Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Auckland Anniversary Weekend

Hinuera Stone QuarryMonday was Auckland Anniversary, so we had a long weekend, which I spent in Whakatane.

On the way down, I stopped in Hinuera. There's a quarry there that sells their off-cuts of Hinuera limestone to sculptors. I picked up three squareish blocks about the size of a television, and one block that I could barely lift, for a grand total of $25!

Mako SharkIn Whakatane, the annual Tuna Tournament was on.

There were some interesting results, including a some sort of record Albacore Tuna (27.6kg) and a 158kg (320+ lbs) Blue Marlin.

There were a couple of Kingfish, and two sharks brought in while I was watching on Saturday afternoon.

This Mako Shark was 49.2 kgs, I hear there was one almost twice as big brought in on the first day. It was still doing ok after the weigh in, so they took it back out to let it go.

The summer arts festival was also on, including a week long stone carving symposium. They were working with large slabs of Oamaru stone. That stone is quite a bit harder than the Hinuera stone I picked up for Kel, but it looks very nice to work with. It's very smooth and white, and the extra hardness makes it easier to leave bits sticking out without worrying about them breaking off. Too bad Oamaru is way the hell down the east coast of the South Island (between Dunedin and Christchurch). We can't just pop in at the quarry like we can in Hinuera.

Sunday I got out boogie boarding for a while over at Ohope. I picked up some short flippers at the surf shop this time. That helped immensely. I was able to catch just about every decent wave even though the surf wasn't that big.

Normally, I would get the kayak out as well and go gather cockles and pipis, but there's still a paralytic shellfish toxin warning for the area.

Ohope Beach

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Beach Series Race 8

Last night was race 8 in the beach series, after a 35 day break for the holidays.

I'm no longer contracting at ASB on the North Shore. I'm in Auckland city now, so I've lost my usual running partners. I've gone from running 2-3 times a week (5-8ks per run) to zero. I'm going to have to do something. Maybe get out to Mission Bay by myself at lunchtime a couple of days per week, and definitely back to running on the weekends.

Anyway, last night was a minute and a half slower than my last time on the low tide course. Suck.

Week Time Place Notes
2 23:21 22nd High tide course - loose sand, 3 laps.
3 20:56 28th Low tide course - perfect weather.
4 22:52 28th High tide course - good weather.
7 20:49 21st Low tide course - hot.
822:23 19th Low tide course - out of shape.

Splits are pretty much evenly slower:

LegLast WeekThis Week
Start to South End 4:014:14
South End to North End 5:135:39
North End to South End 5:165:50
South End to North End 5:175:30
North End to Finish 1:001:09

Not good, it's going to take a week or two to get basic fitness back, then try to get some speed work in again. I'll be in Whakatane this weekend, so a long run is definitely on the agenda.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

99 Degrees

Ouch! There's a 99 degree (F) difference between the high in Whakatane today and the low in Minneapolis this morning.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Xmas Holidays

TattooKel and I just got back from two weeks in Whakatane for Christmas and New Year's.

Unlike previous years where we spent most of the break on the beach, we didn't do any swimming or surfing at Ohope this year. Partly because the weather wasn't that great, and partly because I was protecting my new tattoo, which was my xmas present from Kel's mum and aunt!

My present from Kel was a tandem skydive in Taupo on New Year's Eve. We had perfect weather that day in Taupo, and it was an amazing experience! Pretty tough to describe, but maybe one of these days I'll clip my freefall video out of the DVD they gave me and try to write about it here.

Taupo Skydive