Sunday, 6 April 2014

Friday 4th April 2014
There was a big change in plans on Wednesday, with wind and time against us we only sailed as far as Kawau Island, where we set anchor an hour or so before sunset in a ‘beautiful little bay’. (I can see that becoming an all too familiar phrase)  The day had been fairly eventful though, we hit a patch of rain and a mild ‘storm’ which gave me a chance to learn some of the techniques and procedures with the sails when this happens.  I actually enjoyed it!
  I set about cleaning the day’s catch and as I was finishing up, the wind caught one of the buckets which knocked my good filleting knife straight over the back and into the depths.  If only I had a proper work station….
As usual a few jobs, dinner, a quiet drink (verrrry quiet, we basically have 1 beer and maybe a wine afterwards each night, those who have followed my exploits will know that just ain’t enough for a country West Aussie like me!) and it was time for bed.  The next morning George had a quick free dive to try and locate my knife but with visibility poor, Jean-Paul donned his scuba gear and retrieved it in a matter of minutes.  Bloody legend!
No rest though and Thursday morning we were soon sailing off into the horizon, having another go at getting to Great Barrier Island, though once again had to change course and head somewhere else after cruising right past Little Barrier Island.  Great Barrier seems to be the forbidden island, as Jean-Paul and My have now tried 3 times to get out there.  It mattered not, we ended up at Mokohinau Island, basically a big rock in the ocean, in an awesome secluded anchorage.
We made our way into a little cove, 2 towering cliffs guarded the narrow entrance as we quietly motored inside to set the pick.  A quick explore in the RIB through some cool ‘doorways’ in the cliffs and back to the boat for snacks, beer, wine and dinner.  I make it sound like a party but really it was 1 beer and 1 wine! I’m not expecting them to get on the piss all night, but a few quiet beers on a yacht when you’re in amazing locations isn’t too much to ask is it....?! 
This morning I was straight into some ‘berleying up’ and within minutes had some decent sized fish swimming under the boat in the gin clear water.  Having no bait is a constant headache but I just have to improvise, this morning I used small prawn shells and pig fat!  After landing 1 decent fish, breakfast was called, I should have known better than to leave a hot berley trail, but Jean-Paul had made bacon and eggs! Bugger the fish, I was off to have breakfast.
By the time I got a rod back in the water, the fish were gone and I had used a lot of my berley scraps already.  Crap!  I knew I should have stayed fishing a bit longer.  I coaxed a few more fish out and landed another solid fish, this one actually gave me a decent fight on my 20lb line and was caught with a small bit of pork fat!  A couple of smaller pinkies came in and I slabbed them for bait, I now have a good stash in the fridge for next anchorage. 
Jean-Paul and My went for a scuba this morning before we pulled in the anchor and set sail again, where we still are while I type this, out in the ocean somewhere headed to no certain destination.  I love it!    Update…  the wind has dropped too much and Jean-Paul has fired one engine up to keep a bit of pace. 
Mokohinau Island