Rowan Marshall, aka Speedy had a birthday party several weeks ago that I attended. On this trip I went out on the Marshall family boat and enjoy a day of fishing. A few weeks later I received a call saying that Speedy was planning an overnight deep sea fishing trip to the Alderman Islands off the coast of Whangamata.
I was super excited, I had never been deep sea fishing before. I probably should have went out while I was in San Diego, but never had the opportunity, or willingness to spend the money. The plan was to head to Whangamata on Friday, sleep on the boat in the marina that night, get up early and head out.
Myself and 4 other friends arrived at 9 pm Friday evening and loaded up the boat with our stuff. We all had rooms and beds and crashed out, excited about what was to come. The next morning we checked the surf, which was flat, and pulled up anchor to headed out.
We headed right for a fishing spot and dropped our lines in. We all had luck and caught fish.
After the morning fish the wind really started to pick up, and we headed over to Slipper Island where Speedy’s dad, Captain Pete has a mooring. It was in perfect position on the island to shelter us from the wind. Once in place we went for a snorkel. I took out my camera in the water housing and went for a dive. A few of the guys went cray and paua hunting. Speedy caught his first legal sized crayfish, and I got some amazing pictures.
The water was filled with a weird jelly like substance, which was later explained to me by Pete to be plankton. There where also many jelly fish floating around, and at one point the boat was surrounded by them.
That night we feasted on fresh caught fish, paua, crayfish and beer. We spent the rest of the evening getting drunk on a boat, the only thing one can do in that situation.
In the morning I went for a hangover breaking dip off the bow and we cooked up a sausage and egg breakfast. We detached from the mooring and headed for the Alderman Islands. These islands are visible from the coast but are a distance to reach. They are a very unique look island chain, marked by jagged cliff faces, rock spires jutting up from the ocean surface and rock caves. They almost look like they belong in Thailand, not New Zealand.
On the way, we checked a few deep water spots, and did some trolling for school fish. Its a cool process, we put out several lines and used the large outriggers on the boat to spread the lines out. We used squid like jigs that dance just below the surface of the water and criss-crossed our path on the surface to find the school fish. One person sits in back of the boat looking for a breaching fish, or the zip sound of a line, then yelling “strike!” once a fish is hooked. Usually when you get one, you get several, and we pulled in three Bonito.
We tried a little deep sea fishing with no luck, and decided to head to a small bay in the Aldermans for a snorkel and lunch.
The water was very clear and warm in the bay and we ended up spending several hours snorkeling and cliff jumping. I got some great underwater pics…..this was all getting a little surreal at this point.
We headed to one more fishing spot in the Aldermans and caught a few snapper and tarakhi fish, then headed home.
The next night we ate a massive fish and chips dinner with our catch. I’m not sure how I am going to top this, it was amazing.