Day 6: Raglan To Otorohanga

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Day 6: Raglan to Otorohanga

On day 6 we were up early again for another boat launching ceremony. This time it was a big silver boat.
We had a drink and some fruit and talked to Charlie who said that the idea for the flotel was born last August over some margaritas.

And so from that … bottom of that margarita glass. We call them kiwigritas here because we put kiwifruit in our margaritas - and they’re delicious by the way. Um, from that moment until today and here it is.And so having that imagination and kind of fun talk and all of sudden walking around it this morning and getting our hands all over it, it’s just been unreal.
Charlie Young
Raglan Boat Charters

He said the tide would come in in about five hours and lift the boat up off the floating rack.

I asked him about the name Wahine Moe.

There’s some myth legend and lore about our mountain that’s behind us called Karioi, Karioi Mountain. And when people get away in the distance it looks like a lady that has lied down on her back so they call her the sleeping lady. And so hence the name Wahine Moe because when you’re out in the harbour you look back and you actually pick up the silhouette of the mountain. Especially on sunset when the sun sets behind the mountain, you get this back look feature.
Charlie Young

Thank you.
Thank you. Enjoy your food.
Thank you very much.
Thank you.
I bought a postcard at the information centre in Raglan and posted it to the United States.
We also went to an art gallery and had a look at a photography exhibition.

Then I had a surfing lesson at Raglan Surfing School.

The surfboards you guys will be riding are called soft tops. They are for learners only. So as a learner, if you slip or you fall off or your board flies forward and it hits somebody else, no damage is done to them.
Heemi Ngahere

Basically what you want to do, you guys can imagine there’s a centre line coming straight down the middle, so you want to stand pretty much in the middle of the surfboard. Your legs nice and far apart and our toes sort of dug into the surfboard as much as you can.
You don’t want to be too far back here, otherwise I’m going to fall back into the wave, and I don’t want to be too far up the front, otherwise I’m going to go straight down into the sand.
I’m in the middle of the surfboard, keep my chin up and my shoulders up and paddling is just one after another, just nice and smooth.
You’ll find, sort of, a lot of people paddling like this too. Definitely keep your head up, so you can see where you’re going.
Step one is just to lift up to here and lock your arms in. Make sure your hands are nice and flat.
Chris Malone

So if you lean forward on this one, you’re going to go faster and if you lean back, you’re going to go slower.OK?But if you want to turn, this is where all the power comes from. Here, from your back hip.
It’s important that your toes are touching that tail, it places you correctly on your surfboard. And it’s easy as, just that paddling. And always looking forward, don’t look at your mate, cause there might be somebody in front of you. OK?
The waves hit you, keep paddling give it another two more, one, two. And then one, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
Heemi Ngahere

You’re going to have such a laugh. You know that. You’re going to fall off loads of times and it’s going to be all on camera and it’s going to be great crack.But, we are going into the ocean, so you do have to remember that there is an element of danger and we’re here to teach you how to surf, but we’re also here to keep you safe.
So have a look out, make sure there’s not big breakers, right on the shore, heavy shore break.And then pick another spot where the waves are crumbling towards shore, nice and easy, that’s where you want to learn how to surf. And we’ll pick that spot for you today.
Mark Kirby

After the lesson I talked to the instructors and I asked them what they enjoyed about teaching surfing.

To be honest, it sounds corny, but - and Heemi will back me up, it’s true - when you see people standing up for the first time and just laughing their heads off, it’s … you actually, you have, you have good crack with them, you have great fun and, ah, yeah, it’s like, that makes it all worthwhile, you know. If you’ve, if you’ve a lesson and everyone stands up, you actually do feel good after it. You feel, you get a buzz off of it, so, ah, yeah that’s, that keeps you pretty much hooked on it.So … and it gives you the life style as well, you get to work on the beach every day, so … it could be a lot worth.
Mark Kirby
Raglan Surfing School

The same thing for me is actually watching somebody smile. I think the natural adrenalin smile is the most pure smile that I can ever get a rush off. And actually … just to see their face light up, just tackling nature itself, you know. And, yeah, I think that’s a great buzz for me.
Heemi Ngahere
Raglan Surfing School

Yeah, I love, I suppose, having … bringing people that have never surfed or people that have never seen the ocean before, is um ... And taking them surfing, you know, and actually seeing them stand up and the big smile on their face and surfing the wave all the way to the beach. You know, they’ve achieved something pretty big. I mean, that’s what keeps me happy. I mean, I’ve surfed all my life, but seeing someone that’s never been in the ocean or never seen the ocean, never surfed before, is just a, it’s a really good buzz to see them actually stand up and go along.
Chris Malone
Raglan Surfing School

Heemi was born and bred in Raglan and said the surf here is more consistent than in other places in New Zealand.

Our beaches are … every day surf. Ah, if you go to the East Coast you have to wait for storms, you have to wait for the isobars to come up that side. On the West Coast they’re here all the time. All the time. Always waves here. If it’s not here it you can always, there’s only a twenty minute drive around the mountain, Mount Karioi. And there’s, there’s huge waves around there all the time as well.
Heemi Ngahere

Chris is from Gisborne on the other side of the North Island. I asked him how the surf in Raglan compares to Gisborne.

Gisborne’s just all beach breaks pretty much and it’s got a lot of variety. Whereas Raglan’s just mainly one left-hand point break. Um, yeah, they’re both, I love them both. It’s hard to pick which is good. I love going home and surfing the beaches and I love surfing the quality waves here as well. They’re both, they both amazing, eh.
Chris Malone

And I asked Mark how the surf here compared to back home in Ireland.

It’s a lot more consistent. Um, you get waves every day. There’s waves every day. I mean, no matter if it’s on the reefs or the beach, or ... There’s always waves, so it’s a great place to live. You can, your surfing gets really good. Back home you get big storms, then a swell, and then a break. And then another big storm. You just have to wait for the storms to roll through. But, you still get good waves, but ... And obviously it’s freezing cold back home as well. The warm water here helps a lot.
Mark Kirby

We were sad to leave Raglan. It’s such a cute little town. And all the people we met were so friendly. I can understand why Charlie likes it so much. He and his wife moved here from Los Angeles in the United States.

We had come to New Zealand on a holiday like a lot of people do and and we’re surfers and we ended up in Raglan because it has this world renown great wave hereand my wife and I both surf and we ended up staying here.And we had this whole month plan to drive around New Zealand. Well, we never made it out of Raglan, so that’s how much we ended up liking it. And we stay out in Whale Bay. But we went back home and we ended up deciding that was it. And we pulled the plug, sold our restaurant business, our homes and picked up and came to this wonderful country. We call it Noah’s Arc, New Zealand. It’s the last place that really where there’s not a lot of people, the environment’s tremendous, people are still really friendly, we believe it’s the best country standing.
Charlie Young

We stopped in Otorohanga for some diesel and we saw a giant Buzzy Bee.

And that night we stayed in a car park next to a big apple.

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