Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Whakatane beach

This was Whakatane beach ( Wh is pronounced F, which is very intriquing to tourists trying to pronounce New Zealand names) in 1980. The colours of the photos have faded to a reddish brown. My Uncle John Kok Fei had flown over from Malaysia with my Cousin Helen from UK to visit his son Henry.

We were on a camping holiday with our friends D. & W.H. It was pouring with rain, and we couldn't find a camping site which was dry. So we made a detour to Whakatane. When Henry offered his house for us to crash in, we could not refuse. 

Henry took us to the beach where there were lots of mussels in the mud flats across the channel. That was the best sea food collecting experience I ever had. But now, I guess the mussels could be over harvested or depleted or it could be polluted as some scientists claim.

Henry had moved on to the Big Continent Australia. I haven't seen him since D was a baby. As for Helen, that was the last time I have seen her.

***The lovely beach, Uncle K and Helen waited at the beach, while we swam across the channel to dive down the water to collect the mussels. The mussels came in big bundles of about twenty, baby mussels and big ones together. I was euphoric when I came up with the big bundle and giggled away. I forgot about the tide carrying me out to sea.  Helen and Uncle K were to separate the small ones and make sure we didn't exceed the quota. Those were horse lip mussels and were very big.

In 2008 Whakatane recorded the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand.***

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