Sunday, 28 October 2012

Rangitoto and Motutapu islands circumnavigation in a sea kayak

I have started preparing for next year's big paddle from Auckland to Tauranga with Charity Yakkers. Best practice would be to circumnavigate all the major islands around Auckland this summer. It is amazing, when you set your mind on something, your capabilities multiply. Just three weeks ago, my kayaking goal for this summer was to paddle around Rangi. With summer not even started yet, I have accomplished that and have my mind set on bigger, more adventurous multidays paddles.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. I picked my route in such a way that I get a tail wind for atleast half the way back. Unfortunately, on a multiday trip you don't get to chose a nice day and weather. So ability to handle any situation that mother nature throws at you is a must. Now I know I can do a 40 km paddle with minimum fuss, important thing though is to be able to do this everyday for 9 days or longer.

Enjoy the photographic report:

Started at 6:30am. 15 minutes later at Motukorea (Browns Island)

 Emu bay
 Lots of fishos out there in Waiheke channel. I could count more than 200 boats.

 Home bay point
 “When two evil guys fight in a duel, the worst of both will be the winner.”
 Waikalabubu bay gun houses. I don't know if it is allowed, but reckon could be nice place to spend a night.

 I am gonna get you.
 A pod of sea kayakers enjoying the gorgeous day.
 And finally Auckland in the sight.
 The light house at coast guard bay

 Heading back towards St. heliers
 Takapuna beach

 Stopped at bean rock for a fish
 Back in St. Heliers at 2:20pm

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Kawakawa gone up in smoke

Strong south westerly winds and gusts reaching 35 knots at times created some interesting paddling to be had on my sea kayak. Small work ups everywhere. I really enjoy watching Gannets dive. They are the best divers in the whole planet. Amazing that they can dive from the height of 30 meters reaching the speed of 120 km/h as they strike the water surface. Plenty of kahawai caught and some of them put on a nice fight. Snappers were shy but enough caught for dinner.

Time to try my new fish smoker from 1-Day sales. Pretty cheap material of construction but the design is pretty cool and the flames kept going for 4 hours without the need to top up. Did the job well but next time would keep it little longer to dry the fish little more.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Snapper Biryani, fishermen can cook!

Biryani, although originally a Persian dish, is an Indian equivalent of Paella but more refined in flavor and texture :!: It can be cooked with chicken, beef, lamb or sea food. Basmati rice is the best rice to use in this dish. This is my version of whole snapper biryani. I never follow a recipe :lol: therefore I hope the pictures are self explanatory :angel:.

Fish is sliced and marinated for 1 hour with spices.

  If you are into Indian curries, I recommend buying SHAN spices which can be found from any Indian grocery store across the city.
 Pan fry snapper slightly (2 min) and leave to rest.
On the same pan stir fry onions, garlic and ginger until golden, add vegetables, a can of tomato and an entire packet of Shan biryani masala. Stir fry until the oil separates.
  Rice is soaked for 1 hour in water + 1 tsp salt, boiled for 5 min (half cooked), drained and washed with cold water.
  Plenty of butter, ghee or oil in the hot pot and in goes a naan (can also used flat slices of potato). This will protect the rice from sticking to the pot and also is a nice crispy and oily Persian delicacy which goes well with the rice itself.
 A layer of rice is followed by a layer of veggies and so on.

 Some butter and the snapper go on top

 Simmer until rice is cooked on very low flame
 Plate up and enjoy a spicy meal

Friday, 21 September 2012

Around Pakihi on Mirage 580

A few quick phone calls to work meant that I could take a day off and go to Kawakawa bay and paddle around the Pakihi island. Fishing was not really on the menu but I could not resist taking a rod along. Got stock in the motorway for quite a long time but managed to get to Kawakawa at about 11am. I saw Kev on the way and I knew when Kev heads home early, fish are on bite :^) .

Started to paddle towards Mccallum bay where wind direction was most helpful but wind against tide made her choppy at times. I had no problem cutting through the waves in my razor sharp mirage ;)

 The other side of the island was calm and the scenery was amazing

Fish came in quick succession. First time bagging the limit on Mirage with 3 more released. I was back at 4 pm, thankfully the traffic was not as bad as in the morning on the way back :y: