Friday, 26 March 2010


In about three weeks we are going to be here.
Its Ernest Island which is a  short swim to Stewart Island, one of the southern most and isolated muttonbird  islands and on a good day with the sun shining on the ebb tide and the fish biting, its kinda paradise. When the southerly comes up and your words are thiefed by a gale to disappear forever - its  hells next door neigbour .
And yes, those waters are so clear you hang over the end of the dinghy and watch the blue cod commit suicide on a rusty hook baited up with the arse of a muttonbird.

We have been commissioned to write a story on this years trip , which we will be taking with our 73 year old father, 69 year old mother and 28 year old son.

The story will be in a magazine called New Zealand Today - and the editor is an old work colleague, Allan Dick.
We will be without  a cellphone and there is no internet coverage. We can talk on  a VHF and in the past we have taken down a Satellite Phone, but it costs a bit  - last time it was $600 for 2 weeks.( if anyone wants to sponsor us  - please let us know!)

It will be hard work,  and fun and always brings us closer together as a family. We work and live together in very confined quarters - Our power is a generator, we have a coal range that needs all the love an attention of an expensive mistress to keep us a warm and fed.

We have a long drop  but we have a good shower. Well we did two years ago. The first few days are always spent gerry rigging the things that have broken or deteriorated without constant maintenence. Its one of the joys and challenges of the place. Getting by with what you have got at hand.

We will take our computer  and blog when we can  and then we will put them all up on Roarprawn when we get back about the 14th of May. We will be taking a video as well.

And yep we sell the birds we catch to defray expenses.  It will cost  the four of us over $2500 to get down  by boat and chopper from Bluff  and thats is not taking into account the $1000 dollars for me and the son to fly Air New Zealand. But its worth every godamn hard earned dollar it costs to get there.
The boat we are travelling on is skippered by Jack Topi, he is  the grandson of Peter Topi, my Uncle who along with  a bunch of our cousins was tragically drowned on the Kotuku back in 2006. "Big Teep"  as my Uncle was affectionately known, would be bloody proud of his grandson, in fact his whole family have done him proud. 

We are alos looking for some guest bloggers to keep the Roarprawn feeding the masses while we are out of range.
And if you want to buy some birds then contact us on


pdm said...

Is that the Alan Dick who used to do the drive hour or similar on Radio Pacific 10 or maybe 15 years ago?

He was usually good value.

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope you have a better season than last
I get my titi from my cousins, amazing how some whitebait can sweeten the deal
We go down to the island at Queen's Birthday afer the crowds have gone
Love the way the islanders have a nick names, we go out with Squizzy and the fresh blue cod is to die