39 Hour Trip to Germany

I arrived safe, sound and fit in Germany yesterday and am sitting right now in my parent’s lounge, watching some TV and thought that I’d pass on a few of my experiences of the 39 hour trip. Yupp, it took a cool 39 hours and I didn’t even count the time on the ferry from the Barrier to Auckland. But I counted the 4 hours at the airport in Auckland, the 1 hour bus trip to the airport, the 7 hours in transit in Shanghai, the 3 hour trip from Amsterdam to Neuenkirchen and of course the net flight time of a bit over 24 hours.

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My Buddy Moe, The Keen German Angler

I met Moe a few years ago via an online discussion group about fishing in New Zealand on a facebook-similar social media platform. The first time we physically met was in Port Jackson, Coromandel Peninsular, and it was clear from day one that Moe was not only an avid salt- and freshwater angler but also highly skilled in the art and finesse of luring and – as he likes to call it – arresting fish. He spent an entire year in New Zealand and if he wasn’t in the vicinity of Turangi (the trout fishing capitol of the world, but also well-known for Turangi-Terror), fishing the rivers for rainbow and brown trout, he was either at the wharf in Cornwallis in the Waitakeres fishing for kingfish or touring the country in his station wagon – possibly scouting for new fishing spots…

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Nikau Palm

I’m somewhat fascinated by Nikau trees, an endemic palm tree to New Zealand; when allowed, they grow straight and tall, around 15-20 meters high, with massive fronds up to 3 m long. Their root system must be shallow as I can visibly shake a tree about 8 meters tall, which is probably around 30-40 years old. I found many clusters of nikau in the wet areas of my property and actually enjoy sitting there, amongst a forest of palms, in their shade and sheltered from the winds, listening to the birds and allowing my mind to wander. Their fruit is apparently edible, but I have yet to find ripe ones which I can also access. I’ve noticed Kereru (NZ endemic pigeon) and Kaka (NZ endemic parrot) eating the fruit and judging by the amount of juvenile nikau I suppose the bird life is doing well in regeneration dense clusters of nikau forests.

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Kingfish Off The Rocks Part I

I got up early again, eager for a quick, early fish off the rocks. The idea was to go hard for a couple of hours and be back at the car at 0900. All my gear was packed and I left home at 0500, the sun wasn’t up yet but there was enough light to see where I was going, although the sky was very dark. The sea-forecast mentioned rain and it sure looked like it could pour down any minute. Half an hour later Rani and I were walking on Medland’s beach, it was dribbling a bit but was even warmer than yesterday. No wind at all, much more cloud cover than the previous day. Good and comfortable conditions really; my chances of landing a kingfish were pretty good today.

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Brief Moments of Kingfish Frenzy

Low tide was at around 6 in the morning today and I was on the rocks, with a bait in the water at about the same time. The shop was out of berley yet again and all I had to catch and attract fish was a kilo of defrosted squid. Conditions were actually great, hardly any wind, overcast and I was wearing my new polarized sunglasses. I was hoping to catch a kahawai straight away and use it as a live bait to hook a kingfish.

Almost 6 in the morning, quite warm and the walk is much more pleasant when there is no wind.

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Back from Town

I’ve been away from BENIsLAND for a few days, had to go to town (Auckland) to finalize and update my immigration status. Happy to announce that I’m done and through with it, now I can, for the rest of my life, without any conditions, live and work in New Zealand. There are two very common misconceptions when it comes to the various New Zealand Immigration schemes and stati. Continue reading Back from Town

Freedom, Choice and Knowledge – Something for Every One?

While the individual definitions of these three words, freedom, choice and knowledge don’t necessarily depend on each other, it is not uncommon to interpret them as a family of words that often go hand in hand. Knowledge gives us freedom, When you are free you have a choice and When you can chose, you want to chose freedom and also wisely. Yes, perhaps knowledge should appear chronologically before the other two words. The associations with these three words that we have and often want to create are, nonetheless, positive, beneficial and, in a deeper sense, important for the soul. Continue reading Freedom, Choice and Knowledge – Something for Every One?

Big Snapper Off The Rocks IV – Rockfishing in Tryphena

I had to go fishing off the rocks yesterday, mainly because I was listening to the forecast, looking at the chart and the tides for a few days in a row. The weather was stunning, sunshine, low wind, high tides in the mornings and late evenings. I over-thought the whole idea of fishing, contemplating whether to go to the east coast or to somewhere else. The best options seemed to get up early or go for an evening fish around the high tide mark. I wanted to get out to an area that is, however, not accessible around high tide. I wasn’t keen on going on an evening fish, getting up really early didn’t seem that enticing either. I also didn’t want to end up fishing off the rocks when the sun is at its zenith and the tide was all out. But yesterday, I just had to go out and decided to head to a bay in Tryphena. Haven’t been there for a while now, it’s close to home and the forecast was for a cloudy day with northerly winds. So I thought, I’ll go all the way to the end of the southern end of the bay – access is tidal – and fish from mid-tide (outgoing) until mid-tide (incoming). Around 6 hours of fishing, including an hour for the return trip.  Continue reading Big Snapper Off The Rocks IV – Rockfishing in Tryphena

Homemade Smoker

I built a homemade smoker a few weeks ago. Smoking fish is a good way to enjoy it, especially bigger fish, and the idea was to use an oil drum. I had a brief look on the net for some DIY smoker projects and found lots of ideas and inspiration. Look at this extremely nice setup, the smoker I’m going to build next. But for now, a simple, usable smoker, built without much planning, effort or skill should do just fine. Keep it simple, save time and go fishing. As it turns out, my smoker won’t win any design awards but I’m eating smoked fish today and it’s pretty good.  Continue reading Homemade Smoker