Early in March I went with a group of friends on a five day fishing trip to Great Barrier Island, New Zealand’s fourth largest island which stands at the entrance to Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf. The Hauraki Gulf is famous as a sailing paradise and is dotted with small islands and sheltered anchorages. It was the sixth time I have joined the crew for the Great Barrier trip on a friend’s 12 metre long power cat launch. Great Barrier Island has a number of sheltered anchorages on its western coastline, the most sheltered of which is Port Fitzroy.
Each year we try to round the northern end of the island to spend at least one night at Arid Island (Rakino) on the ocean side. To reach Rakino one has to round Aguilles Island and Needles Point. I always enjoy this part of the voyage because of the rugged and spectacular coastline. The images below were taken on the return journed from Rakino (Arid Island).
The eastern side of Great Barrier Island is battered by whatever the Pacific Ocean throws at it. On most of our trips we are unable to round the Needles because it is too rough, so the weather has to be right for long enough to make a safe return journey.
I am trying out the NIK software suite from Google at present, and especially NIK Silver Effects Pro for black and white conversions. I thought the rock structures at Needles Point would make an ideal test subject, hence the monochrome images above and below.
You can see that the Needles are not a place where you would want to be in bad weather. The pinnacles of rock sticking out of the water can do a lot of damage and need a wide berth.
As for the primary purpose of the trip, fishing, it was a mixed bag. For most of the time we had to return the catch to the sea because the fish were under-size. We managed to get enough to eat each night, and sometimes for lunch as well. Our luck changed on the last night where over the period of an hour we kept more than we returned, with enough for a small amount to take home as well. On our way back to Auckland we stopped off the shore of another Hauraki Gulf island for an hour and had the best fishing of the trip, ensuring that the wives of the crew members received a reward for being left at home.
One of the rewards of being on the sea comes in the evening when the sun sinks in the west. The image below was taken in the bay at Port Abercrombie as we were returning to Port Fitzroy for the night. It makes a great way to finish a good day of fishing.