- pointers & setters -
Hunting - Fishing - Diving
April 2019
Since the last updates and since hunting season
finished at middle of August, the focus has very
much been on ocean activities. Aidan has for the
past couple of years pushed our spear fishing to
another level, which I initially had no plans of doing.
If you click into the blog archive above, you'll find a
post I did in January 2013. Well, the pole spears
have long since been upgraded to big spearguns
and while I still like to stick to the inshore waters,
Aidan has gone into open water and far off shore.
That has also lead to several shark encounters
amongst many exciting dives he's had. His breath-
hold and hunting techniques have taken giant leaps.
While I still prefer doing my diving with a bottle on
my back, I've had to keep him company with the
freediving too. He has also been very lucky to have
a couple of good mates who are also keen spearos.
He has had several trips to the Hen & Chickens
Islands, also overnight, as well as a couple of trips
to the Mokohinau Islands some 60 km offshore.
The photo is from Kerepuru Sounds in Marlborough Sounds,
where we spent several days in January towards the end of our
family road trip in the South Island. After new year celebrations
with friends in Blenheim we kicked off 2019 with a couple of
dives on the Kaikoura coast. As expected there were plenty of
seals around. On the first dive I also had my first encounter with
a conger eel. They're much more common down south and it
was a big one too, looking for the same as we were; crayfish.
The two pics below are from the second dive.
Frank-Tommy freediving for crayfish
The pic above is one Aidan caught on his Go-Pro of a
Bronze Whaler shark coming to check what Aidan's mate
Dylan has at the end of the spear. It's Dylan's fin to the
right in the picture. (Click to enlarge.)
Aidan has had both Bronze Whalers and a Mako shark
taking fish off his spear. He has grown quite relaxed about
having them around. At certain areas and times of the
year the sharks are expected to turn up around spearos.
In particular they seem to get excited when it's pelagic
species like kingfish, kahawai, trevally and koheru but also
species like porae and butterfish. Aidan also lost a pink
maomao to a Mako at Groper Rock, a very exposed spot
at the Mokohinaus and known to host many big sharks.
Near Bluff, at the far southern end of NZ, we also wanted to
get some Pāua (abalone) as there's been a ban in place on
the Kaikoura coast since the earthquake. At Bluff the
weather and sea conditions were too bad so we had to wait
until we came up further north near Picton. We had a nice
dive there and I got to dish up a beautiful meal.
Kingfish, snapper, trevally and pink maomao from a trip
to the Mokohinau Islands. On that trip Aidan and his
mate Liam got to meet one of their spearfishing idols,
the guy who has Aquatic Rehab. He arrived at Groper
Rock simply to get some big Bronze Whalers on film.
The photo below is one he posted from that day.
For me the cooking of seafood and wild game has become the great
motivation, in addition of course to keep enjoying the outdoors.
Above some nice scallops on the BBQ. We have also brought Finn
out in the harbour, for some fishing and for him to have a go at
gathering scallops. Still not mad about it like we are but he's still
enjoying being out in nature. End of season we still got our limits.
Below is a few more pics of the mad keen Aidan, left; cray & butterfish
nice snapper and a recent afternoon dive providing a porae, octopus
and some more scallops. We do regularly come across octopus and
occasionally we take them. During the times we have spent in Spain
and Portugal we really got the taste for octopus and the knack of how
to cook them right. Aidan's favourite seafood is scallops, while I really
couldn't say.
Above some large snapper Aidan has photographed with his Go-Pro in excellent blue water visibility.
Finally, we remember our wonderful
setter Northstream Blue Belle. Bred
from my own dogs Wingfield Warrior
and Lapphaugen's Moulin at Whangarei
Heads in 2004. Dogs have come and
gone and enriched our lives over the
years but Bella became very special.
Like her predecessors she was used on
a variety of game; various ducks, brown
& Californian quail, pheasants, turkeys,
peacocks and even rabbits and hares.
When I shot a brown quail over her as
the final bird of the 2017 season I
thought that was it. But we still got some
nice months in the field in 2018. On the
last day hunting, early August, the last
bird shot over her was a pheasant.
Sadly, we had to bid farewell in late
September. Her ashes will be spread in
the same forest where her mother also
forever hunts.
F-T Olsen with Bella, photographed by Aidan, August 5th 2018