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.