Monthly Archives: June 2013

Matariki race 2013

DSCF3514  2013 course

Matariki is the Maori New Year, and is celebrated by all sorts of mid winter events in New Zealand. 29 June saw the Matariki 7s paddlecraft race from Petone on the northern shore of Wellington Harbour.  Most of the entries were outrigger waka ama, both singles and for 6 person craft.  There were a few surf skis and me in a Q-Kayaks Maximus sea kayak. The course was a triangular one around Matiu island and then south towards the harbour entry and around Makaro island, turning the head back to Petone and the Hikoikoi club which hosted the event.  There was a 5 knot northerly blowing ans as we got further from shore, gently wavelets appeared, but not big enough to surf.  they were straight behind on the first leg and quartering slightly on the second.  I lost ground to a single waka ama on the second leg, and when we rounded Makaro I was some 200m back.  No bad thing as if gave me someone to aim at on the home leg.  The upwind final leg favoured the kayak which has less wind resistance.  The 6 person waka ama which started some 15 minutes back from the singles overhauled us in the second half of the race.  It was a long haul back into the breeze for a 15 km trip, and I was happy to make the finish with no serious outcomes to my shoulder.  

There was then a shorter 7 km race for novice paddlers and a 3.5 km one for stand up paddle boarders.

A good event, well run by the Hikoikoi waka ama club.

About to head to Tapu te Ranga, Island Bay, Wellington


Here’s my sea kayak on the beach at Island Bay ready to head out to Tapu te Ranga island, visible in the background, where I am the volunteer rodent controller.  While on the island I pull my boat up onto the rocks in a narrow channel.  Below is the view back to the mainland. The location used to be known as Rat Island, but there have been no indications of rats for over a year due to a comprehensive baiting campaign.  The island is  only about 300 metres offshore, which is well within the swimming distance of rats, so constant vigilance is called for.  Standard rat bait stations are used and also waxtabs to indicate their presence.  There is a good population of seabirds  including a beautiful and inquisitive blue reef heron which likes to keep an eye on me during visits.  Handsome black oystercatchers nest in summer and there are nest bxoes to attract little blue penguins which are quite common in the area.