Hobbies

Dear Peg and Friends,
I was thinking about the next subject I would like to discuss. ‘Hobbies’ seemed to be the number one standout, and they are something that I have spent far too much time on. I have never been bothered with computer gaming, but I seem to have played around with most diverse other things that have interested me over the years. Some were only of a passing interest. The longest lasting of all my hobbies has been was Fishing. It has been top of the list for a long time. Manytimes I have put my gear away, but I have always returned. Without a doubt it’s something that I have had to work at, but the one kind of fishing I found the hardest, and most difficult to get  some reward for my efforts is Salmon fishing. I have really tried, but I gave it up after several barren years. I never returned once I worked out that each salmon that I caught was worth several hundred dollars by the time it ended up in the pan. I don’t have enough patience or money for that kind of result. Too often I was thinking of just how much it was costing me, but after one bad season when I caught absolutely nothing. I just gave it away. I decided from then on I would just buy my salmon at $14 a kilo from the salmon farm when I was in the area.
I liked Hand Lining off the rocks around Blue Skin Bay. but this too has become difficult, today there are not many sizeable fish left. The problem is that there is only a very small rocky foreshore on parts of the East coast. This reef area where fish love to frequent, unfortunately in some areas they have nearly been fished out. Today you really require a boat to move off shore, and look for a reef that’s been overlooked by other recreational fishermen.
The one area that seems to be neglected and overlooked are the Sand Banks at the mouth of Otago Harbour. The fish there that I’m after are flounders who move in and out of the harbour with the tides. I have used various methods of catching a meal. I have had the most success with a  small spear when walking at low tide at night, and carrying a petrol lamp. The whole area appears to be a nursery for flounders, as you will see hundreds of undersized fish when out on a nightly wade. Or in deeper water, when you can fish with a longer spear, but then you needed a simple light box.
Once I had taken several of the young companions  from the Bank out on an fishing expedition. It was a mistake, as I spent more time herding my fellow fishermen into safe areas, than fishing. As it happened, there was another party fishing in our area. And very well equipped too, with car batteries, all carried in an inflatable boat, and finished off with automotive sealed beam lights. As I approached this other party, who turned out to be complete novices. By chance on approaching them I stood on a fish. Until I could get a spear, I kept my foot firmly planted on what I thought and hoped was a captive fish. But at this stage I didn’t know exactly what I was standing on. Most fishermen are tricky devils and reluctant to give away any of their secrets, or many times even to tell the truth. When the other party confessed that they couldn’t even find a single fish, I volunteered to give them a demonstration, which I did by sliding the spear along side my boot and pulling up a very large flounder. To say they were impressed would have been an understatement. In fact they were completely flabbergasted. They all said they were wasting their time, as they couldn’t even see the bottom, after the sand was stirred up. Yet I was catching fish right under their nose in very difficult conditions.
Photography was another hobby. As soon as I purchased my camera, a single lens reflex, I also joined the Dunedin Photography Society. As I wanted to take ‘Good’ Photographs. When I thought I had taken some acceptable photos, I was bold enough to enter some into their competitions. These were shown one night with all the other dud non accepted photographs for critical examination. I suffered stinging criticism, but I was learning, and finding out what the photographic world considered what was a ‘Good Photograph’. I was grateful for the lessons I received, and what I had learned by osmosis. It was a very painful experience, but after many lessons and suffering much humiliation, for a few years I did learn how to take an acceptable photograph.
Another hobby was trap shooting. I got into this through the War. The Air Force recognised this kind of shooting was of a great training aid, while learning to become a fighter Pilot. The way you go about Shooting down another Aircraft, is the same as hitting any moving target. It’s a matter of leading your target, and following through. In my day you had to learn all the angles, and I quickly discovered that the small angles were the ones you were more likely to Miss any target. For instant 60 to 90, degrees were always a full deflection shot, all other angles, say 30 degrees was the product of 60 degrees. 30/60 is fifty per cent of the speed of the target. The gun sights of the aircraft back then was calibrated by speed bands of 100 or 150 mph. I never lost my love of shooting, the only down side was the cost. It’s an expensive hobby. I purchased all the components and a reloading machine to reload my own ammunition. This helped to keep the costs affordable. Understanding the ballistics of the 12 gauge cartridge was a big help.
One day the Bank I worked for took a huge step forward and entered the electronic age. They had decided to integrate some of their operations, such as ‘ledger keeping’ fully into the computing world. I had read some about computers, and wanted to know more. So immediately I went out and purchased a basic model for myself. It was a Commodore 64 and what a learning curve and hobby that started me on. It had only a limited memory, but over the years this has increased until today, all the Bank’s operations are now part, or fully computerised. So much so, that today you don’t need all that much knowledge to be a Bank Manager, all that’s required is to be just to be a little computer savvy, with a large dollop of common sense.
Love from Christchurch,
Wally
I was thinking about the next subject I would like to discuss. ‘Hobbies’ seemed to be the number one standout, and they are something that I have spent far too much time on. I have never been bothered with computer gaming, but I seem to have played around with most diverse other things that have interested me over the years. Some were only of a passing interest. The longest lasting of all my hobbies has been was Fishing. It has been top of the list for a long time. Manytimes I have put my gear away, but I have always returned. Without a doubt it’s something that I have had to work at, but the one kind of fishing I found the hardest, and most difficult to get  some reward for my efforts is Salmon fishing. I have really tried, but I gave it up after several barren years. I never returned once I worked out that each salmon that I caught was worth several hundred dollars by the time it ended up in the pan. I don’t have enough patience or money for that kind of result. Too often I was thinking of just how much it was costing me, but after one bad season when I caught absolutely nothing. I just gave it away. I decided from then on I would just buy my salmon at $14 a kilo from the salmon farm when I was in the area.
I liked Hand Lining off the rocks around Blue Skin Bay. but this too has become difficult, today there are not many sizeable fish left. The problem is that there is only a very small rocky foreshore on parts of the East coast. This reef area where fish love to frequent, unfortunately in some areas they have nearly been fished out. Today you really require a boat to move off shore, and look for a reef that’s been overlooked by other recreational fishermen.
The one area that seems to be neglected and overlooked are the Sand Banks at the mouth of Otago Harbour. The fish there that I’m after are flounders who move in and out of the harbour with the tides. I have used various methods of catching a meal. I have had the most success with a  small spear when walking at low tide at night, and carrying a petrol lamp. The whole area appears to be a nursery for flounders, as you will see hundreds of undersized fish when out on a nightly wade. Or in deeper water, when you can fish with a longer spear, but then you needed a simple light box.
Once I had taken several of the young companions  from the Bank out on an fishing expedition. It was a mistake, as I spent more time herding my fellow fishermen into safe areas, than fishing. As it happened, there was another party fishing in our area. And very well equipped too, with car batteries, all carried in an inflatable boat, and finished off with automotive sealed beam lights. As I approached this other party, who turned out to be complete novices. By chance on approaching them I stood on a fish. Until I could get a spear, I kept my foot firmly planted on what I thought and hoped was a captive fish. But at this stage I didn’t know exactly what I was standing on. Most fishermen are tricky devils and reluctant to give away any of their secrets, or many times even to tell the truth. When the other party confessed that they couldn’t even find a single fish, I volunteered to give them a demonstration, which I did by sliding the spear along side my boot and pulling up a very large flounder. To say they were impressed would have been an understatement. In fact they were completely flabbergasted. They all said they were wasting their time, as they couldn’t even see the bottom, after the sand was stirred up. Yet I was catching fish right under their nose in very difficult conditions.
Photography was another hobby. As soon as I purchased my camera, a single lens reflex, I also joined the Dunedin Photography Society. As I wanted to take ‘Good’ Photographs. When I thought I had taken some acceptable photos, I was bold enough to enter some into their competitions. These were shown one night with all the other dud non accepted photographs for critical examination. I suffered stinging criticism, but I was learning, and finding out what the photographic world considered what was a ‘Good Photograph’. I was grateful for the lessons I received, and what I had learned by osmosis. It was a very painful experience, but after many lessons and suffering much humiliation, for a few years I did learn how to take an acceptable photograph.
Another hobby was trap shooting. I got into this through the War. The Air Force recognised this kind of shooting was of a great training aid, while learning to become a fighter Pilot. The way you go about Shooting down another Aircraft, is the same as hitting any moving target. It’s a matter of leading your target, and following through. In my day you had to learn all the angles, and I quickly discovered that the small angles were the ones you were more likely to Miss any target. For instant 60 to 90, degrees were always a full deflection shot, all other angles, say 30 degrees was the product of 60 degrees. 30/60 is fifty per cent of the speed of the target. The gun sights of the aircraft back then was calibrated by speed bands of 100 or 150 mph. I never lost my love of shooting, the only down side was the cost. It’s an expensive hobby. I purchased all the components and a reloading machine to reload my own ammunition. This helped to keep the costs affordable. Understanding the ballistics of the 12 gauge cartridge was a big help.
One day the Bank I worked for took a huge step forward and entered the electronic age. They had decided to integrate some of their operations, such as ‘ledger keeping’ fully into the computing world. I had read some about computers, and wanted to know more. So immediately I went out and purchased a basic model for myself. It was a Commodore 64 and what a learning curve and hobby that started me on. It had only a limited memory, but over the years this has increased until today, all the Bank’s operations are now part, or fully computerised. So much so, that today you don’t need all that much knowledge to be a Bank Manager, all that’s required is to be just to be a little computer savvy, with a large dollop of common sense.
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