Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spring Weather

Spring weather is the curse of the trout angler, almost every opening day (Oct 1) is greeted with rain, wind and grey overcast skies. And this time its undone the albie expedition - at 7pm the prediction for Tauranga was 20kt Nthrly and 1m swell, that's just a bit too much weather for a comfortable day. This morning irts a different story - 15kt but still a decent swell. So mission goes on back burner, thems the breaks. Work now owes me a day so that's nice to have up my sleeve. :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Big albacore

3 years ago Nikolaj rang and told me to get my ass down to Tauranga - pronto! The big albies were smashing bait on the surface - 'foaming' as the yanks call it - and one of his clients cast 10 feet, hooked into a beast and 40 minutes later landed a 21kg horse on the 12 weight. Nik got on the phone that night and implored me to get down there - work got in the way, I didn't go, the Capt De Souza steamed in, set a net round the big albie concentration and POOF that was it. The chance for a real horse - gone. Yeah we've got onto the albies since - but definitely not the horse sized ones we really want.
Nik rang me today - almost 3 years to the day and the fish are back, the BIG albies we want. So we're off all going well, on Tuesday. The fish are deep so I'll tie some heavy weight flies to just get down there fast. 20M is hard to get at with a fly when you're drifting fast, and there will be wind for sure. We may have a jigger on board, could be handy at getting fish up the water column, if he agrees to a hookless jig.
Now, to the planning part.....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Politicking & Prados

First - politicking. What a difference having a network of good contacts makes. Our group's mandate includes mending broken relationships with the rural sector - and this means a big time smack bang schmooze up to lots of land owners, who control the means to access many of the resources that we hold so dear. Enlightenment. Inclusiveness. I'm not saying more, after all, the internet is an open forum, but watch this space. The power of networking will play out.

The Prado - impressions after a couple of weeks (the one in the piccie is someone elses):

1. Comfort. The seat is soft and not to my liking. The leg room is lacking, for such a big vehicle. So far, the Forester has it hands down.
2. Ride. Big tyres, big suspension, big knocks over speed bumps. Let's face it, the Forester with its road suspension eats the Prado.
3. Economy. I've been watching the fuel gauge like a hawk. So far I must admit its been quite good, especially as I've learned a smoother driving style. So far on track. Maybe even better than forester (doubt it)?
4. Cool features. No Cruise Control. (Go Forester!). Blue tooth phone thingy. Tick. MP3 player. Tick. Sun roof Tick! Tick! Tick!
5. Coolness. Look I don't care, anyone who wants to argue about coolness can stand in front while I test the bull bars!!!
6. Towing. No argument.

7. Interior space/room. Bizzarely, the Forester eats the Prado. With flush fold down seats, the subbie gave me a ton of room. I slept in the back a few times, something that's not looking likely with the Toyoyta.

Overall the Forester is/was a marvel of a car for its time. Pity that Subaru make their engine parts out of shit. I mean, after all these years of building battle ships (among other neat stuff), I would have thought that Fuji Heavy Industries would have their shit together in terms of bits that don't rust. Just goes to show. Toyota on the other hand, they make parts to last. Talk to any mechanic - or those guys down at the testing station, they would just smile when Marce's Corolla came in for its warrant. It failed once, a blown lamp and a small fray in a seat belt. That's what I'm talking about. Not that the forester ever failed in testing, its just that it began to cost an arm and a leg in repair bills - like over a grand a year in the past 2 years, not counting normal servicing.

Would I change back? Probably not. In fact, nah, definitely not. I think it will be a matter of getting used to the Prado. Everything is a bit more relaxed. More power and auto transmission means no frantic gear changing on hills and corners, which is where the 1980cc boxer (non turbo) Subaru motor fell down. Driving in peak traffic is a doddle. (Although I need to figure stopping distances. The subbie was particularly good in the braking arena).

Anyway, those are my impressions.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Swamp hut maintenance

33 years ago or thereabouts, the second (current) swamp hut was built. The original was burned down by a cockie who was pissed with my granpop for getting his free range grazing restricted. It was illegal anyways, but back then you could do what you liked to a far greater extent than today. Want to put in a dam? Fine, no RMA constraints then. The old guys in the party (Grand dad Foster, Dave Dudding, Brian Dudding, Dad, and David Dudding) decided on a pole structure to provide security, shelter and maximise the space available for building on. I remember quite well (I was 7) the construction zone, the hole boring, transportation of materials, the erection of the building... it was a great time to be a 7 year old. 33 years on and with various modifications in the between years, it was like the old hut sort of sighed, had a shake and said 'look fellahs, I need some work'.

So this year, we've replaced the guttering and just yesterday we got together to replace the rotten jammed windows and the floor by dad's bed. Rick reckoned we should have installed a slide so dad could roll out, slide down into his waders and be away.

Rick, Tom, Tim, Paul, Quinn and me made up the work party. The day got off to a great start as I suffered my first unintended Piako dip.
. Combination of Tom's motor not idling, the boat not only being in gear with hammer full down, but wheel turned right over... well when I pull started her motor it zapped into life, nose went up, tail down - were were off! I had no chance and went arse over into the drink. Anyway, a good days work wnd we got done what we'd hoped to, maybe even more. Oh yeah, venison chilli sausages and leg steaks for lunch - thanks Rick!

Should be good for another 33 years I reckon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Boaaaaaarrrrr!!!!!!!!!!! (Part II)

Tim and Andrew took up Shanks's generous offer to partake in a King Country boar hunt. Given that I was away from the country I missed out, but I'm not jealous - honest! I'll get there sooner or later.

But the boys... well rthey scored big time, check out these hawgs! (Photos courtesy of either Andy, Tim or Shanks)

This photo is meant to depict Tim's big boar running off even though he was already dead. It seems that he just didn't know that you can't live without a heart, liver or decent chassis. I mean from what I got told it was busted up to all hell, so doing a runner tells me that they are as mean and adrenalin filled as I've been told.

And for the record, Tim deserved to get a big one beacuse he's put in lots of leg work this year.

Quality of service

Well it has been a while between drinks. A family holiday to the Gold Coast proved extremely relaxing, and a popular move especially with Rilee who not only hugged Wags the Dog, but took a ride in Magenta (a round-about ride sort of affair), her favourite Blues Clues character.
Yes, Dreamworld is the place to be. We saw Australia Zoo, rode on the Aquaduck (Rilee drove it), took in some shopping adventures... it was great.

Except for one teeny weenie thing.... the accommodation. The 4 Star listed Sunset island Resort should be renamed the 2 Star Sunset Island Rort. What a dive. First of all, we requested a downstairs apartment, especially with a toddler. instead we had 8 flights of stairs to contend with. Ok, so they were booked up, fair enough. The room was filthy. Hand prints on the walls, thick black dust in the light fittings, a half smoked cig butt in the cupboard. Cig butts floating in the swimming pool. One of the dining room chairs had a seat that wasn't fixed on. The couch/fold out bed was sprung - if you sat on it you were swallowed up by the couch and ended up sitting on various bars and springs. The bed was hard as rocks. As a Mediterranean styled resort it could be argued that Mediterranean folks like sleeping on rocks. I doubt it. Insert bread into toaster, depress handle - BOOF! Fuses blow. Light bulbs didn't work. Marce went to reception with a small list of the inadequacies of the place, they said "oh, we rely on our guests to tell us about stuff that is wrong, like blown light bulbs.."

While Rilee and I avoided floating cig butts in the swimming pool, the complex manager (hmm, he was pretty simple, but managed the complex - you know what I mean) visited Marce in the room with a huge bucket to catch the filth from the light fitting while he changed the lamps. No eye contact, no apologies nothing.

So if you happen to Google Sunset Island Resort, I hope that you read this blog and take heed - there are much better places for you to take your hard earned dollars.

And just so we get high up on the Google Search Engine:

Sunset Island Resort Gold Coast
Sunset Island Resort Gold Coast
Sunset Island Resort Gold Coast
Sunset Island Resort Gold Coast.....

I feel better.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Taking the pulse of the waterfowlers

Last night's meeting was very interesting. Over 100 (maybe 120?) concerned waterfowlers gathered in response to EPCM F&G Club's meeting, called to discuss concerns being raised and pushed by other ward clubs. Apparently Ohinemuri Club started the rumblings, which turned to rumours, which filtered through quite fast to main stream clubs and associations. The rumblings involved numbers of ducks being seen and harvested being much lower than in previous years in some areas.

In response, Councillor Williamson sort of made it his duty to crusade for shorter seasons, limited magazine capacity, less decoys... unfortunately his overbearing, arrogant and stupid nature caused everyone at the meeting offense - well at least the 99% of attendees who didn't agree with his views. In fact he labelled everyone who didn't see fit to agree with him as 'idiots'. Given that he reminds me of an oafish twat, I shall refer to him as OT from here.

Now dear reader, I'm not a particularly avid follower of politics, but the one thing that OT did manage, was to raise his profile in election year. If I believed he had anything resembling two brain cells to rub together, I may have marvelled at his cunningness and ingenuity. He reminds me of that other OT, Sue Bradford, she who has made a career of public disturbance, and more lately, social engineering.

The main difference being that she's impossible to get rid of under our crapola MMP political voting system. But OT on the other hand...... remember, we have an election coming up.

And what do the waterfowler's think? Well, they think that being labelled 'idiots' for having their own free wills and ideas isn't a good thing. A bunch of different points of views and ideas were promoted and discussed. However the real outcome was that a survey based on OT's views was circulated. Apparently the majority view will prevail as the recommendations promoted by EPCM F&G Club to AWF&G council.

Let us see.

Oh and on the pulse check.... the demographic at last night's meeting was alarming. 2 of ~120 attendees were under 20. 80% were over 40. Now I admit it was a school night, but even so to this observer it didn't look too fresh faced a crowd.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

EPCM F&G meeting

Sitting at work killing time before I take off to this meeting. Essentially there's a bunch of old farts, including a current F&G councillor, who are talking about lobbying for reduced bag limits (ducks), reduction of season length, and restriction of number of shots. Their motivation is driven by the fact that they no longer can harvest birds in 'their' swamp in the numbers that they did 'in the good old days'.

Why we ask ourselves? Could it be less ducks this year after harsh breeding conditions the past 2 seasons? Or could it be that our ducks are these days being served up great wholesome meals of maize silage, moozlie and other easy to get at pickings on dairy farms. Let's face it, go to your local pond now and there's no scarcity of ducks at all. Well maybe the hens are noticeably absent, but that's because they're barefoot and pregnant, sitting on their nests. The other day at Chelsea sugar works there were something like 40 mallard drakes, 1 hen and a few greys eating the bread that Rilee was serving up (oh, and a big fark-off eel).

So let's go and see we'll be competing against at the election. This could be a laugh, but it also pays to know your competition.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dickie's turkey shoot

Dickie sent a PM to invite us out on his big turkey shoot. Damn, it's on Sunday; and me and the famdamily are going to be heading away on holiday. I've been looking forward to this shoot, so maybe next year I can get away. Leaving it until later in the year is flirting with bug tainted flesh, so its Sep or nothing.
Hopefully Tim can swing it, so that King Xiphias and The Evil Minion are represented.
Oh yeah and the money went through for the Prado last night.
I could run over lots of turkeys in my Prado and not even notice.