Christmas Break

Yeeha, today is knock off day, we are having a big Christmas party at work later during the day and then we’ll be into our 3 week break. I’ve already got plans for the three weeks off. There are a variety of projects that need finishing or in some cases starting on the property. Stuff like, dig out a new garden area, weed eating, spraying some weeds, work on my website and on the drive way, building racks, a filleting table a compost bin, install the hot water califont.  I intend to do some crazy things too. Like doing laundry and giving the A-Frame a nice tidy up.

And then there are other things to do as well. I want to start systematically hiking through my bush and marking a few paths,  go for a free dive, go for a sail and last but of paramount significance, catch some good fish. Lots to do and I’m looking forward to it.

Oh no, it is darkening up and there is the rain again. The wind is blowing from East, North-East. So far, I learned that when it is overcast and we have that sort of winds, chances are very high for showers and rain. Remarkably, well, perhaps only remarkable to me, we can have the most nasty looking, dark clouds hanging low and wind from South-West. Chances for rain are, then, however, close to zero.

Last Friday, I went for a rock fish at the light house in Tryphena Harbor. The wind picked up just when I had my first bait in the water and it was hard work, yet again. Slightly pissed off with that to be fair. Fishing has been harder work than what I’m used to. Anyway, I only managed to land one snapper that was legal in size to keep and had a great dinner, but I’m hoping for some calmer days and some fishing ACTION! It really calls for a change in the approach.

Iranium at the light house in Tryphena. Behaving and staying on the rocks while I'm trying to catch dinner.

On Sunday morning, the marine radio was forecasting 2m south-easterly swells and 35 knots, gusting 45 knots. I got a bit nervous to be honest, when I heard 2 m SE swells and was worried about the yacht on its mooring. So I quickly put on the rain gear, oh yes, it was raining, and took the quad down to Puriri Bay to check it out. Mental note for myself, do not leave the house without a camera. Approaching the bay, I could see a massive work up. Gannets shooting out of the air into the water and stirring up the balls of bait fish. There is a long reef on the western side of Tryphena Harbor, where dolphins come in real close on a regular basis and this work up was just amazing. Watching the birds circling the waters and taking turns in diving down, watching it from the land perhaps around 20-30 m. A couple of boats were trolling for kingfish right in the work up, but I didn’t see anyone hooking up. A few spear fishermen arrived and jumped into the water, but yeah, I didn’t have my camera…

Anyway, the 2 m SE swell turned out to be less than half a meter and while it was windy in the bay, the yacht was all fine and safe.

My gardens are going so and so. It turns out that everything is hard work and requires preparation and the right attitude. You can’t just simply knock something in the ground and reap the rewards. Same is true for the mature trees that I’ve got here. The majority of them are not fruiting – (hopefully) yet – and look very similar. There is a giant tree that looks similar to my plum trees, and I kept telling myself that it isn’t one, since it doesn’t have any fruit while the others have. Well, look closely and you see exactly 2 plums on a giant tree which appears as healthy as a tree can look. Same is with my vegetables. They are growing but too slowly.

Again, it calls for a change in the approach. I need to prepare my soils much better and keep feeding the gardens. Sea-weed, shell and other fish seem to do the trick. Alternatively, you invest lots of money in your gardens. Sooner or later, I will mix my own chemical fertilizers and see where that puts me.

The grape vines look alright though. Had to taste some, as I love my fruit rather sour than fully ripe.

There should be anything from 50-100 kg of grapes growing on those vines.
Iranium, relaxing a bit on the way to pick some plums.

Delicious Christmas plums. But again not nearly enough for the size of the tree(s).

It turns out that I have to cut back all the grass around the trees. Now, this is not as simple as it sounds. Anyway, due to the vast amount of rain that we had and all the kikuyu grass (a special sort of annoying weed grass. It’s tough and resistant like Mike Tyson used to be in his early twenties) the rain water cannot drain that well and the tree trunks start to rot. That explains why one of my plum trees is knocked over.

One of the mature plum trees is no more... Kikuyu and lots of rain resulted in a rotten trunk...
Knocked over.
My little pets are getting along well.

Time to turn the computer off and to start packing and preparing. It is all a bit quiet on Great Barrier Island, but this is not the only reason why I’m looking forward to the Christmas party. I have been fortunate to find a good job here rather quickly and I enjoy the atmosphere and people there. Thus, the right thing to do is to party hard, isn’t it? I’ve got a hunch it will be a good one too.

8 thoughts on “Christmas Break”

  1. I miss my boat and my friends, hope to see you guys, soon as I can save enough for a ferry trip over. Enjoy the xmas and the fruit are looking good 😉 We have started our own garden on this side, so far it’s soil only, but it’s framed up proper and looking nice.

    Till laters
    Gary

    1. Hey G, I thought you would still be living off your rewards from the last vege patch you had. That was going well, hope this one goes even better… hehe
      Yeah, she’s all rainy over here, most likely less than at your place, but still constant. It’s starting to change a bit over here. Went down to get some Kina yesterday, the roads were busy, there were people all over, taking pictures and stuff like that. Merry Xmas, B

  2. Merry Christmas Ben!

    Hope you had a great party last night and the head isn’t too sore today. Has been a joy reading your blog on how things have progressed over there this year. You are doing really well mate so keep it up and keep keeping us updated! Looking forward to coming over there to see ya some time soon.

    Cheers
    JK

    1. Thanks JK, merry Christmas to you and your family, too mate. Cheers for the feedback about the site, I will keep at it. Hope you can make it over, my mate from London – who has been coming to NZ and living on Port Jackson, catching Kingfish off the rocks for the last 12 years or so – is going be over here late February till March. Good time for the kingis. Was talking to my mate John Lennan the other day – Rockfishing Legend over here – and he was quite keen to plan a mission to Arid Island – I’ve also been thinking Channel Island – for that time. Anyway, hope to get out fishing a bit more.
      Cheers, Ben

  3. Hey Mr Ben this is a Merry Christmas wish for you and yes indeed I will be with you around the end of Feb for around 2-3 weeks depending on when the ferries run (I need to check that out!). I will have to go back over as my old man is coming out and we will be heading up the Coromandel to wave at you from the other side….

    So have a lovely bit of time off and enjoy and excell at everything you get into. Peace and yellow tails, Paul xxxxx

    1. Hey Paul, Merry Xmas to you, too. Hope you have a good start into the new year. Looking forward to fishing with you here. Perhaps we skype or I’ll give you a call sometime to give you some info
      about here (ferries and other stuff). Yeah, I’m enjoying my time off and plan to get into some projects soon. Peace, B

  4. Hey mein Lieblingsfarmer,

    genieße deine freie Zeit, buddel fleißig und fang für Iranium mal eine schöne Drone! 😉
    Ich fahr jetzt erstmal eine Woche an die italienische Adria und ärger die Wolfsbarsche. Ich will auch Sommer haben…..

    hau rein

    Moritz

    p.s. die Drone fängst du spätestens wenn du beginnst Dünger zu mixen! 😛

    1. Moses, du Urlaubsprofiangler, gienies/e du aber auch die Urlaubszeit. Ich kann mich nur schaemen, so lange war ich schon nicht angeln. Tja mit der ‘Drone’ weis/ ich ja nicht ganz genau was du meinst
      Du mit deinem erhobenem, deutschen Wortschatz. Aber eigentlich weis/ ich schon ganz genau was du meinst. Naemlich ‘ne Drohne. Ja, Duenger mixen fuer die ganze Insel, Feuerwerkskoerper bauen und mit Herbizidin und genitisch manipulierten Fungiziden experimentieren, das sind meine Plaene fuers zweite Quartel 2012. Cheers, Ben

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