When we go away as a family on summer holiday we do like to do something that’s a little crazy and fun, that we wouldn’t normally do (usually because of cost!) This summer Francelle chose a banana boat ride.
“A banana what?” I asked
“A banana boat ride. Come on – it looks cool.”
It looks boring I thought. But I didn’t say anything. It turned out to be anything but. The tow-boat leaves from Whitianga (about 90km north of Whangamata on the Corommandel peninsula) and takes you around the coast to Cathedral Cove, a popular tourist spot. It was a gorgeous day – absolutely picture perfect, with not a breath of wind and a calm sea.
We were put in the front and there was another 3 people at the rear. You have a rope to hang to and which you also use in the rare event of the thing tipping over. There was one main rule: no leaning or rocking! So we left the beach with a hiss and a roar.
The view really was stunning. We rode past tall cliffs that were white because of volcanic ash. Much of the area around us was in fact volcanic and the weird and wonderful landscape we saw is a result of volcanic eruptions many thousands of years ago (not millions as we were so told).
After the cliffs we headed off for Cathedral Cove. And this is when things went wrong. I was at the front, having fun and fooling around as I usually do, pretending I was on horse. I was getting warning signals from the boat to settle down which I did (a little). Then we rounded a bend and I lent a little to my left. What I didn’t realize was Emma, who was behind Katherine, also lent out to see what I was looking at. The next minute I was in the drink. It happened so fast. I was under the water trying to work out which way was up when these yellow objects kept hitting me. I thought it was the bottom of the banana boat, but that was long gone. These were people, all wearing yellow life-jackets! So there we were bobbing on the surface. The boat circled round and we heard a stern voice – “You lot are going on the back!”
Whoops. After climbing back on I said to Francelle, “We’re now in the naughty seats.” I don’t think our friends, who were now promoted to the front, were very impressed. For the next 10 minutes, it was difficult not to keep laughing. Cathedral Cove really was stunning. I forgot how beautiful it was. We got off and swam to the beach and had a walk around. Being early morning, there weren’t a whole lot of people around. The sun warmed our skin. It felt really good.
“Time for a cuppa and bickies” the crew said. That sounded good! We boarded the banana again and headed out a little from the beach where we were served our choice of a hot or cold drink. Francelle chose hot, and as you can see, it feels pretty good. “There’s usually plenty of fish around here” the driver said. We had a good look but didn’t see any. Never mind. We had a good chat to the driver and the crew. By this time everyone had relaxed and we were all laughing about our dunking.
“Does it happen very often?” I asked.
“Only with wild people like you lot” they joked.
What a fantastic time. More memories for the years ahead.
“What are we going to do next summer?” the girls asked.
“Para-sailing” Francelle answers.
Now that sounds fun.