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April 2011 Issue No 155

The Bay of Plenty & Coromandel’s own watersports news. Phone 07 578 0030


ase take one

Orca encounter Breaking records

Andy Karr with his kingfish caught off the Ranfurly Banks. See the full story on page 29.

Taking titles

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HIGH TIDES Add one hour for daylight saving

MARCH 2011

The Bay of Plenty’s own boating, fishing, diving, yachting and watersports news.

PH 07-578 0030 FAX 07-571 1116 PO Box 240, Tauranga. 1 The Strand, Tauranga email:

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APRIL 2011

Waterline advertising & editorial deadlines Edition Deadline May 2011 15 April June/July 2011 27 May August 2011 15 July For advertising, call Sun Media’s specialist marine consultant Jo Dempsey 07 928 3041 email Follow us on facebook

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W ac ky c p ti N con e Send us the best silly caption for this photo, and we’ll top off your day with a fine Waterline cap. brian@thesun., Fax 07 571 1116, Waterline, PO Box 240, Tauranga.

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This month’s winner from Tracy “While Dorris was sucking a lemon, the wind changed direction...”. “Suck it in” From Claire

Tauranga tide heights in metres. Bowentown: subtract 5 minutes from Tauranga (both HW and LW) Katikati (Kauri Point): add 30 minutes to Tauranga (both HW and LW) Whitianga: High Water subtract 2 minutes from Tauranga HW tide; Low Water add 2 minutes to Tauranga Low Water. Every effort has been made to ensure that these times and tides are correct, no responsibility will be accepted for any inaccuracies, omissions, or misuse or misinterpretation of the values for tides and times published. Times used in the tide predictions are in New Zealand Standard Time (NZST1).



New flag for bridge marina Tauranga Bridge Marina is one of only three in the country entitled to fly the “clean marina” flag, signifying the marina’s certification under an international accreditation. Tauranga Bridge Marina and Bridge Marina Travelift’s certification encourages best practice in all marina operations. “We have been working towards the certification after taking the pledge two years ago,” says marina manager Tony Arnold. “This involved making improvements and developing good management practices to reach the required standards, including the auditing of 130 aspects of the company’s operations, largely in the areas of wastewater, trade discharges, storm-water control, fuelling, boatyard practices, vessel maintenance, marine bio-security, accidental spill and pollution response management.” The programme is an industry-led initiative developed in conjunction with the New Zealand Marina Operators Association to encourage maritime users including marina operators, boatyards, contractors and boaties to play their part in protecting

New Zealand Clean Marina auditor Brett Colby presents Tauranga Bridge Marina’s manager Tony Arnold with the Clean Marina flag. coastal and inland water quality. “It has been a tough couple of years with major changes to the Electrical Regulations for marinas and recreational vessels having to be implemented in the middle of it all,” says Tony. “Having achieved certification, the challenge is now to maintain the standards reached and to continue to be among those nationwide who are prepared to go that extra mile towards the maintenance of our superb coastal marine environment.”

The dedication of his marina Staff and the marina directors has been awesome, allowing him to spend the time and resources to make it happen, says Tony. Tauranga Bridge Marina has been a member of the New Zealand Marina Operators Association since the marina was constructed in 1996 and Tony has been on the Executive since 2004. Westhaven in Auckland and Opua in the Bay of Islands are also certified clean marinas.

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Commercial composites the way foward Tauranga Boat Sales is the New Zealand agent for Steber International, a NSW based builder of commercial and large recreational fibreglass boats. Taree based Steber International has been making fibreglass boats to survey since the late 1950s. It is a family firm but with a thoroughly modern approach to management and quality controls, says Tauranga Boat sales proprietor Brian Kent. “Their systems and their management structure, all the way from their new employee induction programme, it’s as good as you would see in any business,” says Brian. “It is very professionally run. We were impressed with the organisation and accreditation associated with their business. Tauranga Boat Sales has been the New Zealand distributor for Steber boats since November, with Brian and Brett Eaton recently returned from a visit to the Taree factory. “We were looking for something

a bit different that we could develop a market for in New Zealand,” says Brian. “The brand’s seen some sold into New Zealand over the last 12-15 years. As I understand it MAF had a couple of older Steber boats a while back. There’s probably half a dozen recreational boats in New Zealand. “We are targeting both the recreational and commercial market, with a lean towards the commercial side. “The commercial fleet in New Zealand is ageing. We look at this as a modern designed, efficient, cost effective alternative for the New Zealand commercial fleet. A lot of this is based on where we are seeing people having success in other countries.” “These are fibreglass boats, which is the change in direction certainly occurring in Australia and other overseas countries. They are more efficient, it’s really a different animal. It’s a case of demonstrating that to potential New Zealand buyers.” Stebers build 15-20 boats a year, says Brian. “And that’s all they want to build. Each boat is unique, each boat is customised to the owners or the usage application.” A comprehensive paper trail follows each boat through the construction process from when the mould is waxed to handover, and is presented with the boat. Every nut and bolt that goes into the boat is recorded and where it was sourced from. The resins batch numbers are all recorded as are the humidity and temperature during the layup. As part of the hand over every system is certified and signed off by Steber staff, and the records stay with the boat, says Brian. Because they build to survey, a 1m x 1.5m wing at deck level replicates the hull layup and is kept for either testing purposes or survey requirements. “The plant itself would have been the best systemised and organised I have been into,” says Brian. In line with Steber’s custom building approach, Tauranga Boat Sales offers prospective Steber buyers the chance to investigate and consider all options available. Tauranga Boat Sales is working to get a Steber boat to Tauranga so they can demonstrate the product first hand to New Zealand interests. “One of our goals this year is have one on our sales berth,” says Brian. We want prospective customers to have the opportunity to appreciate the value of the boat and their commitment to quality,” says Brian. “We will accompany the buyer to the factory and allow them to make their own decisions. “Because we are not trying to sell 30 boats a year, we can provide a specialised customised approach to both the boat, and how we service the customer.”

Brett Eaton and Brian Kent from Tauranga Boat Sales.



STEBER International


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PeLiN ChaLLeNgeR 42 very good Fishing Boat, Rides very Well in The Water

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Armed with an anchor An anchor’s not just a sharp, heavy object that you trip over on your way forward.

If you’re caught in a blow and find your engine won’t start, you’ll be glad to have something heavy with pointy things on it to keep you from being swept onto a rocky shore. Every boatie has a good anchoring story to relate. My own best anchoring tale from long ago involves a naked Frenchman; thunder and lightning in the middle of the night (it always happens in the middle of the night) and a torrential downpour in a tropical squall. The Frenchman dragged his anchor across our mooring cable one gusty night in the Solomons… but that’s a story for another day.

Anchors evolved

Anchoring goes back to prehistoric days. Large stones have been found in ancient seabeds with telltale grooves or holes drilled in them. Through thousands of years, anchors have evolved from grooved stones, to stones put in baskets or cages, to wood and stones, then wood and iron, and finally through to

the more modern anchors. These range from CQR (secure) anchors and Danforth style to the latest efficient Rocna and Manson anchors. Every recreational vessel should be equipped with preferably two different types of anchor and adequate line (or rode) – or preferably a combination of both chain and rope.

Get the size right

The anchor should be the right size for the boat, and the line should be appropriate to the depth of water in which the vessel usually operates. For a quick daytime anchoring, I use a light-weight ‘lunchpick’ with only one boat-length of chain attached to plenty of rope. As a rule of thumb for short, daylight anchoring, I use a total length of chain and rope that is three times the depth of water. This is nice and easy to retrieve, but I don’t rely on it for overnight stops.

For overnight anchorage, windy weather, or where you expect the tide or wind to change direction, the rode should be at least five to seven times as long as the water is deep. In really heavy weather, you could extend the rode to 10 times the depth of the water. So, if you expect to hold your boat securely on a nasty, squally day in ten metres of water, you should expect to pay out at least 70 metres of

anchor line. Using some chain between the anchor and the rode will give you added holding power and some chafe resistance as well. The chain will keep the pull horizontal so that the flukes don’t trip out as easily and release from the seafloor. continued...



Check the landmarks ...continued

The disadvantage of using so much rode is that your swinging circle is huge. If you’re sharing the anchorage with other boats, you might have to compromise – or get out of bed at the change of wind or tide to monitor how all the boats are swinging. When the wind changes, you don’t want your boat swinging into another boat or on to the shore. You always should lower the anchor slowly over the bow, with the boat going slowly astern. Never throw the anchor overboard! Lowering the anchor slowly from the bow lays the chain out along the seabed and makes sure that the chain doesn’t get caught around the anchor. This is where a lot of casual or novice boaties come unstuck, chucking the anchor out as the boat is still going ahead. When the boat finally drifts back over the anchor to lie to the wind or tide, it can trip the anchor out as it changes the direction of pull by 180 degrees. That’s assuming that the chain or rope hasn’t got caught around the anchor as the pile gets thrown overboard. Make sure one end of the anchor line is securely connected to the anchor, and the other end tied to something solid on your boat. Remember the prehistoric stones they

uncovered in those ancient seabeds? They probably got there because someone let the stone go overboard, line and all. It’s best to anchor from the bow. Once, I watched from shore as a small tinny anchored by the stern in the Tauranga Harbour entrance channel took some big waves over the back and began to sink. The wind against tide was causing some irregular steep breakers to form. My attention was first drawn to the boat by a taut line leading into the water from the back of the boat. Then I saw waves slopping over the transom. Three big waves in quick succession was all it took and the boat went quickly underwater. They were lucky that day – they were all rescued. Lifejackets kept them afloat in the swiftly moving current. They lost the boat and all their gear, but not their lives. The message is fairly clear – in tidal waters, don’t anchor by the stern. Wearing a lifejacket is good, too. Especially in dodgy conditions! To check whether your anchor is holding, visually establish a transit of two objects on the shore in line. I often use a mark on the beach in line with a certain tree, or a beacon in line with a distinctive house. Then check every five or ten minutes to see

if the landmarks have moved relative to each other. By checking it frequently for the first half-hour or so, you’ll soon know whether any movement is because of normal boat swing, or because you’re adrift. Of course, if the tide turns, you will have to find a new set of transit markers. You should pay attention when the tide turns as the anchor can trip out when the boat starts pulling from the opposite direction. Also, if the chain wraps itself around the anchor it can pull the anchor out of the seabed. With autumn coming on, this is the time to check over all your gear. Have a good look at your anchor rope. Check the end where it joins onto the chain, for chafe and abrasion. Check the shackles aren’t worn and that they are securely wired to avoid shackle pins accidentally coming undone. Make sure the ‘bitter end’ of the rope is still securely tied to something strong. It’s not called the bitter end for nothing… In some form or other, it’s what your stoneage ancestors would have done. Captain Jennifer Roberts - Harbour Master Western Bay of Plenty



Fishing by a professional Please name me when you see me – I am tara, the white fronted tern. Photo by Julian Fitter.

A flock of small white dive bombers catching more fish than you are? Those delicate birds are white fronted terns, also called sea swallows or kahawai birds. When a flock finds a shoal of small fish, they plunge from a height of 6-10 metres, sometimes completely but shallowly submerging. They also fish by dipping and snatching from the surface. Generally, you will find them feeding over the surf-zone or turbulent water near rocks or reefs. Out at sea, they look primarily pale grayish white as they weave and hover

above the waves. Get a closer look when you pass a loafing group on a rocky cliff or sandbank or come back to the jetty where single birds perch on short legs atop a post. Then you can clearly see their black caps and bills, with a clear band of white between the two, thus distinguishing them from their rarer and smaller black-fronted cousins. The cap markings are less distinct when the birds lose their breeding plumage and juveniles are distinctly stripy. White fronts are around 40cm from bill to tail, wingspan c 80cm, and weigh c160gm. They are the commonest of the 14 tern species around our shores. Narrow pointed wings, long forked tails and longish pointed beaks distinguish them from

gulls. The graceful flight contrasts with their rather squat, short-legged ‘trotting’ on land. Tara breed all round our coasts (and in Tasmania) but many of the juveniles head over to Oz for a gap year before settling down at home. Adults also sometimes take a winter holiday there. They are an abundant species, but counts suggest they may be declining rapidly. Cats are a major predator of adult birds, and mustelids, rats and cats take chicks and eggs. If you have to drive on a beach, take care not to flatten a nest or disturb a roost. A flock of roosting tern will usually all face the same way. Can you work out why? By Eila Lawton



Fancy kitty litter sucks algae Treatment with a modified zeolite product called Aqual P is reducing algal levels at Okawa Bay on Lake Rotoiti.

Scion Research has developed a technology that provides a new way of improving water quality in surface or waste waters by adding a polymer to zeolite, a natural volcanic mineral, to enable phosphate and other anions to irreversibly bind to the mineral. Tests have shown that cyanobacteria levels at the bay are now well below the threshold where effects occur. “The Regional Council has experience with the application of Aqual P on Lake Ōkaro, and tests have shown it is safe to use in the natural environment,” says Regional

Council Lakes Operations Manager Andy Bruere. “It was applied to that lake in 2007 and 2009 to deal with eutrophication problems where nutrients enter the lake and deplete oxygen. The product rapidly settles and flocculates algae, and locks up phosphorus in the water column.” The treatment was trialled at Okawa Bay because the algae was potentially toxic, and the location was a good spot to undertake the technique, he said. A slurry was applied to Okawa Bay from a helicopter to lock up phosphorous and drop the algae to the bottom of the lake. Okawa Bay residents were given information about the process. A comprehensive monitoring programme has been designed to determine the success of the application and ensure any effects are identified. Aqual P is the result of laboratory work by the University of Waikato and Scion

Research, and Tokoroa based Blue Pacific Minerals which mines the zeolites from the central north island volcanic plateau. Zeolites are crystalline, hydrated aluminosilicates that contain alkali and alkaline-earth metals. Their structure is based on a three dimensional framework structure of silica-oxygen tetrahedra. The 3D skeleton of aluminium and silica oxides has a high negative charge, balanced with cations such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. These cations can be exchanged with positively charged cations in solution or molecules suspended in air. Aqual P was developed with government funding and trialled in the eutrophic lake Okaro south of Rotorua. Aqual P has been shown to be the only sediment capping device to adsorb both phosphate and ammonium in a large lake body application. Aqual P is now under further development to produce a water dispersible granule that will allow accurate placement/spreadpattern on the water surface, rapid settling rate of the granule, and therefore accurate and efficient sediment coverage while allowing a range of economic delivery/ applications.



Tauranga Marine Industry Association


Omokoroa Boat Club

Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club Mt Maunganui Yacht Club

TYPBC Women on Water

Maintaining a steady pace The TYPBC has maintained a very steady pace in every direction over the past month. We had some very good news that two of our sailors, Peter Burling in the 49er and Jason Saunders in the 470 have both made the Olympic Test Regatta to be sailed off Weymouth, England 1 - 14 Aug this year. This is great as both Peter and Jason have been devoting huge time and effort to competing worldwide over the past year. The Tauranga Regatta was held in beautiful sailing conditions and enjoyed the spectacle of two foiling Moths joining in the racing. One sailed by Peter Burling, who finished fourth in the World Champs early this year. Legendary Jimmy Gilpin won the Zephyr dinghies despite stiff competition from men nearly half his age.

Gold cup

One of our premier keelboat races, the Gold Cup, which is a 100 mile race that starts on a Fri night at the club, sails around Motiti to port (anticlockwise) then around Karewa to starboard (clockwise), Mayor Is to starboard, back to Karewa to port, down to Motiti, rounding to starboard and finishes at A buoy outside the entrance. This is an excellent yacht race as different yachts have strengths and weaknesses on different points of sail, so the different directions sailed really mix things up nicely and keep crews very busy. This is a keeler only race and was won this year by Frenzy, skippered by Roger Rushton, on line and Handicap, followed by Arethusa, skippered by Ross Currie, and third place went to General Jackson, skippered by Peter Dallimore. Lynx, skippered by Peter Decke, withdrew at Mayor Island out of compassion for a very sick crew member. He may well have burgled the Gold Cup on handicap had he been able to continue, as he was well placed at the point of retiring. The Catamaran Fully Charged also entered, just for the pleasure of such a good race, and finished well clear of the keeler fleet. We had the pleasure of having NZ's top four Laser sailors at the club while they held

a training week here with their coach. They had had enough of Auckland and just loved Tauranga and our excellent facilities. Their days started with breakfast with their hosts, the Meeches and a surf before training by mid morning.

Board sailing

to print. Local sailing legend Ben Bax and his youthful crew of Adam Scott-Mackie will be fighting hard to get their names on the cup yet again. They have a new boat sponsored by Bay Nissan. The Javelins were designed to be sailed by fit young guns, but Ben, who admits to being over sixty, is still able to wrest the silverware from the youthful competition. As a note of interest Tim Bartlett, who sailed with the TYPBC as a college boy in the '70s, still sails Q Class skiffs and is still a force to be reckoned with. There are lots of advantages in staying fit as we get older.

Round North Island

Board sailing is on the rise in Tauranga and the Techno and RSX boards had their North Island Champs here. We have done better at the last few Olympics in boardsailing than boat sailing so this is an important sport to support. Stuart Pedersen is active in facilitating and promoting this sport here in the Bay along with support from BOPSAT, Elements Learn To Sail and the generosity of Trustpower. Tauranga sailors dominated this event. The Matakana Multihull Raid is proving ever more popular. This is a race of three legs. Club start to Omokoroa is leg one and a coffee stop is mandatory. Omokoroa to Bowentown entrance is leg two and all enjoy an overnight stopover at the Athenree Camp Ground, especially the hot pool and barbecue dinner all laid on. Leg three is Bowentown entrance back to the club, either inside the harbour or outside if conditions allow. Eighteen cats gathered from Tauranga, Auckland ,Hamilton and one from Wellington for this fun weekend. We will do a write up on this in the next Waterline. The Javelins, a 14 foot two man boat that can be a handful in any sort of breeze, will be competing for the Saunders Cup here in Tauranga about the time Waterline goes

Two Tauranga yachts entered the Around North Island Race. TYPBC sailor Adrian McHardie in his boat Open Country, a Beale 35 sloop, and Mt Maunganui Yacht Club Commodore, Will Horne with his crew TYPBC member Ian Gifford sailing Windarra, a Cavalier 36 ft sloop. (Both men crew on Extreme on Wed nights). They battled through a race that saw 21 of the 40 starters withdraw after they took a hammering to windward down the West Coast on leg two from Manganui to Wellington. The restart in Wellington was in winds gusting to 50 knots and both boats were back on the start line ready for more. Both these boats race with the TYPBC, Windarra in the Friday night two handed series and Open Country in any coastal race of a decent length. Open Country finished 13th on elapsed time and Windarra 18th. This is a fantastic achievement by both crews. (More details elsewhere on this race). Auckland to Tauranga Race is coming up at Easter (Thurs 21 April) and on the Tuesday 26th April Grant Dalton, Team NZ and their Volvo 70 "Camper Emirates Team NZ" are coming to town on a promotional tour. After a tour of the boat in the morning at Salisbury Wharf you can have lunch with Grant and the team at the TYPBC for $25. They will take fifteen people sailing for two hours for a fee of $150 per head, weather permitting. Ring the club to book your spot for lunch or the sail, or both. See you on Roger Clark, Commodore the water.


High numbers continue High participation numbers continue to be the main news for the 2010-11 Mills Reef Women On Water (WOW) series.

Of the seven races held at the time of going to print, only one night (Race 4) has seen less than 100 people out on the water for a WOW evening - and that was only due to poor weather conditions. Numbers recorded for the other races so far have seen 122, 133, 127, 104, 129 and 127 participants respectively. Of particular interest for the WOW committee has been to see the number of participants in the Racing Division slowly creeping up to as many as 75 women – more than half the fleet. This has been helped in part by the introduction of the zippy Frenzy into the racing fleet following the sale of the modified Ross 930, Ballistic. Skipper Michele Kennedy now has to double the number of crew onboard

with the substitution of boats – all of whom have had to come up to speed very quickly on how to sail the blue Lambert 35 speed machine. A big thanks goes out to Gun Caundle for the use of his Noelex 25 Say Please by the Ballistic crew in the interim. Variable winds (also known as a lack of wind) have hindered the post-Christmas WOW races somewhat with most races being shortened. Race 6 was particularly frustrating for most of the fleet as only three boats – Frenzy, Rigmarole and Whatever – recorded a finish prior to the 8:30 p.m. WOW cut off time. Despite the absence of constant winds however, the ladies have continued to enjoy learning opportunities and the chance to sail on the beautiful Tauranga harbour. The women on the cruising boat Helluva Hurry, for example, have now learnt to hoist a spinnaker while the skippers on Whatever and High Point have seen the inner workings of the protest process. If you’re interested in learning more about what WOW can teach you, feel free to contact WOW on wow.tauranga@

By Lise Mackie





TYPBC centerboard division regatta From Mark Layer

Jimmy Gilpin explaining why Peter Burling sailed at the regatta.

If any of the one hundred or so who attended the TYPBC Steve’s Marine Centreboard regatta over the weekend were asked to describe the regatta in one word, ‘quality’ would be that word. Quality in every aspect. Quality from the warm sunny conditions, which sucked in a typical sea-breeze , and demanded intelligent sailing from the 57 competitors. Quality from the twelve centre board classes represented from the hi-tech, carbon fibre, winged, hydrofoiling ‘Moth’, at one end of the spectrum, to the venerable ‘P Class’ at the other end. Nowhere was quality more present than in the competitor list which comprised of no less than a 2008 Olympian, eight national champions and six New Zealand representative sailors. Contributing to OSE_wl_advert_New Logo.pdf 13/11/08 this and in a tradition that goes back

Peter Burling at the TYPBC regatta. more than sixty years, Hamilton Yacht Club came over the hill to direct their annual assault this year at the Zephyr and P classes. In the Zephyr class, TYPBC legend Jimmy Gilpin, who hasn’t sailed his boat for a year, stove off the challenge to win the event by three points from Hamilton’s Rob Ebbert. In the P Class event, the Hamilton squad, which consisted of four girls and one boy, were too strong for the local sailors. Hamilton’s Annie Oxborrow won the event from Tauranga’s emerging sailor, Josh McConnell by just two points. Mark O’Brien, also from Hamilton dominated in the ‘3.7’ North Island Championship event class to win five out of the six races. While coming ashore at the end of day 1, Jimmy Gilpin couldn’t get his new knee over the side and crashed 2:06:07 p.m. his boat. Early the following morning,









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Josh McConnell from Tauranga. sailors from both sides of the Kaimais arrived to help with the repair. For many of those on the water, the presence of Olympian Peter Burling, zipping silently through the fleets on his hydro-foiling moth quicker than you could drop your jaw, was awesome. At the prize giving, Jimmy Gilpin divulged the reason for Peter’s appearance. “He came to learn some tricks from the Zephyr sailors”, Jimmy told the crowd. In response to a skeptical comment made privately, Jimmy said. “Listen mate, no bull, but that group of eleven Zephyr sailors has probably five hundred years of sailing experience. From all the regattas in the world Peter goes to, where would he find that amount of experience.” For the detailed results of all the classes, go to:



Tauranga sailors made a strong showing in the RSX and Techno North Island Championships. Sven Pedersen won the Tauranga regatta, one of seven regattas in the Kendall Cup series. It was raced in light winds and tides confused by tsunami surges. Local knowledge of tide runs and current sets can help in light winds, but that advantage was removed by tsunami surges.

Local knowledge

“The local knowledge didn’t help a lot,” says event organiser Stuart Pedersen. Low wind speeds meant sailors had to pump their sails a lot, making racing physically demanding. Under Windsurfing rules sailors have to be given breaks between races, a situation that resulted in a five instead of six race programme. It worked to Sven Pedersen’s advantage

says Stuart. He would have lost his overall position to Auckland sailor Justina Sellers if six races had been sailed. “Justina sellers couldn’t make it to the first race,” says Stuart. “She was working up in Auckland Saturday morning. She didn’t race the whole regatta, and Sven was a little bit lucky in that there were six races scheduled, but we only managed to get five races done.

Bad luck “If there had been six races then they would have been able to drop their worst race. And if they had done that then Justina would have won it. It was just bad luck for her the wind didn’t come in earlier in the day.” Tauranga sailor Bradley Nixon had an outstanding event. Bradley was second youth man, the only other youths to beat him were Sven the national champion,

and Georgia Schofield, the NZ youth team sailor to go to the worlds.

Good sailor “She’s a pretty good sailor,” says Stuart. “So for Bradley to come in ahead of all the other guys was pretty impressive. Tony MacKenzie and Tim Driver, seventh and eighth just behind Bradley have been on RSX for quite a while. Bradley hasn’t been on it for long at all. “He’s going really well. He hasn’t had that much time on the water and he hasn’t had any professional coaching really, he’s just done it for himself which is brilliant.” Brandon Hailwood got his first RSX board on the Saturday morning of the regatta. “He was sailing techno all last week then he got on that RSX on Saturday morning, so it’s not a result to be ashamed of at all,” says Stuart.

Getting ready for the next regatta At the end of last year we travelled to Perth for two regattas as this is where our World Championships are going to be this year. Perth was awesome we really enjoyed the place and at times it was some of the best sailing we have done. As per normal, as the time rolled around for the first regatta the wind died and became really tough for sailing! We struggled a little bit in the opening couple of days, but as the regatta went on we started sailing better and going into the last day we were lying 10th overall. We were very keen to stay inside the top 10 so we could make our first international medal race! After waiting around for no wind we finally got a race underway. The race was going very well for us and we had a big lead by the first top mark. Unfortunately for us though the wind had shifted around and the race was abandoned. Twenty minutes later the wind filled in from

another direction and we were ready to go. The race went well for us we managed to sail through the fleet a little bit and finished 6th. This put is in the medal race which was being sailed later on in the day. We were excited about the medal race and looking forward to the experience. The race started in about 5 knots of wind and was very shifty and tough to sail in. We sailed a good race and finished up 5th beating some good opposition so it was a great way to finish off the event. This left us in 8th overall and was our best international regatta placing. After a couple of days rest taking a look at the sights around Perth we started training again to get ready for the next regatta. The wind now had filled in again and was 15-20 knots with some big waves at times, and made some awesome training! The regatta went very well for us. The wind really started getting up towards the end and we raced in some conditions up to 25 knots with a big swell running! We were very pleased with the way we were going,

we thought we were one of the fastest upwind in the windy conditions, and improved a lot downwind over the regatta. We ended up finishing 5th overall and really felt we could mix it with the best of them. Since Perth, we had a bit of time off over the new year period, and began training again in early January. Things having been getting better for us lately and we feel like we are still improving all the time. We have been training a lot in light airs lately as this was a weakness we have identified, and feel we have made some real progress. Tomorrow is a big day for us as the Nationals start and we are looking forward to some awesome racing with all the kiwis. There are some international competitors over here, with 2 Australian boats, and the silver medallist of the 2008 Olympics is also here sailing with a new crew. The forecast is looking reasonably windy which will provide some fun racing and we are hoping to take our first national title in the 470! By Jason Saunders


Tauranga win at Kendall Cup



Fresh breeze and interesting gusts The special general meeting held at 7 pm on 15 Feb approved the IRD requirements. These were passed unopposed. Thanks to those who attended. Great to see the all the piles for the new extension in and standing tall – well done Sean, Steve, and King Drilling! Funds are all well, and again thanks to TECT for the grants to complete the building. The next big events are: Sunday 3 April for a cricket/sports event on the sandbar! Ferry will be arranged for transport, supported by the club rescue boats. Sunday 10 April for our annual rowing races, and the third duck race. The duck race starts at noon, and your duck can be hired for $5 – see Fee at the bar! Funds for junior sailing, junior fishing, and the club extensions. Please bear with us over the next few months as the building, and the club, expands!

in Invincible?) with a keeler keen to try the upper harbour mud banks. We decided the re run the first race even though we had a breeze around the 10 knots (gusting 15 to 20) All four got away to a better start but the slippery Nolex still lead out , never to be headed but using a new blue kite!! At D, J was off and away closely followed by Invincible and P with Culprit in there too. The run down harbour against a making tide was helped by the fresh breeze and some interesting gusts!! At the turn J was away with Second place going to Invincible and P and C third and fourth. Now the breeze freshened and the Keelers were in hot pursuit but Jamima made it two out of two with out Mt Visitors second P third and C fourth.

Learn to Sail Day (26 Feb)

New members

At the February committee meeting the following new members were welcomed; Double: Doug & Lynette Archer, Michael & Kathryn McGill, John Crabtree & Jean Cameron, We hope you enjoy your membership!

Club pool champs

• The draws for singles and pairs are on the pool room wall. • Please play your games as soon as you can to keep the competition moving. Let’s get the competition finished so the trophies can get engraved before the prize giving!

Sailing news

Centreboarder and Learn to Sail. Senior Fleet You had your first outing for the New Year on Saturday 30 January 2011 - The conditions were quite variable. Here is a report on the event from John Budden. Clear skies and a wind in excess of the 10 knots forecast greeted the Club’s sailing division which consisted of Philip Olds and Jamima, J, (Nolex 22) John Budden and Piccaninny, (Tasman 20) and Lloyd and Lynn Berendt with Culprit, C, a H28 Keeler, welcome to the sailing activity!! The general wind was from the South West; tide was low at about 11.30 to 12.00 so the initial race was set from the Club line to D at Omokoroa Point then to G off Motuhoa / Matakana Channel then back to D and the line. Start was at about 11.16 and Jamima took a flyer and upped her kite closely followed by Piccaninny with no Kite and Culprit in third spot. The Breeze took it to die down at the start but then piped up as we cleared D. The kite was still up on Jamima and off she went with the second and third yachts in her wake. The tide was dead low at the turn so with due care we turned in the channel and tacked home. At D, J was first around but P was closing fast with Culprit bring up her own breeze. The first race was Jamima’s with Piccaninny second and Culprit third. We were then joined by the Mount Maunganui Yacht Club (most were to attend the Jam session at the Club) and (Alan can you add the details here I think it was the Falconer Family

A learn to sail race about to start. We had a good turn out on Saturday afternoon with a beautiful warm sunny afternoon and an incoming tide high at around 3pm. Josh Clodo led the afternoon and we started with initial training for some new sailors then a series of races. It was excellent to see 5 sunbursts out with 7 optimists and two seabirds have a great day on the water. After we finished race one we re briefed and then ran the event again with a slowly building breeze and the sunbursts came to life. Special mention to Emma, Zach Liam for their help and sailing skills as well as Victoria for her first single handed sailing in an opti. A lot of the rest are showing good skills in light airs. Well done every one. Special thanks to the parents who crewed rescue boats or sailed in sunbursts or optimists. Thanks heaps. Well done Josh! Next even is on 12 March and is our annual kids on keelers event a picnic cruise where parents are essential so bring your picnic lunch and drinks, life jackets and swimming gear and please ask for fine weather but bring some warm clothes too in a soft bag! We will meet at the Boat Club AT 10am. John Budden Commodore



The kids fishing was held Saturday 5 March in “real fishing weather”, more fish where caught by the entrants than they all thought they would and some really good fish were weighed in. We had more than 50 entrants and some really great prizes and spot prizes were taken home by the enthusiastic kids, every entrant got a prize. It was pleasure to see them all enjoy the day and we would like to thank all our 46 sponsors who make the competition Zach Jacobs caught a Cameron Marks caught the Jayden Van Timmeran caught possible. 1.925kg Kahawai. winning 1.765kg Trevally pipping the average trevally. Once again I would like to draw his brother Angus by 5gm. your attention to the TV running Kahawai Snapper in the club room and we are going Angus marks 2.505 Joel Sheely 2.15 to erect a static board with all the sponsors Zack Jacobs 1.925 Grace Vanner 1.89 businesses on and I want you to try hard Lucas Murphy Jacob Andrews to support the businesses as we would not Smallest Coney 0.075 Trevally have any fishing competitions if it wasn’t Averageoverall Cameron Marks 1.765 for the support, next time you visit a Josh De Virde 1.1 Angus Marks 1.76 sponsor “tell them how good they are.” Jayden Vantimmeren


Kids get ‘real fishing weather’



Racing round the North Island The original fleet was to be 40 boats but 38 set off on leg 1 from Auckland to Mangonui, on 19 February. Several boats had active tracking devices on board, so we could follow their progress. This leg was fairly uneventful with light winds but the 2nd leg, all the way to Wellington was a different story. Of the 38 boats that started this race, only 22 completed this leg. The following are reports as they were posted on the SSANZ website:

SSANZ report - Leg 2

Wow... what a leg. The great news is all the sailors made it back to dry land safe and sound. Chris Skinner was injured after been flung overboard in a knockdown. He has broken 3 lateral vertebrae and has been advised to do very little for the next 8 weeks but he will recover (Luckily he was harnessed to the boat as the other scenario doesn't bear thinking about). No boats were lost although we lost 2 rigs and 3 boats had keel issues. A large percentage of the fleet either retired or took shelter and rested at some point of the leg. Maritime Radio and SSANZ race committee were certainly kept busy. So what happened? Prior to the start we all saw a forecast from Bob McDavitt which promised breezes of 20-30 knots on the nose for 2-3 days while we were sailing down the West Coast. Rodney Keenan was looking at swell map and told us all there were going to be some pretty big seas on the way. However no one seemed to think it was a big deal and we all set off quite happily. The start was very light. Second Nature and Akatea got away well and a nice breeze started to fill in for the fleet on the way to Cape Karikari. Unfortunately at the Cape the fleet parked and reshuffled before another breeze kicked in to propel them to the next parking lot in Great Exhibition Bay. In general the inshore boats did the best. It was getting dark on arrival at North Cape and the fleet were hard on the wind tacking towards Cape Reinga when Nonstop had their backstay fail so they put a man up the rig and fixed it. The breeze built at Reinga but the sea state was quite lumpy with all the current. Cape Maria Van Diemen proving particularly hard to get past. Danaide was having steering issues with a bearing binding up so they turned back. About midday Wednesday we saw the first round of retirements with Gale Force

deciding the prospect of 3 days slamming, hard on the wind, in a pretty nasty sea state for the wind strength wasn't an attractive option as well as being very tough on the boat and rig. They turned back initially to seek shelter and reevaluate but eventually deciding to withdraw from the race. Zen also chose to withdraw as they didn't want any complications with the crews’ previous back injury from continual slamming. Laissez-Faire advised that they had taken on a lot of water, eventually proving to be a hatch not being sealed properly....after 7 hours of bailing I'm sure they have learned their lesson! The Night Train advised they were withdrawing and heading to Whangaroa. Wednesday night was a toughie... Mr Roosevelt being the biggest casualty losing their rig, Truxton had lost Chris Skinner overboard but his crew managed to get him back aboard (luckily he was harnessed to the boat) unfortunately he was injured. Truxton was heading to New Plymouth with a medical team on stand by. On Thursday morning Andar advised they were heading to New Plymouth with a loose keel. Surreal hit a whale but were continuing and monitoring, Mix T Motions also hit a large soft object but were ok. Karma Police lost a Jon buoy to a wave, Halo had battery issues and had resolved a steering issue and Spirit advised they were heading for New Plymouth. Akatea finished at 14:58. Friday evening saw Second Nature report loss of motor and Physical Favour's had battery charging issues. By Saturday Morning M1 had finished and Bird on the Wing wasn't far away. Fineline had dismasted and was heading for Nelson. Caro Vita had "hove to", Clear Vision was heading for Port Hardy, Fiction had keel issues and was heading to New Plymouth. Mix T Motions and Bon Chanse were also headed for New Plymouth. The next drama to unfold was Overload. They had sheered the high tensile bolts attaching the keel control mechanism so the keel was swinging freely. Over the morning they managed to secure the keel and proceed under motor and storm jib to shelter. They also noted the keel moving fore and aft. Coastguard went out to meet them and tow them in. By Friday evening Bon Chanse had withdrawn in New Plymouth as had Ilex. Zindabar, Second Nature and Clear Vision were sheltering in the sounds and Windarra was sheltering in New Plymouth. By Saturday morning what was left of the fleet resumed racing and we gradually saw a

few grateful but very tired finishers over the next few days. Allot of boats still saw 40+ knots in the Cook Strait. Caper was the final boat to get to Wellington. They withdraw at the entrance when the prospect of tacking all the way into the harbour was just too much. Quote from Wil on Windarra: The West coast was quite a challenge with many hardened sailors saying the conditions were at times worse than previous Sydney - Hobart races. 4 metre swells, punching into it for 5+ days and nights trying hard to steer the boat down the waves to stop the mid-air drop

SSANZ report - Leg 3

Until recently coastal or offshore races were often described as a "Big Boat" or "Small boat" race depending on the weather conditions... Not anymore. With Karma Police (a 30 footer) finishing just over 40 minutes behind Akatea (Cookson 50) and ahead of M1 (Ross 45) those past descriptions are no longer valid. I guess the new term would have to be that Leg 3 was a "FAST Boat" race. Other than Karma Police's standout performance to win on PHRF overall by hours the other standout was Valium. Valium used their fractional gennaker to great effect blasting across Palliser Bay and up the coast for a way to gap the rest of the fleet. Sailing most of the leg a lonely 4th the gap they opened up under gennaker put them into better weather to keep extending to be over 25 miles ahead of their normally close rivals. The Leaders reached up the coast towards Cape Kidnappers where as further back in the fleet the wind went really light and often on the nose (again !) For crew's stories it seemed those that hugged the shore performed the best. Akatea took this a little too far by nudging some rocks off Cape Kidnappers. The closest finish was between Caro Vita and Midnight Express. With only 17 seconds between them after match racing across Hawkes Bay.

Report - Leg 4

The fleet started downwind, with spinnakers up and had strong winds pushing them around East Cape. Akatea arrived in Auckland in the early hours of 9th March to win the race with the rest of the 17 strong fleet filtering in over then next 24 hours. Windarra came in taking 3rd place in Division 4 and 10th in the fleet on handicap. By James McCrone



With 3 laptops, 4 GPSs, a Category 2 inspection and a full wardrobe ready for any event Mother Nature could dish up, Windarra set off on the Round the North Island Race on Saturday 19 February.

Windarra on the start of the 4th and final leg from Napier, giving the last remaining kite a stretch.

Wil and Iain were not to know what was in stall for them and that they would reef the main at North Cape and not shake it out until they had East Cape on Windarra’s stern. The start of the race looked promising and with the confidence and keen energy of a pup in training on its first pig hunt, Wil and Iain sailed Windarra into 3rd position (for a short time) with the trusty big kite up. The first incident was the loss of the kite off the Hen & Chicks. The winter series crew will morn the loss of this piece of equipment. It’s been a part of Windarra’s wardrobe for a long time and tissue thin as it was, it was the secret weapon in very light airs that sometimes made all the difference. With the first leg over and in the safety of Mangonui Harbour, the boys set to swapping stories at the wee Yacht Club in Mill Bay. The locals in Mangonui are described as extremely friendly….even the fisherman, who showed interest in this influx of boats with sticks on. The relative benign conditions of the East Coast and the safety of Mangonui Harbour were to become a distant memory when Windarra rounded North Cape and headed down the inhospitable West Coast. The real race was about to begin.

Worsening conditions

Conditions worsened on the 2nd leg of the race, as Windarra headed down the coast. She crashed her way down for hours on end, passing Taranaki in seas that would reduce lesser men and boats to tears and rubble. The ocean decided to dish up a sideways swipe along with the head on seas off the coast from Patea. After being laid on her side twice and having the internal cupboards filled with water, Wil made the decision to turn around and head for the cover of New Plymouth. Those words were to be the best that Iain had ever heard in his life. Wil describes the look on Iain’s face as that of a man being pardoned from a death sentence. The entrance into Wellington Harbour presented the worst wind of the whole trip, with gusts of 50 knots making tacking up the harbour an extreme event. With 2 reefs in the main and the staysail up, Windarra made it to the safety of the inner harbour before Cooks Strait saw 70 knots. There was a delay to the start of the third leg to let another front pass but the exit to Wellington harbour proved almost as challenging as the entrance. Another “Kite incident” occurred off the Wairarapa coast approaching Napier. The main kite, after having a rough ride and being put back in its bag decided to abandon ship…..of its own accord in the dead of night. It’s a mystery as to how it crept out of the bag and descended into the water unassisted and undetected. Kites provided the most challenge for Windarra’s stalwart crew. Iain spent a fair bit of time crawling on the foredeck to make sail chances in “washing machine” conditions, in the dead of night. Iain was a rodeo rider in the past….even loosing body parts to the beasts but describes being on Windarra’s bow in those conditions as “worse than the nastiest bull he’s ever ridden”. Windarra’s top speed during the race was 15 knots, with a reefed main and no front sail up. She was being lifted and pushed down waves with all the power Mother Nature could muster. The noise

was like “a freight train comin’ atcha”. Cherie (Wil’s wife) had a 3am phone call during one of these “freight train” sessions which resulted in the loss of her fingernails, being gnawed to the quick! Wil reckons that there are a couple of major benefits to participating in such a gruelling race; - The continual accelerated boat speed prevents even the hardiest of sea crustaceans and slime from attaching itself to the hull….. but the downside is the loss of anti foul. - Any teak on the boat looses the aged silver look and is restored, with the large amount of salt blasting for days on end…..but the downside is that your wet weather gear becomes stiffer each day, inhibiting movement. - Any future cruising up the harbour and having the wakes pushed out by launch owners ignoring the 5 knot speed limit, causing sails to collapse, seem like mere ripples and are no longer annoying.

Post race comments

When Wil was asked if he’d do the race again, the answer was…“Not this week…or any time soon”! Iain was asked how he felt during the scariest moment and the answer was... “Like being in the Oropi Gorge going faster and faster, with 2 trucks coming towards you, side by side, at speed and with nowhere to go”. By Carol Andrews


Dishing up a sideways swipe



Good progress to Mount Maunganui Nine Mount Maunganui yachts and 5 Whangamata yachts started the race Whangamata race on 19 February. We had one DNF probably due to the sea conditions and lack of wind at the beginning of the race. Once the wind came in about 10am the yachts made good progress to Mount Maunganui. Line Honours went to Pussy Cat in A division and Rondine in B division. Prize giving was at the Bridge

Marina with a barbecue to finish the day off. It sound like all the yachts enjoyed their race back and thanks to Whangamata yacht Club for their hospitality and barbecue on the Friday night. 1st: Season ticket 5.0017, 2nd Happy hour 5.01.41, 3rd Not Negiotable 5.03.34, 4th Bavarian Wave 5.14.22, 5th Hanse Free 5.16.17, 6th Finesse 5.18.41, 7th Pussy Cat 5.51.59 B Division Whangamata Race 1st Rhondine 5.26.16, 2nd Silas Marner 5.35.10, 3rd Invincilbe 5.48.12, 4th Omar 5.49.43, 5th Surreillance 5.50.55, 6th Safari.

Grant Dalton at Mount Ocean Sports Club Grant Dalton (ETNZ), is coming to speak at the MOSC on Tuesday 26 April about the Volvo Ocean Race and Team NZ’s progress with working towards the Americas Cup 2013 . This should be an interesting night. Tickets are now on sale at the MOSC Bar to all club members. Secure your tickets before they are made available to the public. Grant would like ticket sale money to be donated to the Christchurch Yacht Club. They will be bringing a Volvo Ocean Race Boat to Tauranga. He is also speaking at the Tauranga Power Boat & Yacht Club earlier that day.

MMYC Race Calendar


Remainder of the Summer Series:

3a Landscape Road Tauranga Email:

Tel: 07 576 3009 Fax: 07 576 3092 Mobile: 027 627 5448

Monday night – Monday Night – Easter Weekend Cruise – Race Number Winter open series Race 1/Handicap Race 1 May Race 2 15 May Race 3 29 May Race 4 12 June Race 5 26 June Race 6 10 July Race 7 24 July Race 8 7 August Race 9 21 August Race 10 4 September Prize Giving Sunday25 September

4 April 18 April Friday 22 April 2 Handed Series 7 May 28 May 18 June 9 July 30 July 20 August 10 September



All the nice clubs like a sailor Being able to sail is a sought after skill overseas, and one that opens doors for New Zealanders on their OE.

Tim Appleford

Tim Appleford was a member of the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club’s centre board division as a youngster and later was a member of Roger Rushton’s crew on “Carbon”, in 2003 and 2004 before heading overseas. Tim’s sailed the offshore series and Round Ireland race the National Yacht Club and his inshore sailing usually with Dublin Bay Sailing Club. The Boyne Cup is the oldest cup in the club dating back prior to 1870 is awarded to the year's best offshore performance. Tim’s watch captain on the long distance races and generally main or kite trim for inshore racing. The boat is a Beneteau 36.7 Racing for the 2010 season consisted of a weekly inshore series throughout the year and the offshore series consisting of a number of races to Wales, night races along the coast and the Round Ireland Race. This year the boat will compete in the offshore series again and a 270 mile race to Dingle, the Fastnet race and hopefully the Middle Sea race. Tim’s been in Dublin for about four years says his dad, Steve. He’s crewed in the round Ireland race twice, and competed in a couple of Fastnet races. “He’s watch captain on the yacht and he’s provided I think a good amount of kiwi sail-

ing experience to the team and the yachting fraternity there,” says Steve. “Tim has travelled quite a bit since leaving Tauranga and wherever he has travelled that skill has enabled him to move into social networks and into the sailing fraternity and contribute to that sailing fraternity – which is a really good skill for a young fella. It’s awesome. “It’s a pat on the back to the Tauranga yachting community, but I think it’s also a message to young sailors that if they are part of the local yachting fraternity they are able to take that skill anywhere and get value out of it. I think it’s a good message for kids.” “They have a good skill base and when they go offshore they are actually in demand. The kiwis are known well to be able to sail well and Tauranga is a factory producing good sailors.” Sailing in Ireland is a bit different to Tauranga, says Steve. It’s cold and they go sailing in the snow, requiring them to gear up. Tim’s also done a couple of Ireland-Wales races across the Irish Sea, a busy stretch of water with a reputation for bad weather. Following on the racing the success Steve says there are plans to modify the boat and take it to the Mediterranean for some warmer weather racing.

By Andrew Campbell

NIWA’s tsunami measuring precise The size and timing of tsunami waves reaching New Zealand after the Japan earthquake closely matched the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research’s early risk estimations, says NIWA principal scientist Dr Rob Bell. Tsunami waves that reached Tauranga harbour from Japan topped out at just over one metre according to data from NIWA. With adjustments for tide, the maximum wave height at Moturiki was 1.04m from crest to trough. The peak amplitude – how

high it was above normal sea level was 0.52m. At Whitianga the maximum height was 1.61m, while the amplitude measure was 0.78m. “The accuracy of this information is vital for Civil Defence and emergency management when they are making decisions about tsunami warnings to ensure the hazardous impacts of a tsunami event in New Zealand are minimised,” says Rob. Getting peak wave amplitude right is important when assessing a likely tsunami hazard on land from a sudden surge in water above normal predicted tide levels. The wave height from the crest to the

trough provides information about the possible tsunami hazard in or on the water – for example, how boat moorings, mussel farms or ports will be impacted by surging currents generated by the waves. At most sites the highest waves recorded didn’t occur for some time after the first wave arrived, say Rob. “It’s important to understand that tsunami waves can continue for some time after the first few waves hit,” says Rob. The waves began arriving on the New Zealand coast at least 12 hours after the earthquake first hit Japan at 5.46pm New Zealand time on Friday, March 11.



Caring for undersized fish In order not to damage their prized catch, most people I have seen will put on a pair of gloves or grab a towel to remove the fish they are going to keep ... but what about the ones they are returning?

Keep the fish wet

Wearing gloves to keep the outside of the fish from being damaged is important, but

Don’t touch or poke

if you can’t find something handy then at least dip your hands in the water to keep the fish wet. If your fish is hooked in the lip then carefully remove the hook, and if it is hooked in the gut then cut the line quickly.


Once this is done gently return the fish into the water and it will hopefully swim away. The faster you can de-hook the fish and the less time the fish is out of the water the more the fish’s chance of survival increases. There are also a number of things that are

Don’t touch or poke the fish’s eye as you will most likely damage them beyond repair. Using a ‘gob’ stick on a fish you are going to release is not really necessary so try to avoid it and if you lift a fish by the tail you are probably going to dislocate its spine and then it will be unable to swim once you have released it. Finally, do try to avoid dropping any fish you are intending to release back into the water on hot and dry rocks or boat decks. As a last note, if you do find you are continually catching the undersized fish then the best thing to do is to change hook size and put a bigger one on your line, hopefully this means you will only catch the bigger keepers. Leaving the little fish to happily grow into the big one you will By Lucy Brake catch on a future trip.

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Isn’t it just as important that they are not injured either? Catching the big fish is one of the best parts of fishing. But releasing the undersized fish back properly is just as important. The fish we put back will hopefully end up maturing into bigger fish, but only if they live to tell the tale. There are a few key things to remember when you are releasing the smaller undersized fish. It is best to only bring a fish into the boat if you really need to; removing fish from the water can be quite a shock for them.

important not to do as they can really hurt the fish and it is more likely to die after being hooked. Definitely avoid putting your fingers inside the gills as this can impact how well the fish can use its gills. .



Two more kayakers heading south While Tauranga kayaker Tim Taylor is heading north on his epic kayak round New Zealand, two more kayakers are heading south.

Jamie Sharp and Canadian Dave Briggs paddled through Tauranga recently on their voyage south. A ‘big trip’ has been a long time dream of Jamie’s and one he’s come back to New Zealand for. The last eight years he’s been an adventure kayak guide working in Canada, Norway, Belize and other countries. “I always wanted to do a ‘big trip’,” says Jamie. “I thought I would come back after seven years overseas and catch up with family, do the big trip and see the country at the same time.” Dave put his hand up when Jamie was discussing his plans. He also discussed the big trip with Tim Taylor, but they have different goals. Tim’s goal is to kayak round New Zealand in a single voyage. Jamie’s big trip is less goal oriented. The aim is to reach South West Cape and the bottom end of Stewart Island, but he’s also recording the trip as he goes, and meeting people along the way. “We are making a documentary and car-

rying a lot more camera gear,” says Jamie. “We are taking photos, and regularly updating the blog.” “The point of the journey is the people we meet, the connections,” says Dave. “But at the same time the sponsors of the boats want us to achieve the goal, but at the same time we don’t want to push it too much.” Jamie started paddling from the top end of 90 Mile Beach on February 6, kayaking round North Cape and heading down the North Island east coast. He was joined by Dave in Auckland. They started a month later than planned because some of the gear didn’t show up,


then there were unexpected family commitments, and Dave was still in Belize. “What we are doing is not really a first, it is more about he journey, the country and the people,” says Jamie. There will be 6 legs to the trip. 1- Northern end of 90 Mile Beach to Auckland 2- Auckland to Napier 3- Napier to Wellington 4- Wellington to Christchurch 5- Christchurch to Dunedin 6- Dunedin around southern tip (possible circumnavigation) of Stewart Island to Halfmoon Bay.




Finance for all marine finance 07-574 0002 or 0274 435 524 available 7 days

ViStaCraFt 14 - 14.2ft Fiberglass, mariner 40hp, Johnson 6hp aux, new paint, ski pole, high pole, new rod holders & cleats. Very tidy and economical boat. Great for harbour fishing and skiing/wakeboarding. $5500 ono. Don - 021 298 6647 Pelin FOr Sale - 28’, professionally built, reconditioned Nissan ED 33 110HP diesel engine, mint condition. Comes with dinghy and outboard. $49,000. Ph 07 579 4128 or 027 291 2929. StarlinG FOr Sale - “CARPE DIEM” 1130, Professionally built & launched oct 1994, Built on same jig as “Helter Skelter” (1131), This yacht and fittings are in excellent condition Has been compliant with Bow Jig. Extras include Aluminium Beach Trolley, Road Cover and Spare Mast. Asking Price $3,900.00. Telephone 021 120 7060. yaCHt FOr Sale - 7mtr catalina yacht trailer sailor. Trailer warranted, registered and ready for the road. Pop top cabin, sleeps four, dual batteries, VHF & CB radios, stereo system. Price $17,500 neg. Ph (07) 542 3102 or 027 628 7900. Ganley tiMerider, 38 ft Steel Sloop. Proven offshore yacht. Well maintained & equipped. Excellent condition. Professionally built 1992. Sleeps 6-7. Interior attractive light woodgrain. Large water & diesel tanks, 50hp Nissan engine, Fleming windsteering. $189,000 ph (07) 8627455 or email CataMaran - 3yr old 11.4 mtr, Roger Simpson, Wildside, Twin 10 hp Yanmar, Diesels. 3 Queen, Size Double berth. Galley. Nav Station, Heads. Saloon. Usual instruments. Ph 07 866 5157 or email cox. lidGard 7.9M - Launched approximately 1956. Kauri planked, powered by 60hp nissan diesel, 7.5 knots cuise, economical at 5 ltrs/ hr cruising Accommodation for 2, toilet, gas cooker, game rigged. Electronics include VHF, GPS, chartplotter, depthsounder. Vessel is in sound condition. 027 447 2393. Water PuMP - 25PSI, Sureflow. As New $120. Ph 0274 333 220. bOat and SulPHur POint Marina bertH - PRICE REDUCED. 26ft hartley sedan launch. View boat and full details at berth B43, Sulphur Point. Boat $23,000 ono. 8 metre marina berth $16,036 with launch. Has cruised and fished to Mayor, the Mercs and Great Barrier. Ready to go again. Passed insurance survey December 2010. Ph 07 543 4099 or 027 239 6445 Main Sail - 7.5oz, hoist 43’ 7”, foot 14’ 9”, 5 reaths, 5 7/8 slides, very good condition. $400 ono. Ph 021 243 5555. FOldinG PrOP - briski, 16 x 12. 25mm shaft. Right handed NZ. $500 ono. Very good condition. Ph 021 243 5555 OMOkOrOa MOOrinG - Prime location opposite Boat Club. Suitable for up to 40ft boat $8000. Recently surveyed - September 2010. Ph 548 2314. Quarter SHare in Vindex 10 Metre launCH - Shaft drive, 180 hp Ford Diesel Turbo, Sleeps 6, two showers, 3 steering stations cruises 10-12 kts. This syndicate has been operating successfully for 6yrs. A great opportunity to enjoy the pleasures a launch offers whilst sharing the costs. Based at Tauranga Bridge Marina. Price $20,000 Ph 548 2314. yaCHt - Moonraker 26ft keeler. 5 sails, 4 stroke vovlo 2 cyl inboard motor. Fully serviced. Starts every time. Hummingbird depth sounder, marine radio, radio cassette, toilet, gully, includes 2 burner stove. 6 berth. 20l water tank, 20l fuel tank, last slip March 2010. Draft 4’6”, 8’ 2” beam. 2m fibreglass dinghy. $12000. 07 548 2114 or 027 548 2114. MOOrinG - Te Puna Estuary. Ph Dave Watson 552 6662. OutbOard MOtOr - Honda 9.9hp 4 stroke 2000 model low hours. Recently serviced new plugs, gear and crancase oil, spark plugs and impeller. $2000 ono. Phone Jim 5422036.

Hartley tS18 - ‘Antares’ is in really good condition. Trailer has WOF. She has been beautifully built inside and out with painted wood interior and can sleep up to 4 people. Comes with Honda 5HP outboard motor with stand for easy storage. Drop keel makes her a great family boat for going to places in and around the harbour. She has had new aluminium mast and rigging by Mike McCormack and new winch and guide bars added to trailer, for easy launch and retrieval. All ready to go for 2011. Asking price $4,500 ono. Phone Ian Gray 07 578 5022 or 027 572 9439. Marina bertH - 12m, Bridge marina G25. Good location with plenty of parking. With mooring lines and corner wheel. Currently rented month to month. Must sell so present reasonable offer. $50,000 inc. Phone Hm 5767748 4.95 aluiniuM MaSt and Sail - plus centre board, rudder and anchor. All in V.G. condition. Open to reasonable offers. Please ring 576 0294 (has answer phone). MOOrinG - C6 The Strand, Town Reach, Tauranga, new survey. Upto 10.5m. $1000 spent on survey. $4000 ono. Contact 07 307 9097 or 027 307 9009. MOOrinG FOr Sale - Waikaraeo Estuary #5. Good position, good swing, good depth. Fully rebuilt. Suit up to 29’ boat. Phone 07 576 1309 trOJan trailer yaCHt - 7.5m plus marina berth. New rigging, 5 sails, 2 spinnakers, 8HP yamaha, autohelm, all in good condition. View B39. $31,000. Ph 07 576 3461 or 021 0279 5289. YACHT - 26’ vanderstadt centreboarder, on launching trailer in hardstand. Very nice condition. 8HP yamaha outboard, alloy s/s rig. $12,990 neg. Ph 0274 272 054.


MOOrinG - town reach by Kestrel. Newly surveyed. Ph 578 0230 or 027 491 5616. MOOrinG - Waikareao Estuary. Ph 578 0230 or 027 491 5616. MOOrinG - Tanners Point. Excellent position, available for rent or for sale. Ph 07 570 0333 MOOrinG - Omokoroa, best position. For rent or for sale. Ph 07 570 0333. MOOrinG to rent or buy Tanners Point. Ph 0274 915 616. MOOrinG - Omokoroa. Phone 021 114 739. MOOrinG tO leaSe - Tanners Point. Suit launch or multihull. Long term. ph 5490091 SWinG MOOrinG - for rent or sale at Tanners Point. Recently serviced. Ph 578 0230 or 027 491 5616. MOOrinG - Pilot Bay, suitable for 28-38’ yacht. In reasonable order. Available 10 months of the year, from 1st March to 31st December. Ph 021 960 720


SWinG MOOrinG by Tauranga Bridge marina. Long term. For 8 tonne boat. Phone 021 963 399. MOOrinG tO buy - either Bridge marina area or slipway side of Pier at Omokoroa. Phone 0276 769 802. SHareS in launCH - and marina berth. 30 to 40 feet. Cash buyer, what have you? Phone Malcolm 576 6443 MOOrinG tO buy - Te Puna, shallow mooring fine. email simon. Phone 07 552 4694 Wanted tO rent: Swing mooring for 25ft yacht, also short term marina berth. Phone/text Marc, 027 200 2316. Hartley 16 Fibreglass trailer sailer. Ph 07 576 0207.





Ph/Fax: 07 578 8056 25 Marsh Street, Tauranga 0274 894 056

Ph/Fax 07 575 9056 15 Newton St, Mount Maunganui Ph/Fax 573 4493 155 Jellicoe Street, Te Puke

Battery Warehouse

Battery Direct NZ Free delivery in NZ 0800 267 468


Big Fish Bait and Tackle Co

Blue Ocean Charters Ltd Ph 0800 224 278 email:

Mount Dive Shop

GemCo Ltd

15 Newton Street, Mount Maunganui Ph: 575 4418

Hutcheson Boatbuilders

MV Manutere Brett Keller Ph: 07 552 6283 0274 351 353 Email:

R63 Hewletts Rd, Mount Maunganui Ph 572 2411

Ph:07-578 8312

Matamata Motor Trimmers & Upholstery Boat clears, canvas work, upholstery Ph: 07 571 4421 Cnr Mirrielees & Cross Roads, Tauranga

Mercury Bay Boatyard

Ph: 07 866 4637 Yard: 3 Moewai Rd, Whitianga Refits, repairs, painting, maintenance

Tauranga Marine Charters


Tauranga Insurance Ph: 571 0405 195 Devonport Rd, Tauranga


Oceanz Stainless Engineering

Canoe & Kayak BOP


Viking Kayaks

Ph:07-571 4130 30-34 Mirrielees Road, Tauranga

Challenger Boats

142 Newton Road, Mount Maunganui Ph 07 575 0497

Ph:574 7415 3/5 MacDonald St, Mt Maunganui OPEN 7 DAYS 9-5pm

Specialising in fishing and recreational kayaks. 0800 529 253


Ph 07 579 9716 email:

Ph: 07 575 8264 Fax: 07 575 8369 VHF: Ch 73 “Bridge Marina”

Gulf Group Marine Brokers

Hutcheson Boatbuilders 07-578 8312

Mastertech Marine 60 Whiore Avenue, The Lakes, Tauriko Tauranga Ph:579 4240

Tauranga Boat Sales

Bridge Marina, Harbour Bridge Ph: 07-575 0512


Steves Marine Supplies Ph: 07 578 9593 18 Cross Road, Sulphur Point, Tauranga


Ph: 07 543 1023, mob 0274 770078 Email:


Bay Marine Electronics Steven Gillett Ph: 07 577 0250


AFB Accept Finance Brokers Ph: 07 574 0002

Tauranga Bridge Marina


Mike McCormick

Ph: 578 3071 59 Mirrielees Rd, Tauranga


Prescott Trailers

Ph 07-573 9130 29 Station Rd, Te Puke

Greerton Engineering Ph 541 0024 64 Maleme Street TAURANGA


Mount Maunganui Yacht Club Ph: 542 0305

Omokoroa Boat Club John Budden Ph: 548 1180 Alan Roberts Ph: 579 1967

Tauranga Game Fishing Club Keith Allen Dr, Sulphur Point Tauranga Ph: 578 6203

Tauranga Marine Industry Assn.

PO Box 13303 Tauranga Steve Glover or

Tga Yacht & Power Boat Club PO Box 14352 Tauranga Ph 578 5512



It’s fabulous fishing Generally it must be said that the weather has been fantastic and the opportunities to get out plentiful and well worth it. By Bruce Weston, The Big Fish

15 NEwtON St, thE MOuNt. 575 9056

155 JEllicOE St, tE PukE. 573 4493



The Tauranga harbour continues to fish exceptionally well, catching good numbers of healthy snapper is almost a given, the kings and trevs also still there. The fishing along the beach has also been fantastic. Surfcasters catching limit bags of snapper in the Papamoa South and Matata area. The fish are hungry so are feeding on almost anything. Results for the long liners have been better, snapper more consistent with good numbers of gurnard as well. Hopefully as we creep through autumn and into winter, the gurnard numbers will pick up more. Fishing over the sand is still going well, the inner reefs holding tarakihi and snapper. The outer reefs worth a live bait for kingfish or marlin, stick baiting and jigging in full swing, although results are a bit patchy, fish generally around the 12 -15 kg mark with the odd 20kg fish. Not many reports from the outer reefs, most out in this region targeting game fish. Yellow fin still in very short supply, but there are plenty of skippies with some good sized albies amongst them. The local game fishing has been a bit slow, most boats heading further North towards the Aldermens and the Mercs where all the action has been recently. There has been plenty of sightings more locally and plenty of bait but the hook ups are a bit scarce and anglers are having issues with the strikes they are getting, making fish stick. A lot of blues being encountered in relatively shallow water. A small black caught from a tinny out from Whangamata and a couple of stripies being hooked and landed in water as shallow as 30m. A lot more action as normal further South down Waihau Bay way, a mix of stripies and blues with a few spear fish in the mix. The One Base was on recently, the weather was a challenge during the second half of the competition but a reasonable number of fish were recorded. These include 4 blue marlin weighed and 7 stripies with 14 marlin tagged. No sharks or yellow fin weighed, the kingfish were a bit thin in numbers, there were reasonable numbers caught but some struggled to meet the 1m qualifying mark. The heaviest snapper at 9.7kg, mahi mahi and short billed spearfish making up the balance of the catch card. Results very acceptable as 2 days were almost un-fishable for a lot of boats. The fishing north of Tauranga has been exceptional this year, there is still plenty of the season to go, not many have been live baiting around the usual haunts like Astrolabe, The Penguins and Schooner, there is plenty of bait there, the marlin must be there as well. There is something out there for everyone, the weather is fantastic, nice and hot, water temperature good, fishing great, long may it last.



Challenger 720 revamped Challenger continues its dedication to the proven long entry monohedron hull slope with the moderate 18.5°dead rise; designed by Terry Reid, the hull has reputation for generating the softest ride in New Zealand.

O u r f i s h i n g t r ip

Challenger has completely revamped the top deck and hardtop giving maximum room for families and fishing. The roof line is much sleeker yet not compromising on the cover or head height under the roof. The vision from the boat has been improved giving all round clear viewing whilst at the helm.

gendar y s a re l e

This boat comes standard with trim tabs, hydraulic steering, bait board, boarding ladder, large under floor fuel tanks, freefall winch and offers numerous options to satisfy the discerning purchaser who requires all the practical additions. The boat comes in six choices of hull colours, 20 choices of interior trim colours along with 23 choices of upholstery materials for the cabin. The true attraction of this boat is its spaciousness and the ride offered. The weight of the boat with trailer and 4 stroke outboard is 2250 kg making it comfortable to tow and handle, yet not too light to make its presence felt in a choppy sea. Packages for this boat and trailer start at $96,000 fitted with a 200 HP V6 Mercury two stroke engine. Challenger can also offer the option of supplying the engine of your choice. For details and a test ride in this boat, contact Tony Hawker at Challenger Boats NZ Ltd on 07 575 0497 or 021 231 2914 or email

The New 2011 Challenger 720 Hardtop

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Busy fishing summer with extremes of behaviour Fisheries officials are delighted in a record haul of calls to the 0800 4 POACHER line in January. “For the first time ever we received more than 1000 calls – 1004 to be exact – in a single month, and a number of these led directly to apprehensions,” says acting chief executive Andrew Coleman. “Fishery Officers can’t be everywhere and we’re very reliant on the public to notice and report bad behaviour. Responsible people are angry that their fisheries are being abused and they’re taking it upon themselves to help do something about it.” In December and January there were almost 8500 inspections of recreational fishers by Fishery Officers and voluntary Honorary Fishery Officers throughout the country. A number of these led to detection of offences, prosecutions and the issuing of infringement notices and warnings.

Penalties for fisheries offences range from $250 to $250,000 with vehicles, boats and dive gear liable to seizure and forfeiture upon conviction. For more serious offences, convicted offenders can be liable to jail terms of up to five years. “I am 100 per cent behind the Ministry’s zero-tolerance approach – and I know responsible members of the public are too,” says Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley. Commenting on the recent apprehension of 27 people with almost 1000 paua close to his own electorate in Northland, Phil says he is sickened that some people continued to flout the rules. “It’s a problem everywhere but I hate seeing this sort of behaviour in my own back yard. These people are stealing from all New Zealanders, including future generations, and they must be nailed to the fence.” Most fishers are responsible and are making sure their children and whänau know and follow the rules as well. They

are also being vigilant and reporting illegal and suspicious behaviour to the Ministry of Fisheries at every opportunity. The Ministry of Fisheries encourages members of the public to report any suspicious activity to 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224).

Gisborne men jailed for marine reserve convictions Bec Eden Gray, 36, was sentenced to eight weeks jail, and Dwayne Rangi Lloyd, 31, received a six week sentence. Gray was sentenced in the Gisborne District Court in March 2011, Lloyd in November 2010. Both sentences were for taking protected marine life from the Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve near Gisborne in May last year. The sentences are the longest handed down for marine reserve offending so far.

Fisheries officers who made the arrests say all the marine life seized was released back into the reserve – including 13 female crayfish carrying eggs, an estimated 550,000 eggs that would have been lost to the ecosystem. “This sends a very clear message that the judiciary and the agencies involved in protecting our marine reserves won’t tolerate them being plundered,” says DOC Area Manager Andy Bassett. “We are determined to protect them.” The arrests were a joint operation between the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Ministry of Fisheries. The prosecution is a good example of the Ministry working effectively with other agencies to catch fish thieves, says Ministry of Fisheries field operations manager Tom Teneti. “Fishery Officers can’t be everywhere and we welcome all the support we can get to protect these reserves,” says Tom. The vehicle used in the offence has been forfeited to the Crown. Members of the public seeing any suspicious or illegal activity in marine reserves or anywhere else can call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224) or 0800 DOCHOT (0800 362 468). The Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve was established in 1999 and was the result of many years’ work between DOC and Ngati Konohi.

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Two Gisborne men have received jail sentences for convictions for poaching crayfish, kina and paua from an East Coast marine reserve.



Raising a good stingray crop Tauranga harbour’s popularity with orca this summer is being used as an indicator of one of the benefits of good harbour housekeeping. The orca pods come to Tauranga harbour looking for stingrays, which orca expert Dr Ingrid Visser says are ‘orca chocolate’. Mount Dive Club member and organiser of the recent Pilot Bay clean up Shane Wasik says raising a good stingray crop is a result of a good supply of stingray food. “The orca come into the harbour chasing stingrays as a food source, with the stingrays in turn feeding on crustaceans, molluscs and fish that live near, in or around the bottom,” says Shane.

A diver’s eye view reveals the sea floor of Tauranga harbour is a kaleidoscope of colour and abundant marine life that we should seek to protect, says Shane. “We take our harbour for granted,” says Shane. “The heavy commercial and recreational users take for granted its ability to drain our waste and stormwater, and continue to use it to feed us with fish and shellfish. “Every dive surprises me with the amount of marine life in the harbour. On our cleanup dive alone, I spotted schools of mackerel, red moki, snapper - along

with a number of octopus foraging around. “Most of the rocks are covered in sponges and seaweed, where many small fish such as triplefins or seahorses hide. “Octopus hide in the many holes beneath rocks, lying in wait for their next meal, often just two eyes peering at you. You can also see yellow moray eels hiding under rocks but they are usually fairly frightened of divers.” He’s also seen schools of kingfish circle him while diving and seen large stingrays cruise past. The stingrays can tend to give the unwary diver a fright if you are not expecting them, says Shane.

Take good care

“It is a fragile place and we should seek to take better care of it, the little things you do such dropping that bottle or washing your car near the stormwater drains all make a difference.” In ‘dodgy’ weather recently Mount Dive Club divers pulled more than two tonnes of rubbish from the harbour floor round the Salisbury Wharf.

Affecting the food chain

“If we continue to pollute and damage our waters, then all levels of the food chain can be affected. Remove the stingray food and you remove the stingrays, then the orca don’t come back. “It’s a simple way of explaining food webs, but everything is related in the ocean,” says Shane.

Paddling up the coast Tauranga kayaker Tim Taylor is this week working his way up the South Island’s west coast, having paddled out of Milford on the weekend. He’s in literally uncharted territory. The chart shows inshore waters north of the Haast River mouth remain mostly unsurveyed. After weeks in the wilds of Fiordland, Tim is once again paddling alongside coastal roads, picking up the Jackson Bay-Haast Road and staying Monday night at the confluence of the Hapuka, Turnbull, and Okura rivers. On Tuesday Tim was passing the Haast River mouth and continuing up the coast towards Greymouth, which will be his first town since Bluff. He’s now paddled more than 3000 km in his bid to be the first person to kayak round the New Zealand coast in a single voyage. His departure from Southland sees a change in the support network that arranges food and passes on advice about local conditions.

Tim’s been under the wing of Southland Fishermen’s radio operator Meri Leask since the Catlins. She’s arranged fishing boats to re-supply Tim as his food supplies dwindled in inaccessible fiords, and passed on valuable local knowledge about the weather and conditions. While the west coast is exposed and a lee shore to the prevailing weather off the Tasman Sea, it is more forgiving than the Fiordland coast with beaches and many river mouths where a kayaker can find a route ashore. The West Coast is also where Paul Caffyn lives. He’s the kayaker whose three-stage kayaking expedition round New Zealand in the late 1970s helped inspire Tim to make the single voyage attempt Tim’s last report in is from Milford where he goes over some of the highs and lows experienced since he was last able to access a computer terminal. His Tauranga support crew will be meeting with Tim at Hokitika.

Tim at Stirling Falls, Milford Sound



A voyage of strange events The yacht is loaded to the gunwhales with every conceivable gadget and gear known in the history of seafaring. The dive tanks are jammed full of fresh Tauranga air and the craypot, which has never caught more than a startled pipi in 25 years of trying, is strapped to the back deck. The neighbours are feeding the cat and the dog has been farmed out to grandpa. The forecast is good, the wine stocks replenished and the rum stores enough to tot up a moderate-sized navy. Even a cosy bolt-hole is available in Whitianga in case the weather gods turn vengeful. Stretching ahead, a couple of weeks of bliss, lazing under the shade sail, idly fishing or reading. Nothing on the horizon can possibly affect our state of euphoric, enforced relaxation, right? Well, most likely wrong. It all starts very formulaic and predictable, pointing Abakazam’s voluptuous bows toward Bowentown and sailing casually up the harbour, through the shallows for a peaceful night at Tanners. Then on to Athenree for Larissa and Dan’s wedding. Anchoring off the venue, in the shallows of the harbour flats, we leave the catamaran to dry out on the outgoing tide. Launching paddleboards, we slide ashore among the mangroves and changed into wedding attire without getting too much mudflat on our flash threads. The wedding is spectacular. Many thanks to Graham and Christine and best wishes to the bride and groom. We stagger back to the cat before midnight, leaving the young revellers to party on. After a few hours kip, we float again, and make our way at 3am to deeper waters of Shelly Bay, ready for an early start out the heads and destinations northward.

Cat and dog games

We know a black cat running across your path is bad luck, but what do you make of a dead dog floating by the starboard bow? As we up-anchor the next morning, focused on a brisk sail up the coast, a deceased canine bobs by. We try to hook its collar before both cat and dog are sucked into the swirling

waters of the falling tide, but lose sight of the poor little sod as the harbour entrance turns gnarly. I’d hoped to grab its tag, so at least its owner could be informed of the pooch’s demise. But it isn’t to be. Claire phones the council, in case there is a report of a missing dog and concern mounts that it may have fallen from a boat; or its owners are frantically searching somewhere. However, the council never has any reports of a tan and white terrier missing, so the strange case of the dead dog remains a mystery. Heading up the coast, expecting a quiet and lazy sail, the peace is constantly shattered by the screaming of reels as the entire tuna population seems determined to end their days as Abakazam sashimi lunch. Albacore, plus the odd kingi or kahawai, make a great colourful display on the sashimi plate and fill our tiny fridge and the bait bucket in no time. Fresh tuna and kahawai, marinated and seared with a bit of soy, Grove lime avo oil and sesame seeds is good eating. Only take what you need, goes the saying, so we pull in the lines. That also restores some peace and order in the cockpit which needs much hosing and scrubbing to get civilised again.

Craypot plunderers

The Mercs beckon and we enjoy a classic late summer night in the cove with fish smoking on the Cobb barbecue on the duckboard. The next few days are iconic Mercs holiday stuff, perfect weather and not too many boats. We raise the NZ flag and drop it to half-mast; observing the national two minutes silence for the Christchurch earthquake victims – the turmoil of our friends there never far from our minds. Our ever-consistent craypot (never catches anything) is set along the way, a spot recommended by Alan Greenaway. A slight depth miscalculation sees it slide off the rock, into a crevice, and the buoy disappears several metres below the surface. It is very close to the rocky shore, so poses no hazard to passing vessels. We decide to make a dive on the next morning’s low tide to locate it. I’ve always suspected there’s nothing wrong with the craypot – only it probably gets checked several times by devious and dishonest boaters - or octopus - before we get back to it. Never any proof of this, other than previous experience: seeing other people’s pots being checked by a procession of different boats in the course of a day. It crosses my mind that tonight, at least, no-one can poach my crays because they wouldn’t know the pot was even there. The float is at



Craypots and green smart pots least three metres down and very close to shore. So you can imagine the thrill, on diving down the next morning to retrieve the short-roped pot, to find a lovely big cray in there. All my suspicions confirmed! I can’t help thinking it’s not the first time our craypot has worked – this was merely the first time we’d gotten there first! I’m interested to hear from others who suspect their pots are being plundered and any solutions you may have devised. We have some cunning answers… but they’re top secret, in case those thieving rotters figure it.

Greenery on the aft deck

The weather is forecast to turn a bit trashy, so we enjoy a brisk sail into Whitianga for a few days shore leave, replenish fresh water, scuba fills and grab fruit and veges. Not that we need much; Claire’s latest obsession, a ‘green smart’ micro green system, ( has a small forest of fresh greens growing in its own little eco-system on the aft deck. This keeps us fully supplied with great tasting, fresh and nutritious salad greens for weeks. After a few days ashore the weathergirl cheers up and the urge to get out there is burning, so we set sail again for the Mercs. With consistent northerlies we flag the original notion to head for Barrier. Besides, it’s just so good at the Mercs it’s hard to leave. The scallops have survived the summer onslaught well and are in great condition. With a shellfish ban in the Bay of Plenty, we’ve done it hard down here. So it is a great pleasure to find the stocks in Home Bay plentiful. The size is down a bit on previous years, but no shortage of supply.

Show us your credentials

While I dive and Claire absorbs maximum Vitamin D on the front deck, the Navy arrives. Not just a few sailors, but a whole ship. Virtually our entire navy. Whether they’ve spotted the beautiful features adorning our bow, or heard about our rum stocks, it’s hard to say. But I guess there’s a lot of ship’s telescopes trained on our foredeck. Claire doesn’t notice any of this, the arrival of a warship, the launching of the ship’s RIBs and approach of the fully kitted, helmeted boarding party. I just popped up from a dive to find ourselves thrust into a real life episode of ‘Sea Patrol’. Luckily I watch every show, so I know what always happens. Normally a couple of members of the

Hammersley’s crew are taken hostage but later miraculously escape and then apprehend the baddies. I’m just trying to figure out how a portly, middle-aged yachtie in a leotard-like wetsuit and a bad haircut is effectively going to overpower the four fit young navy personnel; tie a couple of them up, at least until the commercial break. Then I think, hang on, this is the NZ Navy, those dramas only happen to the Aussie Navy. Any further illusions about the reality of Sea Patrol are shattered when instead of the blonde, beautiful, slim XO sashaying alongside; we get the NZ version – a short, rotund frumpy woman from Stratford with freckles and glasses. There goes that fanciful ideal. They are nice people, though; very professional and polite, in pursuit of customs violators. Lieutenant Frumps asks what port we are registered. I don’t know, we were supposed to be registered? If only we’d managed to get that dog collar – at least the dead mutt was registered. We could flash our dog tag. Doesn’t matter, because Tauranga is a good enough answer. No, we haven’t seen any overseas vessels in the area. Luckily, the navy leaves before they hear the muffled sounds from below deck of our six Somalian refugee families, hidden amongst the sacks of cocaine and opium poppy seeds; or whatever is fashionable to smuggle these days. And, our rum stash remains intact.

Knot tied on

Another day, after slacking around the islands, we head back to the cove and spot a dinghy on the outside reef. It seems stationary, so we resist the urge to pick it up and tow in. Divers tend to get a bit irate when you pinch their boat while they’re underwater. We tut tut about the silly diver not flying a dive flag. As we head into the cove, a launch steams out, and asks if we’ve seen their dinghy. Ah, so it is a runaway, after all! Some days you just can’t win. It is recovered without incident, but the couple on the launch must think we are complete chooks, until we explain how it looked. The dinghy must have been trapped in the perfect convergence of currents and wind, giving the impression of being anchored.

Dolphin escort

A Thursday of perfect sailing weather means we take a sightseeing sail around the coast, toward Kuaotunu and north past Rings, Matarangi and New Chums. A crazy pod of big dolphins decides Abakazam is the most fun thing they’ve seen all year and celebrate with a show of the most amazing synchronised swimming. Flips and cartwheels, even a game of ‘see how many large mammals can jam between two catamaran hulls’ keep them amused for half an hour. Check out the video on in my boat blog if you are into footage of large fish making big splashes. We find ourselves in the beautiful and seemingly deserted Kennedy Bay, a contrast to the cove that sometimes seems more like the Mount camping ground. We enjoy a pleasant night alone tucked into the north side of the entrance and take a paddle up the river in the kayaks. The next day we return to the cove and settle for the night when the news filters through about the Japan quake and the tsunami warning.



Deep water the place to be We enjoy a pleasant night alone tucked into the north side of the entrance and take a paddle up the river in the kayaks. The next day we return to the cove and settle for the night when the news filters through about the Japan quake and the tsunami warning. We really feel for those thousands helpless and lost; and try not to cynically think that the Japanese whaling fleet might be wrecked. Then the focus turns to the shockwave heading to our shores. The information flow from Civil Defence to Coastguard is woefully inadequate and slow. The Coastguard is telling boaties ‘not to worry, it’s happening in the morning – we’ll deal with it then’. Not a lot of help to the thousands of boaties anchored in secluded bays around the northern coast, with little or no cell phone coverage and patchy internet. Not the Coastguard’s fault I suspect, but a lack of communication from CD and poor understanding of the realities at sea. Saving the day is the fire chief from Matarangi, who by chance, is out in his boat and anchored in the cove. He takes the initiative to phone Thames CD and extract some vital information; that we could experience tidal surges and that the cove is a very bad place to be at 7am on Saturday morning.

So much for the ‘let’s worry about it tomorrow’ attitude! Mr Fire Chief motors around all the few dozen boats in the cove, warning of the potential hazard and suggesting the Bay be cleared at sun up. By 7am there are about 30 boats anchored or milling around the deeper

water of Home Bay, awaiting the expected half metre tidal surge. It is barely noticeable in deeper water, but in enclosed inlets, narrow passages and between islands, the effect is dramatic. Many of you out there have your own stories and photos of the event. From listening to the VHF, Whitianga is knocked around, with the tidal surge changing direction in a matter of minutes, 12 knots recorded in the entrance at one stage and a boat dragged its mooring. The police close the wharf boat ramp due to the hazards and many trees and debris become floating missiles. (NIWA later confirms

the Chathams and Whitianga are the most affected by the surge, reaching a height of 1.6m at Whitianga.) Deep water is definitely the place to be. We were due to head south anyway, so went wide, past the Aldermens (where strange currents and surges were also reported) and onto Mayor. A peaceful couple of days hanging around the sou’western regions, snorkelling a cray and spearing a 90cm kingie, who teaches me how to water ski under the surface, topped off an interesting and strangely eventful voyage. As we beach the cat to unload at Te Puna, the high tide noticeably flowing out, we reflect on the events of the past fortnight and thought, ‘you never know what awaits out there’. Just as we do so, the tide does an aboutturn, flows the opposite way for half an hour, re-floats the cat, then flows out and she settles again. After-effects of the tidal surges continue for five days after the main event. Best thing is the friendly welcome home from a wet Labrador, the first live dog we’ve seen in a couple of weeks. It’s a strange world. By Brian Rogers









Waterline April 2011  
Waterline April 2011  

Waterline April 2011