Well the term is over and it is time for some relaxation. We hadn’t planned to go away this weekend but when Rob and Lorraine phoned to see if we wanted to go up to their caravan we thought it was too good an offer to miss. Nigel decided to stay at home so the boys and I went up on Friday and came back Monday.
I had planned to get away sharpish on Friday as Lachlan’s school finished at 1.15 because it was the end of term and also because the V8 Supercars were in town. We had a letter from the Primary School saying that, as parents we should make the appropriate decision about whether to pick our children up early from school on Friday because of the V8s, as traffic was expected to be a problem. I suppose it also gave parents a get out clause if they wanted to take their children to see the V8s, which I guess many parents did as the school playground was definitely quieter than normal at 3pm! However, Lachlan was invited to go to the V8s with his friend Lachlan and his Mum (though I found out later that Lachlan’s Mum didn’t in fact take them – I’m sure this will be the first of many half truths I will be subjected to as the Mother of a teenage boy!)) and some other friends. So he was under strict instructions to be back by 5pm and did pretty well as he arrived pedalling hard up the driveway at 5.10pm! I think he rather enjoyed the independence of being able to go off with his friends to such a big event and was really buzzing when he got back.
Rob and Lorraine’s caravan is at a small place called Otauto Bay just north of Coromandel Town.
The journey went remarkably smoothly – the boys watched The Pirates of the Caribbean on the DVD player as I negotiated the steep, winding, coast hugging roads north of Thames by turns dazzled by headlights behind me or blinded by those ahead! On occasions being taken unawares by the sharpness of the bends as a yawning abyss loomed! However, just one toilet stop and a false alarm sick stop for Aonghas and we arrived safely three hours later. The last section is on an untarmacced section of road so it is a tad bumpy and when we got to the Motor camp I was a bit unsure of exactly where to find Rob and Lorraine (especially since the notes I had from Nigel actually had the wrong place name on!) – no cell phone coverage so I left the boys in the car to scout around the Motor camp until I found them!
Not much time to look around as it was quite late so we had a drink and headed to bed. The Motor Camp backs directly on to the shore and there is a short walk on to the beach to get to the shower block – a pleasant walk in the middle of the night! We woke to a beautiful morning and a lovely view across the bay but it was too windy to go fishing on the boat. Lorraine treated us to a cooked breakfast – scrummy – and then we packed up a picnic and headed along the coast to go fishing off the rocks. The road is pretty rough in places and hugs the coast so there are some spots where there is very little to separate the edge of the car from oblivion! We stopped at a pretty little bay called Fantail Bay but we had no luck fishing – there were quite
a few white horses on the sea and the lines kept getting caught in the seaweed so eventually we gave up and tried again a bit further along the coast. Still no joy so we had lunch and went back to watch the V8s on tele in the caravan! Rob’s nephew Nick races in the V8s so we spent our time trying to spot his car amongst the many speeding flashes on the screen! He came 11th in his race which I gather is ok for him – he generally comes around 12th or 13th. Later that evening as the sun went down over the bay we had another go at fishing off the wharf -Aonghas caught a couple of tiddlers and Lachlan nearly had the catch of the weekend but … it got away! Rob got quite excited as Lachlan’s rod bent under the strain of a big fish but it disappeared under the wharf, lost the hook and swam away to freedom!
Next day Rob woke us up early to say that the sea was a bit calmer and did we want to go out on the boat – the answer was a resounding yes from the boys – I’ve never known them get up and dressed so quickly on a cold, very early morning! I have to admit to being quite excited myself as I have rarely been out on a motor boat! We packed up some provisions, made sure we had plenty of layers on, and off we went out to sea! Well not very far – we were within sight of land the whole time but it was quite bouncy as we picked up speed – quite exhilarating! Rob stopped the boat at a seemingly random spot but he appeared to have a reason for his choice – years of experience I guess! It looked promising when Aonghas got a bite 30 seconds after putting his line in the water! A snapper, but a bit small so back it went into the sea! A couple of minutes later he got another one and this was a decent size! But it seemed our optimism was short lived as it was a good half hour before Ernie caught another and that was too small as well! We continued to bob up and down on the water as the sun warmed us up but the fish just weren’t biting. Ernie and Aonghas had a few more nibbles and the bait was taken a few times but otherwise nothing. Rob decided to move a bit further along and let Lachlan have a go at driving! He was in his element – we chugged along for a bit going round in circles until Rob explained about how to fix on a point to aim for and then he cracked it! I even started to relax a bit and then Rob thought it was safe enough to crank the speed up a bit, and there we were racing along with my 13 year old son at the helm!!! Sorry Lachlan, but I was a bit nervous! The new fishing site was no better – Ernie bagged a Gurnard but the wind started to pick up and the waves started to toss us around a bit so Rob decided that we should call it a day. We all got a bit damp on the way back as Rob speeded along and the spray came over the boat but it was great fun. Aonghas was reluctant to hold his first fish – “it’s disgusting – all slimy!” but eventually plucked up courage to have his picture taken! Lorraine cooked our meagre haul for a snack before tea and it was delicious – even Aonghas enjoyed it! That was the end of fishing for the weekend – typically the wind dropped on Monday morning when we had packed up to go home but, hey, that’s life! The boys really enjoyed their go at fishing and are dead keen to go back – they even wanted to buy fishing rods on the way home! We had a lovely time in Otauto, heaps of thanks to Rob and Lorraine for putting up with us and especially Rob for all his patience with two exciteable and (sometimes restless) boys!