Monthly Archives: Mar 2020

The “C” word…

I have plenty of time to write this, four weeks in fact.. Why? Because we here in New Zealand, are in lockdown like many other parts of the world.
Covid19 has caused mayhem and tragedy globally. As of this writing we have some 500 odd confirmed cases in NZ. There has been one death attributed to it. As I understand it, this unfortunate person already had severe health issues before contracting the virus. Some 50 or 60 people have recovered from it in this country of 4.5 million.

I work for the NZ postal service. We are considered an essential service so we are required to work through the lockdown, along with supermarkets, fire, police, ambulance, and numerous other must-have services.

Why am I sitting at home writing this then?
Well, at the postal service we need to book our holidays well in advance, I’m talking months in advance. So many months ago I booked four weeks of annual leave for April 2020.. So yes, I am on annual leave, stuck here at home unable to go anywhere or do anything.
My lovely wife also works for an essential service. She has a desk job so the government department she works for decided at the last minute to get its staff working from home.
It has been a giant fail. The remote logins/server-access etc are intermittent at best and just don’t work properly. They had plenty of time to sort this prior to lockdown, but they didn’t and now its a frustrating mess…. The people who need this service are not getting it.

Is then any upside to the covid situation? In a monetary or business sense, no. Billions of dollars have been spent by various governments to prop up economies and keep things running. Ultimately its you and I who are paying for this. Governments do not have any money of their own, they have taxpayer money which belongs to you and me.

There have been reports of gains in environmental situations. Waters in various places are running cleaner without human pollution being present. The air is better in big cities with no cars on the road.
Will this make any difference in the long term? No. The human race will assume business as usual when this pandemic is over.

Changing times

Ok so before I get into the current global mayhem, here’s a catchup on recent events.
There was a stone waterfall in our garden when we came here, made of cemented river rocks about two metres high. It was built in one layer like a brick wall. There was a trough at the foot of it containing a pump which sent the water to the top via a hidden pipe. Picture below.

Recently we noticed the rockwork was leaning on the fence and threatening to knock it over. We discovered that whoever had made it, had sat it on wooden planks which had since rotted away. The decision was made to dismantle it before it flattened our fence.
What then should we do with the empty space?
After much drinking of beers on the deck and gazing at the vacant space we decided a small pond might be the go.
Excavations commenced immediately..

The wife testing the depth..

Liner, rocks and test fill

Mostly finished. The water feature is made from big lumps of pumice which I found at a beach. They are glued together and a large hole drilled down through them. A large pump is submerged under the rocks and pumps water up the hole where is spills out and runs down the outside. The Gargoyle (Boris) sits on top and surveys his domain, no doubt eyeing up the goldfish..

Sometimes you just have one of those weekends….

It started with all good intentions. A trip away to east cape, catch a few fish.

I loaded the van on Friday and set off for Mohaka as a stepping stone to going further north.

In 38+ degree temps and no aircon I drove to Mohaka.
I got there and parked up in a likely spot.
First cast snapped off and birdnested the spool #$%^&&!!!!
I thought to myself “what a shit start to the day”
Nevermind.. Slipped on another reel and continued.
Got a nice hookup, a reasonable snapper by the feel of it. Suddenly, gone.. @##%%^!!
Nevermind, new baits deployed.
Another hookup, a little 34cm snap hits the beach, nice.
Nothing else until I hit the sack at 10pm
Up again at 4am baits in, but no further action.

Left Mohaka and headed up to Hicks Bay, HOT A.F all the way.
My mates weren’t due to arrive until late afternoon so I killed time fishing off the rocks beside the wharf for a few hours.
I wasn’t expecting much in the clear sunny midday heat, and that proved to be right, no bites at all.
I’d had enough of the heat so I parked up in the shade to wait for the boys to arrive.

When they arrived we headed out onto the sand and setup for the wade and cast fishing. Its something rare to me because most the beaches I normally fish are not suitable to wading.
The water was pleasantly warm to wade in, but I soon found that my freespool reels didn’t have enough line for this sort of carry on.
By the time you’ve waded to waist deep and hurled out your best cast, then waded back to the beach you’ve run out of line before getting back to the rod stand. #@&#%^!

The fish weren’t interested in coming 30m closer to eat my baits, and I couldn’t get a bait out to where they were. The other guys with fixed spool reels had plenty of line and could wade out further. They were into some nice fish.

I persevered until dark and decided to head back over the hill to TeAraroa for some dry-feet fishing as I’d had success there before.
It was pitch black when I got there so I couldn’t really see what or where I was fishing into. Lines went out anyway but baby Tope sharks was all I could catch..
My buddies over the hill sent me pics of all the lovely snapper they were catching…nice…
By this time I was feeling the effects of being awake for 19 hours and crawled into the van for some sleep.
At five in the morning the lines were back in but all Tangaroa would let me have was more baby Topes..
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By 8am I’d had enough of the baby sharks and admitting defeat, decided to head south before the heat became unbearable.

I had just under half a tank of gas left having filled up in Gisborne on the way up.
I new I wouldn’t get back to Gizzy on what I had left, but figured maybe I’d get to Tologa. I wasn’t worried because I had a 20L can of spare gas on the back and could always chuck that in if I needed to.
Between Tokomaru and Tologa I could see I wasn’t going to make it, so I pulled over to siphon the spare gas into the tank.
What I failed to remember was that the full gas can on the rear wheel gate had been in the sun all weekend and as I popped the lid open it sprayed a good litre or so of petrol all over me. Shit..$#&%^!
I quickly stripped of my petrol soaked clothing and towelled of, thankful I wasn’t on a main highway..
I got some clean clothes on and finished transferring the fuel.
The petrol soaked clothes were put in a plastic bag and sealed up but now the inside of the van reeked of petrol all the way home.
I filled up again in Gizzy, enough to make it to Napier easily.
I got to Whakaki and decided to pull over and take a look at the sea.
It was stinking hot and there was no breeze. Deciding not to stay I went to carry on home.
The van wouldn’t start. The electric fuel pump was overheating and couldn’t get up enough fuel pressure.
I grabbed a bottle of cold water out of the fridge and emptied it over the fuel pump.
That was enough to cool the pump get things going again, I was off.
I got stuck behind a grandma going up the devils-elbow climb at 20kph and the fuel pump overheated again.
The van is now stuck next to the armco on a very tight winding road…#%%^*!!! FFS!🤬

Thankfully a young bloke in a ute stopped and offered me a tow to the top. (You Sir are a Top bloke!)
Out of immediate danger I crawled under the van and emptied another bottle of water over the fuel pump which was too hot to touch.
I few moments later if fired right up and I was on my way again.
So I got home eventually, exhausted, depressed, pissed off, {insert negative emotion here} with one small snapper to show for my 700km of weekend away.🤬

I opened the door and was greeted by my lovely wife handing me a cold beer 🙂

Excellent!