“Where are you living now?” is a question I commonly hear. At times, this can be a little unfair. We were in Tasmania for over 5 years after all! At other times, it can seem a reasonable question. The past two years saw us living in Laos, Australia, New Zealand’s south island, and now, the almost tropical by comparison, Auckland region. Christmas and New Years break was a taken up by an unceasing exercise in packing, op-shop donations and cleaning. In the first week of January, a truck arrived, and large men who drank a lot of V and Red Bull, loaded a 20ft container with our most prized possessions.
The north island is more densely populated than the South, and Auckland, although not the capital (Wellington has that honour) is New Zealands largest city. Choosing a location to live, that matched our sensibilities, whilst still being within a reasonable distance of the office proved challenging. In the end, compromises needed to be made, so we selected Stillwater, a small community at the end of a road nestled against a river and small bays. All very nice, but on a bad day the 30km trip to the office can take nearly two hours. Ask any Aucklander about traffic and you better take a seat!
With all the excitement of moving, and hours lost to sitting in traffic, the boats have not received a lot of updates since the maiden voyages late last year. However, I have started construction on the oars, installed seats on Double Brown and acquired a lovely table saw.
To fit in better with our new neighbours, it felt appropriate to motorise one of the boats. In the interest of economics, and to signal my saltiness, I acquired a dependable (if somewhat rugged and very simple) 2-stroke Seagull motor. Designed in the late 40’s, the Seagull outboard motor does not concern itself with such pleasantries as retractable pull cord, protection from spinning flywheels or even a forward/neutral selector. Just wrap some shock cord around the flywheel, give a good yank and make sure the boat is pointing where you want to go, because it will start moving straight away! I love my new seagull.
In keeping with the theme of British engineering, I also acquired a 40 year old Kenwood chef mixer. It has already won me over with its dependable ability to whip copious quantities of cream, sponge mixtures and bread dough.
Rach will say she kneaded this dough by hand, but I would have used the Kenwood
Until next time, enjoy a short film of Double Browns first fishing trip!