On Saturday 28th of November 2009 fifteen eclectic (whatever that is) SFC souls travelled from Nelson to Kaikoura and stayed at "The Palace " in Moa Street, Kaikoura which was at the top of the boat ramp in South Bay to go out fishing with Peter Cleall (skipper) Hamish and Graeme Clearwater (crew and landlord) aboard fv Seamist Click Here which was tied up about 50 yards from our accommodation.
Two of the party members came from the South, having just ridden the Rail Trail on their cycles.
(The next morning we discovered a hazard of living so close to the boat ramp when several large trailer boats were launched with loud vehicles at 5 am)
We were fortunate with the weather - it was rainy on Saturday and Monday, but sunny (sort of) on Sunday - our fishing day.
We stayed at the Moa Street address with a few of the party sleeping at another house around the corner and enjoyed a group meal with snacks and crayfish (from our landlord) and a steak / salad meal washed down with beer and wine (along with rum or coke). The most serious complaint was about the (temporary) lack of ground coffee and the shortage of condiments for the food.
On the Sunday morning we boarded the boat and set out at 7 am. (one unnamed member of the party announced that the time was 6:30 am when it was only 5:30 am) "Get a new watch, Ryder"
Firstly we motored out to the cray pots which were emptied before we headed South for 90 minutes (the organiser had requested Trumpeter to be caught) before we arrived at our fishing spot. The boat did not have Sky television but the radio reception was OK and so we were able to hear the All Blacks defeat the French Rugby team in Marseilles. During the trip we enjoyed the breakfast prepared by Graeme C, the crewman, on his BBQ. Hot sausages and bacon wrapped in buttered bread topped with lashings of Watties Tomato Sauce.
Despite all the vast area of ocean this spot was on the ship's GPS plotter. We began to catch fish here - Blue Cod and Maori Chief - but left when the Spikies (Spiny Dogfish) arrived. The next spot was not very fruitful and after several changes of location, we ended at the position that we started. The Spikies had by then gone away and we were soon filling up with large Blue Cod. A few other species were caught, but no Trumpeter or Grouper
Plenty of seabirds were around. Lovely photos were taken by Graeme R with his lovely camera & fancy lens. Click Here
All (apart from a few poor devils who were suffering from mal-de-mer) enjoyed a lunch of bread rolls with meat and salad fillings washed down with beer. We eventually finished fishing and headed back to port, with the skipper Peter and crew (Graeme C and Hamish) filleting the fish for us. We passed a large pod of Hectors Dolphins on the way back - they were leaping from the water and otherwise performing for the Dolphin Watch boats which were following them - we had also been accompanied by a few dolphins that escorted us out to the fishing grounds in the morning.
When we arrived back at port we collected our fish (all filleted and bagged) along with our crayfish and bid the crew a fond farewell.
At around 4 pm we all departed for home again with chillibins full of fresh marine produce.