DAY 343...The Locals

Monday 3 October 2016

A night to lie in bed, just to listen and rest after a long day yesterday, content from having had whitebait for dinner and feeling tired but well as I drifted off to sleep. We had visited a beach location up the coast, between Whitecliffs and Albatross Point, where I hope to land later on. This morning poured with rain for a few hours, so we both sat dry and warm in Cuzzie, happy to read our books until the rain passed and the sunshine appeared. 

I went to thank the lady who had given us the whitebait but she was out on the river again, catching some more. Instead, I stopped and talked with another couple, Rod and Dot, also keen whitebaiters, and came back with a small bucket of their morning catch. They were both very wet from having been out during the rain storm and I have to commend them on being so keen! I also have to say a big “thank you” to the Marokopa Camping Ground for our discounted rate. 

We headed down to the beach and the river mouth as the tide was coming in and walked as far as we could before clambering up some rocks to look out over the river mouth and the waves coming in across the bar. Mmmmmm, I thought. Maybe it is okay. I never ever want to say that it looks easy or even okay as it all depends on the day. There is so much that can go right or wrong, but I had seen worse! We wander back along the beach and stop to look at a paddock full of lambs. Just then, one of the local farmers comes down the hill on his quad bike. We get chatting and then some more locals arrive and we get chatting some more. Very soon we are off out with them on their boat to go fishing and for them to go cray diving. A great chance to see the coastline and get to know the good local landing points.

The swell over the bar was best handled by experts today! We crashed and bounced a bit andI was a little concerned about Anna but, as I glanced back at her face, she was smiling, so everything was okay with my Red Team. Out behind the swell it was a fairly pleasant although there were a few larger swells. I drove the boat for a bit but gave the driving back to the captain as I was far too slow and careful for these West Coast blokes (Stein, Ken and Mike).
When we dropped anchor, Stein went diving while the others fished. Not much success on the fishing side but Stein came up from the dive with a bagful of crayfish, so everyone was fairly happy. Then we moved on to another fishing spot and this time Anna and myself were allowed to use the fishing rods, with the result that we caught a large gurnard, a couple of Kawhai and two very small snapper (that we threw back). The swell started to pickup in earnest, so we headed back, with Mike telling Anna just to look forwards, not to watch the waves chasing us in across the bar! 

We then went for a trip up the river, past numerous whitebait stands and under an old, damaged swing bridge. We all ducked but, oops, one of the fishing rods got caught and was dragged into the river! Gone they reckon, but they’ll go back and dive for it another day! A late lunch of fresh fish for us today, cooked in a beer and cider batter, fresh crayfish and a hot cup of tea. Anna was happy to have avocado and ham on toast instead, fish not being her favourite dish. Before we leave, Anna heads out into the paddock to see if it’s possible to get up close and personal with a lamb, to try to give it a hug, but not today! Then we had to get on the road, to find some local Internet and mobile coverage and get a weather update. Back we head to a more central location, agreeing that we’ve had a really amazing day. Marokopa we have loved, mainly thanks to all the locals.

My smiles today:
The locals and us. 
Sunshine and the ocean.
Fresh fish.
Anna trying to get up close and personal with the local lambs.
Cuzzie on the back roads.

My thoughts today:
We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives. Thanks guys, today was amazing!

Goodnight from a happy team, Red and Anna. 

Ma Te Wa.

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Stein after his diving efforts.

Stein after his diving efforts.

River mouth at Marokopa.

River mouth at Marokopa.

Anna determined to get closer to the lambs.

Anna determined to get closer to the lambs.