Category Archives: Local trips and training

2014 KASK forum

April 4th – 7th 2014 saw the Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers’ forum at Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds at the top of New Zealand’s South Island,  There were talks and demos, practical sessions on the water and off, and a huge range of sea kayaks of all materials, ages and types.  A great weekend of enjoyment, learning and nattering  was had at the Anakiwa Outward Bound centre.  The company and the catering was superb and the weather played along too.  Here are a handful of pics from the weekend

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A squirt of boativity

Fri 2nd August – managed an evening paddle in perfect conditions.  40 minutes or so in the Maximus.

Sat 3rd August – About 10 km in the Max with some faster intervals.  Speed not there yet, and still can’t keep going more than an hour or so.

Sun 4th August.  A perfect day on the harbour.  Took a camera and some pics along the way as am looking for some shots of fishing SOTs.  Out to Somes island where spotted shags were spotted, then back to Falcon shoals, thinking I’d see some kayak anglers there, but none was present. Headed back to base and snapped a mother and young boy out for a paddle at Hataitai.  Decided I was fit enough to do the Foxton loop race next weekend without doing any bodily damage.  17.5 km today, some at training speed.  Noticed this has dropped from the 10 km/hr I used to achieve . Need to regain speed and stamina.

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Dawn paddle

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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.

Island Bay 20 July 2013

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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.

Easing back

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.

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The Pinnacles, off Breaker Bay, Wellington

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

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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.

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