news, posted: 3-Jun-2007 14:32
Friday was great day out in the Hauraki Gulf, courtesy of Nat Torkington and Zom, aboard the good ship Foam. We were very lucky with the weather, catching the last of the Indian Summer up north. Sunny and warm and next to no wind and very still out on the water... absolutely perfect.
Foam is a commercial fishing vessel built in the fifties, and she's still going strong:
The interior of the Foam is intimate and functional. Not the best place to be over six foot, as my head soon learnt by making hard contact with various features of the boat.
Mission of the day was to catch snapper, so Nat and I got grotty with it and baited the hooks with squid:
The thin lines with the baited hooks were then attached to a stronger nylon one that in turn was tied to a buoy and left to do its job. After a while, it was time to haul in the lines with... snapper attached! I'm not sure if this was a good catch or not but it certainly seemed like it to me.
Now, fishing's probably not something you want to do on your first date with someone. Nat was wielding a pair of pliers that I figured correctly would be used to get the hook out of the fish but... they had a primary function as well:
Yes, you can't just haul up some flounder and leave it to founder. Even so, I was quite glad I didn't have to help out with braining the fish to kill it quickly, actually. You have to do it, otherwise if the snapper dies slowly, the meat gets spoilt when it comes to taste and texture.
Lunch was expertly filleted snapper in curry and beer batter, cooked in olive oil and garlic and some beer to go with it. It would've tasted great anywhere, but out there on the water aboard the Foam, it was unbeatable. On the way back to the harbour, we picked up a bow ornament bird:
Nat's been out so many times in that area he knows it like the back of his hand. To prove it, he skippered the boat towards the wharf with his eyes shut:
Don't think he was cheating with a GPS implant either.
All in all, a fantastic day that I won't forget. Thanks Nat, much appreciated.
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