Wednesday, July 07, 2010


AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH it's the school holidays; what do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?

Well, if you're lucky, you get invited to go fishing and you take your daughter along.

Gary and his daughter Gabrielle were going to have a fish off the Whangamata wharf, stay the night and have another fish in the morning, then come home, and they were kind enough to invite Ella and I to come along, so we did.

We got there about when it got dark, so after chucking our stuff inside, we got dressed up:


and headed down to the wharf. This picture doesn't really convey the awe-inspiring conditions:


It wasn't raining much, but I'd estimate 900-knot winds. The only reason Ella isn't blowing away is because of the sinker on the end of her line.

Nothing was caught except fish and chips at the takeaways. This was followed by some card games, giving Ella plenty of opportunities to call her father a loser:


I don't know where she gets this from.

The next day we woke up so early that EVEN ELLA WENT BACK TO SLEEP AFTER THE ALARM WENT OFF. We had a quick look at the wharf, but it was too EXTREEM even for us, so we had a bit of breakfast first.

Then it was back into it:


It was still windy, just not as windy as the night before.

Can you imagine the neverending gloating if Ella was the only one who caught a fish? Luckily, there's no need for me to imagine it, as this is exactly what happened:




Actually, she was just very excited - anyone who's ever caught a fish for the first time will know exactly how excited she felt.

After that, all that was left was some breakfast and hot bread for lunch, a couple more games for me to lose, and icecream on the way home in Paeroa.

Massive thanks to Gary, Gabrielle, and their extended family whose bach we stayed in.

Tell me about your first fish.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

I used to have a boss called Ski, true story

Even though I don't have income, I've already got a season pass for Ruapehu, so I need to ensure that the $350 I spent on it last November doesn't go to waste.

With that in mind, Ken and I headed down to the mountain on Thursday. At that stage, Whakapapa only had the learner slopes open, so we went to Turoa, even though it's a bit further.

Since one of their lifts is bung, Turoa only had two chairs operating (Movenpick and High Flyer), but that was enough for a first day.

Here's Mount Egmont/Taranaki in the distance (you might be able to see it if you click for big):


Here's what the field down from the top cafe looked like:


One of the reasons we went was to test out our gear, which included helmets each for the first time ever:



This will probably mean fewer head injuries, but more broken bones as the helmets will spur us to ski far outside our abilities.

Plenty of snow on the upper mountain:


. . . but we couldn't get to it due to the bung chairlift. They made good use of the nice day to get almost the entire tower rebuilt though. Here's the helicopter they use to ferry bits of tower up:


Here's a panorama:

P1040333 Stitch

A few people turned up, but the queue never got much bigger than this:


This here's pretty much what we skied all day - not huge, but just right for making sure we could still do it:


Bloody good start to the season.