Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Geologically awesome….

Due to lack of telecommunications coverage this is now a day late but yesterday I was at Hamiltons Gap (#1273). An interesting place but more on that later.

I left Orua Bay and headed across to Big Bay and had a look a the Big Bay Holiday Camp but it didn’t look too exciting so I paused to have a look at the beach.

As you can see the tide was heading out….

I then took a wander up to a lookout/picnic area which was surrounded with gorse!

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From there I wandered around to Grahams Beach and had a look there, got chatting up with a local who is also a member of the NZMCA and pointed out the POP across the road. Another campervan couple joined us and we got to talking about fishing. The husband of the couple was commenting on the fact that he had just lost his second sea anchor due to forgetting it, starting the motor on his inflatable and chopping the rope with his prop. When asked about anchors, he didn’t want to risk swamping the inflatable trying to pull up a caught anchor. I immediately dived into the locker and pulled out my anchor and showed him the trick with a small cable tie and how that system worked.  

For those of you who don’t know it

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The chain is attached to the bottom of the anchor via a d-shackle and then the chain is attached to the stem of the anchor by a thin cable tie. The idea being that if you are on sand or not hooked up tight, the anchor will lift fine via the chain. If the anchor becomes stuck then a couple of sharp tugs will (hopefully) break the cable tie and then the chain is pulling from the tines end basically pulling the whole thing up from the bottom of the anchor (upside down).

The other alternative is one that Roger made for me and that is simply a piece of galvanised pipe with two pieces of #8 wire threaded through with a loop that won’t slip through the pipe and creating a place to hook the anchor chain on to and the other ends creating the times. The #8 wire is flexible enough to enable you to straighten the tines if required but strong enough to hold the kayak.

IMG_2660 Maybe I should start a tips and tricks page….

Anyway, from there I headed back towards Matakawau and stopped in at the Awhitu Vineyard where I sampled their three lovely wines. They are a boutique vineyard and produce around 4,000 bottles a year. They have Shayne Cox as their wine maker. They have a Syrah, Chardonnay and a Rose. I ended up buying a couple of bottles of their 2011 Peninsular Chardonnay and two of their  Greenock Syrah, both of which are lovely wines.

The owner gave a lovely explanation of what they were doing and how they grow and make their wines. There was a local woman there also buying and we ended up spending a good hour chatting and solving a lot of the world’s problems. A nice way to spend some time.

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From there I headed across to Hamiltons Gap . What a fascinating place. Lovely and quiet, only one other couple in a tent.

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The west coast beach was pretty small at the time I arrived due to the tide being pretty full, but the cliffs were just mind blowing.

There was a cute set of toilets there as well. The woodwork was great and fitted into the locale well.

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The scale of things there are difficult to photograph when you are by yourself but I managed to get a couple of people in one.

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The whole landscape is so different. It really does tell the story of the sand dunes that underlie the whole peninsular.

It was quite eerily moonscapeish and with the wind blowing the sand around it looked like some weird ghostly wraiths around the cliffs. The black sand looked just like the black silky wraiths out of Harry Potter.

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There were also amazing falls and streams of sand constantly falling off the cliffs as well, so it was constant movement and change. There were very obvious major falls and slides and huge fans of sand and debris that had fallen/slid off the cliffs.

I found it fascinating when I came across an interesting object buried in the sand

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I would love to know the story of that one! It looked as though the vehicle had not been there for too long as there was still wiring and bits looking quite good, though the engine block and other metal bits were well rusted. This was one of two that I found. The second was further up the beach and could have come from the top of the cliff maybe.

I also came across the bones of a dragon buried in the sand

It was the only yellow rock on the entire beach. Interesting……

I came across some interesting textures on my walk up and down the beach, there was some amazing flows of fresh water coming out of the base of the cliffs.

The sunset was just spectacular as well.

The morning was slightly cloudy and from there I moved towards Pollock where I went down to Pollock Wharf and had morning tea.

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From there I went back to the Pollock Co-Op and purchased a lovely recycled fence batten plant pot holder for my sister in Whangarei. She had asked for anyone who was in the area to get another one for her. She had been there a few years ago and had bought a couple but wanted more. 

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So after a bit of a grocery shop I headed off to the truck wreckers in Pukekohe to see if I could find a front downward mirror which I found, now I have an awesome view of things from the drivers seat!

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and as you can see from the picture, I am currently at Ray’s Rest, Kaiaua for the night or couple of days depending on the weather and tides. Currently there is no other side to the Firth of Thames due to the cloud.

About 5 mins after arriving here, there was a knock on the door and low and behold there stands Bernice my number 4 blog reader! So we had a bit of a catch up and we will get together later in the day for coffee or wine or what ever.

They had been over in Whangamata for the past few weeks and are heading to Auckland as their daughter is arriving from England on Sunday.

So hopefully some fish tomorrow…….