Finally after living in the sounds for nearly 9 months we got round to going on a fishing trip. It was an organised trip where you go out on a rickety old boat with an "experienced fisherman" who provided all the rods, bait & even tea/coffee & some old manky looking round things that I think were called biscuits once! There was no toilet on board the boat, so we had to make sure we had proper evacutions before going out on the boat. I think its a state of mind, but when you are surrounded by water, all you want to do is pee!
Anyway, the boat took us out about 40 minutes from Picton on the Queen Charlotte Sound to where all the fish hang around. We set down anchor in a breezy little bay - the boat was rocking quite a lot and it took a while to get your balance standing up whilst not holding onto anything as you were threading the hook, then the bait & lastly casting the line out to try your luck.
I was really suprised when my rod was jiggling almost as soon as the line had touched bottom. I started reeling in, and then petes rod was going too, so there we were, both reeling in our lines and up came a gunard and a spikey dog fish (small shark) which had given up such a fight, both our lines were well tangled together! We unhooked them both, cut our lines, and decided to keep the gunard for dinner, and let the shark go.
Just for the record I caught the gunard (which Mark said was the biggest one he had ever seen), and Pete caught the small shark.
Shortly after this excitement was over, and we were all waiting for the next bite, we heard over the radio an anouncement that there were tsunami warnings heading our way. We should feel the effects around 3.30pm of a 1 metre high tsunami. Mark, our "experienced fisherman" said in a bout of grunts and growls that the boat make bigger waves than that, and it would just rock the boat a little. He was right, it was like a small wind had made a little wave, and the boat rocked just a little.
But we can truely say we have now survived earthquakes & a tsunami in New Zealand!
The rest of the day was spent catching a few more fish, including blue cod (Pete caught that one, which we have two fillets in the freezer now!), sea perch and more small sharks. One guy even had a starfish fall in love with his weights, so we all had a good look at it, and put him back in the water. There was no lack of cheeky gulls and other sea birds waiting for a tit bit or fish bones! Finding Nemo sprang to mind when they were all squawking "mine, mine, mine"!
Towards the end of the trip, Mark filleted all the fish we had caught, and then we went back to Torea bay when we had parked our car, ready with black bags on the seats, as we both stank of fish & fish guts - quite attractive to the gulls apparently!
We ended our day by having a well earned beer down the Snapper cafe, had a hot shower in the backpackers lodge (we are still out of water), and then I cooked our gunard fillets in a bit of lemon and butter, served on a tomato & basil risotto! It was a yummy end to such a great day!