Mike Ward accepts he could and should have done more to ensure he and his son would not become the subjects of a search before they left Mill Bay to go fishing on Sunday afternoon.
He also accepts he and his son have reason to be grateful to many people who set out to look for them when they didn't return.
Recounting their experience, Mr Ward, who lives at Mangonui, said he and his wife had recently seen The Life of Pi at Te Ahu Cinema.
"It turned out to be a premonition for my son John and me as we drifted out to sea over the last two days," he said.
"John stayed in the aft and I in the fore, and as his exasperation with his careless dad took hold, I started to call him Richard Parker.
"We had gone out on a Sunday afternoon to troll for skippies and bonito between Berghan Point and Stevenson Island. It was a calm day - just a quick fish. We were in shorts and T-shirts, even leaving our water bottles and cell phones behind.
"We got out to Berghan's and hooked up. I stopped the boat so John could reel in. But then the engine wouldn't restart. As I cleaned the plugs we started to drift. Next the hydraulics went. The boat had just come back from servicing for both, so I was surprised. More concerning was that it was getting dark and the anchor was dragging.
"While we were drifting around in the dark my wife, Nuu, went to see our neighbour, Wayne Brown. He got on to it immediately. He called the police and alerted the Coastguard. A little after midnight I saw a search boat come around Berghan's. I could see its red and green running lights, so I knew it was heading for us but it turned and started searching the coast.
"Through the night we watched its spotlights as it went from Berghan's to Whangaroa. By morning it was gone but at first light a plane and a helicopter appeared. They flew along the coast and about 10km offshore while we drifted in the middle trying to flag them down. We were concerned that, not seeing us, they would report the area cleared and the search would be diverted away from us.
"As the day went on we saw boats passing but none saw us. We were stuck in the middle between the search grids.
"Even though the night was relatively mild, we were shivering. The next morning 'Richard Parker' decided to click-off the symptoms of hypothermia and dehydration, leading to acute renal failure and shock. I assured him we would be fine but he accused me of being too calm in every crisis. I reminded him that my guardian angel always saved me."
While Mike and John were drifting around in the hot sun, the Coastguard search, the police, the community and friends were comforting a distraught Nuu. Constable Dave Reynolds was relieved to see that John hadn't taken his dive gear, while Constable Neil Vartan, from Kawakawa, calmed Nuu and liaised with the media.
"As we headed into the afternoon of the second day, we thought we would be out for another night," John said.
"Then I looked up and the CoastGuard boat was speeding directly toward us. I woke John and he could not believe his eyes. I laughed and reminded him of my guardian angel.
"The CG welcomed us aboard. They gave us drinks and treats and we got to talk. It turns out that they are all volunteers and that they had spent the whole night looking for us, even checking my dive spots. They showed me on their GPS the grids that they, the plane and the helicopter had followed. Sure enough, we were drifting between the search lines.
"They said their CO Graham, in Auckland, had studied the grid lines and told them to make a final pass down the middle. The captain, Adriaan Bosch, said if they had not found us on that pass they were going back to port in Whangaroa.
"At dinner we said grace and I gave special thanks for my guardian angel. As we ate I reminded my sons and daughter-in-law we are blessed to live in this wonderful community and fortunate to have a mayor who immediately called a search and rescue.
"We had the help of the police. The Coastguard was brilliant (I have a ute full of boxes to drop off for them today). To our family, friends, and the greater Kaitaia community, thank you for making us proud to live in the Far North.
"Nuu has put me on strict orders that I am to finish this with a warning. Since safety has always been just an inconvenience for me, she expects changes. She is shortening my leash, and she is threatening to take my toys away. So besides thanking many wonderful people, I am to tell other fishermen, 'Don't let the calm water lull you into thinking that you can just go out for a 'quick fish.' Always take water bottles, life jackets, a torch, flares, your cell phone, warm clothes, food, and leave a route plan.'
"I think that covers it all. God bless."