Fishing, a big announcement and some bagpipe

Trip Start Jun 09, 2003
Trip End Jun 02, 2007

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Friday, June 4, 2004

Well I thought it was about time I made another update, I've gotten so behind on keeping up to date, but I've been having so much fun and it is impossible to have too much fun!

Anyway our fourth day on Stewart Island saw us rising early to go and catch some fish. It was another wet day and it was cold - perfect fishing weather! We got on the boat - the Mareno - with our skipper John and our fellow fishermen. We left the harbour in Oban and headed out towards Ulva Island where a big announcement was being made that day. We stopped just off the island and we unreeled our ropes with hooks and bait attached and waited for the fish to jump onto the rope (they do!). After about 2 minutes all but one of us had caught a fish! I went on to catch about 12 - all blue cod. Unfortunately the piccie of me with the fish got deleted as I looked so awful in it, but I did catch them! I got so cold I eventually went and sat in the cabin, had a nice hot cup of tea and steered the boat for a bit.

Claire, myself and one of the other people on the boat - Patricia - decided to go ashore and see what was happening. John rowed us ashore in his little row boat and we went for a walk - in the pouring rain. There was an awning set up and a few people milling about but nothing seemed to be happening so we went for a walk. We walked up to a look out point where we could see the clouds clearing and the sun coming out, we could also see the boat coming in, carrying all the VIPs. We hung around a bit longer until the ceremony started. It was all in Maori and unfortunately we had to leave after just 5 minutes to catch our boat back. The ceremony was to unvail a plaque announcing that the Paterson Inlet (where Ulva Island was) was now a maritime reserve, which means that fishing is restricted and the depleted supplies of paua will be regenerated. It had taken 11 years for this to be put into place!

Back aboard John had cooked up some of the fish that we had caught. It doesn't get fresher than this - yum!!

The journey back to Oban was delightful. The whole way we were surrounded by Mollymawks swooping and diving around the back of the boat. Mollymawks are small albatross - with about a 2m wing span. John gave us some bait to feed them with, the sun came out, it was still raining, there was a huge rainbow and dozens of Mollymawks everywhere - amazing! We were sorry to get off the boat but we did get a big bag of filleted fish to take with us.

That afternoon we went for a wander round Oban. We visisted a craft shop where we stayed for quite a while waiting for the rain to go off. While there we bumped into Patricia again who very kindly invited us home with her for some tea. She lived just across the road. Her husband Stuart played the bagpipes, so he got them out (his set was over 100 years old) and played some tunes for us. We had a very nice afternoon.

Back at Ann's Place we cooked up the fish for dinner - yum. We were disappointed to learn that the other 6 people staying with us had been down to the South Seas Hotel and had got a free fish supper each - apparently it happens every Friday night when the locals return from the mainland! We couldn't complain really, we had some really nice fish we'd caught ourselves.

We had an enjoyable evening chatting with the other travellers staying at Ann's Place before heading to bed fairly early so we could get up to catch our ferry the following morning.

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