Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Stingray's... A Close Encounter!

 My friend Jason came round... He had a 4x4 quad bike
and trailer that he has attached a seat to.
His mother Anna from Tauranga was staying...
I had a gill set net... So we thought we would put it out.

 The tide was out in the late afternoon, so we loaded
up and off we went... Jason, his Mum, me and my
two grandsons, Jordan & Jaxxon...
Along the little street opposite the cafe car park...
Down the sandy track - we got off and walked.
We didn't feel very safe balanced on the trailer.

 We went a long way along the beach... 
To the mouth of the Motupipi River that 
goes into the Rongatai Estuary. It was a beautiful
evening and we talked and joked about what
we might catch... Fresh flounder for breakfast?

 Jordan and I went back along the beach at 7.30am
the next morning... It was nearly low tide.
The sight that met our eyes was not the flounder
we wanted for breakfast... Instead two big Stingray.

 What a tangled mess they had made of my net.
Mmmm... I had never dealt with Stingray before...
What do I do I wondered?
This one was upside down so had drowned. 
It had previously been caught as it had no tail. 
It was the easiest to deal with. It had made
a hole in the net, so with no tail to sting us it was
just a matter of getting it out through the hole.

 This one was bigger... Although I've since been
told that it is small for around here! It was alive
and blowing air and water out of the holes in the
front of it's head - quite scary. A close up look at
the barb on it's tail and I decided the first
thing was to cut off it's tail. A fast trip to hospital -
two hours drive away - was the last thing I wanted.
That done, there was no way I was going to be able to
untangle this creature with the scary eyes so
I had to sacrifice my net and cut a hole to get it out.
 I won't be setting my net out there again.
I haven't untangled the net yet and don't
know if it's repairable... Bummer!

Having loaded up the net and left the Stingrays to
the seagulls I took a few minutes to enjoy this perfect
early morning on the beach... Tranquil and no wind...
mirrored reflections in the water... And
then it was onto the quad and home for breakfast...
Not fresh flounder!

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