Passing on skills a useful lesson

18:12, Nov 01 2012
Steven Beech
Steven Beech with his first kahawai

Well, our holiday is over. Funny how they seem to start as if you have days and days ahead then the time flies by and it's all over.

However, it was a great time and very relaxing and refreshing because you do things that you don't ordinarily do, such as beach and bush walks or sit on the deck having breakfast in the sun.

Some of you are possibly wondering how the filleting lessons went. Well, it was a success and led on to other things, fishing and boating-related.

After my wife learned to fillet cod, she also wanted to help launch and retrieve the boat.

I can picture some of the men reading this now with an instant smile, but hear me out. You see, when we dropped the bach keys off to Ursch and Mike we got to discussing the whole wives-and-launching-boats thing and we all agreed it was a healthy and good thing to do for all concerned.

A lot of my small boat fishing is done in aluminum boats or "tinnies", as they are affectionately known by their owners, and as such I go out on my own a fair bit.


When it comes to taking my wife out it never really occurs to me that I do all the driving and launching. Much of this is due to me having my own little routine that is finely tuned and generally stress-free. The downside to this, as we discussed while having the debrief with our friends, is that should anything happen to me, my wife or whoever may be with me might have no idea what to do on their own.

Obviously this could lead to two people being in serious trouble for no other reason than I hadn't taught or shown them what to do or how to handle the boat on their own. So I learned a valuable lesson in that I need to teach others what to do at sea, for all our sakes.

When she suggested that she should learn how to back the trailer my initial thought was "what have I started?" But then I saw the light and realised I needed to help her learn - after all, I had another five days.

Some of you reading this know that this exercise can be a real test of how healthy a marriage is, as many have witnessed the husbands raising their voices above the ambient noise so they can clearly tell their wives that they are not doing it correctly. None of you have done this, though, I guess.

I must digress and let you know one of the coolest things Mike has installed at the bach is a marine radio.

When I first saw it I thought it was a great idea for safety, as I could let my wife know where I was fishing, so if I didn't return for some reason then she would at least know where to send the search party.

But then I realised it was even better for helping her to get backing practice with the trailer, so when I was headed back in I could just radio ahead and request the trailer to be backed in the water. What a brilliant idea, Mike, and so helpful.

Teaching someone, especially your wife, to back a trailer down a ramp and into the water so you can drive the boat on is no easy task. For the wife, I mean.

But to my credit I feel I was very patient and helpful, giving hand signals as to which way to turn the wheel. I must admit I felt a bit like Mr Miyagi [the guy from Karate Kid] and had thoughts in my head of "wax on, wax off".

To cut a long story short, she did very well and because she got to back the empty trailer into the drive after launching the boat, she had twice the practice and got pretty good at it, especially with no instructions from the expert in the boat.

One of the highlights of the holiday was when our daughter and her boyfriend came over from Wellington to spend the weekend with us.

Steve is originally from the UK and had never fished in the Sounds and was keen to have a go.

The weather during the weekend wasn't brilliant and it rained most of Saturday and, combined with high winds, we left it until Sunday before heading out.

With a moderate to rough sea we headed into the bay and happened across some birds working. I got him to drop a lure out the back to hopefully catch a kahawai, and he did.

We then headed out a bit further and caught a couple of blue cod, which was enough for lunch and dinner.

I smoked up the kahawai and Rachel and Steve took that with them to eat for dinner on the ferry trip back while we cooked up the cod and had that fresh for lunch.

Once again, I am reminded of what a fantastic part of the world we live in and what a great place it is to spend a holiday.

The Marlborough Express