Just back from a week onboard Cinquante, a comfy 58' Pelin Envoy, five of us, four mad keen fishos and one marine reserve fanatic. Apart from a snotty SW on the way down to the Barrier we had a brilliant week of weather.
Stayed first night out of the Bay in Taiwawe, Helena Bay - gorgeous little bay Pickmere describes as "the best anchorage on the Mimimwhangata chart, good holding and shelter from almost any wind".
Went south via the Knights, had a quick swim with the big friendly snapper and trev's in the reserve. Water temp a bracing 16 degrees. Pied Piper stuff, swimming away from the boat you look back to find a string of fish following you. Magic.
Spent three nights in beautiful Port Fitzroy before heading home via the Mokes. A five knot forecast meant we were able to stay overnight in the lee of Trig Island. My first time to the Mokes, what a stunning place.
Had an oily flat trip up from the Mokes to the Knights and another swim with the fish in the reserve. More big snapper, kingies, a seal, schools of trevs and blue maomao.
For the week away the boys had fished pretty hard with limited success, two kingies and while we got a feed of snapper each day, no sizable ones. The abundance in the reserve was in stark contrast.
Onboard I read Gus Roxburgh's book Wild About New Zealand: Our National Parks, in it a great quote from Pete Crabb on reserves and the state of our fish stocks:
"It's the tragedy of the commons - nobody owns the ocean, so nobody feels they need to look after it. And everybody feels they can take from it. I've dived all over the world and it's only in marine reserves that fish populations are recovering and you get the big old granddaddy fish that are so important to those populations."
Here's to more reserves Pete. Some photos from the trip: