Thames to Whananaki/Rockells Bay New Zealand

We arrived at the 'family' bach on Tuesday afternoon and enjoyed two quiet days lounging and getting caught up with emails, and chores. (A bach is New Zealander for small house/shack on the beach. Ours was updated to a nice comfy, one bedroom, one bath, kitchen and small family room/bunk room.)
My folks had purchased the bach some 25 years ago - along with several hundred acres and beachfront property and used it almost every year for several months in our winters. Several years ago, Mom had an medical issue on the flight to NZ and decided she just couldn't take the long flight to get here. The decision was made to sell the property. A few phone calls were made to our New Zealand friends and one of them Ken, purchased it in 2015. Part of the purchase agreement was to let any of our family use it whenever we wanted. Dad had booked 10 days here, for down time, a family reunion and the "picnic on the beach" that Mom had requested before she passed away.
A late afternoon fishing trip resulted in fish for dinner! Tom and I got up early to explore some of the back acreage.
We were trying to find the earthen dam that I had hiked to, on a previous visit, 19 years ago. Going mostly by instinct, we climbed hills, and over gates and it all felt right, until it didn't! We turned around at that point, and later learned we were 20' from the turn in the trail! We did have a good time; the light was beautiful, and the greens were stunning.
Carl and his family arrived on Thursday afternoon along with Ken on his 48' motor launch. Friday Ken took all of us out for a day of exploring the Poor Knight Islands and for fishing.
The islands are all a reserve and it is prohibited to go ashore anywhere. I'm not sure where you would as it's pretty rugged. There were many caves and arches dotted along the shore line, with one being big enough for a small yacht. We choose to keep the big boat outside, but we all may a dinghy run inside before continuing our tour around the islands.
inside the cave, the water really looked that blue!
I kept spotting faces and critters in the rocks.
A lizard facing us.
And the 'fallen face'.
Capt Ken dropped the anchor in yet another scenic spot to let the kids go for a snorkel.
The rest of us just hung out in a small squall, being lulled to sleep with the rocking of the boat.
Once they were back on board, we headed to just outside of the reserve boundary, where there is a sea mount. The anchor was dropped on the mount, and the gear was in the water. Mason hollered 'fish on!' almost immediately and the catching began! Those of us that wanted to fish were very successful and had fun. The biggest was caught by Logan and reeled in by Carl - a snapper at 15 pounds!
The fisher people were very successful and filled up a cooler for a big fish cook- off later that night and the next day. We headed back to the beach to see my younger brother Brian and his 2 boys, Brandon and Dylan having fun in the water and hanging out at the beach. The whole family was here.
All the cooks gathered in the kitchen to whip up some good food - fresh fish fixed 3 ways, fresh venison, pasta, and several salads. Needless to say, after a day on the water there wasn't any food left over!


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