered how steep it is! Just over 1km constantly uphill... Too me just under half an hour. And 10mins to run back down. Felt amazingly refreshed and energetic after. Should do that more often =D

Unfortunately my phone went flat just before I made it to the top so I could neither complete my Runtastic session (it stopped at 1km, 24min, 299cal) nor take a picture so this one from a few years ago will have to do. View is worth the hike, don't you reckon?

Fruity blessings

I am a strong believer in the barter system. And lucky us more and more people we get to know here are the same. Yesterday we swapped some of our tomatoes with our neighbours for a whole bag of their delicious Louise plums. Half went into the freezer for winter, the other half will be munched these days. They are sooooo yummy, really juicy and easy to de-stone. Might make some plum jam next week :-)

Mr. Houdini

Remember my post from last week about Fluffy mysteriously escaping from his cage? Thought Mr. Houdini deserves a little picture. Here he is sitting in a box of straw/hay that was meant to be for cleaning his cage. He couldn't wait and instead just hopped into the box and instantly began munching *lol* What a character!

Stormy times

on February 07, 2014

Hard to believe this picture was taken exactly a year ago yesterday. Waitangi Day 2013 was one of the hottest days of the year! Clear blue skies and temperatures around 30 degrees. Last year Matt shouted us a ride in a helicopter (Salt Air in Paihia, definitely recommendable!) where this picture was taken.

Waitangi Day 2014? More than slightly different. Not only were Matt and I both working. It was raining cats and dogs and the storm was horrendous! I came home yesterday to find one of the trees in our front yard knocked over - roots and all just snapped in half. An even worse picture in the backyard. One of the greenhouses - which in hindsight had been nailed into the wall for more stability and wind protection - was completely ripped, broken apart and blown half-way across the lawn. All the pots inside which had been full of chili plants and rosemary were turned upside down in the grass and most of the soil was scattered everywhere. What a disaster ;-/ Luckily I managed to scrap most of it up and refill the pots. Might have to do more re-work on the weekend.

The rest of the evening I lit the fire (in the middle of summer!!!) because it was blimmin' freezing. I must have got it right this time because by the time Matt got home a few hours later it was still burning nicely and the whole house was cozy and comfy.

For those of you who wonder what the heck Waitangi Day is - it's New Zealand's national day based on the signing of the treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840 between Pakeha (English) and Maori (natives). That marks the foundation of New Zealand as we know it today. Ka pai?

New beginnings

on February 01, 2014

I have a long weekend *yay* First one in ages! 3 full days... what to do, what to do *lol* Feel like going to the beach and just stay there but I'm afraid the house needs a bit of attention *sigh* Had a busy week... Last 2 days at kindergarten with the little girl I support... next week we're both of to school!!! That will be quite an adventure! Will be interesting to finally see how the New Zealand school system works.

Fluffy needs a new name!

I should have taken a picture of this, but I'm afraid I was a bit too flabbergasted... When I got home yesterday our black rabbit (Fluffy) was sitting right behind the front door waiting for me. The little monkey had somehow managed to get out of his cage and into the hallway! Lucky ALL the other doors were shut... Not to imagine what he would have done had he made his way into the lounge - with all the cables running around. He's a real baddie when it comes to that - he loves chewing ANYTHING. Still don't how how he did it... will probably remain a mystery until he does it again and gets caught in action... Little Mr. Houdini... I guess I'll have to call him that from now on...