Saturday, December 27, 2014

Getting Busy….

Today things started to get busy at the campsite here at Akapoua Bay.

The boats have started to come in now that the easterlies have started to die down and Christmas and the Boxing Day sales are over and now it is time to go on holiday!

So we currently have 7 families and a group of young 7 people off a yacht in camp for tonight.

Muffin day yesterday as the bananas were getting rapidly past their use by date. I have since been told that if you wrap the stalks in tin foil it slows the ripening process down somewhat. Will try that next time.


I also forgot to include the pic of the cyclist who arrived and slung a hammock between the trees for the night


Have had a great number of people very upset at the devastation and the loss of the kauri dams so I have managed to get a pic of a photo of the damage here at the camp



They have done a huge amount of work to get the campsite back into working order!

So a boring fresh fish and chip dinner again tonight! Forgot to take pics sorry but went out in kayak about 10:30, paddled across to the point again and within 5 mins had caught a 40cm snapper. So came home again! One of the families off a fiz boat went out and brought in some very large snapper! So they are definitely out there!

I am thoroughly  enjoying this job, I get up early and clean the loos and sinks before anyone else is up and then check people in as they arrive during the day. I am officially off duty between 9am and 2pm but if I am here then I am available. I generally do last wander through the camp around 8:30pm and then call it a night. If I hear anything I will take a wander but all quiet so far…..

Safe travels everyone.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

What A Great Day

A day spent in reflection. Thinking about what and who matters in my life and how things interact to create the life that I live. Interesting times.

So after a lovely lunch of pan fried snapper and home made chips (potato and kumara)


I went for a wander around the bay to have a closer look at the house on the water.

Not currently occupied but presumably will be before I head home. It sits there floating and is moored to the shoreline.

I also came across a rather interesting excitement as I wandered around the shoreline. I heard the buzzing of bees and assumed that it would be a flowering pohutakawa but it turned out that this was a nest of what appears to be native bees in the bank just above high water mark.

Quite fascinating watching the hundreds of bees come and go from the hundreds of holes.

Had an interesting visit today from a young couple from Tokyo. They were asking about drinking water as they had run out and the store at Port FitzRoy was shut, so I gave them a glass each and then filled their water bottle up from the bus. The local water coming from the stream, cloudy and potentially has giardia in it. Most camp site water around the island needs to be filtered, treated or boiled as it all comes from streams. Luckily they just needed a bit to see them back to their accommodation.

For dinner I decided to smoke the other fillet of snapper, using Roger’s marinade recipe of brown sugar and sweet chilli sauce. Was fantastic with a bit of salad from the garden and beetroot from Brenda.


And to top the day off….


Tomorrow begins the task of being Camp Supervisor. Start wearing the hat, hi viz vest and attending to my duties, cleaning toilets, showers and sinks, making sure people behave and if they haven’t booked in take their money.

Oh and just for Lynette, who is coming over on later, I have the hot water sussed for the shower. Thanks to Brenda and Roger for the loan. It is getting heaps of use, every day.


It was so hot the other day I had to turn on the cold tap…..

I hope everyone had a great day today and didn’t eat too much…hahaha.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Day 2014

The alarm went off at 5:30 for some unknown reason  Winking smile

So I got ready, had some breakfast and headed out……


What an amazing sight as I paddled across Port FitzRoy harbour which is actually Rarohara Bay actually and out towards the entrance. I paused at the first headland see the map below…

Fishing spots

and within 5 mins had landed a barely legal snapper, she looked heavy with roe so I let it go. Another 5 mins and a baby snapper took the line. So I decided to move on.

Saw a fishing boat anchored off the bay…

So I went across to the other side of the entrance to the 2nd star on the map and after about 30 mins had a wonderful fight and landed the following….


At that point I was a very happy chap! After a few more smaller throw backs I decided that one was sufficient for Christmas lunch and headed back to base.


A beautiful start to the day which is now clouding over. I believe I got the best of the weather!

For the first time in my life I am alone on Christmas Day and thoroughly enjoying the peace and quiet and mostly enjoying the contemplation and reflection.

Hope you all have a great day today.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Kayaking, Biking and Injured Birds

Yesterday was an interesting day full of exciting things.

First up, the washing, was that time of the week again and so a load of washing was done, although the day was overcast I managed to get things dry.

Once the washing was on the line I unloaded the kayak and headed off out into Port FitzRoy Harbour to see what was out there.

Had a couple of nibbles, but nothing much out there. After speaking to a couple of locals, I now know where to go and what to do. Apparently one can take the black mussels off the buoys at the mussel farms and crush them for burley. This seems to work. Also I was on the wrong side of the harbour.

I paddled down to the red star on the map below and then drifted back past the mussel farm and then paddled home. The yellow stars are the good fishing spots (apparently)


So after lunch I decided to take a bit of a wander on the mountain bike towards the Forest Road which is the mountain bike track across the island. I got as far as the Kaiaraara Hut which is nestled in the bush and then headed back.

The three pics are

1: Overlooking Akapoua Bay on the way round to Kaiarara Bay.

2: The swing bridge across the Kaiarara Stream just prior to the hut

3: The loo at the hut, you have to clamber up to get inside!

The track is quite muddy further in and is very up and down so that might wait til after I finish my tasks for DoC and am a bit fitter!

After dinner I managed to find a kereru or wood pigeon lying on the grass and as I have no cell coverage but have internet, I contacted my niece via Facebook and asked her to ring the bird rescue centre here on the island to ask what to do. It came back that I was to attempt to feed it cooked vegs or fruit and give water and keep it overnight and get the DoC guys to take it to Tryphena in the morning. I managed to feed it some left over veges from my dinner and give it some water. Unfortunately it did not survive the night and Brett my boss here came and took it away.


This morning my peace has been shattered by three young men who have come to trim a couple of trees who’s roots have been undercut by the creek and could pose a danger to tents and people if they fall in a wind. They are just topping them so if they do fall they won’t cross the creek.

These young guys also have the contract for clearing the DoC tracks and keeping them clean and tidy. With what I have seen so far, they do a great job!. Good to see young people getting out and creating good opportunities for themselves.

Have another noisy interruption this afternoon when the lawn mower chaps arrive!  Ah well.

So as it is Christmas Eve here, I had better thank all my avid readers for a great year. Thanks for all you comments and has been really great to meet so many of you in my travels.


I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year. Safe travels and I look forward to another year of exciting travels. Who knows what lurks around the corner?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Birdlife at Akapoua Bay

This morning was woken by the raucous call of a bird that I recognised but couldn’t place. I wandered out with my coffee and discovered a flock of North Island Kaka swooping and playing around the campsite. I had not heard a Kaka for a long time and thought for a moment that they were Kea until I saw the underwing colour of scarlet and orange rather than the bright orange of the Kea. Also after checking the book I realised that Kaka are very common out here on the islands of the gulf. They are from the same genus Nestor as the Kea. North Island Kaka being Nestor meridionalis septentrionalis and Kea are Nestor notabilis. There were about 10 playing around this morning.


and on the way back to the bus more Kereru were in the shrubs feeding and having fun.

Also ranging around the campsite, though very timid are Banded Rail.



The day has cleared up from the rain yesterday….



so am just deciding which walk to do this afternoon. Might head through to Port FitzRoy and see what is happening in the thriving metropolis.

Tomorrow starts the induction process and training with The Department of Conservation back at Okiwi so will have to get up early. An 8:30am start so will have to leave here at about 8:15am, due to the traffic.