life is easy and comfortable on beniSland. I have been rather lazy in the last three weeks, often having to check what day it is. I don’t do much, attend to the gardens (not good this year) and animals, go for walks in the backyard, read about my hobbies, do a couple stretches and cook yummy food.
I’m happy and also pissed off.
Happy because I have food, warmth, water, good health and life is unproblematic. Pissed off because I have been unable to make a living by using my skills or knowledge or passion. Everything I have done here on the Island employment-wise has been on a low salary and it hasn’t lasted long enough. You know, you start something new, you prove yourself, you bring in ideas and go the extra mile (a few times), but ultimately you can be replaced by anyone at any time.
It’s like social media, it doesn’t matter what you do, how you do it, or even why you are doing it, what matters is how many likes you have. It also doesn’t matter who you are, what matters most is what people perceive of you.
I took clients fishing off the rocks twice last week. The fishing was not great, in both cases I expected more, but I met top people and judging by their feedback, they enjoyed the experience very much.
Glenn and his son Liam from Napier were not experienced anglers, and as Glenn told me numerous times, for him it was more about meeting a local Barrier resident and experiencing this place than catching big fish. Before meeting up here, we talked over the phone.
Every now and then, I get an email from a stranger who reassures me in the lifestyle I have chosen and to acknowledges what I do online. I really appreciate such comments and meeting people who read my blogs. You know, there are ups and downs here, like everywhere and sometimes I ask myself what I’m doing.
For instance, I worked for 2.5 years as a youth worker here, with a huge responsibility and a workload that was at times stressful, but at the end of the week, I earned 40 NZD more than what the social or unemployment benefit pays.
Back to the fishing. I took Glenn and Liam on a big adventure and hike to a very remote spot. They caught three decent snapper between 35-40 cm and plenty kahawai. They went also for a swim, took photographs and we had enjoyable chats about fishing, New Zealand, The Barrier and Maori.
The other party I took fishing consisted of two very keen anglers. We met at 0500 and went to a top spot. We burleyed hard, fished hard and were patient, but the fishing was unfortunately slow. Kahawai were caught, there were plenty under-sized snapper, but just nothing exciting.
Since it was so slow, I started fishing myself to introduce more variety in what was done, and to put something into our bag. I caught a piper and sent it out under a balloon. A squid had a go, so I got the squid jig out and arrested it. I later live-baited with a kahawai but no sign of kingfish.
At least Paul and Justin got a feed of kahawai and squid. I also talked with them about how I fish, what methods I use and how I go about finding a spot and time.
It is unfortunate that nothing big showed up since I had put a top priority on catching more than a feed. However, we had a good time and I thank you all for your positive feedback.
Rockfishing Blog & Adventures
I publish a dedicated rockfishing blog and offer Fishing Adventures on the Barrier. These adventures are tailored to your needs and it is a concierge-type service where I look after all your needs. It is a great way to spend half a day on the Barrier, learn about fishing off the rocks, catch a feed and go for a hike to rugged and remote areas.
Snapper Heads and Frames
I had a great breakfast of snapper heads and frames. If you haven’t, try it. You’ll love the heads and frame, you have been missing out buddy! Usually, people just take the fillets and throw the rest away. What a waste of life. The least you can do is give the carcasses to dog or cat, or use it as to make compost for the gardens.
In the following a few photographs for you. My graduated filters arrived and I can now increase the dynamic range in landscape shots. If you like to see more photos and read about dynamic range and graduated neutral density filters, have a look at my photography page (click on images.benisland.com).