Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The End Of Our Journey

On the water at dawn for the final leg of our journey to Jackson Bay. It was another perfect day to complete our trip. After 3 hours we kayaked onto Neils Beach to take a quick snack with our support crew. On the beach at Jackson Bay were Paul Caffyn, Kay, Belinda & Margaret who greeted us with pavlova & champagne. It was great to have their company to celebrate the completion of our circumnavigation of the South Island. It had taken us 71 paddling days to complete approximately 3,100 kms of what many consider to be the most demanding & spectacular coastline in the World. We have seen some amazing sights and are indebted to the people we have befriended along the way.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Penultimate Day

Perfect conditions once again saw us making great progress to the Haast River. We kept well clear of the large breaking waves at the entrance to the river, but still had a good view of the very long Haast bridge. A quick stop at Haast Beach for lunch before carrying on to Mussel Point. A short day to-day to enable us to catch up on our blog and send a few e-mails in preparation for what we hope will be our last day to complete our circumnavigation of the South Island.

Dolphins at Knights Point

Monday 17th May
An easy start with a smooth entry from the river to the sea, saw us paddling around Tititira Point on our way to Knights Point. This was a very rugged coastline which we treated with respect, before kayaking into Whakapohai Bay to meet up with the girls for lunch. This is where the local fisherman used to launch his boat by a cable stretched across the Bay. Near Knights Pt. we were surprised by two dolphins leaping from the sea in front of our kayaks. On reaching Ship Creek, Margaret & Belinda helped load our kayaks onto the car for a quick trip to the local motel where we spent the night.

Gillespies Beach to Ohinemaka River

Sunday 16th May
After a difficult launching off Gillespies Beach we made good progress to Hunt Beach and met with Paul Wilson & Family. After a quick snack we continued on to Bruce Bay where we caught up with our support crew, Margaret & Belinda.
Then continued on to the Ohinemaka River to make camp. Here we scored the use of a whitebaiter's hut with a great view of the bay & surrounding coastline.

Clear Sky and a Calm Sea

Saturday 15th May
A good send off from the local community of Okarito and Melz & I kayaked out of the lagoon and into a moderate surf before continuing our journey towards Gillespies Beach, our planned stop for the night. Conditions were near perfect and as the sun rose into the sky, the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps created a magificant picture against the clear blue sky. Stopped for lunch at Galway Beach before heading around Gillespies Pt. into the rougher sea breaking onto Gillespies Beach. A difficult landing with both of us having to perform an eskimo roll in the surf before riding our bows up the beach. For this final part of our trip we were fortunate enough to have my wife Margaret & Belinda Mulvany, who had driven up from Invercargill, supporting us along the way. We all spent an enjoyable night camped under the stars at the DOC camp site.

Under Way Again

Friday 14th May
What a way to celebrate Melanie's birthday, travelling to Okarito to attempt to finish our trip. Off the ferry at 6.45am and straight up to Stuart & Jenny Hart's home at Waikawa Bay for bacon & eggs for breakfast. Then on down to Okarito to repack our kayaks in preparation for an early start the following day. Our thanks to Paula & Swade for having the stove going for us to walk into a nice warm house.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Temporarily Beaten by the Weather.

Due to rough sea and strong winds forecast for the next 7 days, we will be taking several days off while we wait for more favourable conditions. We've had big discussions with the people in the know in this area who say the nasty weather is here for a while. It is raining and very misty which would make it hard to see the shore as we would have to paddle over 1 kilometre out to avoid the large shore break. Just too dangerous to continue at this time. Urghhhh!!! Only 4 days to go!! We did enjoy a visit yesterday from Paul Gurney (a policeman at Whataroa) and his daughter. Paul offered us any assistance we might need. We had met Paul previously when he used to live up our way and it is good to renew past friendships. We have found everybody so happy to help. We are able to leave our gear here stored away and our thanks to all that have been so helpful. We are also receiving lots of messages on the blog and phone calls at home and will carry on with the blog when we get under way again.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


What a great place to spend some time. We think we will be here until Saturday at least. The weather gods obviously want us to extend our trip. We are very fortunate to have landed in this spot and have a roof over our head. Swade and Paula who run "Kotuku Lodge Beach House - GonFishin", have been extremely good hosts and have catered well for our needs, even picking up more supplies for us for our extended stay. We also met Ian and Debbie James who previously ran the Kayak hire and Nature Tours. Ian and I had met previously and he was very helpful with weather charts and other options of landing sites down the coast. They also gave us veges and grapes for our dinner tonight. We really are very lucky to have met the people we have met and the places we have seen.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An Unscheduled Rest Day

Well, after flying along yesterday, today is the pits!! We did make a start in front of several clicking cameras but decided once we were out there that it was no place to be, so came back in. It has been a miserable day weatherwise with strong winds and heavy rain. But the people have been great. Richard Saunders, who runs Okarito Nature Tours, very kindly lent us his car, a very big thank you to Richard. We headed off to see the towns of Franz Josef and Fox Glacier. We also drove out to Gillespie's Beach and were very glad we were not attempting to land there today. The surf was really thundering in. Melz and I walked some of the track, a very emotional time, remembering that 23 years ago we had walked this same track with Steve. It had been quite a long walk and Steven was easily tired but he was absolutely determined to go see the seals. This is a special place for us. As we drove back to Okarito the sun came out for a wee while. A good sign but I think we may be here for a few days.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Flying along in the Wind.

Forecast for today was not good but conditions looked okay as we left Greens Beach. We thought we would try for Okarito and if things got a bit more than we could handle we would head into Wanganui River. Boy, there are a lot of Wanganui rivers in new Zealand! There was about a 4 metre NW swell and a really "brisk" NE breeze behind us. This tail wind was so good that we made Okarito by 1.30 p.m. Again, the surf landing was really interesting with Melz managing fine and me having to roll. Our thanks to Richard Saunders for carrying our kayaks on his trailer up to our accomadation. We have found a house which we are sharing with another family for a very reasonable rental. We will check conditions tomorrow, because although 40 + knot winds are forecast, the sea was pretty good today.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Further than Expected

Another very good day but it is starting to be quite chilly in the morning. We could see the snow on the hills as we paddled south of Hokitika. Called in to Ross for a lunch stop, Melz managing the landing perfectly but I had to roll twice after misjudging two rather large waves. A dry landing in the end but not very pretty. Again, we had the company of dolphins, approximately ten this time, who joined us for about an hour. We have managed to go furthur than intended today and have made camp at Greens Beach near Te Rahotaiepa River. We have also met some wonderful people who have given us flounder for tea.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another Early Start.

Everyone up bright and early and helped us get on the water by 7a.m. The troop bid us a cheery farewell and we set off on this section to Hokitika in beautiful weather and nice flat sea conditions. As we paddled on past Runanga this cold mist hit us, the first time on the trip that our hands had been cold and it was quite eerie with the rocky cliffs up above the mist. It took about half an hour to paddle through the mist, which is known by the locals as 'the barber'. Once we kayaked through the mist the sun came out and it was beautiful for the rest of the way to Greymouth. We came in over the Grey River bar and stopped for an early lunch break. The long paddle to Hokitika was accomplished in just the best weather, in the company of Hector Dolphins. We landed at 5p.m. so another long but very satisfying day. Our thanks to Adele and Brian Dow of 252 Beachside for their help. The generousity of the people you chance to meet is amazing.

Friday, April 9, 2010

As Paul says 'A Cracker of a Day'

We paddled back down the Nile River to the sea and wonder of wonders, it was flat, hardly a wave to be seen. What a beautiful start to the day. We had left early because we really wanted to make Paul Caffyn's home our next port of call and we had quite a distance to travel. We approached Woodpecker Bay and Melz was quite sure she could see flashes as if someone was signalling but I thought it was just a welder. We came ashore at Fox River to be met by Paul, Leon Dalzell, Cordelia Chu ( who also has been attempting a circumnavigation until two dislocated shoulders got in her way) and Lynda Fergusson. And yes, they had been trying to get our attention! We pressed on and stopped later for a lunch break at Punakaiki, it is a very impressive sight to see the blow holes and the rock formations from the sea. We also had three Hector dolphins follow us for quite some time. It was a great feeling this evening when we paddled right up to Paul's front door at Rapahoe. A great day but tonight will be a great evening also. The BBQ is already in action and the red wine flowing. And great company.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

No Two Days are the Same.

What a difference a day makes. Today we were ready for anything. We were off to an early start and had arrived at the Buller River by 10.30. It was great to paddle up into the river where we spent some time and also stopped for a lunch break. We found Cape Foulwind aptly named as it presented us with a bit of a challenge to paddle round. This was a most interesting day with all sorts of marine life. We had lots of Little Blue Penguins for company near the colony at Tauranga Bay and also saw Dolphins and Seals . We have found the shore break down this part of the coast to be huge. We have to keep at least a kilometre or two out from the shore to keep out of the breaking waves. And some of these waves are BIG. We have stopped at Little Beach for the night, paddling up the Nile River to a Reserve that the locals said was a good place to camp. We walked up the hill to the Charleston Pub, where we have feasted on Rib Eye steak and Fish and Chips, washed down with red wine. Tomorrow we hope to catch up with good friend and seakayaking guru Paul Caffyn.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Little Short of Westport.

A late start today. We made a decision at 7.30a.m. not to go as the waves were not inviting at all. Then they seemed to settle a little so at 9a.m. we were packing frantically. We had met Sue Price and Mora Pryde from CSKN last evening and had a great chat. The girls were very helpful this morning and helped us carry the kayaks to the water and wished us 'bon voyage'. We kayaked past the mining complex at Granity and could see the buckets going up the hill. I think we are both a bit out of sorts as it wasn't a great paddling day. We have made camp near Birchfield, well short of our expected stop at Westport.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Big Surf in to Mokihinui River.

We made our way out over the Karamea bar - not easy but accomplished without too much damage. I had lost my helmet and bent my rudder and Melz had cracked her paddle at Kohaihai Bluff so we didn't want any more damage. The ocean was much calmer and we had a really good paddle down to Waimaire and the Mokihinui River mouth. We did not make any stops on the way down as there were big waves up to a kilometre out. We could see the black clouds rolling down from the north. It was not a good landing at Mokihinui with Melz paddle finally breaking, (she's using her split now) but we managed to get in without too much carnage. We pitched our tents at the Gentle Annie Camp just before the rain came down. Its good to be cooking in the camp cooking room. If we can get off the beach tomorrow we should be at Westport by evening.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Karamea and The Last Resort.

We spent a long time this morning looking at the big waves rolling onto our beach. Finally plucked up the courage to launch and battled our way through the surf. Once out on the ocean, the swell was not as bad and we headed south for Karamea. We had been advised that the shore waves were approaching 4 metres and it would be better to come in at Little Wanganui, but we had set our hearts on a stopover at The Last Resort so we approched the Karamea River bar carefully. We found it a bit rough but managed the entry okay and soon paddled our way upriver. We had stayed here a couple of years ago when we paddled the rough section of the Karamea River and were looking forward to resting up in this place. We had a shower, a lunch of bagette and burger, did our washing and spent a lazy afternoon. We have just enjoyed a beautiful meal. Our hosts Kathy and Peter and the team at The Last Resort have made us very welcome and we have had a great stay.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Narly Landing at Kohaihai Bluff

Left this morning with a slight northerly breeze but a big 4 metre swell. Landed on a rocky beach at Big Bay for lunch. Had a peek at the Heaphy River as a possible landing site but NO WAY!! a very rough sea. Our thanks to Paul Caffyn for telling us not to use this place as a night stop. He had advised us to camp at the southern side of Kohaihai Bluff and this was certainly a lot better than Heaphy but still a really narly landing, with us both getting in safely but Melz having to roll. And that great West Coast beast has arrived, the sandfly. We can also hear traffic on the road. Just starting to rain. Looking forward to Karamea (hopefully) tomorrow and showers at The Last Resort.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Good Day and Banana Cake

Two much happier paddlers today. Still had the westerly wind but the conditions were much more pleasent. We made good time to Paturau River where we had a break and met with the locals. As always, the highlights of these adventures are the people you meet and again we were well looked after, refilled our fresh water containers and given some freshly baked banana cake. Paddled on this afternoon and stopped at a stream just south of Anaweka River. The farmer says conditions are expected to be the same tomorrow. Good news

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Big Day but not a lot of Progress

We were pleased to leave the sandhills this morning. Sand in everything. Melz says the place is called the Gobi Desert. The wind was a very strong Westerly and we only just made it round Cape Farewell. Very rough sea. Called in to Wharariki Beach and also paddled through the Archway Islands. Great fun but we kept away from one channel as it was a real wind tunnel. Landed at Greenhill Bay where we kayaked 2km up the Greenhill River to an old hut where we stayed for the night. So far the landings have been much nicer than on the east coast, BUT we are only just starting on the West. Please note that this area is also a Reserve and permits are required to camp.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Up Before the Birds.

As a 15knot NW wind was forecast to be in our face today, we decided to leave early to try and get as far as possible before it arrived. We departed Separation Point at 5.30a.m. and made good progress, but still had that nasty wind to contend with. It was 11a.m. by the time we had paddled round "the spit" so we had a wee rest and checked out the Lighthouse. It was not the nicest of conditions as we made our way along the northern side of the spit towards Cape Farewell. We have pitched our tents in the sand dunes near Pillar Point. Back to the Back Country meals after being spoilt with steak the last two nights. Please note that this is a Nature Reserve and permits are required to land. We had spoken with Mike Ogle, Ranger for Golden Bay, who had asked us to take special care around the godwits as they were preparing for their annual migration to China.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Separation Point.

On our way again and what a beautiful place to be paddling in. We went past Kaiteriteri, Sandy Bay, Torrent Bay. All these lovely bays. Melz had a great play with the baby seals at Tonga Island and the NWester didn't kick in till about 11 a.m. We spent much too long at the Cafe in Araroa, but the chicken wraps and the mocchacino were very good. Last time we had been in this area, we had missed the Cafe, so we were determined to find it this time. We paddled on past Totarunui and around Separation Point. We are sharing the Whariwharangi Hut with 15 others and we can look out and see our next days challenge, Farewell Spit. West Coast here we come.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tasman Bay

We spent an enjoyable time at Cable Bay and the Camp Caretaker, Phil Thompson, was a mine of information about the West Coast, as he had previously flown planes in the area. We left about 8.30 a.m. with a slight NE breeze at our back and headed for Stephens Bay. We saw a Navel Frigate go out of Port Nelson and later radioed up two large ships, also leaving Nelson, to let them know we were there. They had already spotted us. On a brilliant day, we made our way through the huge mussel farms out in the bay and after 6hrs we paddled into Stephens Bay on a very flat sea. Tonight we have the luxury of staying in our family bach right by the beach. As we arrived at 2.30 p.m., we've had the time to do the laundry, take a shower and just sit and admire the fabulous view (this is Margaret's favourite place). We've also eaten the apple shortcake left for us by mother-in-law, Mary and brother and sister-in-law Ron and Rae, for which we would like to thank them for and we're about to enjoy the steak and onions. It's good to be at the bach!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Heading for Sunny Nelson.

We left our campsite on a cold and breezy morning but it soon improved to a beautiful day. We passed Croisilles Harbour paddling into a stiff head wind. A fairly uneventful day with everything going smoothly. Our stopover for the night is Cable Bay Camp ground, where we were shouted icecreams. We've had dessert, I'm now off for a shower.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Not a Lot of Progress

Through French Pass at just after full tide. Not very nice conditions at all. Tried to paddle on to Okiwi Bay but had to turn back to shelter in Little Waikawa Bay. Had gormet lunch of mussels and set up a cosy campsite. Later tried to round to Okuri Bay but no chance in this weather. Off for a walk again. Forecast for tomorrow looks promising.

Port Gore to French Pass

We woke to a big rough sea and nasty wind so went for a good long walk. We set of for French Pass at 1 p.m. It was quite rough near Cape Jackson but the wind died and we had a good current to help us on our way. The southeasterly arrived and blew us along and we checked out the caves at Cape Lambert. A seal became caught between my kayak and the cliff and jumped right over the kayak in its bid for freedom. We stopped at Alligator Head for a late lunch, prepared by Mel, where a cheeky weka stole one of my sunpaws. I will need to use lots of sunscreen to stop that hand from getting sunburnt. We were really happy to arrive at French Pass at 9 p.m., a very successful day after such a late start. We have picked up a good forecast on CH22, so hope to paddle through the pass tomorrow morning. We are settled in the DOC campground, dry weather and no wind!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Back on the Water

We have had a break of nearly four weeks and we are certainly ready to continue our journey to Jacksons Bay. This morning we arrived in Picton on the early Bluebridge sailing and were met by our good friend Stuart Hart, who waved us on our way as dawn broke. Had a really good paddle in nice sunny conditions up Queen Charlotte Sound heading for Cape Jackson. We stopped off in Ships Cove for a lunch break and to view the Captain Cook monument. We had made contact over the past week with Ron and Gerry Marriott of Cape Jackson Wilderness Park and were hoping to call into their marina for a visit. After a quick chat with the Marriotts we decided that conditions were still good enough to attempt rounding the cape. They had also offered us the use of their hutt in Port Gore. We made good time in conditions that were getting rougher with white caps, but successfully rounded Cape Jackson by late afternoon. We are nicely settled in this beautiful hut. A very big thankyou to the Marriotts.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Preparing for our final leg.

We're getting ready for the last stage, 830kms from Picton to Jackson Bay, Haast. So far we have completed 1670kms of our 2,500km journey around the South Island. We plan to start off from Picton on 26th of March and finish about 16th April. The map insert shows how much of our trip we have completed so far.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Taking a well earned 'rain check'

With a forecast for two days of strong Northerly winds of between 35 to 40 knotts, we decided to take a break & get back to work until the weather settled down again. And to finish off this section of our trip with something completely different, the Coast Guard arrived early to tell us that there was a Tsunarmi warning due to an 8.8 earthquake in Chile, and that we should be on the lookout for a 1 metre tidal wave to come through about mid morning.
By 10am we arrived at Waikawa Bay to be met by our good friend, Stuart Hart, who helped us load our kayaks onto his mate Trevor's truck. At the Harts home, Jenny treated us to hot showers, fresh bread & cups of ice cold fruit drink, luxuries we hadn't had for 3 weeks!
Melz & I are pleased to have finished the East Coast of the South Island & enjoyed making new friends along the way. As soon as sea conditions improve we'll be back to take on the remainder of our trip around the South Island - the notorious West Coast!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Reaching Marlborough Sounds

It was to be low tide at Tory Channel entrance at 1pm, so we set off bright and early and made good time before the northerly kicked in with about 10kms to go. We found some beautiful caves to paddle through and spent some time just enjoying our day. We timed our arrival to perfection, as the entrance was as flat as a mill pond and we had no problems entering the channel and soon stopped for a well earned lunch break. We enjoyed making our way up the sounds with a strong wind now at our back and finished for the day at Ratimera DOC camp.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Robin Hood Bay in sunny Marlborough.

Pretty tired after a big day with a good tail wind all the way to Robin Hood Bay, at the entrance to Port Underwood. A couple of dolphins had joined us out in Cloudy Bay but kept their distance. A chance here at this camp to recharge our flat phone batteries, by a freindly houseowner, who also let us pitch our tents on his lawn. And it is the first time that we have been bothered by sandflies. Just received a great visit from Ma'ara, Jen and their family, from Blenheim with dinner of fish and chips. Yum. And chocolate!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

As Sir Ed said "We Knocked the B............d Off"

It is with huge relief and delight we can announce that we made it round Cape Campbell today! We had crept our way up as close to the point as we could and beached to wait for the 30knot northerly to abate. Finally, a lull and we took to the very rough sea and made our way passed the lighthouse and around the Cape and headed for Marfell Beach. At one stage Mel was picked up by a wave and dumped on top of my kayak. No damage to either boats or persons, thank goodness. Hopefully, we have the help of a nice southerly for tomorrow.

Crawling up to Cape Campbell.

A very early start to try and beat the wind but a real struggle up to Ward Beach, where we discussed our options. We decided to battle on and landed at Boo Boo Stream at approx 1.30p.m. A very rough sea but we were joined by a pod of Hector Dolphins, north of Long Point, which really brightened our day. We hope to run with the souwester forecast for tomorrow, around Cape Campbell.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No Paddling Today.

We are still at Needles Point as it is too rough for kayaking and we have a very strong northerly wind. Sounds like more forecast for the next couple of days. At least we managed to sleep in this morning, a change from all our early starts, and we have lots of food and water. In fact, we are camped beside a water tank. Another walk is the order of the day.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Bubble has Burst.

Not much headway at all today. Very strong northerly wind and we are battened down at Needle Point, having trouble keeping the tents on the ground. Both in good spirits and hope to make it to Ward Beach tomorrow. Need better weather to go around Cape Campbell.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Heading for Cape Campbell

With this patch of good weather, we are rocketing up the coast and with a bit of luck should round Cape Campbell tomorrow. We saw heaps of seals at the colony at Ohau Point and spent time paddlling through a wonderworld of small islands. The scenery along this stretch is also really interesting and it is a pleasure to look around as we paddle along.

Goose Bay to Rakautara via the Supermarket

Another excellent day with the sun shining and a flat sea. We made good time to Kaikoura where we were met by Matt Foy of Kaikoura Kayaks, who was a great help and we spent several hours there. A good break and we are now loaded up with all sorts of goodies from the local supermarket. We set of again and had great fun with three pods of Dusky Dolphin, who were not quite as sociable as the Hector Dolphin but very lively. Have made camp at Rakautara.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Perfect Day

Somebody must have been listening for today was a perfect day.
We left Gore Bay this morning, after spending a wonderful evening feasting on the roast dinner special at Cheviot, with our hosts Peter and Valerie, who own the Bed & Breakfast at Gore Bay. It poured with rain overnight so was good to be under a roof.
Again, we had a great send off and with the sun shining, a blue sky and the wind at our backs, we made good time to Claverley, where we stopped for lunch and to eat the muffins that Valerie had so kindly given us. We decided to carry on while the going was good and paddled into Goose Bay by 4p.m. I think it is spaghetti bolognaise and the trimmings tonight.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dining at Cheviot Pub

We did make it to our next planned stop at Gore Bay, but what a struggle. We are looking forward to a bit of summer but at the moment it is wind and rain.
Once again, the locals have taken us into their fold and we have been dining with a group up at the Cheviot Pub. One of the most enjoyable things we have found while doing this paddle, is meeting these fantastic people. The help and support we have received has been amazing.
We are only two days behind schedule and will try and make Claverley tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A short run to Motunau Beach

Made it to Motunau Beach for an early stop as the northerly wind and the rain really set in. Pitched our tents at the local camp site. More gales forecast. Oh, what we would give for a nice southerly breeze.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not such a good day.

Not a lot of progress today. We had planned to make our next stop at Motunau Beach but after struggling into a strong headwind for hours, we decided to turn back and have made camp at the far end of the beach, north of Waipara River.
We did have some very unwelcome company today, when a 4 metre shark eyeballed us off Leithfield Beach. We obviously didn't look tasty enough as it lost interest and swam away.
We hope for better conditions tomorrow but nasty north easterlies are forecast.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Racing with the Dolphins

What a day! We had a fantastic play with a pod of a dozen Hector Dolphins, for at least half an hour. They swam under our kayaks, jumped and raced along side. We stopped to eat a biscuit and they waited for us.
We had a good sea and a really good day and 1p.m. saw us having a lunch break at the New Brighton Pier Restaurant. Life is good. We gave the Waimakariri River mouth a wide berth as there was a lot of water racing out of there and paddled on to Waikuku Beach, where we have the use of my sister Robyn's caravan for the night.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Socialising at Okains Bay

Set of this morning to see what the conditions were like and made good enough time to have lunch at Okains Bay with CSKN. Great to have a catch up with the people attending the forum.
Carried on to make camp at Pigeon Bay. Almost back on schedule!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gale Warnings in Force

Left Taumutu 7a.m. Friday morning for a very long days paddle, finally arriving at Flea Bay at 7p.m. Off to another early start today to try and beat the weather but, after attempting to round Pompeys Pillar, we decided to turn back to Otanerito Bay. What a great spot!! We have a cabin booked for tonight and if this weather keeps up we may be here for 2 or 3 days. We helped a couple of locals get their boat off the beach and they very kindly offered us the use of their car to drive to Okains Bay, venue of the Canterbury Seakayak forum. David, from Canoe and Outdoor World, is expected to be their with our next food box and we are looking forward to some scotch fillet steak.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A good day to Taumutu

A southerly wind and a very rough sea meant no paddling yesterday, so a good walk was the order of the day. Thankfully, daybreak found a more settled day and we set of in good spirits for our paddle up the coast. Conditions were easy and we made good time to Taumutu.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rangitata to Seafield Beach

Launched into the sea at Rangitata through a couple of big waves to a great send-off from the locals. A good sunny days paddle on a flat sea in the company of dolphins and a view of looong
beaches. Made landfall at Seafield Beach. We have Banks Peninsula in our sight!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Preparing to leave St Andrews

Great to restart our paddle at St Andrews. A long day and a rough rounding of Patiti Point. A quick catchup on the shore at Timaru with Grant from The Cyclery and on to Rangitata, where we received a great welcome from the people at the Camp ground.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Preparing to leave Timaru

Max and Melanie are now preparing for the next section of their circumnavigation of the South Island, Timaru to Motueka. They are hoping to reach Motueka in approximately 3 weeks.