January 13

For our second day off, we decided to roadtrip down the Tutukaka Coast. We stopped in Whangarei to run a couple of errands and to visit the waterfall there. To be honest, it was a bit anticlimactic after some of the awesome falls that I have seen in Northland.

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Then we continued down to Tutukaka, stopping only to buy some fruit at a small local farmer’s market shop. It was a beautiful, sunny day. We visited a couple of beaches to see where we wanted to spend our afternoon.

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We decided to hike down into Whale Bay, where we had heard there were some good fishing spots. We climbed out onto the rocks and did a bit of casting into the water. We decided that we are going to have an indefinite fishing competition. Different species of fish are worth different point values. I was awarded thirty extra points to start with because Zhoel has thirty more years of fishing experience than I do. Only fish of legal length are valid–rock cod are negative two. (He had just caught a rock cod.) Unidentified species get an extra point. Less than ten minutes after we agreed on the point scheme, while Zhoel was fixing my line after it snapped and I was holding onto his rod, I got a huge bite. I reeled in my biggest fish yet! Lucky me, it was one that Zhoel couldn’t identify!

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We let him go, but needless to say, it was a very satisfying start to our fishing competition! Zhoel later posted the pictures on a Facebook fishing group and we discovered that it is a Sandagers Wrasse.

After another couple hours, we decided that we had exhausted our luck at Whale Bay and we headed back toward Tutukaka. We decided to do a bit more fishing at the marina. (Well, Zhoel fished, while I ate a coconut.)

The marina was beautiful and the colors were amazing. Even though we didn’t have any luck there, it was fun to watch the gannets diving into the water to fish. Another lovely day in New Zealand!

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