Ka Pai Island – Part 2

“On a Mish” #245 Ka Pai Island (Part 2). Anatoki. Golden Bay. 17.1.2021. Golden Bay and hot, sunny days go together like above the treeline and beauty. With over 2400 hours of sunlight per year (some places in the country have less than 1500 hours per year) the area is the perfect place to enjoy lazy days at the beach. My brother in law’s whanau have enjoyed the sunshine in Golden Bay by visiting the Pohara Camping Ground around the Christmas / New Years holidays for over 30 years. I finally found myself standing barefoot in the sand looking across Mohua / Golden Bay at Farewell Spit, blurred by the heat of the sun in the still air…

Our arrival at the camping ground was as the owners would want it if the place was being visited by a photographer / film crew. Although nearly every available space was occupied by families enjoying their downtime, the large area and beach makes sure the place doesn’t ever get too crowded or busy. During the afternoon we were advised about the gale force winds due to hit Golden Bay that night. Knowing this I set up my tent under a tarp, weighed down by driftwood and rocks, and at an angle so the wind would hopefully glide over it. After a pleasant first evening at the campground, I retreated to my tent and drifted off to sleep. At around 2am I woke to the sound of big gusts of wind and the tarp frantically flapping away.

Catching our lunch!

Eventually I fell asleep again and when I woke early-ish a few hours later it was raining heavily. For our first proper day in the country’s sunshine capital the weather couldn’t be anymore opposite. The sound of the heavy rain was equalled by the sound of each huge wind gust. Not the day we had hoped for, but as there is nothing you can do about the weather, we just got on with our day. The plan was to visit the Salmon Farm which utilises the Anatoki River where it enters the Golden Bay basin. As I was told repeatedly, fishing at the farm is a good time for all, and a good way to use the rainy day. We drove to the farm, and on the journey crossed over the brown bubbling waters of the Anatoki River running high. We got a good soaking as we crossed the car park and entered the salmon farm’s restaurant. Taking an early lunch break seemed a good idea as the rain increased in intensity, giving the people already fishing a good wash. After lunch we faced the music and headed out to the little lake full of salmon. As luck would have it we timed the weather perfectly, and the hot sun forced its way through the dark rain clouds. With so many fish in the lake it is impossible to not catch a fish, but the first to catch one surprised everyone. After getting a helping hand with the cast, my mother was the first to land a fish, and did it within a single minute. Finally Paul reeled in the last catch of the day, and from the shores of the lake it was a ten meter walk to the kitchen to choose how to prepare the fish. We devoured most of the salmon straight from the kitchen, and after checking out the rest of the farm we made our way back to Pohara, very satisfied with the day outing…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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