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06 September 2013

Hauraki Gulf Cruising Notes: The Noises

The Noises - look out for the swarming birds
36º 42'S, 174º 58'E


The Noises are a group of rocky islands northeast of Rakino Island. There are four main islands - Otata (21.8 hectares), Motuhoropapa (9.5 hectares), Maria (2.0 hectares) and the David Rocks (2.0 hectares). There are also five islets the largest of which is Scott Island. Sadly, the islands are privately owned and Scott hasn't been able to claim Scott Island as his own. Scott wanted to plant his flag (the one that says "hands off, this is my island") on the island and even got all of his pirate gear on, but as there isn't any place to land on any of The Noises his plan was thwarted.

There are no permanent inhabitants on The Noises, but there are a lot of fish to be found as the waters and reefs around the islands serve as a breeding ground. And where there are fish, there are fisherfolk. The Noises are a very popular place to anchor up and try to catch some snapper. Boaties are often found by Otata Island trying their luck. And where there are fish and boaties with yummy smelling bait, there are birds. Lots and lots of birds. Birds swarming madly around you and being incredibly noisy as they cry out, "Hey you fisherfolk! Hands off of our fish! Drop your bait and head on out of here - NOW!" These are the kinds of birds immortalized in Alfred Hitchcock's movie "The Birds".

If you haven't seen "The Birds" and you want to borrow it, let me know. It is one of the million DVDs I have in my collection that I have to somehow find room for on the boat. If for some reason you're too scared to see "The Birds", here is a brief recap of the plot:

  • Cute guy meets pretty lady in a bird store. (Given the name of the movie is "The Birds", the site of the first scene isn't too surprising.) Cute guy tries to buy a pair of lovebirds for his sister but the shop doesn't have any. The bird store, not realizing that people expect it to have birds in stock, goes out of business soon thereafter.
  • Pretty lady likes cute guy and buys a pair of lovebirds, puts her stalker like qualities to work and finds out cute guy's address and tries to hide the birds on cute guy's porch. Cute guy spots pretty lady. Pretty lady gets attacked by a seagull! Cue dramatic music. Cute guy asks pretty lady to stay for dinner.
  • Dinner must have been tasty as pretty lady starts to fall for cute guy and gets in on his sister's and mother's good side (don't worry, not the same kind of mother as in Psycho).
  • Cue more dramatic music - evil seagulls attack defenseless children and a pack of vicious sparrows come down the chimney. The neighbor gets killed by a gang of birds. A virtual army of crows attacks more defenseless kids on the playground.
  • In the midst of all of the carnage, pretty lady and cute guy find time to have dinner at a local restaurant. Their fellow diners share their views on why all the birds have gone mad. The town drunkard suspects it is the Apocalypse. By this point, everyone else is starting to think about drinking heavily too.
  • Dramatic music again - a guy filling up his car with gas is knocked unconscious, someone stupidly thinks it is a good time to light up a ciggie and you guessed it fire and of course a swarm of vicious birds.
  • Cute guy and pretty lady lock themselves up in the house as bird after bird tries to break in and get them. Cute guy's sister gets badly hurt and they all take off to the hospital.
  • And then the movie ends. Just like that it is over. But is it really? The birds stop attacking and quietly watch them leave town. Who knows, maybe their next stop was The Noises in the Hauraki Gulf.
If you're interested in other posts in the "Hauraki Gulf Cruising Notes" series, check out this page.

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