Bob Reynolds remembers 'The Great Night Adventure'

This particular incident took place, to the best of my recollections about January 1963.  It involved myself, Eddie Davidson and Ferrall Rodgers. Also involved was Eddie's first boat - a Plylite Javelin of about 18ft called the 'Myth', a six cylinder marinised truck engine of unknown origin and most importantly, a recalcitrant starter motor. The plot goes like this:

It's a weekday and we are on holiday! The three of us launch the boat on a pleasant afternoon from the beach at Tarakina for a spear fishing session down the coast at Karori Light.
The engine starts okay and away we go down the coast. On arrival we move slowly inside the light into a shallow area of reefs and shingle gutters - Eddie orders the anchor dropped. Some discussion ensues and with a vague desire for a better spot we decide to shift. The starter motor however, has other ideas.

Without this item there is absolutely no way to start the engine, we have no crank handle and even if we did the engine would be too big to attempt to start in this fashion.
It is now about three o'clock in the afternoon, we have told nobody where we were going! Our clothes and any food are back in Ed's old F100 truck at Tarakina.
We anchor the boat as securely as possible with both bow and stem anchor, remove the bastard starter motor, wrap it in a plastic sheet and put it into an ammunition box used as a tool kit. We are already in our wetsuits, we are about one kilometre offshore!

Putting on all our gear and taking our spear guns we get into the water and swim ashore, the ammunition box riding on Ferrall's back and supported on both sides by Ed and myself.
Arriving on the beach we hide all our surplus gear, guns, fins, masks, weights etc., in the bushes and set of for the farmhouse on the plateau above. It should be noted that we are barefoot except for my one pair of plastic sandals. We make our slow way along the beach and up to the house, taking it in turns for two to carry the ammunition box.

Arriving at the farmhouse we find that it is indeed deserted, not only deserted, but has probably been locked up since the end of the shearing season. It is now about four o'clock in the afternoon and we discover two important things.  One is a small starving pup under the woolshed, which is also placed in the ammunition box, and the other is that I can crawl through a small broken window in the back door of the farmhouse. Opening the door I let the others in.

We are now criminals but not to worry, Ferrall is a detective and he's not in the least bit concerned! There is an old crank operated telephone, which is connected only with the main farm at the top end of the South Karori Road. A lot of cranking produced a very drunk farmer who wants to know how the hell we got into his house and no, he's not going to drive down the stream and rescue us at all!

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