News and events happening in and around your local Ideal Community.
If you are looking to make a start on your bucket list, then the Trees and Fishes resort is the perfect destination to experience the highs and lows of fishing for the mighty dogtooth tuna.
The South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu is one of the most accessible international fishing destinations for Australian and New Zealand anglers and if you’ve got a passport and a pulse then I hope you adding this fishing trip to your bucket list by the time you get to the end of this story.
The nation’s capital of Port Vila is just over three hours flying time from Auckland. With three flights a week from Air Vanuatu you can depart Auckland in the morning and be fishing a spectacular reef edge the same afternoon.
Staying at the magnificent Trees and Fishes resort which is run by Ocean Blue Fishing Adventures and located at Havannah Harbour around 30 minutes drive north from Port Vila.
Havannah Harbour is a natural harbour that is protected from the prevailing easterly winds which makes it a perfect location for a fishing resort. Trees and Fishes waterfront location means you step straight from your bungalow and onto the waiting sportfishing boats. It also provides direct access to some fantastic reef edges with protected shorelines regardless of wind as well as close proximity to several fads (fish aggregating devices) located offshore that attract the likes of marlin, yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi.
The resort run three 32ft and one 17ft Edgewater centre console sportfishing boats powered by Yamaha four stroke outboards. The big Edgies get you to the grounds quick smart and provide an ideal platform for jigging and casting poppers which is a large proportion of the Ocean Blue business.
On day one I jumped aboard the Azzura with Capt Andrea Traverso. Andrea is also part owner of the Trees and Fishes and Ocean Blue operation. He is a young man with a smart head on his shoulders and a talent for finding fish. Our anglers were Nick Hamiltion-Smith and Dave Rankin who works at Bill’s Marine – an Aussie Simrad dealer in Cairns.
The plan was for all three boats to head in different directions in order to establish where the bite was on. We headed north and were forced to fish a protected reef edge due to 25-plus knots of breeze. We fished a combination of poppers and stick baits and it didn’t take long for the first pack attack from a mob of GTs. One of the smaller models in the pack managed to find Dave’s hooks first but it was still a respectable fish around the 15kg mark and a great way for him to open up the Vanuatu account.
Nick scored the next bite and with a couple of nice GTS onboard we were keen to mix it up and keep rolling through the species list. Next stop was some jigging and as is often the case we lost a lot more than we landed on the jigs. Dogtooth tuna were the target species but these dirty fighters are renowned for quickly diminishing your jig supply and this was no exception. Doggies and sharks seem to always frequent the same water and if you are lucky enough to get a doggy past the reef edge the tax man is often waiting to take his share of tuna. It is a cruel game that’s for sure. Nick did manage to get a Papuan trevally to the surface which is a cool looking critter, but the dogtooth eluded us – for now.
Next stop was one of the fads. It was loaded with mahi mahi and while we were catching one or two on every pass it was very rough, so with a couple of mahi mahi on ice we headed back inshore to do some micro jigging.
Micro jigging is becoming popular in Vanuatu just like it is in Australia and New Zealand. It is particularly effective in shallower waters and the boys had a bunch of fun catching green jobfish, scad and trevally as well as getting blown a way by a few unknowns to round out our day.
Back at the dock it seemed the guys who persisted in the rough at one of the other fads all day received the biggest reward with a blue marlin, wahoo, yellowfin tuna and of course a bunch of mahi mahi. The little boat stayed inshore but managed a couple of small dogtooth and lost more than their fair share.
The meals at Trees and Fishes are truly spectacular and sitting around the dining table literally metres from the waters edge and reliving the tales of the day was a pretty special way to spend each evening.
Day two I was onboard the Al Dente with Capt Eric Festa. I fished with Eric many years a go so it was good to have a catch up with him. Joining me was Trevor Blackstock and Bill Mylonas from Simrad. We hit the fads straight up in the hope of finding a marlin and managed to catch a bunch of mahi mahi, wahoo and small yellowfin before heading to Hat Island in search of a dogtooth or two.
What I found most interesting was the bait they were using. The locals have worked out a way to catch flying fish which obviously make great bait both dead or alive. I had never seen anyone catch flying fish on a line before so it was a real eye opener for me. They are very secretive about the technique so I can’t tell you here or there would be a price on my head.
We fished live flying fish on a downrigger and although we had a bunch of bites we only managed to catch one little doggie – or should I say puppy. The little boat fished nearby with a similar technique and got a couple of medium sized dogtooth and raised a sailfish on a surface bait but it wouldn’t bite.
Day three I was back out on the Al Dente and re-joined by Nick and Dave from day one along with Kevin Smith from Trade-A-Boat. We worked the lee side of Hat Island for a couple for a couple of hours with live flying fish but all we could manage was a stinkin’ barracuda. We pulled out the casting rods and headed to shallows in search of a GT or coral trout. It was tough fishing but Nick finally managed a nice little GT. I could see Dave was struggling a bit so I asked him if he wanted a break. He happily obliged and I swapped over to a stickbait and with fresh arms was making some confident casts. Sure enough a dozen or so casts in my stickbait got smashed and I got a respectable GT.
After lunch we were back on the doggie program and the sounder looked far more promising than it did in the morning. The bait had started to stack up and there were some solid arches around it which we assumed were doggies. Those assumptions were soon confirmed when Dave got his first little dogtooth.
On our final day the plan was to make a 50nm run to a remote island renowned as a dogtooth hotspot. Eric made the first pass past the island and hooked up straight away. It was a doggie but the sharks got it. We followed down the same line with a flying fish on the downrigger on one side and a big minnow on the other. The minnow got bit first then the flying fish and we had ourselves a double header of doggies on. As we were clearing the downrigger ball it got eaten as well. This was obviously an insane place which we quickly named the doghouse. The rough ride out was soon forgotten as the dogtooth piled on with every pass.
We hooked some absolute monsters that just couldn’t be stopped regardless of tackle used and when you did get one off the reef the sharks were waiting. Every now and then we got lucky and got one passed the sharks but boy it was a tough game.
We ended up with several fish in the 15 to 20kg range which are nice fish but the 40kg fish we were after never found the boat – even though we know we hooked them. The boys on Al Dente faired a little better with a few fish in the 20-30kg range. The biggest fish was actually caught on a popper. They don’t have that head start when you hook them on the surface I guess.
Despite the losses it can only be described as an epic day fishing. Dogtooth are such a brutal fish and any size fish in the boat is worth celebrating. The fish we kept were taken to a nearby village where the locals gratefully accepted our gifts with smiles from ear to ear.
As is always the case four days of fishing flew by way too fast. It was pretty impressive to have such a wide diversity of species on offer – particularly when restricted to a lee shore. The day we did the big run to the doghouse a local gameboat had six bites on blue marlin around the fads which is good fishing anywhere.
The Ocean Blue crew do cater for extended mothership trips if you want to get further afield but if coming back to terra firma is your preference then it is hard to go past Trees and Fishes. With comfortable accommodation, outstanding food and a great location with easy access to excellent fishing it really is hard to fault. I will be back for sure and I will definitely be making a return visit to the doghouse and suggest you add this to your bucket list.
- Get things on the right level
Ergonomic experts recommend positioning screens so that the centre of our gaze naturally lands somewhere in the top quarter. Humans are not designed to look up – especially not for sustained lengths of time so, for maximum viewing pleasure, a television should be mounted so that its centre is between three and five feet from the floor, depending on the height of surrounding seating.
- Consider how close
Proximity to an object changes our perception to it, so consider optimal viewing distance when helping a customer design the home theatre of their dreams. Too close to the screen will decrease the perceived quality and too far away will make fine detail difficult to appreciate. Remind them that bigger isn’t always better either – it’s important to pick an appropriate sized TV for the space!
- Leave the light out
Light will impact viewing, so consider the position of items around big windows, as well as where the sun falls in the room to ensure this stays off screens while watching.
- Let the space be lived in
A living room is just that – a space for living – but no one wants people walking back and forth in front of the television constantly. Urge customers to consider the flow of people through a space or rearrange the furniture if foot-traffic is a problem.
- Loud and proud
Some people find speakers unsightly, but it’s important not to let these be tucked away in a cupboard. Sub-woofers placed in cupboards produced muffled and muddy sound, as do speakers if they’re not allowed to produce sound in the direction they should.
- Space for surround
Most assume full surround sound is the only way to go for a home theatre set up, but here your expertise can help customers consider the best option for the size of their space. Remind them that not only do they need to find room for each of the speakers, the satellite components need to be behind viewers, so expensive wireless options or visible cabling across the carpet often result.
- Balanced budgeting
There’s nothing worse than an expensive television or subwoofer paired with the cheapest cabling, amp or sound bar. Find out your customer’s overall budget for a home theatre system and help them to split the spend across the components that matter to ensure the best quality result overall.
- Surge safe
Not only will a home theatre system need power outlets, they’ll need to be protected. Remind your customers of the value of their investment and urge them to use reputable surge protectors for all components.
When Bizline Sales Manager Noëmie Presse arrived in New Zealand she felt at home right way, even though she didn’t speak a word of English.
A French citizen, Noëmie moved down under three years ago on a mission to bring Bizline, Europe’s leading range of tools and commodity electrical supplies, to Kiwi sparkies.
In that time, as well as learning the language, she’s been instrumental in boosting Bizline’s popularity in this country.
She’s put in huge miles, visited Ideal branches up and down the country – from Whangarei to Invercargill – and shown electricians from the Far North to the Deep South how Bizline can benefit their businesses.
“I’ve seen a major evolution in the appreciation for Bizline in this country. It’s immensely popular in Europe and is in fact a preferred choice for many electricians, but the brand was new for the New Zealand market. Now, there’s definitely a growing recognition in New Zealand for Bizline as a manufacturer of high end tools and commodities,” Noëmie said.
All Bizline products are laboratory tested and certified in France before they are launched in New Zealand. The company has its own COFRAC (French Comity of accreditation)-accredited lab which adheres to stringent European quality rules.
The Bizline lab also runs trials against international standards to ensure products sold outside Europe comply with the needs of local countries. In New Zealand all locally available Bizline products conform to IANZ (International Accreditation New Zealand) standards.
“We need to be sure that any Bizline products offered in New Zealand suit the needs of our loyal customer base. I am in close contact with all 47 Ideal branches to ensure the products we’re putting in our stores are what our customers need.”
Most Bizline tools are made in Germany and are guaranteed for the lifetime of the electrician – not the lifetime of the product, as is the case with most competitor products.
This is a very attractive proposition for Kiwi apprentices, said Noëmie.
“Ideal offers apprentice kits containing a great range of equipment to help young apprentices into their trade. Electricians starting out can buy a set of tools which are guaranteed to last them for their entire sparky career.”
If something goes wrong with a German-made Bizline tool, Ideal will replace it – immediately and forever.
“Buying an apprentice kit is a one off thing. That is a leading competitive advantage that we can hang our hat on,” said Noëmie.
Bizline tools are no more expensive than the locally accepted brands, even though they’re manufactured in Europe, under tough quality controls and backed by Ideal’s ‘Sparky-Life’ guarantee.
Bizline is the house brand of Ideal’s parent company Rexel. With worldwide operations, Rexel achieves supply chain efficiencies that make Bizline products more affordable than lesser quality offerings from countries with lower labour costs.
“Ideal is definitely embracing Bizline products not only for of their superior quality, it just makes better business sense,” Noëmie said.
Although a French citizen Noëmie was born and raised in French Guyana, South America. Following high school, she studied international business at university in France and achieved her MBA in Switzerland.
After graduating from university, Noëmie took a year off to travel the world. She arrived in New Zealand as her first stop and hasn’t left since.
“As soon as I arrived in New Zealand I fell I love with the country. It’s amazing. The scenery is great and I love that it’s possible to ski and surf in the same day.”
On arrival she worked for six months at the French Chamber of Commerce in Auckland, helping New Zealand companies do business in France and French companies do business in New Zealand. After that she backpacked around the country before returning to France.
Back home in France, Noëmie was keen to return to New Zealand asap and was chuffed to land a job as a Business Development Manager for Bizline in this country.
“It was challenging to come and promote the benefits of Bizline here, especially when my English wasn’t great. But it’s been very, very satisfying to see the enthusiasm for these products grow,” she said.
“I am proud to work for Ideal. I have been made to feel very welcome and really enjoy spending time with my colleagues and our loyal customers all over the country,” said Noëmie.
For more information on Bizline visit www.bizline.nz
Wireless audio: Wifi versus Bluetooth explained
As you will well know, when it comes to music – and most electronics actually – the world’s going wireless. Any discussion of wireless audio is really a comparison of two main technologies: Bluetooth and WiFi. So how do you easily explain the differences in formats? And how do you help your customers find the solution that will work best for them?
Why (or why not) WiFi?
Decisions surrounding wireless formats come down to how and where your customers want to be able to listen to, and access, their music. For starters, WiFi enabled devices usually require AC power, but they typically have better range than Bluetooth devices; with some planning it can be possible to cover an entire house with WiFi. WiFi devices can also be linked together and controlled remotely as part of a coordinated, multi-room audio system.
Because they connect to a network, WiFi enables connectivity with multiple devices at once, allowing them to directly sync with cloud-based music sources and internet radio stations, like Spotify. Furthermore, for the true audiophiles, the fact that audio signals can be conveyed via WiFi using a lossless codec will come into play – as with this method there is no loss of audio fidelity as the signal travels. Able to support audio, as well as video and images (compared with just audio for Bluetooth), WiFi has a higher bandwidth than Bluetooth that supports the transmission of large files.
But what about Bluetooth?
Bluetooth devices, on the other hand, don’t connect to a network – instead connecting directly to a music-playing device, one at a time. Because of this, their range of transmission is far more limited; typically a device must stay within about 10 metres of a Bluetooth receiver and while a “line of sight” is not essential, walls tend to decrease the possible range further.
On the plus side, Bluetooth technology is universally compatible and the devices are usually battery-powered, compact and portable – so wherever you are, you can keep the tunes blasting. Not all Bluetooth technology is created equal and some chips will provide better range and less sensitivity to interference from things like microwaves, cordless phones or baby monitors.
When it comes to wireless audio, it doesn’t have to be a case of one or the other. Both have their place and you could create a killer WiFi-based, multi-room audio system that also has Bluetooth enabled speakers for flexibility. Look for wireless speakers that support both technologies.
After a 20 year break Ideal Sales Representative Paul Taylor is back behind the wheel and proving he’s still got what it takes to test the best in competitive motor-sport.
Paul, who joined Ideal in 1995 and services major civil works and network customers in the greater Wellington area, retired from rallying in the mid-90s due to family commitments.
Before his two decade hiatus Paul was a competitive rally driver who scored wins against top ranked drivers on stages of the New Zealand rally championships.
“I raced for 10 years in my younger days and got to quite a high level. Then I had kids. Competitive racing keeps your pockets light and it’s a huge time commitment. With kids, racing took a back seat,” Paul explained.
Despite Paul’s long break from the sport, the desire to compete never left him.
“The last 10 years I’ve been frothing at the bit to race again. Pretty much as soon as the kids left the house I was back into it again,” he said.
With his new found freedom, Paul went looking for the perfect car. Soon he was the proud owner of ‘Helga’ a 1990 5 Series BMW, fitted out with a 5 Litre 7 Series V12 engine. A ‘heavy-duty’ rallying machine.
“I wasn’t expecting to buy a car this big. It’s challenging to drive but that’s what I enjoy about it. You can’t throw it too far sideways. It’s 1.8 tons and, if you do, it just keeps going!”
Paul reckons he’s put the car into a few paddocks since he started racing again but, luckily, there’s been no major damage.
“The car has kicked me a few times but I say, ‘if you’re not going off the road you’re not learning!’”
Jokes aside, getting back into racing after 20 years has required a bit of a learning curve but Paul says it’s a bit like riding a bike – you don’t forget.
“It comes back pretty quickly. I did notice my fitness wasn’t quite there at first. You’ve got to have a reasonable level of fitness, and I still need to work on that, but if you’re a competent driver it comes back soon enough.”
As a member of the Wellington Car Club, Paul attends meetings around the North Island competing in gravel and tarmac sprints in the two-litre vehicle class.
In his first year back he has performed better than he expected. He finished seventh overall in the Hawkes Bay Rally Sprint Series out of 23 competitors, fourth in the two-wheel drive category and second in the over two-litre vehicle class. In the Hawkes Bay Tarmac Sprint Series he finished 22nd out of 41 overall and sixth in the over two-litre vehicle class.
In the Wellington Motorsport Association Gravel Sprint series, while outside commitments meant he could only do three of seven round in the series, he finished 21st out of 45 overall and fourth in his class. His plan for 2017 is to compete in more rounds and go for an even higher ranking.
As Paul points out, motor-sport isn’t the cheapest hobby but he’s grateful for Ideal’s support. The company contributes to Paul’s running costs and helps him get to events around the North Island.
“Ideal is a great support and has a track record of backing motor-sport. The only expectation is that I do as well as I can and continue to perform well. They follow my results and it’s great that they recognise my passion and are prepared to help me develop that,” he said.