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You know your lure is realistic when...

Overcast and still - it felt like perfect conditions at the river mouth, but nobody was catching any fish.

I was about to pack up when a guy hooked a decent-sized kahawai that leapt out of the water a few times. He had it on the line for a minute or so (I find 'time' takes on a different quality when a fish is hooked and have trouble judging how long playing a fish takes - more so when I'm the one playing the fish), but he ended up losing it.

It renewed my urge to fish, so I started casting again.


I've had this lure for a while now, but seldom use it. I love the paddle-tail action of these types of lure, but this one always feels a bit big for some reason (it's only just over 8 cm long, so it's not really that big).

Soon there was a tug on the lure, and before long a shag instead of a fish broke the surface.

I pulled the lure out of his beak and was able to wind it in quickly before he got hooked (shag grabbing it once more and chasing it underwater to the shore).

One more cast in case the shag had learnt his lesson; he hadn't. I was able to wind in again and change lures.

I've never had a bird grab my lure before - they normally seem quite aware that they're imitations. Must be a good indication of future success (with fish!), surely...


Sanding and Savoury Muffins


Prep work for painting is never fun, but perhaps because of this, when the final stages of the painting are eventually done, there is that extra bit of satisfaction in the completed job.


Despite the hard work, there was a strange sense of melancholy at the thought of the relaunch, after working on her in the boat yard for four days.

There's a nice feeling of camaraderie with the others working on their boats and people passing through. Everyone feels comfortable stopping for a quick chat or a passing comment, and most do.

~ At least it's not a 50 foot boat!

~ That looks like a tedious job.

~ At least you're up to the painting stage!


There's always something going on, something to watch or talk about - boats are getting lifted out of the water to be worked on; boats are getting put back in the water.

The Waikawa Marina has the added bonus of The Jolly Roger Restaurant & Bar sitting at the water's edge, so that was the obvious destination for lunch/breaks/drinks while waiting for paint to dry. I highly recommend their savoury muffins, coffee, and Macs Three Wolves pale ale on tap. On the last day I saw a stingray swim in the water below my table on the deck.


The marina is quite sheltered from the wind, and despite strong winds being forecast for the relaunch, it wasn't too bad in the marina. The white caps just outside the marina entrance weren't overly comforting as I motored towards them, though.  After motoring across Waikawa Bay in strong winds, I appreciated my telescopic boat hook that I bought a few years ago, managing to grab the mooring buoy between gusts, and securing her safely back on the mooring.