To avoid the people on the beach we decided to get up at 4am on Monday last week.
We baited the hooks at home so we had some light to work with and got to Red Beach, Whangaparaoa, at 5am.
It was low tide and perfect for getting the 4WD on the beach as our power gear is rather heavy. We organised a battery to power some lights so we could get the gear ready. There was no wind for the kites so we decided to use the submarine.
The submarine I have now is the third model I have built. I taped a small torch on top, shining back to the beach so we could keep a track of it.
It went out about 600 metres and snagged so we pulled it back intending to start it again. During the retrieval the line broke and the submarine was adrift. All I needed early on Anniversary Day.
The submarine has my name and phone number on it so I figured someone would find it and call me. We packed all the gear in the car just as dawn was breaking. It was a beautiful site and well worth the early start.
Before we left the beach Maeve said she could see the submarine not too far out. She suggested I strip off and wade out to try to get it. So I took up the challenge!
I was up to my chest in water but the sub was just out of reach. Fortunately every little wave brought it closer to me until I could reach it. It was between 5-6am and no-one was in sight until I reached the shore.
A man walking his dog on the beach had stopped to talk to Maeve and wondered who this crazy bloke was walking out of the sea in his birthday suit with a long green tube across his middle.
We were pleased to have the gear back but didn't have any more bait to use so we headed for home. I was back in bed by 7am. Not bad for an 81 year old.
Cheers Neville King