28 July 2013
Pic of Hubert and Iona I sent to WSNZ for their annual report late last week.
The last race I did was the Matariki 7s, and it took a serious toll in terms of bad tennis elbow. Yesterday the paddle Hubert and I did got the ligaments aching a bit and I was prepared to withdraw from the race if things were not going well. As it happened I almost pulled out within 400m or so. I am just not used to the speed of racing after all these months off and suddenly lost the will to live. But I kept going and was glad I did. The course was 9+ km under SH1 and round the Browns Bay buoy. I was happy yto edge out iain Gilies, but Dave McKnight overtook me 100m from the finish after we’d been going at it level for a while, and I eased off. I have lost my feistiness in that respect.. Still, good to get the blood pumping./ I was in the Maximus but may have been able to handle the Sharp, although there was a decent northerly that proved tricky on the turn across the harbour junction. Some hours later and no serious elbow or shoulder problems. Spray skirt is a tight fit now. Am 86.7 kg and determined to lose some blubber.
Saturday 06:30 am and Hubert and I are underway from the Kupe boat ramp. We have white lights mounted on the rear decks and I have a head torch which I use to scan the bank as we round the NIWA sea wall. Fortunately I spot a fisherman before we risk a tangling. The tide is high and with a northe easter blowing, waves are bouncing back from sea walls all along the bay. I am in the Maximus, and am feeling decidedly unstable, especially as going slowly does not afford much stability from the paddle. Susan is in the Albatross and feels pretty comfy. It’s a slow plod up Evans Bay into a 10 knot headwind. From the white lady we head diagonally across Lambton harbour to the port, and skirt the area that slipped into the sea during the quake the previous week. There’s not much to see except a mud bank similar to one undercut by a river in spate. However, you can tell by looking at Google Earth that 5-10 metres of land has simply disappeared into the sea.
We round the harbour and head back to Greta Point. Unfortunately the wind has died down so we do not get to surf home. My shoulder feels loose or disconnected or something odd throughout but we are back on land at about 9:30.
The constrictor knot is one you need to be in the kayakers ‘six knots club’.
A short kayak trip out to Tapu te Ranga island just off the coast of Island Bay, Wellington to check and change rodent baits. It was a month after a big southerly storm hit the area. The first three bait stations are on a small islet just west of the main island and this area had been extensively hit by the storm. Beach pebbles were thrown far inland and whole areas of low lying taupata and other bushes had been obliterated completely. Grass and other vegetation had died back, presumably after inundation with salt water. The patch of scrub which is the location of the first bait box was trashed. The box was still present – its stainless steel cable kept it attached to what had been a bush but was now driftwood. A number of other bait stations had been flooded and most were just on or above the water line during the storm. One was completely full of flood debris and many had water and pebbles inside. The southern shore of the island had lost most vegetation to almost 100m inland. Low lying evergreen coprosma bushes on the western side of the hill had only brown leaves left up to a height of 8 or 10 metres above sea level. What was probably a little blue penguin egg was lying in the open, cold and rotting – probably washed out of a nest by the waves. Any low lying penguin nests are likely to have been destroyed by the storm. The northern side of the island, in the lee of the storm also showed evidence of much higher than normal waves, with debris washed much higher than is normal. This is more likely to have been from the same storm. In a southerly, waves curl around the island and wash up on the sheltered side to a remarkable extent, and there was a storm surge on that event to aid in lifting flotsam higher. It was unlikely to have been a northerly storm that washed high up on this side, as there is only about 400m from the mainland to the island and waves do not grow large in that distance, however strong the wind. A reminder of the power of nature. All boxes checked and baits exchanged. No sign of rodent presence.
After the Matariki race on 29 June I had tennis elbow. Initially the burning sensation from a tendon problem gave way to a gently ache in the elbow. I’ve been taking it easy but today was my first day back on the water in 2 weeks. It was a gently paddle in Evans and Oriental Bays. I checked out an odd boat of 4 guys who had no fishing rods but were anchored off Greta Point. Turned out they were fishing with handlines. Joined up with Diane for a spell while she headed back to the boat ramp, and then did a trip round Carter fountain. There was a fat guy fishing from the sea wall on Oriental Bay with a buddy that I rounded heading to the fountain and when I returned, I passed the pair of them about 60-70m off shore and was well past when I heard a plunk and saw the line billowing from the cast he had aimed at me. His tackle thumped into the sea about 4m from me. This was no mistake or accident. I shouted at him and he laughed. A 4 oz lead weight to the head at that speed could kill someone. I did not realize there were such idiots about.
Pleasant paddle back up the bay. Repaired a strake on the boat ramp after exiting the water. 1 hour 10 minutes. No signs of increased elbow problem a couple of hours after the paddle.
The Pinnacles, off Breaker Bay, Wellington
An investigation into how wind affects kayaking speed.
Winds of change
Exploring the Mediterranean island of Corsica.