No amount of planning and organising could have set whanau up for such an amazing family filled day of fishing, writes Jane Ford.
AS ALWAYS when dealing with humans, all good plans go out the window in the first five minutes.
On board ship, 11 fathers or uncles, three mothers, 20 children, captain, four deck hands, and myself on our annual fathers fishing trip, this time with Blue Ocean Charters.
The ‘Dads and Kids’ fishing trip on Saturday 16 February fast tracked into to a family event as three beautiful mothers looked longingly at the boat. After a quick vote, they were were let on board.
Next plan, to stay in the Tauranga Harbour but with the weather and conditions being amazing we headed out to the marker ‘A Buoy’ and then onward for a three hour round trip for a picnic tea at Matakana Island after fishing out towards Mayor Island.
Blue Ocean Charters, owner Rachel Ensor and skipper Tom Mayne were amazing. They provided us with double the deck hands so that the parents could enjoy themselves, rods for all, bait, lollies, a turn at being captain and driving the boat for each child, loads of smiles, an opportunity to make some special friends, share stories and mostly just to step off the treadmill for a day and enjoy being a family and connecting with others who understand.
For a lot of these families it was a mahara they will treasure.
Thoughts for next year, if we are lucky enough to be able to repeat the experience, is to split the funding over four smaller trips to include more families, including a ladies trip, and one leaving from Opotiki.
- Jane Ford is the Coastal Bay of Plenty regional coordinator for Altogether Autism and Parent to Parent.
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- The Opotiki guys will go on a Ohiwa Fishing Charter trip to the mussel farms as a Father’s Day treat on Saturday 31 August, 2019
- Thanks to the Acorn Foundation for their support on the day .