by Tim Lucas



Tēnā koutou katoa - Greetings everyone
The sun has been shining and the fish (and sandflies) have been biting this week in Deep Cove. Sandfly bites are not called as such on fishing camp as we prefer to say 'camp souvenirs'. The vast majority of our students this week will be returning on Friday with a number of souvenirs and fish. We have been blessed with stunning weather and I can tell you at the time of writing fishing sensation, Levi Tainui, is in first place on the leaderboard with 26. On fishing camp in 2018, Michael Jose, set a new record for the most fish caught (73). I can tell you that no other student has come close to Michael's milestone! One of the best things about fishing camp I think is that there is no mobile phone coverage. Deep Cove is in a remote place in Fiordland National Park and it's been fantastic to see the students enjoying good old fashion fun such as talking, playing cards, glow worm and kiwi walks, swimming, boardgames and hanging out, skippering fizz boats, catching fish and much, much more! 

Did you know that Doubtful Sound was originally named 'Doubtful Harbour' in 1770 by Captain James Cook as he did not enter the inlet as he was uncertain whether it was navigable under sail. It was later renamed Doubtful Sound by whalers and sealers, although it is not technically a sound but a fiord. U-shaped valleys that have been sculpted by ancient glaciers dominate the local landscape. On Tuesday morning the group experienced this first hand with a strenuous walk in sunny conditions up the Hanging Valley track to Kea Rock and Huntleigh Falls. The fiords that give this corner of New Zealand its name are also teeming with marine life and we have been lucky this week. From Gurnard, Dogfish Sharks, Blue Cod, Jock Stewarts (Sea Perch) to Grouper, we have enjoyed baiting, casting and catching plenty of fish. Helena Falls and Stella Falls are two permanent waterfalls in Deep Cove that we visited via the Old Doubtful Track. After completing this four-hour walk, it was back on the water to fish, fish, fish! As part of the camp package, the school hostel provides two 14-foot Stabicraft fizz boats. Staff teach the students how to safely skipper these vessels while supervised and good fishing is enjoyed just offshore at places like Brasell Point, Driftwood Cove and Archer Point.

From Isaac Tili and Oliver Lodge's Samoan doughnuts to Angus Bell's aerial acrobatics, there have been many highlights during the week however the three-hour cruise to the Tasman Sea on Wednesday afternoon was truly memorable. Pātea/Doubtful Sound is the second longest fiord in New Zealand extending just over 40 kms. The jaw-dropping scenery is truly impressive and you feel very fortunate to be a kiwi with this place in our backyard. Tangaroa (God of the Ocean) provided favourable sea conditions for us to sail smoothly to the open sea. On the return journey back to Deep Cove we explored the three arms of Pātea/Doubtful Sound - First, Crooked and Hall respectively. At the head of the jurassic looking Hall Arm, we assembled as instructed on the bow deck and the skipper turned off the engines and everyone became quiet. For about 10 minutes nobody said a word and just listened how this place got it's name (Pātea - 'the place of silence'). Next year in December will be the seventh time Kavanagh College has visited this magical place when fishing camp returns. Haere rā ki Pātea (Farewell from Doubtful Sound) and wishing everyone a Holy Christmas and a safe and relaxing summer holiday.

Mā te Atua e manaaki

God Bless.