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1997 Social

Mayor Island

When? 26 December 1996 - 2 January 1997
Where? Mayor Island
Who? Brendan, Darryn, Eugenie, Karlene, Raewyn, Trudy, John

Chapter 1 - Omens

Boxing day - We travelled down to Onemana. Stopped at Ngatea gem factory on the way and oohed and aahed at the pretty stones. We also detoured to Thames to go to Pack 'n Save and for Trudy and John to buy wetsuits. We got to Onemana about 1.45pm, had lunch, went into Whangamata. After dinner (spaghetti bolognaise) Trudy and John went for a swim in the rough surf and Eugenie and Brendan played tennis.

27th - got up at 5.30am to get stuff packed up in the cars. Got to the wharf just before 7am and got on the boat (MV Tawa). The trip over was quite rough - Trudy and Darryn got seasick. We saw Dolphins swimming with the front of the boat (which was quite a thrill), and also a flying fish. The weather on the boat was overcast, windy. Arrived on Mayor Island about 10.30am. There was no wharf so we daisy chained our gear onto the beach down a ladder and a plank. We set up camp at the far end of the beach under a few pohutakawa trees (the whole beach was covered with pohutakawas). The sun came out so we lazed around on the beach for a while. Then Rae, Brendan, Trudy and John went snorkelling at Western Bay - a 5 minute walk over the hill from South East Bay (Opo bay). Not too many fish, but Brendan managed to shoot one with his spear gun. After dinner we took a walk to the lighthouse and down to the beach (where we took a big rest) and back around to South East bay via the "big tree" - a really huge, old pohutakawa tree.

28th - Went for a tramp to Tuataretare trig. It was overcast most of the day, and rained briefly in the morning. Not a great omen for things to come, but the weather could only get better - right?

Chapter 2 - Hot Water

29th - We decided to go for a tramp to North Western Beach which was meant to be a "Hot Water" beach - meaning hot water could be found under the sand from hot springs at a particular part of the beach.

As we started off, the weather wasn't too bad, but it didn't take too long to deteriorate. The rain was coming steadily down by the time we reached Honeymoon Bay, where we decided to stop for lunch. We squeezed under a hollow in a cliff which gave some of us a little bit of shelter, but all in all we mostly just got wetter. By the time lunch was over we were getting nice and wet, and a bit miserable. We tramped on though, determined to succeed in our pursuit of hot water.

The rain had eased a bit by the time we reached the hot water beach. We wandered to the end of the beach and deposited our packs under a tree (the semblance of shelter), and sat ourselves down on a bank. The unpleasant combination of sweat from our exercise and dampness from the rain didn't make us very comfortable, and all we could do was sit there and complain about the weather. Nobody seemed very keen on getting their feet wet to look for the hot water, but I had taken my boots off anyway (for relief of my feet), and I was among the most enthusiastic on the hot water front, so I took a bit of a paddle and dug my feet into the sand. It didn't take long for a few others (Karlene and Darryn) to come and join in the fun, but we didn't have much success to start with. We had just about given up when Karlene told me to try the beside the rock with a greenish tinge (some sulphur-volcanic theory). I squished my feet into the sand, and to my surprise I thought the sand was slightly more warm at this spot. I yelled out to the others my discovery. I wasn't quite sure whether the effect was just a numbing of my feet, so I got Karlene and Darryn to try it too. They confirmed it. The three of us stood with our feet buried in the sand and shouted to the others to come join us. They were a bit dubious at first, not quite believing us - after all Darryn does have a reputation for this kind of joke. We soon convinced them and they came to see what the fuss was about. Soon discovery after discovery was made and we were scattered around desperately digging our feet into the sand after the elusive hot water.

In a while Darryn found a really good hot spot (although to tell the truth we didn't quite trust him at first). We all clustered around, shuffling our tootsies into the sand - our legs freezing cold but our feet either nice and warm, scorching hot or just numb. The tide didn't seem to be dropping any lower, contrary to our expectations, so after a while most got a bit fed up and wandered off. Karlene, Darryn and I were the last of the sand diggers, but finally we decided to part from the nice hot water.

On our way back to the camp the weather got worse than ever. The rain got steadier and steadier, and we arrived back at the campsite glad of a nice hot shower. After dinner we retired to the recreation room for a bit of card playing and alcohol drinking. This was a pleasant time, nice and sheltered from the nasty weather. At about 9.45 we were told by fellow occupants to hurry up and get out since the lights would be out by 10. This wasn't pleasant news to us. I personally thought we should stay and play by torch light, but the others seemed to want to go to bed. As we were packing ourselves up, a woman approached and gave us tidings of an cyclone - apparently hitting the East Coast of New Zealand at 3am this morning. This sounded like very bad news. However I knew that media reports were probably blowing this thing out of proportion, so I wasn't too concerned and tried to reason with the others. On our way back to the tents, the woman who looks after the camp also came to warn us of the dreaded cyclone and offered us a cabin. At the present moment, the weather wasn't very nice (a bit of a wind, yucky rain), but we didn't see any danger to our tents, to we decided to stick it out for the night. If it got too bad, she said we could always take a cabin in the middle of the night. After retiring to our tents, we packed an evacuation bag just in case. I - being a natural optimist - convinced myself that we would be fine. We had a pretty good tent anyway, and I was determined not to stray from it unless it was on the verge of blowing away. So we went to sleep to the sounds of the patter of rain and the flap flap of the tent walls in the wind, wondering what horrible things would arrive at 3am.

Chapter 3 - Many Happy Returns

30th - My birthday! Our tents were still standing in the morning. Rae's and Karlene's tents were nice and dry inside, but Trudy's and Darryn's were filling with water - but not too bad considering a cyclone had supposedly occurred during the night. The weather wasn't good at all - steady rain and very windy. We turned on the radio to get reports of the cyclone's progress, and were informed that it was expected to hit sometime during the day. We decided this wasn't very good news, and evacuated out of the tents and into a cabin (which the campground supplied for no extra charge). We spent the morning moving our gear into the cabin (getting VERY wet) and preparing out tents for the approaching storm. We then mopped up the cabin (which had accumulated a big puddle) and had very untasty noodles for lunch. This done, we had lunch and settled down for a very wet and windy afternoon stuck in a cabin. We had a very long game of Dutch 500. After dinner Brendan, Darryn, Eugenie and John went to play pool. Rae, Karlz and Trudy stayed, listening to the doom and gloom on the radio (everyone was talking about the cyclone) and watched the tide get closer and closer to the top of the beach. The cyclone was now expected to hit at 10pm - as fate would have it, the same time as high tide. Due to the atmospheric pressure, cyclones have a habit of making high tides much higher than usual. Our proximity to the beach (like right beside it) made us a bit nervous about getting washed away in the middle of the night. From the hype on the radio, we felt like we were in the middle of a national disaster. The words "Civil Defence State of Emergency" weren't very reassuring. We felt ourselves to be in the prime position for getting the brunt the cyclone, which was heading towards the East Coast of New Zealand.

Out in the bay 2 boats flipped over and the boys all went to help get them onto the beach. Meanwhile the girls stared out the window watching the waves getting closer and closer to the top of the beach. The boys came in very wet, so we sent them off to take a shower. As it got dark (about 9.30) it became too dark to see the waves, so we gave up our vigil and went to bed. At about 10pm a penguin (we named him Fergus after the cyclone) came up on the shore just outside our cabin. This was great excitement for us too. Poor little Fergus all cold and lost in the cyclone. Some men were shining torches on him, and scaring him. Trudy wanted to give him a saucer of milk. Brendan informed us that penguins don't actually drink milk, but this didn't deter Trudy. She wanted to take it into her sleeping bag and cuddle it.

Around 10.30 the winds died down and the rain stopped. Had the cyclone passed?

31st - Woke up to the sun shining brightly through the window! It was hard to believe there had been a cyclone just the night before. The sky was lovely and blue. Outside, everything was wet and pohutakawa debris was scattered all over the campsite. After hanging up all our wet stuff (most of it by then) we re-erected our tents. They hadn't blown away, but they were very wet and covered with branches and dirt. It was a bit of a job cleaning them out and putting them back up. After lunch, Trudy, Darryn, John and Eugenie took a walk to the lakes, while Rae, Karlene and Brendan stayed behind to veg out on the beach.

Chapter 4 - The Rest

New Years eve - we sat on our newly acquired picnic table with Nicola (a hypnotherapist) and Craig and talked and drinked. Then we went down to join the party outside the rec room where people were drinking and singing. What happened after that is a blur for some.

1st - Luckily it was an OK day (though cloudy) because Trudy and John had to get off the island. This had been worrying for them since they had a plane to catch, and a tight schedule to keep to. Luckily the fishing boat made it to the island for the first time since the 29th of December. The rest of us sat around and twiddled our thumbs and waved them off. We played cards in the rec room that night (when it started raining - again).

2nd - The day to leave. It was also the day of the New Years Hangi (postponed from the day before because of the recent traumatic events). Brendan got up at 6.30am to help dig the hole for the hangi. It rained in the morning, but stopped long enough for the tents to pretty much dry. We packed up and then it started raining again, so we retreated to the rec room. At 2.00pm the hangi was ready which we ate. It was a good cultural experience. It was nice and tasty, but smoky. Immediately after the hangi we left. On the way back Eugenie got sea sick and threw up twice. We saw the dolphins again. It was nice and sunny out in the middle of the ocean, but cloudy again when we got to Whangamata. Takeways for dinner then back to Onemana.

3rd - Lovely and sunny - YES! Much needed relaxation on the beach.

4th - We left for home, stopping at the Whangamata craft fair on the way.

By Raewyn

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When? 16 February 1997
Where? Wenderholm and Waiwera
Who? Darryn, Eugenie, Jo, Phil, Rodney, Trudy, Karlene, Jeff, Janine

Beach, Ball, Chat, Eat. Wenderholm, where we got to know Jo and Rodney our two new squires. We interrogated Jo and Rodney to find out if they were a suitable for our crew. The conversation was all right, but what made the decision was how magnificently sexy they looked in their bathing costumes. We wanted them.

By Karlene and Trudy

It was a great day for getting sunburnt so we headed for Wenderholm for a swim and a BBQ where we ate, drank, swim, played and talked. We soon got sick of this and headed for the hot pools at Waiwera where we ate, drank, swim, played and talked. We soon got sick of this and watched an in-pool movie. We soon got sick of this and departed on the journey home, another action packed day over.

By Darryn

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Wine and Food Festival

When? 22 February 1997
Where? Devonport
Who? Brendan, Chris, Eugenie, Darryn, Karlene, Jo, Phil, Raewyn, Trudy, Jo's Friend

Some of us (Karlene, Eugenie, Phil) arrived a little late due to ferry restrictions combined with sleeping in (in other words we missed it and had to take a later one). Eventually we found each other though, and made our way around the tents to sample the fine wines. We spent a very relaxing afternoon in the hot sun & tried not to get too 'sloshed as a cork' (that's an in-joke - ask Trudy for an explanation) as we were trying to look sophisticated (ha). We bumped into some other Rovers from Bays - does this prove the theory that Rovers are likely to be found in places where alcohol flows freely?

Here's some wine vocab that every try-hard connoisseur should know.

Bouquet - what it smells like - always carried out in a pretentious manner. Medium White - what you ask for in a restaurant when you can't pronounce the name of anything. Fruity - Brendan after drinking port Full Flavoured - tastes like someone's old socks Piont Noir - can also taste like old socks Degustation - drinking piss Champagne - expensive piss Cats pee on a gooseberry bush - designed especially for subtle Rover palates, considered finer to the tastebuds than champagne.

By Karlene

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Mini Moot

When? 1 March - 2 March 1997
Where? Meremere Racetrack
Who? Brendan, Darryn, Eugenie, Jo, Karlene, Phil, Raewyn, Rodney, Sam, Trudy

The theme for this weekend was a luxury camping competition. We came well prepared with our stereo, tv, cappuccino machine and paddling pool. We were disappointed to find we only had one competitor for the title. The other team (Bays) had a great spa pool, which we couldn't resist in trying out too. The climax of our effort was our dinner - we dressed up to the nines and ate by candle light. The service for the weekend was painting the loos. This wasn't a pleasant job, especially on Sunday which was a scorching hot day. The rest of the time we involved ourselves in a driving gymkhana. The most memorable competition was the slalom. The driver wore a blindfold and carried one passenger with them. The passenger had to do all the navigation, and the aim was to get around all the cones and back without knocking any down, in the shortest amount of time. The team of Jo and Brendan didn't seem to work too well. Brendan managed to veer 20 metres from the course and into the wooden railing. At the end of the mini moot the prizes were presented for the camping competition and for the gymkhana. We took out the prize pool, winning at the camping competition and Phil and Darryn winning the driving competitions.

By Raewyn

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Iron Man Function

When? 12 March 1997
Where? Rugby Club somewhere in Auckland
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Eugenie, Raewyn

As usual they (whoever 'they' are) put on a dinner and prizegiving for us. The dinner was quite satisfying. We waited with baited breath for our numbers to be called out - Ansett mystery weekend ?? - no, Reebok shoes ?? - no again, - Timex Watch ?? - still no, Plastic bag full of Weetbix, bananas and powerade ?? - YES. Well yes for Brendan anyway, the rest of us went home empty handed. Oh well - I knew that time I won a timex watch had sucked up my good luck for a few years.

By Raewyn

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When? 27 March - 31 March 1997
Where? Dunedin
Who? Brendan, Chris, Raewyn, Trudy

This was the Scottish moot, held way down in the depths of the South Island. Many of the participants wandered around all weekend wearing kilts and not much else (underneath them anyway). One of those traditional moot activities - the cross country run - was held on the world's steepest street. Those who actually managed to run the whole way generally collapsed at the top. Even those who walked it were gasping for air by the end. The view was pretty good though. Rae & Trudy of Waitakere had the distinction of coming first & second - of the second bus (the first bus were the serious ones and the second bus the lazy ones).

Another traditional moot event - the Tug o' War - was held one night after dinner. The Auckland pullers did themselves proud - even though we didn't actually win anything (the big lads & lasses of Saddle Hill did most of the winning), we did get in several finals. By the time we had got through all the heats (mens/womens and mixed) as well as the semi finals and finals we were completely worn out.

The tour day was interesting for us. None of the pre planned tours were really to our taste (Trudy had just been to Queenstown, which was really the only one which looked interesting). So we decided to do our own "sights of Dunedin" tour. Trudy, Brendan and I hired a car for the day and drove up the peninsula to gawk at the wildlife. On our way up we picked up a Swedish (?? well European anyway) research student who told us the best place to see some penguins. It wasn't too expensive, and we got so have a good look at some cute moulting birds. Then we drove up to the top to look at the albatross colony. We didn't actually see any albatrosses though - we decided they were too expensive (if you knew how much we spent to just get down to Dunedin you'd understand). We had a look through the information centre anyway though. Afterwards we went down to a little beach, and had a really good look at some seals. That was a real buzz - us Aucklanders don't come across seals everyday! There was also another moulting penguin sitting on the beach. After getting our fill of seals and penguins, we drove back into Dunedin, stopping off at Hooper's inlet on the way. Back at Dunedin we went for a tour through a lovely old house.

The mystery tour was a mystery to just about everyone, including the organisers, but we did make it to Larnoch Castle, which was what we came to Dunedin for. The great bunch of Rovers generally behaved themselves, and didn't do too many outrageously rude things on top of the tower.

The last day of moot was the 'shooting trophy' - the highland games. These involved caber tossing, Gaelic lessons and other Celtic activities. Afterwards was the "Weet Bix Iron Man". You had to eat a dry weet bix, a bowl of porridge and your choice of beer or lemonade. This was a combination that didn't stay too well in a few people's stomachs. I wanted my breakfast to stay where it was myself (the sound of Trudy throwing up into the bushes didn't help me much), so I took it easy.

For the formal dinner on the last night everyone dressed up in their best kilts, and we had a traditional Haggis ceremony. The next day there were a few sad faces during the closing ceremony. The trophies were handed out, and to our surprise, the Waitakere girls (me & Trudy) won the Nymph trophy. It was a real honour, but we're a bit worried what it will do to our chaste reputations.

By Raewyn

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Rock 'n Roll Dance

When? 19 April 1997
Where? Waitakere College
Who? Brendan, Darryn, Jeff, Karlene, Raewyn, Trudy

Karlene the Rock 'n Roll freak - sorry enthusiast - invited the crew to a fancy dress dance held by westside R 'n' R club. (It should be noted that this club teaches revival style dancing and is not the one that her & Jeff belong to - they belong to Auckland R 'n' R club who teach Authentic style Rock 'n' Roll).

Brendan came as Don Juan, Darryn came as himself (scary!). Jeff was dressed in camo gear like Action man, Karlene was Princess Leia (from Star Wars), Raewyn was the splitting image of Scully (from the X Files) and Trudy bore a close resemblance to a sheep farmer (no offence to Trudy - after all that was what she was meant to be). Raewyn decided that Rock 'n' Roll dancers aren't generally X Philes, since they just stared at her and said "Oh - FBI" in a puzzled way.

Those that were rhythmically inclined had a good dance, as there was a variety of music. We also played a few fun games and lost money on raffle tickets. The judging of costumes must have been difficult as there were many great outfits, including Snow-White, Batman, a race car driver complete with helmet, and a pirate with a real parrot on his shoulder.

The winner was a silver punk guitarist with giant spiky hair, and the runner up was a grown woman dressed as a baby in an enormous nappy.

By Karlene

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Dinner & Mini Golf

When? 10 May 1997
Where? New Lynn
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Eugenie, Jeff, Jo, Karlene Phil, Raewyn, Rodney, Trudy & 2 from Taikata

This was meant to be a Taikata/Waitakere joint event, but only 2 Taikatians and 11 Waitakerians turned up. We had dinner at Georgie Pie and then played a round of mini golf. Some people did really well and others did really badly. We bumped into some Venturer type people too. Some of us went to a movie afterwards.

By Raewyn

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Birthday Parties

When? 17 May 1997
Where? Bay's Den
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Jo, Karlene, Phil, Raewyn, Rodney, Trudy

A party to celebrate Anna, Mark & John's birthday, 3 parties in one, lucky for some. What an excuse to drink vast quantities of alcohol and yell and scream, roll around on the floor and bark like a dog, woof, woof. A cargo net was put up & any bad boys or girls were placed in the net and whipped with stinging nettles till they bled, ouch.

By Darryn

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Waitakere Turns 30!

When? 24 May 1997
Where? Massey Scout Den
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Eugenie, Jeff, Jo, Karlene, Phil, Raewyn, Rodney, Trudy

It was 30 years since Waitakere Crew was founded, so we invited past crew members and Auckland Rovers to our den for a celebration. After numerous nights of researching and phoning we managed to entice about 6 past crew members. Oh well - the number of Auckland rovers in attendance made up for it. The theme was 'Waitakere Green' - Mark and Louisa aware the only ones who put any thought into their costumes, so they got the prize - a pot plant (taken from the decorations). Other activities included a jigsaw puzzle (of pictures of green blobs and similar) and photo shoots. Dinner was a lovely BBQ complete with salads and deserts. Brendan's mother decorated the cake which had hills and the letters WAITAKERE cut out of mint leaves. Most of the ex-members left early (but not before a few obligatory boring speeches) but the rest of us partied on to the early hours of the morning.

By Raewyn

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Night on the Town

When? 8 August 1997
Where? Auckland City
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Eugenie, Jo, Karlene, Phil, Raewyn, Rodney, Trudy

The girls go sick of hearing the guys talking about 'stripclubs' and decided to take a trip into town to visit the very tasteful club 'Underground'. The guys went upstairs to 'Showgirls' while they waited for the girls. It was an interesting experience. Trudy had a private dance with 'Aqua' - paid for by a couple of other girls who were there, we weren't sure of their motives for doing this, but they were pretty drunk. Trudy enjoyed it hugely, her comments were 'ooh ooh ahhhh'. We better not bring her back there again. When we left the guys were moaning because they hadn't enjoyed themselves at all - they were totally bored. The girls gloated all the way home about the 'Fun' they had. One particular male dancer had caught their attention & suggested a private dance - with 4 at once! Rae, Karlene, Trudy & Eugenie will never forget that night.

By Karlene

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Trivial Pursuit Night

When? 9 August 1997
Where? North Shore
Who? Brendan, Darryn, Jeff, Karlene, Raewyn, Trudy

North Shore Gangshow, put on a fund-raiser night where we played trivial pursuit. Each category had about 10 questions and for $2 you could buy one question (you could only buy one per category). So you could always get one correct question. Everyone team had a joker which could be played before a category and then you would double your points for that category. We intended to play ours in the TV section until we realised it was pre '80s. So we choose to save it for the music category. However we didn't do that hot as it was not music from our era. We would have done better playing it in the TV category. Bummer. All 'n all a good night though and we spent plenty of money.

By Trudy

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Ten Pin Bowling & Bouncy Castle

When? 15 August 1997
Where? South Auckland
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Eugenie, Jeff, Jo, Karlene, Raewyn, Rodney, Trudy

We were invited to join Trudy's work social group for a night out at Fun Station in Mt Wellington. First stop was laser strike but to our disappointment the lasers weren't working. The laser strike area was a big blow up space ship with inflated walls and hiding spots. We ended up going into the space ship - it was dark, hot and stuffy inside. We started running around and tackling everybody in sight (man or beast). I don't think anyone from Trudy's work went in - probably because they were too old and didn't want to get hurt.

From there we played on the spacey games until the lanes were free for 10 pin bowling. The game was really good - I'm not sure who won, but all in all fun was had by everyone.

By Rodney

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Phantom of the Opera

When? 21 August 1997
Where? Aotea Centre
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Karlene, Phil, Raewyn

The venue was the Aotea Centre, and the star was some fella in a mask.

The Australasian production of The Phantom of the Opera was true to the praise it had earned and didn't disappoint a full house including the 6 rovers way back in the balcony.

Everybody had made the effort to dress for the second night occasion including Chris who appeared to be dressed smarter than the Phantom himself.

There is not a lot you can write about a show that got a season's worth of standing ovations both here and in Melbourne, except to say that the Opera was enjoyed by everybody who attended despite the $75 tickets and the lofty seating.

By Phil

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Gang Show

When? 6 September 1997
Where? Auckland Boys
Who? Brendan, Darryn, Karlene, Phil, Raewyn, Trudy

As usual there were corny jokes, cool looking costumes (well we did make some of them!) mixed with cute little kiddies singing old songs. The Under the Sea item was pretty cool - the lighting effects made the undersea creatures glow. The Riverdance was cute too. It was good for Raewyn and Karlene to see all the costumes they'd been sewing/organising in the context they belonged.

By Raewyn

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Paint Ball

When? 13 September 1997
Where? Bethells
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Eugenie, Jeff, Jo, Karlene, Phil, Raewyn, Rodney, Trudy, Clint

Bays Rover Crew invited us to a game of Paintball played at 'Tactics' in Bethells. The field we played on was for urban style warfare with open spaces and bunkers, towers, and other manmade obstacles to hide behind or in. We started with two teams of ten. Brendan had just had surgery on his knee and was a little worried about being shot on his stitches (several pellets came close). After a while a few of our team got sick of being shot (the girls and Chris) or ran out of ammo and didn't want to buy any more and stopped playing, leaving only the boys except Chris to defend the flag. Eventually we were surrounded and overwhelmed. The score was 2 nil to Bays. They had some in their 90% male team who had played several times before and said we put up a good fight so that made us feel a bit better. We all had a good day with Rodney and Chris getting shot the most with Rodney having some good bruises.

By Brendan

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Camel Hunt

When? 18 October 1997
Where? Around Auckland
Who? Darryn, Jo, Karlene, Raewyn

The event was to find as many objects on a list which was handed out by Bays Rover Crew on a Saturday morning. We all congregated at a reserve on the North Shore and then left to find the items a short time later. So we all opted to head back west to various crew members houses and collected as many things as possible. The car was piled high with Crew members and their belongings and we all headed back over the shore to Bays Rovers Den with a a lot of back seat driving by some particular crew members, luckily the car did not stop at this point in time as they might have been asked to finish the rest of the journey on foot. Of course Waitakere Rovers won the event to follow in their usual foot steps of success.

By Darryn

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Champagne BBQ

When? 15 November 1997
Where? Rae's Place
Who? Famous Five (Brendan, Darryn, Karlene, Raewyn, Trudy)

We were invited to Roskill's Champagne Breakfast but we couldn't find out anything about it, so the famous 5 decided to have their own BBQ. We got dressed up, bought some cheap bottles of bubbly and ate a quality BBQ meal (plates & cutlery!). It didn't take the girls long to get tipsy and from there the conversation really deteriorated into the gutter. Then we decided to get a video. We decided on one about a guy who gets sexually harassed by a succubus. Trudy thought it was really scary ('what's gonna happen? Oooooooh'), but the rest of us thought it was quite pathetic.

By Raewyn

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Onemana Weekend

When? 21 November - 23 November 1997
Where? Onemana
Who? Brendan, Darryn, Eugenie, Jo, Karlene, Raewyn, Trudy, Nathan

It was a nice holiday at the beach. We walked on the beach, played tennis, went shopping & relaxed. Jo bought a nice top & Karlene bought a temptress dress, which they modelled for us Saturday afternoon. On Sunday we were going to go for a tramp, but no one felt very energetic, so we decided to take a short walk down to a little beach a few bays over. The weather was really good when we got there (sheltered from the wind that was blowing in Onemana) - it felt like summer. The water looked so nice that some people decided to go for a swim - unfortunately we didn't bring our togs (not expecting to swim), so we had to compromise with shorts, t-shirts etc. The water was apparently quite cold, but not so bad when you got used to it. The walk back up was a killer, but not very long - it took about 10 minutes. By the time we got to the top we were very hot & exhausted. Too bad there wasn't a beach at the TOP of the hill. Karlene, Jo, Nathan and Eugenie went home early, but Brendan, Darryn, Trudy and Raewyn stayed a while longer to gossip and muck around. On the way home we stopped at Miranda Hot Springs and had a good swim. Trudy left large scratch marks over Brendan's torso from the rough games she played (piggy in the middle). We hadn't had dinner, so we needed to stop somewhere on the way home ... only problem was nothing was open! Our last resort was MacDonalds at Bombay. Luckily it was still open - we got there at 9.55pm and it closed at 10. We stayed there till 10.20 anyway - they didn't seem to mind.

By Raewyn

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District Fun Camp

When? 29 November - 30 November 1997
Where? Woodhill Forest
Who? Famous Five (Brendan, Darryn, Karlene, Raewyn, Trudy)

What a weekend for a 'fun camp' - it rained on and off the whole time. Just like last year really. We stayed at Woodhill state forest in the 'educational' camp ground (one shelter, some cold runny water and smelly long drop toilets). Raewyn and Trudy went for a 'walk' in the forest. Everyone else got into Chris's 4 wheel drive to go 'off roading' as he had not done it before. We 'off roaded' along a few bumpy patches of grass and then along the dirt roads through the forest. After a few hours we started to get a little worried about Raewyn and Trudy. They had left at about 11, without telling anybody where they were going or when they would be back, with no water or food, no raincoats, and most importantly no map.

It was now getting on for 3 o'clock. Karlene and Darryn went out in search for the girls for an hour! But no luck. Darryn was just getting really desperately worried when Brendan announced that they had come back. They had lost their way (a few times) and ended up making about 3 circles in the same place before heading in the right direction of the campsite. They were severely reprimanded by everyone else.

by Karlene

Trudy's version of the 'walk'

Actually to put the story straight, Raewyn took Trudy for a walk. To start with it was along the road then she enticed Trudy into the Forest. We just went to have a bit of a look. We ended up at another road, and we crossed that road. Raewyn dragged Trudy across of course. There was another track. Raewyn forced Trudy to walk down that track. She wanted to first take the track on the left, then the track on the right and then straight ahead so that we knew which way we were going. Of course Trudy, being the smart one decided to go straight ahead for a while. We did take a left turn down one of the tracks, but that was Raewyn's forcefulness that made us do it. Finding ourselves at another road, Raewyn pulled Trudy to some more forest where they took all sorts of turns, carefully however marking the track in the direction in which they were to go back. They only marked places where they turned, not places where they went straight ahead. They were intending on finding their way back via the road to the campsite, so when they next came to a road, Raewyn sniffed the air, and said 'That way', pointing her finger. Off Trudy trotted behind her, as she trusted Raewyn's sense of direction. Especially since Raewyn always tells Trudy that she has no sense of direction. After walking left along the road, and not looking promising, we had to try walking to the right. Trudy was getting worried. Raewyn always said 'we can build a bivouac if we can't get home in time'. Poor Trudy, she was close to tears with worry. So they decided to retrace their steps back.

They entered the forest, and kept walking straight till they came to one of their markers. Eureka, Raewyn shouted. We are smart, we will find our way home with no problems, come along Trudy. THEN .... they hit an intersection with no marker. Both paths looked like they pointed straight ahead. Oh dear, what should they do. Raewyn lead them along one of the paths. Soon they found themselves at other paths with no markers. Uh oh. Then about 20 minutes later something started to look familiar. Yippee. Looking at the ground they could see footprints. This must be right. Then they found themselves at the same intersection as they were 20 minutes ago. Fudge. Fabuloso Trudy took over, carefully guiding them to the out to the camp. We didn't however recover the same paths we took in, but in the end we found our way out.

You should always send Raewyn in the bush with a compass.

By Trudy

Raewyn's version of the 'walk'

Trudy and I thought we'd get out to see a bit of the forest while we were there. At first we thought we might be able to find our way to Murawai beach, but we really didn't have any idea of where we were going. So instead we decided to have a little look through the bush. We didn't have a map or anything, but we thought we would just have a brief wander through the forest. We remembered where we came from, so we could easily retrace our steps. Having a natural curiosity, whenever we came across a new path we though 'I wonder where that goes?'. The longer we walked, the more we felt the we must be getting nearer the camp - it felt like we'd gone around in a circle. We thought that if we walked back the way we came it would take ages. But if we kept going forward we would eventually find our way back. Trudy - being the gullible person she is - had complete confidence in Raewyn's navigation. Little did she know that Raewyn was actually planning to get her lost, then desert her in the forest and put her at the mercy of the evil step mother (or something like that). However Trudy's pathetic sobs made Raewyn take pity on her, and instead of deserting her Raewyn just lead her around in circles for a while to make her really worried.

By Raewyn

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Jo's Farewell

When? 5 December 1997
Where? Eugenie's House
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Eugenie, Jeff, Jo, Karlene, Phil, Raewyn, Rodney, Trudy

Jo was planning to go over to England for an undetermined amount of time, so we decided to have a pot luck dinner for her. It was organised quite well, and we had a very good selection of food, making a scrummy dinner. We gave Jo a goodbye present (travel books) and did a little speech ('Hope you have a good time Jo'). Then we settled down and listened to some music, while engaging in conversation.

By Raewyn

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Coca Cola Christmas in the Park

When? 13 December 1997
Where? Auckland Domain
Who? Brendan, Karlene, Raewyn, Trudy, Vinessa

That time of the year again - Christmas. The weather was absolutely FAB!! El Nino was to thank of course. We arrived relatively early (around 3pm) and got ourselves a quite good posy - in the middle of the domain with a good view of the stage and screen. We sat in the hot, hot sun, slowly toasting, and complained of the heat while counting down the hours till the sun would fall behind the trees. We also had our usual picnic dinner - rolls with meat and salad. When the sun finally did get behind the trees it actually turned cold! Welcome relief from the heat. The night's entertainment was really good. Everyone was in a festive mood, and sang along to the carols. Snoopy's Christmas was a real highlight - bi planes flew overhead. There was a really good atmosphere the whole night. Just before Santa was due to arrive everyone yelled out "Santa, Santa, Santa". Then he arrived accompanied by the twelve days of Christmas. Then was the Fireworks - they were spectacular as usual. We left through the crowds linking arms, and sang Christmas Carols in the car on the way home.

By Raewyn

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Auckland Area Rovers Christmas BBQ

When? 20 December 1997
Where? Mark & Louisa's House
Who? Famous Five (Brendan, Darryn, Karlene, Raewyn, Trudy)

It was hot. Very hot. We sat outside Mark & Louisa's place for several hours, sweating, drinking and talking. Waitakere managed to score a table in the shade. I hope we didn't look too anti-social. After the BBQ tea & yummy dessert, we had the $2 present swap - Trudy got a toilet brush & stand, Karlene got 4 condoms, Darryn took Raewyn's present on purpose (which was a baby's drinking cup) and Raewyn accidently got Darryn's present which was a little bottle of liqueur. Someone else recieved a feather duster which provided a few hours of entertainment.

Basically it was a typical NZ Christmas party - sun, beer, sausages and only a few santa hats to remind us of what we were actually celebrating.

By Karlene

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Christmas Picnic

When? 21 December 1997
Where? Auckland Domain
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Eugenie, Jeff, Karlene, Raewyn, Rodney, Trudy, Nathan

The weather was looking a little dubious (ie pouring down with rain), but resisting the negative vibes of the pessimists, it was decided that we would still have our event in the wintergarden at Auckland Domain. After we gathered together we found that half the crew were ignorant about the meaning of Pot Luck. Consequently some of us had a selective (but delicious) shared lunch, while the others ate their filled rolls in seclusion. Then we did our $5 present swap. Here is this year's present summary: Brendan - Sex addict pills Chris - Ball bearing game Darryn - Blue blocker imitations Eugenie - Cuddly car soft toy Jeff - Mini spark plugs Karlene - Spice deodorant Raewyn - Dinosaur soft toy Rodney - Lotto Ticket Trudy - Scarecrow and kinder surprise Nathan - Juggling Balls

After playing with our presents for a while we took some snap shots in the gardens (trying not to stand on the plant life in the process). Then we said our goodbyes for the year and headed off.

By Raewyn

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Summer Holiday

When? 26 December 1997 - 5 January 1998
Where? Bay of Islands
Who? Famous Five (Brendan, Darryn, Karlene, Raewyn, Trudy) & Keith

Boxing Day Auckland to Whangarei
Karlene travelled up with her Mother & Brother. The others left Auckland at around 9pm, and didn't arrive till 11.20pm. We stayed up talking till 12.30, then invaded the beds of Karlene's Mother's house.

Saturday 27th Whangarei to Urupukapuka
We had set the alarm for 6 o'clock to leave at 7 (ha) and arrive by 9 o'clock for the Ferry. 6 o'clock came to soon, the mutual thought was 'uarhhgruhIdonwanageup'. Eventually we did anyway. When we arrived at the terminal in Paihia to get our tickets (at least an hour earlier than required) the nice lady there told us it was an hour walk from where the boat drops us off to where we were camping (Cable Bay). We panicked a bit - we each had a pack and at least one other bag, and there were two boxes plus one chilly bin of food. We spent a while rearranging things taking out the non-essential items, but we were still a bit worried about how we were going to get all our stuff over. After a lovely boat trip over, we hauled our gear off the boat (for only 2 nights we had a lot of gear!) and sat in the shade to eat lunch. We then set off for our '1 hour' walk with our packs, and left the food & chilly bin behind for another trip. We had a bit of problem actually finding the campsite, but to our relief the walk was more like 20 minutes than an hour. However it was getting pretty hot, and the boys didn't like the idea of another trip in the hot sun, so we asked the Camp Warden if he could take us over to get the stuff on his boat. He didn't mind - hooray. Trudy went with another 'boatie' to get some ice & bread from the mainland, and Keith & Brendan went over to escort our chilly bin. The rest of us (Karlene, Raewyn & Darryn) went for a swim (it was HOT). The others joined us when they got back. Our next task was to dig a toilet (none of them in Cable Bay). The guys used a big post hole borer and dug a really nice hole. The girl's task was to put the tent up, but first we had to organise our toilet seat which was on a metal stand. We taped plastic bags around it to stop anything escaping. The tent was really tiny and cramped. No one was too keen on using our toilet, but unfortunately us girls didn't have much choice (a 20 minute walk to go to the toilet was a bit too much). None of the guys ended up even using the toilet (preferring trees), but the girls found it OK. From now on chemical toilets have to be used at Cable Bay - no more holes.

Sunday 28th Urupukapuka Island
We walked over to Otehi bay, had lunch under the Pohutukawa tree, played with the frisbee and then had a few beers in the cafe while waiting for 3.30pm when we had booked the Nautilus (a semi submersible viewing boat to go look at the fish). On the Nautilus we saw lots of fish and one eagle ray. They had some really convincing sound effects, and at one stage we really thought we were going to run into a land mine!! When on the Nautilus it started to rain (gasp!! It's not meant to rain on a summer holiday), and it was still raining when we got off. We had planned to do the round-the-island walk, but didn't want to do it in the rain (the girls only had sandals on). So we waiting in the cafe until it stopped (we wanted some hot chips, but they'd turned the cooker off so we had to have two mini pizzas between us instead). When the rain stopped we walked back to camp. After dinner we laid down and looked at the stars. There were funny flashes coming from the side of the island, and Darryn, Trudy and Raewyn walked up to the top of the hill to see what they were. They turned out to be lightening on the mainland. We sat at the top of the hill looking at the lightening for a while - it was quite spectacular. I'd tell you about how Trudy got scared of a tree, but I won't cause she might hit me.

Monday 29th Urupukapuka - Kerikeri
We lazed around, packed up our gear and hauled it over to Otehi Bay. The boys had to do it twice to get the chilly bin etc. The ferry was due to leave at 4.30 pm so Trudy 'encouraged' us all to go on the island loop walk. It took us 2.5 hours (it was meant to be 4-5 hours) - and was really worthwhile. It was quite windy (our toilet tent had blown down in the night), but really sunny. We got to see a bird watching hide, lots of kumara pits, big cliffs and breathtaking views.

The trip back was on the larger catamaran - which was nice and breezy. It held over 200 people - not all of who were actually expected. After having dinner & doing some shopping in Paihia, we drove to Kerikeri (the long way - oops) to a 'proper' motor camp (it had hot showers, toilets and a swimming pool).

Tuesday 30th Kerikeri - Takou
Raewyn's birthday was celebrated with the opening of presents - a cool musical centipede (plays You are my Sunshine), chocolate monopoly (the aim is to eat the opposition) a mini mag light and some other goodies. We drove up to Takou Bay which is a Maori Trust Camping ground. We spent ages trying to find a good site with enough shade and reasonable slope. Trudy chatted up the neighbours (whose camp we took over when they left) so we didn't feel so bad parking right next to their car - which was the flattest site. We then played chocolate monopoly in which Raewyn got to eat everybody. We had dinner which was a yummy stir fry with rice and then walked down to the beach to have a look. Darryn had a swim and we chased mullet in the shallows. We sat in the dark for a while and played I spy. A typical clue was RML (Raewyn's Mag Light). Trudy thought the tree branch resembled a wooden arm of a giant tree goblin. When we got sick of that we played 20 questions. Then we retreated to Raewyn & Brendan's tent and played Consequences which was a very hilarious game. Then we played Trudy's Dictionary Game (it took ages).

Wednesday 31st - New Years Eve Takou Bay
We decided to got to Kerikeri (the long way again) to get supplies of Gas, Beer, Kahlua, Coke, Lemonade and essential ice. Derek (our other neighbour) came into town with us. Keith bought some flippers and neoprene booties as his ones were falling apart.

That night the 'westies' who were camping next to us (about 50 of them) were having a bit of a party, so we were invited to join in. The boys had plenty of beer, and the girls had quite a bit of Kahlua and Coke. The evening was full of interesting events. Raewyn and Trudy went for a walk and the others nearly called the Search & Rescue team when they couldn't be located. They were actually sitting beside a deserted fire on the beach talking - very pleasant. We were forced to leave when the fire died down and we couldn't find any more wood (we only had 1 tiny mag light).

Thursday 1st January 1998 Takou - Whananaki North
We all only had about 5 hours sleep. Trudy and Brendan had mild hangovers. We slowly packed up camp and left around 12pm to head south to Waitangi. We got some quality history lessons for $8 each, and after lunch we drove through lots of windy roads to the Whananaki Campground and set up our tents for the last time. That afternoon we went for a swim - Trudy and Raewyn swam over to a nearby island - it only took 10 minutes but felt like more.

Friday 2nd January 1998 Whananaki North
We decided to make a trip up to Russell (once again, we took the long way - sack the navigator!). The drive was through windy metal roads, but the scenery was superb. The weather was absolutely fab! In Russell we had our normal lunch (luncheon, lettuce, cheese and tomato sandwiches), and had a walk around the shops. Raewyn bought a sarong and a bikini, Keith bought some pottery, and Karlene treated herself to a sarong too. On the way back down we stopped at another beach and had a swim. We also had a look at an island that Raewyn's Grandfather used to own.

Saturday 3rd January 1998 Whananaki North
Our last full day at the beach. We lazed around for the morning. We got some fish & chips from the local store (80c for a piece of fish!) for lunch. In the afternoon we did some snorkelling. Raewyn & Trudy wanted to swim to the island again. Darryn wanted to come too, but he only had his Father's 1970's James Bond snorkelling gear. He borrowed Brendan's mask, but got pissed off that it kept filling up with water. He couldn't let Raewyn & Trudy go to the island without him, so he swam over without a mask. We sat on the island for a while contemplating life, the universe and everything, then swam back. That night we went for a midnight walk down the road to a neighbouring bay.

Sunday 4th January 1998 Whananaki North - Whangarei
We packed our gear up, then went for one last swim. It didn't take too long to get to Whangarei, but when we got there we couldn't think of anything to do. It was hot - and humid. We finally decided to go to the clock Museum (what else do you do in Whangarei). It was a good choice - it was air conditioned! Afterwards we had a look at some of the other shops - one really cool shop had lots of sea related things like a really large mermaid mirror (unfortunately it was out of our price range). After dinner Rae & Trudy went for a walk to try and find some cream. The dairy was shut, so we went in search of a petrol station. It was a bit further away than expected. They thought the others would have been worrying about us, but it was Karlene's Mother who came looking for us. When we got back Rae & Trudy made scones (to use up some of our left over ingredients), and the others played Star Wars Monopoly.

Monday 5th January 1998 Whangarei - Auckland
The trip back home was very uneventful. We had a swim in Trudy's pool when we got back.

By Karlene, Keith and Raewyn

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