Less is more

For our first trip of the season, we headed to Kaikoura for a long weekend as it is only about two and a half hours from Christchurch.

Our road trip has its own little rituals, after hitching up our Osprey and leaving Christchurch, our first stop is for a coffee and scone at Amberley and then two hours later we are at the southern end of the Kaikoura Coastal Road. The windows wound down; we enjoyed the warmth of spring with the tang of salt in the air being driven by the wind of the nor’ wester. It was soon to turn to disappointment as we stopped at the South Bay boat ramp to large rolling swell and nasty waves on top as the wind continued to increase. Time to head to the bach we had booked by the Pier Hotel.

The following morning, we woke to calm conditions but as we arrived at the South Bay Marina there were only a few cars in the park, due to the large southerly swell from the last few days’ weather. After launching our boat, we headed out for some fishing and bait for the cray pots. We only managed to get enough bait for the cray pots and drop them in and head back to the bach to enjoy a beer or two at the Pier Hotel. We checked the forecast for the following morning, and it was going from bad to worse as the wind direction was changing from northwest to southerly with increasing swells.

It’s the morning of our last day in Kaikoura and we are up extra early to head around again to South Bay Marina. The sunrise is stunning this morning, as we leave the marina and head out to rescue our pots braving large incoming swells, the wind is increasing At least the pots are nice and close by and within 10 minutes we commence hauling them up. Nothing in the first pot, but as we lifted the second there is a lone crayfish, well at least we caught something, we lift the final pot and nothing.

We make a final turn and head back to the safety of the marina and as we look back, the southerly was howling and swirling around creating white caps. We clean the boat and head back to the bach to pick up our gear and make the trip back to Christchurch with, ‘the lone crayfish”. We had plenty of time to discuss what recipe we were going to use.

It’s Monday night after a long weekend fishing and friends arrive for dinner. Time to reveal the secret recipe – ‘Crayfish Thermidor by Rick Stein.’

As we enjoyed our stunning meal and reflected on our trip, perhaps it was time to appreciate quality not the quantity as some times, ‘less is more.’

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