Thursday, December 30, 2010

A perennial seasonal annoyance

Thursday December 30th and thus this year has but a day and a bit to run. And then it will be the New Year. Not going too fast for you I trust?

However in New Zealand we are at the cusp of the season of New Years - plural. What are you doing for New Years? I am going to Whangamata for New Years (I will therefore get a hangover/be arrested/feature on the six o'clock News/all of the above) etc. This is New Years without the apostrophe which would be acceptable as a shortened form of New Year's Eve; the Eve of New Year. Or, I suppose, a shortened form of New Year's frog or New Year's plate galss bicycle.

This abuse of the English language is one that really gets up my nose on an annual basis. It is so unnecessary but I doubt it can be eradicated without a change in statute; people up against a wall for misuse of the English language style of a thing. At the end of December we look forward to a New Year - singular. On Saturday 2011 will start; we do not get the commencement of two (or more) New Years. It is not January 1st 2011 and 1947 however much fun that may be. Would be rather amusing to be given the option of any other year to start at the same time as the real New Year, would it not? I think I would go for 2011 and 1969. Good year 1969. Long fine UK summer, rock climbing, start of medical school, dreadful haircut and good music. Perhaps I could have 2012 and 1976 with a bit of 2031 as a side order. Big fish in Papua New Guinea, a Mr McCawber financial strategy, carefree and a glimpse of life at eighty.

I am looking forward to the New Year (singular) which will start with a week in Penang and Singapore - never a hardship.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Seasonal Climate Change Crap

A few weeks off during the Festive Season and other goings on around Obald Acres so why not amuse one's self for a minute or two with a spot of blogging.

I have my brother visiting from the UK at the moment (vide supra) and he is due to fly back to the frozen North on Thursday in order that he may partake of his mince pies in a more traditional Yuletide climate. But wait, it is not that at all. There are polar bears in Oxford Street, the British Prime Minister is at his weekend igloo and the 0843 from Penge really is cancelled because of snow drifts. There is every chance that brother will not be able to return to Heathrow on Thursday at all 'cos Heathrow is closed. As is Gatwick and Stanstead and for all I know that Johnny come lately, London City Airport. This is not because the National Union of Airport Bog Cleaners is on strike it is because the UK has ground to halt under snowfalls of biblical proportions. Worst (or best if you are eyeing up Boxhill with your toboggan) snowfall in Britain for decades. Global warming my arse.

But the idiot warmists are not so easily shot down. 'You deniers really don't understand the difference between climate and weather'. Condescending pratts. Well, you bleeding fools I'll tell you what the difference between climate and weather is in your warped parallel universe. When it gets hotter it is climate and when it is unusually cold it has to be weather.

Why the hell do we waste food on these morons?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

North of some border or other

I don't think I've been to Scotland for about thirty years. I think I tried to go there with Mrs O for a scenic tour prior to our leaving for the Far East but found the entire country missing in action. This would have been in the Fiat X-19 era and there was a cloud base at about 500ft and that was all we saw for a week. Cloud.

At least of couple of days in the middle of a cloud would be preferable to remaining in what is fast becoming my least favourite place on the planet. Down to the London City Airport. I didn't know there even was one. Caters for planes up to about thirty seaters and is really quite good. All the usual shoes and belt off nonsense (and this to go to that well known prime strategic target, Dundee) but I have got past worrying about that. It ain't going to go away until the rest of the world tells the Obama Messiah to piss off and if you try and get shirty with the wielders of the Semtex sniffer sticks life just gets worse. Just smile and wave.

The trip north had a governance I still cannot work out. The ticket was Air France, the in flight magazine was from City Jet and the flight attendant of the required ambivalent sexual orientation was kitted out in ScotAir livery. Presumably all three were clipping the ticket along the way to ensure the fare was of a suitably eye watering magnitude. Froggy peanuts with the Froggy OJ as you fly over Wolverhampton; this is Britain Jim but not as we know it.

I reckon Scotland is OK. There for two days and never saw the sun once. Scotland at the end of October; had it been any other way I would have asked for my money back. Never saw a single funny bank note, had no trouble holding long, complex technical conversations with proper Scotsmen speaking proper Scotsmen talk and I didn't have to eat haggis. All good. Had a couple of very agreeable train rides from Dundee to Edinburgh and back encompassing two of the more famous rail bridges in Britain. There wasn't anybody painting the Forth Bridge so that's one myth down the dunny and it was a bit spooky looking to the side of the Tay Bridge to see the pilings of the bridge that fell into the drink with a train on it in eighteen fifty something still in place. There really are a disproportionate number of gingas in Scotland. Edinburgh has more pubs than I would have thought it possible to fit into one city. It would appear that the reputation of the Scots as having the diet from hell is justified. Chip shops for Africa and I saw more than one eatery advertising fried Mars bars. Not only do they sell them, they advertise the fact. I must confess that I was tempted along the same lines that one is tempted just for a moment to put your hand on a cooking element just to make sure it is hot. I wonder if you can eat a fried Mars bar at lunchtime (is there a right time of day to eat them?) and still be alive to tell the tale in the evening.

All this agreeable greyness has to end and one must return to the centre of Hell for the weekend to prepare for week two. This would b a trip to the airport, then. Dundee airport is an excellent illustration of where the Obama Messiah's nonsense has taken the rest of the world on the air travel security front. The airport would get half a dozen thirty seater planes through it a day, tops. The effort we flew back to London had eleven punters on it. We got one member of airport security staff each. A set up identical to Heathrow Terminal 3 complete with hi-viz jockstraps and socks for all, scanners the size of small trucks and the belts and shoes off crap. To be fair they did it with a much greater level of user friendliness than you get in most airports but they didn't need to do it at all. The thirteen year old Unaccompanied Minor reading Black Beauty and listening to Robbie Williams on her iPod is just the sort of passenger the free world has to be protected from.

This bit pains me enormously. I got from Dundee airport to a cup of tea in a South West London kitchen in a tad over three hours. I am supposed to hate public transport. A useless idea that stops me getting from A to B in an Aston Martin. However even I admit I couldn't do that in a DB9.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rush Hour

I was born in London and spent the first twenty two years of my life in the south west suburbs of same or actually living in the middle. I loved it. I thought London was the centre of the universe and wogs started at Dover. But why would you even go as far as Dover; everything you needed or could possibly want was in London. Through the rose coloured lenses of the retrospectoscope the worst person you could ever meet was Arthur Daly and the few foreigners in the place were either conductors on buses, ran curry shops or visited from the exotic West Indies to show us how absurdly and effortlessly good they were at cricket. They would, of course, drop off a box of bananas at Henry Cooper's greengrocers shop on the way to the Oval to score a ton before lunch in the process of giving Surrey a right good seeing to.

Dad went to work 'in town' using his season ticket on the Southern Railway from Motspur Park. Although I didn't know it at the time, this was commuting. I have never commuted in my life and, after the last couple of days doing a spot of it in order to go to work 'in town', hereby resolve I never will.

Commuting should be classified as cruel and unnatural punishment right up there with the Iron Maiden and waterboarding. It is almost unbelievably unpleasant. For starters it occurs in London and its south west suburbs. Those elysian fields of my youth have been transformed into the lands on the far bank of the Styx. Either that or my perception of same has changed. I strongly suspect it is a combination of the two. You cannot spend thirty years living in much more pleasant places than the location of your birth and remained unchanged but, that notwithstanding, I am sure London is now a totally uninhabitable dump. Visiting there is bad enough (OK the shopping is better than the Albany MagaCentre) but living there? Forget it.

Where to start? People is a good place to start - and, probably, end. There are just plain too many of them. Why is this? Thirty years of wholesale bonking has not produced the absurd number of people now swarming all over the capital. Keeping one's ears even a little in non painted on mode you will soon discern that most of the denizens of London started their existence from beyond the aforementioned Dover. Spotting Arthur Daly or his progeny would be no mean feat. London has been taken over by foreigners. What do they all do? Well, they are not bus conductors as that species went the way of the moa many years ago. London has not been overtaken by biblical plagues of Test cricketers either. Sure, they run curry shops, and kebab stands and Thai restaurants and corner shops and those roadside stalls in Oxford Street selling unadulterated crap and have bought out Henry Cooper on the greengrocer front. But mostly, if the TV news is to be believed, they spend the day stabbing each other. There is a lot of stabbing in London; not very nice.

OK, there are too many people and most are of the foreign persuasion, what else? Coming here at the end of October and early November paints a suitably wet and grey backdrop to make the infrastructure look at its worst. Even in the 1970's you wouldn't really need a car in central London as the public transport service was pretty bloody good. In the middle this was mainly the Tube (never have been one for buses since they got rid of the conductors with those aluminium ticket machines containing micro loo rolls) which I used and quite liked. Whether you wanted to take a car into Central London or not now doesn't really matter as effectively you can't. Regulations and volume stopped all that nonsense years ago. It would cost you the GDP of a small country to take the Veyron down the Marylebone Road and then you couldn't stop as parking it would cost you the National Debt of your neighboring state. You are forced onto public transport.

Do this, as I did for the last two days, at 0745 and, look ma, I'm a commuter. The Tube now looks as old as it is. The walls of the labyrinthine subterranean walkways connecting the Bakerloo to the Central to the Northern look every bit the eighty years or so old they are. That is if you can see them past the gaggle of Lithuanian knifeists jostling up to you on all sides. You are thrust into this hell hole through automatic gates guarded by wearers of the universal Hi Vis jacket using your Oyster along with millions of your fellow lemmings. It is hideous. Down the ancient escalators into the bowels of the earth to await a seventy year old train into which you wedge your self with a carriage full of Moroccans who almost certainly have carving knives secreted about their person. Bloody announcements to not leave your bags unattended or your knives will be taken away to be blown up and reminders that CCTV is operational in all carriages. The entire carriage is either watching reruns of Eastenders on the iPod Touch or reading the Metro freebie newspaper; or both. Let me out of this hell.

Well, they do at Great Portland Street. And it is raining. And there is a bitter Nor'easter and I want to go home. But I have five hours of meetings and these take place in a basement room with no bloody windows. I really want to go home. At least the meeting was fruitful, I suppose. Get through the day's work, and make no mistake that is what it was, and back into the wind and rain for the evening commute.

More of the same. Mind the Gap, Latvian footpads and Angry Birds whilst incarcerated in a piece of nineteenth century technology for an hour. And then there is a two mile walk in the rain as the sun sinks over a slate grey horizon. This is not living but nearly ten million people would argue otherwise.

I'm flying to Dundee this evening with Air France which is a bit of a worry - wogs start at Dover, remember. I am reliably informed that Dundee is in Scotland so the next missive will be from a totally different place. If they don't accept English bank notes I will be severely pissed off.

It can't be worse than bloody London surely.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A somewhat grumpy traveller

I'm getting fussy, grumpy, spoilt or, more probably, all of the above. Starting this post in the ersatz airport lounge run by Royal Thai Airways in Hong Kong. Its a shocker. More detail to follow.

Since my change in employment circumstance some five months ago I have become, a little reluctantly, a very frequent air traveller. I commute from Auckland Wellington on a weekly basis and I now know how to do it. The flight AKL-WLG is only forty minutes or so so the seat doesn't matter. As long as the row number is not greater than two. What I have found to be essential to make this sort of malarky tolerable, even quite agreeable, is access to a decent airport lounge. Lots of advantages to this. Streamlined no fuss getting from the airport front door to the airplane front door is all good. No queueing with the great unwashed to get boarding passes; just swipe the electronic bizzo on the electronic bizzo swiper, get the green light and you are all good. Swipe one and its all good to get into the Koru Lounge, swipe two and its all good to settle into 1F.

One doesn't get this electronic goodness on international flights but the analogue equivalent is required. Auckland does this well. Check in at desk suitably screened off from the poor wretches taking their tattoos to Surfers Paradise and a separate little lift takes you up to the customs lady without having to walk past McDonalds. Then you are into the Koru Lounge and endless supplies of Black Doris plums and mixed berry yoghourt. Pick your time of day right you get a barista to cobble together a long black. Free wifi (password Kerikeri this month) and all is goodness.

Hong Kong, gleaming new Chap Lep Kok not withstanding does this very poorly. Get off NZ39 AKL-HKG (more of this later) and you are thrust into Kai Tak circa 1975. No fast tracks here. Queue up with thousands of people to go through security. Be shouted at by the pre security screening woman that you don't have a Transit Pass and your Boarding Pass is wrong. Taken by another pre security type bloke to get a 'right' boarding pass. To do this you walk past a couple of hundred people that were behind you in this damned queue and are now in front of you (we'll see about that). New boarding pass is printed and is identical to the old one. Still no Transit Pass. 'Please get in the queue for security'. 'No'. I have had enough of this already. 'Take me via the secret squirrel route to the front of the queue'. This simple request is acceded to. You only have to ask. Nicely.

Shower time so a beeline for the Star Alliance Lounge. Choice of two in Honkers Terminal 1. One run by United (pullease) and one by the aforementioned Royal Thai. That'll be OK. Wrong. Its a shocker. A sort of airline lounge set up like a campsite; an outdoors lounge on a balcony of the terminal. Free wifi to be sure (picked up my itinerary for Gloucester in ten days time) but the nibbles are awful. Chickens feet or instant noodles. Espresso from a self service machine that tastes of acorns and very uncomfy chairs. No matter I am here for a shower. Walk into the ablution bit half expecting a black polythene shower bag hung up on a tree. There is only one shower stall and it is locked; you know - with a key. Trudge back to Camp Mother at reception and am told I can have the key if I leave my Boarding Pass as a deposit. What does she think I am going to do, put her bloody shower into my hand luggage and take it to London? Smile and wave and take the keys to the cleanness kingdom back to the shower. All tools for a shower present and correct? No chance. No razor or shaving foam. Does Camp Mother think I am going to slash my wrists after the hot shower prior to nicking her ablution block? By this time I am sorely tempted. Shower, change of clothes and no shave and one feels a bit better. A cup of acorn extract and a chickens foot and we'll be ready for 12 1/2 hours to Heathrow.

At least my Boarding Pass (both of them) now says 3J. The first leg said 26H which entitles one to sit in Air New Zealand's 'Premium Economy'. Don't do it; shedloads of economy and very little premium. The only advantage to paying extra dosh to get from taxpayer funded Row 56 to Premium Economy is that if your upgrade request is successful (50% hit rate on this trip) you get to a proper seat. Premium Economy is almost as horrible as Economy Ordinaire. Same seat but with 10º extra recline (big deal, you still can't sleep) and six inches more leg room. This is of no use to me as I am built along the lines of a garden gnome. The food is the same wot the punters up the front get but that is about it. I did get the AC power to work eventually after holding my mouth in the special way.

I am at last in one of Air New Zealand's Business bizzos - but the bloody power isn't working. The pod is what it should be with room to spread all ones essential long trip odds and sods around and with no power the only thing to do is ignore the breakfast, have a cup of tea, a handful of melatonin and press the magic bed button. But I don't want to go to sleep at quarter past three in the afternoon in Auckland or quarter past ten in the morning in Hong Kong. It is quarter past three in the morning in London but I'm not in London yet. Grrrr - not a particularly happy camper at the moment.

I am fast coming to the conclusion that if I have to travel long haul I have to get the death adder out of the pocket and pay silly money or just slum it in the peanut gallery and shut up. Neither is very attractive.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The Gold Coast; its pointless.

Sitting in the Koru Lounge in Brisbane at 0657 awaiting the tin budgie to take me back to Godzone. 0657 you would think would just about be the start of the day but in Queensland they don't have about a fortnight of daylight saving so the sun has been up since about 4 am. Why? Not a clue; well I know why the sun came up, that's what it does, but I have no idea why they want it peeking over the horizon so bloody early in the day. Wasn't it something about the curtains fading? And then it's dark by 6.30 in the evening. Bonkers.

Anyway my travails in Queensland took me to the Gold Coast for the day yesterday. Took the Hertzmobile and cunningly avoided the Toll Roads down to Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. This not because I'm a tight wad but because paying a toll from a rental car is just too bloody hard. No toll booths and the only methods are by using a 0800 number or some arcane website. Far too difficult for a simple artisan; go by the goat track through central Brisbane instead. After that getting to the Gold Coast is easy peasy.

But why would you bother? My business was in Broadbeach but I dutifully made the side trip to Surfers just to get the full Gold Coast experience. I have never seen such a collection of nonsense. Hundreds (literally) of crappy high rise apartments fronting an admittedly good surf beach. Coffee shops and bars for Africa. Even more hairdressers and surf shops. Even more real estate agents trying to flog the unwary any number of identical crappy apartments. And presumably even more tattoo parlours. I felt positively unique in walking around with un-inked skin. Perfectly acceptable members of both chromosomal make up groups seemed unable to go anywhere without showing how they have wrecked their appearance for life by displaying a revolting array of body 'art' peeking (leaping more like) from beneath the board shorts and vest. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

I was in Blackpool in the UK about a year ago and Surfers Paradise is exactly the same. Granted I would swap the Pacific for the Irish Sea but the concept behind both conglomerations is identical. Find an acceptable piece of coastline and then ruin it over decades with the town planning from hell just to turn a buck. Very sad.

The Gold Coast is pointless and I won't be going back unless I have to. I certainly won't go there spending any of my own money. Hundreds of thousands do though. They have my sympathy.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Well, what's all this then?

First post on this blog for about six months. The first scribblings are dated 2006. A year of a post every other day, a bit less the next year, even less to follow that and then it all stopped in April this year.

I have written before that I don't need a reason for this. I write here when I feel like it for my own amusement. I am the sort of a cove whose interests vary as time go along. Blogging was getting boring. It all started as a commentary on New Zealand's apology for a leading newspaper. This was a thinly veiled excuse to provide a vehicle for me to vent my spleen on the then sitting Labour Government. I don't do hatred - it is bad for my mental well being - but Clark and Cullen are the nearest I get to hating anything. They are truly the nauseating embodiment of a philosophy I cannot abide. A philosophy built on envy, lack of principal and, in those two wastrels, a lust for power at any price. Fighting for equal rights for the ordinary New Zealander? Yeah right; I did not come down with the last shower of rain - and it is raining now. As is typical of despotic powerful leaders they departed leaving absolutely nothing to fill the void. You don't encourage a strong succession stream; construct a vacuum behind you. There is nothing in a vacuum, especially a threat to one's power, as the Goof and Co. amply illustrate. That very simple principle is in the first lecture of Despot 101. But I'm in a good mood and they are long gone; no point in getting myself nasally dislocated for no reason.

I also stopped penning bits and pieces as I had (still have) a change in employment circumstances which make it prudent for me to be a little circumspect as to what I put into the public domain. I am not a scaredy cat but, to extend the feline analogy, I see no point in pulling the tiger's whiskers. So there will be nothing from me about the entirely delightful demise of that useless wretch, Chris Carter. Oops, there I go I've called him a useless wretch. I can't get into too much strife telling the truth, can I? I see I called him as a waste of space in 2006; what a prescient beast I am. No comment from here on the shameful way in which the only reason to watch Breakfast TV in a Wellington hotel once a week was given the bum's rush. No comment here lambasting those who see offence in telling the truth. No, none of that.

This blog will undergo a phoenix like, and maybe ephemeral, rise from the ashes for about a month - for starters. Reason? I'm off on me travels again and the most pleasure I've got from this blog over the years has been chronicling my overseas trips. These have usually been fairly short forays to septic land to attend conferences. It has amused to jot down musings concerning America (which I think I dislike) and the denizens of big airports and aeroplanes (both of which I like enormously).

Tomorrow at seriously dark o'clock (0320) I will drive the Jag out of Obald Acres to catch the tin budgie to Brisbane. To follow will be the best part of a month away from home with the most western port of call being Dublin. I am giving the land of Uncle Sam the swerve and most of the time will be in the UK. This whole extravaganza is not a jaunt, I can assure you, but definitely in the putting food on the table department. I travel with some very cool transcription software for the iPhone and MacBook Pro a myriad of reports to write. I travel with what passes as a brain in sponge mode during the daylight hours and analytical mode after dark and in those seemingly unending hours spent in a pressurised tube over unpronounceable parts of the globe.

I travel with a sense of foreboding at the magnitude of the piece of work in front of me. There are a few bright spots on the horizon. The tingling anticipation as to which sectors my upgrade request will be fulfilled. Wet'n'Wild on the Gold Coast (if they haven't got one I want my money back), watching the AB's dick England on a mate's telly in Cirencester. But mainly I am a little apprehensive as to whether I can make a good fist of the huge task that lies before me.

A few minutes a few times a week taking the piss out of fat ladies, stupid regulations, too many people, security cameras, Uncle Tm Cobly and all won't go amiss.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A hedgehog emerging from his burrow

No posts on this blog for an unprecedented two months. Reason (as if I need one) is mainly that I have had no inclination to sit down at a keyboard through what has been a good (if depressingly dry) summer when I had lots of other outdoor type things to do. A good fishing season has been chronicled by a single post and I may find the time to detail another week. In addition there has been little on the general goings on front to stir the fingers.

What then has caused the end of the hibernation? The bloody Wiahopai vandals that's what. I was pleasantly ensconced on a game boat off the Northland Coast when these three tossers were handed down the manifestly unjust verdict of 'Not Guilty' for slashing the flash tents covering the satellite dishes at the top of the South Island. What a trio of wankers. Weird beards on steroids. Unkempt idiots who belong to some ultra left peacenik commune that lives a life which became unfashionable somewhere at the end of the sixties. How the hell they got a jury to swallow the line that their actions were justified because by vandalising a satellite dish in New Zealand they were saving lives in Iraq is way beyond me.

I really don't care if people like this want to live in a cave, eat bark, wander round singing Cumbaya and spread their loony tunes view of things to each other. As long as they don't interfere with the proper world who cares? But when they are caught slashing public property with sickles (no planet wrecking chainsaws for these idiots) they are patently guilty of whatever vandalism/damaging property type charges you can think of.

OK (well not OK, really) the not guilty verdict passed me by. Not however yesterday's development. The government has been denied permission (from who - another bit of the government?) to appeal the guilty verdict. God knows why - there's an 'R' in the month? - and so they are considering suing them for the damage. Wrong. Don't consider it, just get on and do it. They reckon $1,100,000 should cover the embroidery for a new tent. Well I should hope it would. The reaction of the unkempt wankers and John Minto (one and the same thing, really)? It is unjust and you can't sue us because we only have $1000 between us. Where the hell is a debtor's prison when you need one.

Suing people for lots of money when they have none is a waste of time? Bollocks. If these tossers only have $1000 stashed in cocoa tins under their beds then take the lot. And the cocoa tins. And the beds. Then take every cent they bludge off other people (these are not the sort of oxygen thieves that ever earn any money by putting in an honest day's toil) from them on an ongoing basis until the $1,100,00 is paid off. To the last bloody dollar. If it takes the rest of their miserable lives all the better. If they still haven't paid it off when they mercifully die, even more betterer. Saddle their heirs (sic) with the responsibilty of the balance.

The bloody arrogance they exhibit by standing there and thumbing their collective snotty noses at society makes me sick. They are the dregs of society in all their self righteous, nay pious, warped leftist view of life. A casting into a pit to be fed snozzcumbers for the rest of their pitiable existences would be too good for them. The best we can hope for in the short term is that we deny them the oxygen of publicity they so obviously crave.

They have made be damned angry this morning and I gave up angry years ago.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Go East, Old Men

Boulder, Bender, Bushpig and I spent but a few days at Waihau Bay about this time last year. This was a trailer boat smash and grab which grabbed us nothing piscatorial but I was enchanted by the place. I said to Boulder that I was of the opinion that we must return and do it on a more serious basis. fast forward to August last year. Tagit, Boulder and Dead Ant are invited around to Obald Acres for a soiree of food and planning. Tagit the boat, as opposed to the Bloke (well, as well as the boat actually) will go to Waihau in February 2010.

Two weeks ago the Warwick 43 was on the hard at Pier 21 and I was invited to spend Anniversary Day in the lazarette imbibing diesel and removing my skin with bilge degreaser. Yum, yum. The Weasel chose to have a cardiac arrest on this fitting out day. Dead Ant failed with cardioversion and so off he went to the doctor. This meant Boulder would have to bring Pop Weasel. Would the geriatric gent be up to the task? Anyway, all haul work done and the boat is back on the water ready for the off.


Tagit arrives at Obald Acres at 0710 as arranged and we are off to Z Pier. The gamefishing machine looks like the garage from hell with no saloon floor, tools everywhere and a couple of refrigeration engineers in the noisy downstairs goey roundy department. We are going to leave at lunchtime in this? Obald is told to go abseiling off the flybridge roof with only RainX as a safety net and we await the arrival of Boulder, Moggy and the provisions. Noon sees the advent of two trucks and two cars. Truck one contains eighty wides, rods and jigs; these are measured in hundreds of kilograms. This is Boulder's truck. Truck two contains garlic; this is measured in hundreds of kilograms and is Moggy's truck. The cars contain the supervisors of the trucks. Simple. The Boss arrives after purchasing another couple of Bayliss Boatworks 60s for the Dreamboat fleet, the refrigeration engineers are evicted, the floor restored to the saloon and it is off to the fuel bowser. We buy lots of diesel: lots and lots. Fill the boat tanks (three) a 220 litre bladder and 20 litre jerry cans for Africa. At about 1500 we are off; destination East Cape. Tagit driving, Boulder counting fishing tackle, Obald Weaseling and Moggy peeling garlic. First night anchored in Home Bay (I think) in the Mercs next to Michael Hill the Jeweler/golfer/angler's ship. Evening spent assembling five 80 wides on bent butt rods, knitting doubles and choosing the run-on team for the morning. And still Moggy peels garlic.


We have to be at White Island this evening. However for fuel and angling reasons we go everywhere at trolling speed. Starting line up is: SC black and purple Zucker 5.5, LC Hooker All American, SR Pakula Lumo Sprocket, LR Legend Enki Poo Brown and Shotgun (oh dear) Legend Chromed Brass Unicorn blue/silver. All single hook stiff rigs with the biggest hook being a 9/0. 6m south of the Hook in 130m we are on on the bloody shottie and Mogy is order out of the garlic factory and into the chair. A small (70ish) stripey is close in short order. He is obviously coming to the surface not thirty feet from the boat and none of us do anything about it. A jump with the leader almost, but not quite, in Boulder's grasp. The line is now slack when fishy shakes his head and it is all in the air; none of it in the water. This is going to end in tears and it duly does. Should have had this fish. More attention to detail (as always) from everyone of us required. No more strikes today and we get to White Island on dusk. Good anchorage selected by the skipper (one of his many strong suits, this) and post pork knuckles the evening fun begins. Tagit spends the time netting flying fish (relatively easy game) and Moggy fishes for things using garlic as bait. He tries to catch kingies with flying fish as bait and hooks a bronzie. Thinks it might be a good idea to get his hook back (which it wasn't) and whilst getting soaked doing this gets head butted square in the middle of the chest by yet another flying fish. Much amusement for those not already asleep (i.e. me)


White Island to Waihau Bay. My first act of muppetry comes to light. I have a few vices, very few I would like to think. ONe is that when I eat stone fruit I eat the lot. This matters not a jot on shore. This is not the case when marine toilets are involved. The tell tale rattle in the macerator department meant not my last trip to retrieve cherry and plum stones. And speaking of muppetry the confusion over port and starboard doesn't count, OK?

Relatively quiet day on the fishing front. We are in big fish land now so we had better act accordingly. Z 5.5 retired to the bench and a blue/silver over black/purple Legend Andromeda goes to SC, the All American to LR, the Enki benched and a Legend Piper (white head, black nose, no eyes prototype) skirted purple/white over black purple goes to LC. We get a knockdown on the Sprocket just when we get to about 300m off Orete Point. Didn't see it but consensus was (on the basis of very little evidence ) that this was a chucker. Also had a strike on the Piper that was probably a stripey. Anchor in Waihau Bay for the first time and had garlic for tea.


First full day at Wiahau Bay. Eric's 0915 sched reveals probably thirty boats out on the water and we are the only non trailer boat around. However three quarters of an hour before '...and you'll catch me on the next one' we had already dropped our first marlin of the day. Beeeeg fish 300m of Runaway on the All American on LR. Wearing a single hook for the last time in the week (as if that made a difference - well it might, I suppose) on for a minute and Moggy lets it go so he can carry on peeling garlic. Boulder calls it for a Blue but he was wrong. Tagit and your correspondent called it a large stripey and they are right. At 1330 the All American now sporting two hooks produces again and this time Moggy gets fed up with dropping fish and we have a short billed spearfish going burko in the cockpit after Tagit pissed it off by whacking it on the noggin with the back of a gaff; well that would get up your nose, whatever its length, wouldn't it? This fish goes 23.5kg. Not bad. Little bits made very yummy, if a little unusual (very firm), fish nibbles and the fillets have an appointment with Mr Bradley.

First contact on Channel 06 with Rick Pollock and he agrees to deliver 2 litres of milk to Lottin Point the next morning.


Ranfurly day. Weather slated for primo to the max and it is decided we will shadow Pusuit for the first trip to the Ranfurly Banks for three of us and the four hundred and twenty third for the fourth, I will confess to a warm glow of anticipation tinged with a little apprehension on the two and a half hour trip from Lottin; after all, this place eats people. The sides are every bit a steep as advertised with the sort of sea that goes with the topography; confused enough in five knots variable. The GPS says 178º 56E; hell, we are almost fishing yesterday.

Only a couple of hours on the Banks and where to go. To a novice it didn't really seem to matter; there is sign of fish absolutely everywhere. This is far and away the fishiest place I have ever been. Boulder is in his element. Wiggy whack the go for a while on top the mountain. Moggy and Boulder show off by catching 20 kilo plus kingfish almost at will.

Tagit chips in with a couple in the 8-10kg range and beginner Obie mops up the mice, rats and occasional possum. I kid you not, twenty one kingies under eight kilos in a couple of hours. More Channel 06 talk with the milkman and we are off to Jurassic Park.

Boulder takes sympathy with your scribe and hands me the Bitch teamed up with a big chunk of American aluminium and miles of serious looking braid. A (legal sized, of course) live trevally on a f. off circle hook above a sash weight and off we go into the depths. I will confess being a bit unprepared for the next bit. Strike drag for my stand up fishing is 12kg if I've eaten my Weetbix like a good boy. Boulder was a bit heavy handed when he set the drags on the lump of aluminium, surely? So we'll fisha sensible drag a tad off Boulders silly strike position. Wrong. A proper kingfish has me in the rocks in seconds. Bust off and we'll try again. Another (legal sized, of course) trevally on 14/0 recurve hooks, a couple of harden up tough pills, Boulder's strike drag and hold on.

An estimated 25kg kingfish is booted out of the transom door ten minutes later. Quite good fun - but don't tell any one.

Time marches on and we must make tracks. Wind coming up a bit. Troll off the peak along the North West ridge and not long before we have a solid stripey double on; Lumo sprocket on SR which is given to Moggy to drop so he can return to peeling garlic and All American on LR for Boulder which he has no trouble bringing to the boat three times. Your scribe has the gloves on and is in very unfamiliar territory. First time to the boat I never look like getting a good hold of the leader and fishy is off. Second attempt and i get a good enough wrap free grasp to get the tag in but the lack of wraps has the inevitable conclusion that fishy is off on its travels again. Tagit asks if I would like him to leader the fish. Bloody oath I would. I need my hands for other things (like earning a living) and I don't want them all bruised playing with stupid fish. Third time lucky (or more like he was being leadered properly and not wimpily) and a now quite bronzed fish easily has his hooks removed.

Called for 90kg. About four or five minutes being swum by the boat on the snooter sees him get his lilac and blue back nicely and he swims away strongly.

Snooter is a good thing. Get one.

Quite a bit more wind now and we still have to come down the mountan. Not nice and this is followed by a fairly uncomfortable trip back to anchor in Hicks Bay. Three of us are too knackered to eat and nibble on a few offcuts of hapuku (I din't mention that, didI? Well it didn't drop from the sky) but Moggy makes himself a garlic sandwich.


Only really rough day of the week and we bounce around back to Waihau Bay for an easily scored 0-0-0. Only strike free day of the trip. Tagit anchors with his usual skill in the only ten square metres of lee in the Bay and we dine on chicken flavoured garlic before Moggy puts the Shimano Hiab range of rods through its paces. Place butt of rod in left hand, place 5kg kingfish on short piece of line running through tip guide and lift. You can get the fish's eyes 5cm from the reel. Very impressive and Shimano are missing a marketing trick here.


Weather back to normal and we get a full twelve hours trolling in doing the 'Orete-Hook-Backbone' circuit. 1330, 400m off Orete and its funtime. Good visual of a marlin swimming behind the Andromeda at SC. A nudge, a wee pull (5 metres) of line and nothing. I drop the lure back nowhere near enough and he's gone. Bugger. But all is not lost. Lumo Sprocket is knocked out of SR. Is that It? No Bloody shotgun is of again......and then stops. I decide to get serious about dropping the lure back this time and give fish heaps. So much so that the dacron backing is off the reel by the time I sit down in the play chair. Catching a 75kg stripey from a chair on 37kg with a good team around you is not difficult nad in short ordered Tagit had delivered the transom of the boat to the fish, Moggy had breathed garlic down my neck whilst accurately pointing the chair at the line and Boulder had done the nasty horrible leadering bit (and hurt his hand) Tag in, hooks out, game over.

Back to Waihau for the last night; anchored in the river. Roast pork tonight and as the skipper had hid the damned garlic it was wonderful. Moggy sulked.


It is home time and the Bay of Plenty is a big place. A 0510 start with Tauranga and all its lovely diesel as the destination. Just past Orete and it is still dark when I start to put the lures out for the day. Just get Lumo Sprocket into his armchair at SR and some bugger tips him out. As I'm the only one on deck (Tagit driving, Boulder in the dunny and Moggy asleep) I get the enormous pleasure of winding a foul hooked 50kg mako to the boat in the dark. Smashing - and I get to have to make up a new hook rig before breakfast. 0-0-0 for the rest of the day as we confirm that the Bay of PLenty is very big.

It is also empty on the tuna front. We reckon we covered close to 1000nm over the nine days a vast majority of it in excellent water trolling skippy type lures. Two skippies and one albie all week. NOt good. Two decent big eye were caught at Waihau when we were there but they were very much the exception and who remembers yellowfin?

Into Tauranga Bridge Marina (why would you put a marine where there is that much current?)and 550 lirtres of fuel just to get us home. An onshore shower nad the cahce to eat some plum stones. More roast pork sans garlic and we are almost done.


Fish being caught from 50m (yeah right) to 150 all the way from Mayor to the Mercs. Hot between the Aldies and the Mercs. Oh well play the game. Time for a bit of alure change. The Lumo Sprocket has been under performing for eight days and he gets to stand in the naughty corner. Green and gold Merlin, thank you very much. Evil Legend Wowie at SC - very nice (I was a little surprise by this. Skipper designs a blue/silver/yellow lateral line over pink/gpld Legend black headed small Rasputin for shotgun and so, as he is the boss's choice, he gets a swim. Despite all this marlin candy we aren't going to get a hit in 74 metres of green murky crap south west of Mayor are we? Well yes we are. All American now at LR again (boring) gets hit. defnite stripey which jumps very early (like twenty seconds early) and is gone. And that's our lot. Wind slated for NW 25knots in the afternoon and they were right. Irritating but not overtly unpleasant trip through confused occasionally short seas to get us to New CHums bay hard on Boulderville. Last comfy garlic free nught.


Due to vagaries of the Lunar calendar it is decided to back in AUckland as near lunchtime as we can make it. Despite the remnants of yesterday's wind the Colville Channel treats us kindly. We negotiate fifty fold more boats off Rangi than we have seen all week and we are safely tied up a Z Pier on Schedule.

This was the best fishing trip I have I done, bar none. Excellent company, as always, the key. Fishing waters we were fairly confident would produce helps, of course, but what marks this trip out was the added element of adventure. Uncharted waters.; well they were for me. Anchoring in Hicks Bay, the Ranfurly Banks, anchoring up to an active volcano. No bloody cellphones

Wouldn't be dead for quids.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A house of cards...........

...........built on a foundation of quicksand.

As my focus on life turns to rain (or lack thereof) as is right and proper at this time of year, other things pertaining to weather and its big brother, climate, continue to make headlines.

I'm doing pretty well for water considering the last week has seen the first smatterings of the wet stuff since well before Christmas. At about 80% in the main tank and the barn tank which can be bought into play if needed courtesy of a cunning connection and one of Mr Grundfos' finest is just about full. The stream for water around the property is babbling away and his Grundfos is doing the business about five hours a day to keep the tank by the front gate as it should be. No, I'm a happy water chappy and the summer weather suits well at the moment.

Lots of weather over a long period of time is climate and things around this are not going so swimmingly if you are of the warmist persuasion. Their entire bullshit snake oil operation is falling apart at the seams. But you wouldn't know it if you relied solely on the mainstream media for your news. Nothing has hit the six o'clock News concerning the latest climb down by the IPCC concerning a piece of unadulterated crap published under their auspices. In their 2007 report on the state of the globe they claimed that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035.

Think about it. Some of these babies are hundreds of metres deep. You couldn't melt that with all the bunsen burners in the world in twenty five years. Anyway, for years this piece of utter nonsense was left to be accepted as the truth. After all it came from the IPCC and they are jolly clever and connected to the UN which can do no wrong - all the usual crap the great unwashed have been brainwashed to accept. All accepted as gospel until the little boy pipes up that the emperor has no clothes. Someone has been digging around to find the peer reviewed evidence that Nepal is going to be transformed into a lake in my lifetime. Surprise, surprise there ain't none. It got onto a IPPC tablet of stone by being a telephone conversation to some bloke down the pub. The guy who wrote the report considered it be sufficiently alarmist that it might put the willy up a few Asian governments so in it went.

Eventually IPCC Chairperson, Dr Pachauri, has admitted that the Himalayas stuff is all bullshit. By the way have you seen this joker - makes Svengali look positively avuncular. Yet another example of scientific duplicitousness and economy with the truth and what do we see of it in the Herald? Nuffink.

Someone doing God's work is having a go that the claims of the warmists that an increase in hurricanes and cyclones are a direct byproduct of Veyrons streaking down the autobahns. More of this later.

Even thought we are not hearing of it, chip, chip, chip the whole thing will fall over and we can have our money back. I want to spend it my way and I have lots of ideas.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I am so over this wave of pink that is assaulting my visual senses at present. I am talking the breast cancer pink. Now, don't get me wrong, any disease that has the potential to terminate lives prematurely is no bloody good (especially to the afflicted) and monies needed for research into breast cancer or primary sclerosing cholangitis is urgently needed and very hard to come by. But the current rash of fund raising pink is getting up my nose and interfering with my enjoyment of the summer game.

We started off years ago (in my youth even) with flag days. Poppies are still around but I seem to recall a geranium day in the sixties in the UK. No idea what my not buying a paper geranium was not supporting. Daffodils in August supporting (I think) cancer research. I don't buy those either.

A few years ago it used to be those stupid rubber wrist bands. I think Lance Armstrong started those in support of research into malignancy in gentleman's corset regions; a subject he rightly has considerable interest in. So you would be talking to a bloke attired in a sharp business suit and there would be this piece of tacky yellow rubbery plastic peeking out from under the cufflinks. This all spawned a rash of different coloured wristbands for all manner of 'good causes' which interested me not at all. Most of them didn't even rise to the status of good in my books.

Then we had ribbons. Pink for breast cancer(more of this damned colour in a minute) white for family violence and so on. All these ersatz flowers, wrist bands and ribbons do have a couple of things going for them. You can chose to partake, which I do not as alluded to above, and they are relatively non obtrusive.

Bloody Pink is neither of these things. It has over the last couple of weeks taken over my favourite sport. First we had Northern Districts playing Auckland in the 20-20 in totally pink playing strip. It looked terrible. But it was the 'pyjama game' so we'll move on. But yesterday we had the conclusion of the second Test between Orstralia and the Pakis. A good Test it was as well with only two problems. Problem one was that the Aussies won when the Pakis clutched defeat from the jaws of victory. Second problem was pink. Test cricket is the proper game played in white kit. End of story. Over the years we have had advertising logos creep onto the kit. So you never get a shot of a Pakistan player without seeing both his gold star national emblem and a Pepsi logo. Australia are sponsored by the '3 network' and we have to put up with their fiery three motif on the players shirts. And on the damned pitch filling the entire area between long off and long on. This Test we had a very sporting and appropriate '$29 cap' sprayed onto the ground. You can buy a Three Network hat for $29? I suspect not and it is a pricing plan.

Bad enough? No, it gets worse. All this '3' nonsense was given the pink treatment. All the players logos were pink, the ground spraying was pink. Virtually every boundary hoarding was pink. All bat handles were pink. Even the sodding stumps were pink. You do not play cricket, especially Test cricket using pink stumps. Full stop. Not negotiable.

We get a tea break from the play and a respite from bloody pink. No we don't, it gets worse. We get an interview with Glenn McGrath whose wife's very unfortunate demise was obviously the catalyst of this ghastly colour invasion and he was wearing a pink (admittedly a quite subtle hue) polo shirt. But he was interviewed alongside 'Slates' who was wearing a shocking pink suit (a suit) complete with matching fedora. I have a very nice and not cheap rug in front of the 42" Sony and I do not require a bill to remove vomit from it at this expensive time of year.

Breast cancer is a bad thing (I read it in a book). Bloody pink invading Test cricket is worse.