Sunday, December 7, 2008

Completing our trip to Otago Harbour

A clear sky and no wind, just what we needed to kayak the remaining 40km to reach the Otago Harbour. Left St Clair at 7am with perfect sea conditions. After rounding Cape Saunders we stopped at Papanui beach for lunch with several yellow eyed penguins who made their way past us on their way to feed their chicks nested in the hills backing onto the beach. Good conditions continued and we were soon rounding Taiaroa Head to land on the beach below the DOC albatross centre. While we were kayaking around Taiaroa Head it was great to view two albatross that flew close by after taking off from the breeding colany.

At 4pm Margaret arrived with our vehicle and it didn't take long to load up & start off to Tony Linburg's home for a clean up, meal and a good nights' sleep. Special thanks to Tony from Watercooled Sports for his support during the later part of our trip.

We've made it to St Clair beach!

Started off from Toko Mouth with a 2 - 3 metre southerly swell and a slight southerly breeze, ideal conditions for a good paddle. Landed on Taieri Island about mid day and had lunch with a bunch of Little Blue penguins, while a couple of Yellow eyed penguins stroled over to our kayaks for a look see. Had to land in a big surf break at St Clair, but 'got it right' and impressed the local surf club, who invited us to use their facilities and stay there for the night. We would like to thank the St Clair Surf Club for allowing us to stay there and for the use of their showers and club rooms. Kayaked over 55km to-day. The forecast is good for kayaking around Cape Saunders and Taiaroa Head tomorrow into the Otago Harbour. Picture is of a yellow eyed penguin checking out Mel's kayak.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Rough seas continue

Kayaking through a huge surf was not a good start to the day. A 3 metre southerly swell and cold conditions made for unpleasant paddling and we've decided to abandon our kayaking with a rough landing at the Tokomairiro River mouth. Spending the rest of the day taking a look around the small Toko Mouth settlement and watching the sea. Have our fingers crossed for a better day tomorrow.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Strong winds & stormy sea.

Two hours after leaving Kaka point we were hit by a Southerly storm and had to make an unexpected crash landing on the beach near Wangaloa. Local farmers offered us the use of their caravan to shelter from the storm, along with food and blankets to keep warm. We would like to thank local people Luke & Nakita, and Tim & Marina for the hospitallity they showed us. Didn't sleep all that well as the southerly wind blew strongly throughout the night and we hope for a better day tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Caves, lighthouses and flat seas.

Blue sky, no wind and a flat sea, perfect conditions for sea kayaking. We paddled directly from Tautuku Pt. to Long Pt. and on to our lunch stop at the DOC camp site at Purakaunui Bay. Were able to kayak through the 'Remarkable Caves' and then around Nugget Pt. Paddled with lots of seals to-day and saw our first yellow eyed penguin. Staying at the backpackers at Kaka Point to-night, hot showers & ice cream, great stuff. Picture is of one of the caves with Nugget Pt. in the background.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Camping under the Francis Pillars

Paddled into a strong NW headwind to-day. Going was very difficult around the shear but spectacular cliffs of Chaslands Mistake. Were unable to paddle against very strong winds in the afternoon so made camp on a small beach just south of the Tautuku Peninsula. Picture is of Melanie kayaking in the surf beside the Francis Pillars. A tough day on the water.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Porpoise Bay & going well

A fine day saw us on the water at 7am. Reached the old slipway at Fortrose by mid morning and rounded Waipapa Point before lunch. Have seen lots of seals and one pod of dolphins swam by. One seal followed us for 15 minutes, playing as it swam between our kayaks. A southerly breeze assisted us in the afternoon which helped as reach the camp ground at Porpoise Bay by 4pm.