“Adventures of an IMP” Part XVII: Possums?? No!!

Saturday 16 February 2008
7:00 am
The morning has started at an early 6:45 the kids all being awake by this time; though the adults are still sleeping. Captain has called a meeting (mainly to keep the noisy ones quiet).
“What would you guys do today if you could choose,” he enquired.
“Go swimming.”
“Play cricket.”
“Build a camp-fire.”
“Go to the glow-worms.”
Came answers from First Mate, E10, Able Seaman, S7, Ship’s Boy and The Crew.
“You see, we (J12, Second Mate and I) were thinking about doing a triathlon. Of course we would have to ask parents, but if we are allowed would you like to do it with us?”
There was a moment of silence as everyone thought about the suggestion.

After asking each other if they would do it (because if everyone else was doing it you wouldn’t want to be the only one not doing it) they agreed to give it a go.

Breakfast over, home-made-muesli again, Captain and J12 put the idea of doing a triathlon before Mr Hunt and Mr Edmond. Dad, who had just got a new watch, said to Mr Edmond, “Well I can be the time keeper and a race marshal, but you can take the honors of being Event Organiser, besides you know the area better than I do!”
Dad and Mr Edmond had no objection to the idea, but hearing that nine people wanted to compete Mr Edmond suggested splitting into teams: “For one reason in particular, you only have four bikes.”
Once the teams had been decided Mr Edmond planed the course out and said to us, “Announcements will be made in ten minutes and the race will start in 32 minutes at 10:00.”

Just so we don’t forget here are the teams with the name they choose. p.s. R=run S=swim B=bike

Speedy JEM___Whizzz’n Wonder___Quick As A Flash

The Crew_______S7_____________Able Seaman_________(R)
E10___________First Mate________J12________________(S)
Captain________Second Mate______Ship’s Boy____________(B)

10 minutes was up so the three teams headed back to the bach to hear the announcements.

“Welcome competitors to the all new

Lake Rotoiti Home-Made-Muesli Triathlon.

As you already know the order in which the race is going will be Run, Swim, Bike. However there is a slight age advantage to the Whizzz’n Wonder and Quick As A Flash team so I am going to introduce a fourth activity to give all teams a fair chance. This new activity will be star jumps, 10 for Whizzz’n Wonder, 8 for Quick As A Flash and 6 for Speedy JEM. Each team must do the number of star jumps at the end of the race on the finish line. Oh, and you have to do them in time with your team. Because this is a relay race the runners have to tag the swimmers before the swimmers can swim and the swimmers have to tag the bikers before the bikers can bike. One last thing, your team will be disqualified if
a) the swimmers go out from in between the kayak and the jetties
b) the bikers ride on the right hand side of the road
c) anybody starts before being tagged or before the starting pistol 🙂
Do you all understand these rule?”
We all did so Mr Edmond and Dad walked us around the course, after which Mr Edmond commented, “Feel free to warm up, but remember, the triathlon starts in 15 min; 10:00am.”

Photo taken two minutes before the triathlon:



“On your marks, get set, GO!” And the runners were off, Able Seaman in the lead until she got the stitch and S7 took the lead and kept it, The Crew was barely keeping up! They were running really fast and would be, without a doubt, tagging the swimmers very soon!


As our team mates rounded the last corner and came into sight we started cheering and adjusting goggles and urging our team mates on. First to be tagged was First Mate then E10 and then J12. We had to walk/run out into the water a fair way because round Gisborne Point there is a LOT of water weed growing and that makes swimming rather difficult. First Mate kept the lead all the way with E10 and J12 changing positions from time to time.


“Go on, keep swimming, almost there,” we shouted to the swimmers who had slowed down a bit. Upon hearing us and seeing us they sped up for the last bit and ran up to us bikers. First on the road was Second Mate then Ship’s Boy and lastly Captain.


Flying up to the finish line was Second Mate with Captain close behind him and Ship’s Boy who was pedaling for all he was worth.
Now for the star jumps, 1 2 3 go, jump..jump..jump.. we chanted to keep in time.

“Yippee! we’ve won!” called out Whizzz’n Wonder, happily.
“We’ve come second!” That was Quick As A Flash.
“And We’ll take third place,” said Speedy JEM.

“Well done!!” Everyone congratulated each other.
“That was so fun,” S7 said “Even if we didn’t win.”
“Whew, I’m hot,” said Second Mate.
“So am I.”

All of us being quite hot, we went down to the lake for a quick dip before lunch. This quick dip turned into a 2 hour swim!!!


2:30 pm
“Listen,” said Mum “I think there is a rugby game being played, judging by what I can hear.”
So the Dads took Captain, First Mate, J12, E10, Second Mate, Able Seaman, S7, Ship’s Boy and The Crew over to the rugby field where, as Mum had said, there *was* a rugby game being played. Actually there were two games; Auckland Maoris vs. Bay of Plenty Maoris Women and Auckland Maoris vs. Bay of Plenty Maori Men. We only saw the last 15 minutes of these games but as the four teams left another Auckland Maoris vs. Bay of Plenty Maoris Men started.
Able Seaman, who is only truly interested in watching sport if it means staying up late, went back to the bach with E10 to mix up some bread dough for “camp-fire bread” that we would be cooking over a camp-fire tonight.
Usually we roast marshmallows, but last year after roasting marshmallows the Edmonds were sick and since then they have not enjoyed eating roasted marshmallows!
Having watched a very tight game, Auckland Maoris won in the last minute, literally. We walked back to the bach where Mr Edmond took S7, Second Mate, Ship’s Boy, The Crew and A3 to collect fire-wood in the nearby forest.
After cleaning up the mess they had made E10 and Able Seaman joined Captain, First Mate and J12 who were wrestling on the jetty.
When Mr Edmond and the others returned with the fire-wood the bread dough was waiting. The camp-fire bread was a success. All we did was wrap some dough around a hot, green stick and cook over a fire. The hole that was left in the bread (where the stick had been) was then used to stick a sausage in. Yum!
While we were eating dinner Second Mate started to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” queried First Mate, puzzled.
“Gisborne’s fighting Allan-A-Gale,” came the reply.
Now, in case it has not been mentioned, we are camping at Gisborne Point and it is very windy!
Dinner is over and two games are being played; Chinese Checkers and The Amazing Moa Hunt.
“Dad,” said E10 “do you think we could go to the Glow-worms tonight?”
“Well,” said Mr Edmond, who had already been asked this question a few times before, “I guess so but ask the Bears if they would like to come with us.”
It is really dark and we are walking to where the glow-worms live. Up the hill and along the road. Across the road and up a hill where blackberries tend to grow. Slowly we were descending into a “valley” if you could call it that, no, it is more of a chasm than anything else. As we walked along we pointed out the few glow-worms we saw.
“I seem to recall there being more glow-worms last time,” Mum said.
Suddenly there were heaps of glow-worms on the sides of the chasm.
“Look,” said Ship’s Boy, pointing “a smiley face.”
E10 walked over to investigate. As she was standing there, torch on, she saw something move.
“Ohh,” she said “there is a lovely big spider over there.”
“Don’t worry,” said Mum, “I’m not afraid of big spiders.”
“But,” said Captain, with a grin that was too big, “Did you know that the big bush wetas like to come out at night?”
“Maybe we shouldn’t talk about that or you might just find a weta jumping down your shirt,” replied Mum.
As we were walking back to the bach there was a noise that sounded like falling acorns, but there would have been too many acorns falling so we stopped to listen. I can’t remember who said that it was a possum, I think it was J12, but suddenly all our torches were on and we were searching the trees for possums. Out of us all only S7 and First Mate saw the possum. Walking back, the big boys kept mentioning the possum.


We had been lying in our tent for about 15 minutes, whispering quietly, when the tarpaulin above our tent began to shake. Us Girls had been extra careful not to make a lot of noise (we had last night and had been teased greatly, mainly by Captain) and listening to Captain, J12 and Second Mate who were talking.
The tarpaulin shook again, this time for about 10 seconds.
“Strange,” whispered Able Seaman, “the tarpaulin is noisy tonight.”
“It’ll just be the wind,” First Mate reassured.
“So are the boys,” said E10.
It was true the same boys who had teased us for being noisy were now singing
Amazing Grace!
The tarpaulin shook again, stop shake stop shake stop shake stop…
“Is that you Dad?” called out First Mate. No answer. We started to wonder what was making the tarpaulin shake about. First Mate poked her head out of the tent and looked around. There was no one about except for J12 who came over to our tent and said,
“Would you girls please be quiet.”
“I rather think that it is you who is singing Amazing Grace, not us!” First Mate answered.
J12 went back trying not to laugh and as result a series of snorts could be heard.
“They are up to something,” said E10 as we listened to the boys laughing and then we heard Captain say, “Shhh!” and the tarpaulin moved again. First Mate looked out of the tent at the rope that was tied to the tarpaulin and coincidentally was the big boys’ washing line. Suddenly the rope was tugged and the tarpaulin made a noise. The end that had been tugged was leading into the boys’ tent, very clever!!!
After explaining this to E10 and Able Seaman we had a great big laugh!!!! It was really fuuny and the boys had got us fair and square.
This time Captain came over and said to us, “We asked you three to be quiet, we are trying to go to sleep.”
“Well you can go to sleep now because we now know it was you pulling the “washing line”.”
“No,” was the answer and then, “What did you think was making the noise, a possum?”
“No actually we thought it was the wind at first and then we thought it was the Dads.”
“Hmm, goodnight.”

It was then that we planned revenge.




1 Response to ““Adventures of an IMP” Part XVII: Possums?? No!!”

  1. 1 Weapons: Swords July 24, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Always good to read about swimming, my ex was an olympic swimmer..

    Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

    Very impressive, is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

    Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

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