Sunday, 6 November 2016

Reluctant Hitchhikers- Lake Brunner


Keen, mad, or both?

David set out yesterday morning in an annoying mizzle which hung around for most of the day. After 4 or so hours he came home happy but empty-handed.

I told him he should have stayed home and saved the fuel; this guy was fishing off the lakeside just behind the van. He caught two trout within 20 minutes.

Heavy grey clouds greeted us this morning, but at least it was dry. New neighbours in their caravan arrived early last evening. After a bit of memory jogging back and forward between David & Stuart, they worked out that we'd been parked next to each other once before, at Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes. 

Of course if we'd waited until this morning before the guessing game it would have all fallen into place; Stuart has an unmistakable inflatable canoe, he'd had problems with the motor at Rotoiti and David had helped him out fixing it.

With visions of those trout close to shore, David threw out his line a few times...

...before he got bored with that, kicked the outboard into gear and roared off into the wild bl...grey yonder!

He headed off to his favourite part of the lake, a large drowned kaihikatea forest and swampland across the other side of Iveagh Bay and slowly trolled off around the point.

Sometime during the next 5 hours, I got a call from David to say he'd been on a mercy mission for the last hour. I wonder if you can guess what's under the cloth? (The following photos are courtesy of David's cellphone)

The large bundle of fluff lying in an undignified manner on the floor of the boat is a signet (baby black swan)- it flipped itself over just before David took the photo. Apparently a speed boat roared around the point just as a family of swans was swimming across the lake. Swans and signets went flying (the adults literally) in all directions as the boat sped through the middle of them. 

Other than cursing the idiots, David didn't think any more of it until he was trolling further out back along the same route 20 minutes later and found one lonely signet cheeping loudly and swimming for its life in the wrong direction. There was nothing for it but to scoop it up in the net (after a short, fast chase), and return it to the family now hiding in the drowned forest. It took him another half hour to locate the family before he could release the signet, who took off at a fast pace towards its siblings happy to be reunited at last. More brownie points for David!

But what about the trout, you ask. Well, two were caught and both released- one unintentionally, it jumped out of the net! And this one was foul hooked in its dorsal fin so David felt bad for it because it wasn't a fair fight. 

It's probably just as well he didn't bring any home, a cheeky weka had done a little bit of his own landscaping, scattering the bag of smoker wood chips over the bark garden beside us when David wasn't looking the other night!

Such is life on the road...

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