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1998 Social

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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Devonport Experience

When? 17 January 1998
Where? Devonport
Who? Brendan, Darryn, Raewyn, Trudy

One fine summer's evening in Auckland we were trying to think of things to do that we hadn't already done a thousand times on fine summers evenings in Auckland. The best idea that we could come up with was taking a ferry over to Devonport for a bit of Devonport Culture. This turned out to be a very good idea, because a) it wasn't too expensive (only $7 for the ferry) and b) it was something we hadn't done before (well not at night time). We arrived too late for the 7pm ferry, so had to kill time at the Whitbread village (the boats weren't in sight unfortunately) until 8pm. Then we boarded the Kestral, and made a few Titanic jokes (1 - "ice berg, dead ahead" 2 - stand on bow with arms outstreched). We had a pleasant 10 minutes journey over to Devonport - the sharp rays of the warm summer evening sun contrasted with the refreshing sea breeze. After disembarking, we wandered over to Mt. Victoria and made our way up. From the top we had a great view of a great many things, including a nice looking park with paths and trees. We wanted to get to that park, but we didn't know the way. We found our way down the mountain and wandered down a few roads, and thanks to some brilliant navigating by someone (I forget who, but it was probably me), found ourselves in the midst of the big park. We wandered around it, but it was getting dark, so we couldn't see much. We found a nice pagoda type seat, and sat down to rest. There was also a cat there who was very friendly, and we played with it for a while. When we walked out of the park, the cat followed us for quite a way, pouncing on the leaves, and criss crossing out path.

Once out of the park we had the challenge of finding our way back into Devonport. We didn't fancy the idea of climbing up the mountian again, so we headed in the general direction of the sea. Luckily Devonport isn't a very complicated place, and we were able to follow the water back to the town centre. On the way we stopped at a park and played on a round a bout thing and got really dizzy. We decided that we'd then have a coffee (being the fashionable thing to do in Devonport), so we found an open cafe, and ordered fancy things like flat whites and cheese cake. We stayed there and chatted (which is what one generally does while one drinks coffee) and only left when they closed. We still had a while until the next boat came (12 am), so we decided to wait in a bar on the wharf. We had a few beers/cokes and chatted some more, until it was time to get the ferry back. Which we did.

By Raewyn.

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Brendan's Birthday

When? 29 January 1998
Where? Sultan's Table & Sky Tower
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Eugenie, Karlene, Raewyn, Trudy, Nathan, Brendan's Parents + Brother, Raewyn's Parents

We celebrated Brendan's Birthday this year at the Sultan's Table Turkish Restaurant in Auckland City a short walk from the Casino. The average main price is $18 and it's good food. We were there for about an hour and a half, which was suprising considering the restaurant was very hot. Brendan got heaps of good pressies which he almost left behind when leaving the restaurant. After dinner which happened to be dusk we went up the sky tower which cost $18 for the top most observation deck and $15 for the tower. It's an interesting perspective and it takes a while to orientate yourself (who knew Dominion Road was sooo long).

By Brendan

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Log Book Day & Starlight Symphony

When? 31 January 1998
Where? Auckland Domain
Who? Brendan, Darryn, Eugenie, Karlene, Raewyn, Trudy, Nathan, Vinessa

We gathered together to finish writing our log book, then after the stress and heat, went to relax at the starlight symphony. It was a typical event - the weather was perfect, the music was good, and the queues to the loos were very long. The highlight was the diggers, which danced to swan lake - pretty original. The fireworks were supreme as always.

By Raewyn.

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Mini Moot

When? 14, 15 March
Where? Pukekohe
Who? Brendan, Chris, Darryn, Eugenie, Karlene, Raewyn, Trudy, Nathan

The highlight was the raft race. We had gathered the weekend before to practice making our raft out of some plastic shells (ex-airforce) but had failed dismally. The raft didn't exactly sink, but didn't hold us much our of the water either. Luckily Darryn has scavenged lots of tractor tyres, so we used those instead. Our Bamboo and Tyre construction was held together with some cleverly executed Scout knots (like clove hitches), and seemed quite solid. It was nothing, though, compared to Bay's wonder craft which used some huge paper bags (filled with air) and looked a bit like the Kawau Kat. Dean started the race and we paddled desperately, and moved slowly. Bay's paddled slowly and moved very swiftly. Roskill and Hillcrest paddled desperately and didn't move at all, so we weren't too bad. There wasn't much excitement for the spectators, and Bay's was miles ahead of Waitakere, and Waitakere were miles ahead of Roskill and Hillcrest whose rafts had sunk before the half way mark. Near the end of the course Bays decided to sabotage Waitakere's raft for no other reason than that they were bored from waiting at the finish for so long. Fortunately our raft withstood their attacks (by rotten tomatoes), and we made it to the finish with our dignity intact.

The evening meal was a spit roast, which was very nice, just a shame there wasn't a bit more of it! (I think we had a few more than anticipated). Bay's top notch engineering skills had created the famous spa pool, and we relaxed in that (it was very hot) for a while.

The next day was service (track digging) and the AGM which wasn't too bad except for Paul's speech which went on for ages.

By Raewyn.

Service Hours
Brendan - 1
Chris - 1
Darryn - 1
Raewyn - 1
Trudy - 1

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10 Pin Bowling

When? 27 March 1998
Where? Super Strike, Henderson
Who? Darryn, Eugenie, Raewyn, Trudy, Nathan

Nathan scored top, Darryn wasn't too far behind. Raewyn and Trudy were about even, Eugenie could still do with some more practice. It was a disco night, so apart from the flashing lights and loud music, if you got a strike you got to win some 'dollars' which contribute towards prizes. We got quite a few strikes between us, so Eugenie (who collected them all) got quite a bit of money. Raewyn didn't win any dollars, but did get a booby prize, which was a lollypop, and a very nice one (better than a tattered piece of paper anyday!)

By Raewyn.

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