Wheel alignment

Monday 28 May 2012

A nice, mixed weekend

Jennie was due to fly out for a Mediterranean 3 week "girlie cruise" on Sunday, so Saturday was earmarked for some "together" stuff.  As it happened, the weather and tides were perfect so we took the boat out fishing in the morning.  Right on the edge of winter and a balmy 18 degrees C with no wind - absolutely perfect.

We anchored up in 25 metres of water among the commercial mussel beds and basically, as soon as the first bait hit bottom, it was all on!  We were only out there for just over 2 hours and got our daily combined maximum limit of 18 Snapper - one of the best days ever.

The big chilly bin starting to fill up!

Under the boat, there were 3 Kingfish about 1 metre long lurking to see what we were hauling up.  "Kingies" are rocket-propelled predators and their speed has to be seen to be believed.  They can also weigh more than 50kg!  They're smart fish too - they'll take bait dropped in the water but they're very wary about anything with a line attached - live baiting is the normal method of catching them.  Great eating but they're so powerful that normal gear gets smashed up or at very least, a snapped line.  During a moments' inattention last year, one hauled my rod and reel out of the boat - bye bye $$$$$$!

The photo below shows the metre-long kingies coming up to investigate some bait I dropped on the surface.

Great eating but hard to land!

Towards the end of the trip, Jennie landed an undersized Trevally, dropped it back in and that's when we got a heck of a fright and exhilaration all rolled into one.  As soon as it hit the surface, there was a colossal explosion of water right next to the boat as the biggest two kingfish we've ever seen came after it from the depths.  We were just frozen at the power and speed of these monsters and didn't have time to take a photo but this file photo has one of comparable size.  What a privilege to see something like these in their element!

 The mighty adult Kingfish !
(source: Oceanbluefishing.com)

Sunday saw me departing before dawn for another round of assessing IAM Associates against the advanced riding criteria in Auckland.  There's some strong current interest from female riders which is great.  Wonder if the average male rider thinks he's got nothing to learn?  I'm inclined to think that testosterone plays a bigger obstruction to learning than we might imagine!

 Some of the bikes assembling pre-ride (including a rare VFR 1200)

More bikes of all shapes and sizes

Anyway, I got to assess a rider who's skills had plateaued for a while and was pretty sympathetic as we all go through that process.  However, he'd put in a whole lot more practice with an IAM mentor and his overall skill level had measurably increased over all aspects which delighted us all - the system works!!!  I also had an extremely accomplished Observer assessing me and after the ride was finished, he took me and another trainee Observer for a short training ride to demonstrate some advanced observing skills and how to plan and control the ride.  The learning in that half hour was immense and served to reinforce that whilst I might be riding at an advanced level, I have a heck of a way to go to become an accomplished Observer!!  That's the great thing about continuous learning compared with a one-off course - you become painfully aware of how much there is to learn.  Teaches humility when you see just how good some of these guys are!!!

On the 180 km trip home, I called in to refuel about 60 km short of home.  On re-starting the bike, there was a yellow warning light on the dashboard which wouldn't go out - momentary panic about getting stranded as the Coromandel coast road is a lonely place on a late Sunday afternoon on the edge of winter!  It wasn't oil or temperature but the engine management system and I fretted that it might be electrics.  However, we made it home with no problems and a lot of relief.  Straight onto the internet, praying that I wasn't going to have to fork out BIG $$$ for repairs!  From what I've been able to deduce, some Triumphs are sensitive to over-filling the fuel tank which I know happened because I wasn't paying attention and splashed it everywhere!  Apparently, over-filling can trigger a sensor alarm in the engine management system which ALLEGEDLY disappears after 3 cold starts and warming the engine to normal operating temperatures.  Because the bike has to start from stone cold, I've only managed one today, with 2 more scheduled for tomorrow.  Fingers crossed that's all it is.  The internet is a truly wondrous place - how ever would we have coped with problems like this a few years ago?

So now I have 3 weeks on my own to do stuff and eat stuff that I wouldn't normally get permission for.  Small chance, Jennie will have spies everywhere :-).

Yayyy!!!  The "fix" for the engine management light actually worked, despite slight skepticism on my part.  Amazing!


  1. Geoff:

    I don't mind having a Striple with a yellow warning light, it adds character. I'll pay the freight and you can ship it over. I am doing this as a favour because you are a friend. No use having to stress out over a yellow warning light. It will be off your mind and out of your garage.

    Just one question; can the NZ model be ridden on the right side of the road? or do I need to do some modifications to it.

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

  2. "... on the edge of winter and a balmy 18 degrees C" Hope you don't get frost bite under these harsh conditions.

    A fishing trip is the only thing I missed while staying with you guys.

    I hope that Jennie will have a fantastic time in Europe, and I am sure that she will keep tabs on your every move ;-)

    I am enjoying the study of the two books you sent me, thanks again. I hope to be able to repay the dept sometime. I am convinced that apart from practice these precious training guides will become an integral part of making me a better rider.

  3. Bob:
    Fair enough my friend -if it fails to go out, I'll just snip the wire to the LED :-)

    Easy answer to your question - I'll convert it to left hand drive and no extra cost!

    Yeah, life is pretty tough ;-). We'll take you fishing next time round. At least you can picture where we were now!

    I think the cats are spying on me; they seem to be hanging round a lot - not that I'm paranoid or anything.

    You're very welcome and if they help, that will be wonderful.

  4. Awesome pics Geoff, you didnt tell me about the Kingis!!!!! Marvellous, we do live in a great part of the world done we!

    Now three weeks on your own.....I am thinking a good ole fashion knees up at Geoffs is in order!! Let me know the time. I will put it on my Facebook page, shouldnt be to many gate crashers!

  5. Rogey!!
    Can't give you all the goss ahead of time ;-). You'll have no doubt seen seriously big Kingies before - aren't they just awesome? The power of the things!!!

    Oh haha, with friends like you, I won't live long after the CEO's return :-).

    1. Dont worry mate, all the windows will be fixed before she gets back....

    2. Sigh.... it's me being "fixed" with a kitchen knife that worries me....

  6. Geez, are those snapper legal? ;)

    Love Kingi's - outstanding sport and Kingi steaks are awesome! Yet to catch a monster but have tangled with a few smaller ones.

    Just two more words for ya: Road trip!

    1. Gidday Andrew!

      Oh yeah, some 5 pounders among them. We have a boat rule of nothing under 30cm and the law is 28cm up this way.

      Haven't had a Kingy steak for years but we live in hope. Had my line snapped last month which I think was just a small one. My, they've got pulling power!

      Hehe, I think it will be a road trip to Auckland to help our son move house!

  7. Geoff, when I think of all the hours spent without catching a fish.....confidence dashed etc etc, I'm envious of your fishing accomplishments. My Norton riding mates are fishermen, I just go along for the banter and beer!

    I'm curious, what brand and size of boat due you use? four stroke motor? Two stroke or I'm guessing from one of your old pics that you mainly launch across the beach?

    1. Jules,
      We have our off days too but the real secret is that commercial fishing is banned from the Firth of Thames where we fish and that the commercial mussel beds attract fish! Not exactly like shooting fish in a barrel but it does narrow the odds!

      We have a 4.5M alloy boat with a 50HP Mercury 2 stroke. Yep, we launch at the ramp on our road a couple of minutes away. Launch off the beach if the tide is well out. Sometimes it's hard to figure out whether to ride or fish :-).

  8. Better check that teddy bear for a hidden nanny cam. Jennie just might have a few stashed around the house. Oh, maybe check the cat's collar. They could be wired for sound too.

    Seriously though, I am sure she will have a fabulous time on her cruise and you will miss her like crazy.

    Great fishing pictures. I don't think I've ever seen a kingfish but it sounds like you wouldn't really want to tangle with them too much.

    Great job on your continued IAM service. It is amazing all we have to learn.

    1. Hi Brandy,
      Hahaha - now that's just plain sneaky.... I pity Brad if you want to see what he's up to - he doesn't stand a chance :-). Yep, miss her already after a text saying she'd arrived and was desperate for a shower and shuteye!

      Kingies are just so big and fast, almost unreal!

      Thanks, just when you think you're starting to master everything, you meet a Dan Bateman type who makes you realise that you still have a mountain to climb! Still, if stuff was easy, there wouldn't be any satisfaction, would there?

  9. Yep, that was a very mixed weekend. But so much fun packed away. Sitting on the water and playing with the fish looked great.

    As brandy suggests, check for nanny cams.

    1. Hi Lori!
      Yep, chilling on the water is a nice opposite to working hard on the bike.

      You females have devious minds, I think all us guys need to be very worried!

      Safe riding....


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