a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 1

see inside for our top multisport kayaks

$5.95 NZ

SPONSORED BY w h i t e wat e r • R I V E R K AYA K I N G • s e a k aya k i n g • m u l t i s p o r t Discover Another World


User friendly, top quality, performance kayaks. For more information on our family of kayaks, contact any of our knowledgeable outlets nationwide.

PROUDLY NEW ZEALAND MADE & DESIGNED email: info@q-kayaks.co.nz • web: www.q-kayaks.co.nz • PHONE: 06 326 8667


Editorial June 

Well here I am down in Taupo awaiting the arrival of five good keen people. They are participating in a nine day training course in the art of running a kayaking business. A huge high over both the country and in our minds starts to grow. The day begins bright and early and is filled with drive and enthusiasm. People arrive and the high continues to grow, with laughs and concentration equally mixed, as learning needs to be both serious and fun. Each day hits the heavens with a water activity, be it ripping down a river with majestic scenery, gliding over a mirror calm lake, surfing a green wave with adrenaline pumping, or just floating along enjoying the camaraderie. It is my idea of the perfect job when I can work with enthusiastic people in the outdoors. So if you’re keen to enjoy the good life, join a kayaking club and get started on the road to the outdoors. I trust that you will enjoy the 21st issue of the NZ Kayak Magazine and happy paddling.

CONTENTS READING A COMPASS



WHEN WHALE WATCHING



GOES BAD OFF TO CAMP



AN INTERVIEW WITH A NOVICE



DESTINATIONS: MAHURANGI



DESTINATIONS:



Peter Townend Editor

NGARORURU RIVER KAYAKING IN NEPAL



PS I am feeling a little bit of a cheat at the moment, I’ve had little input into this issue with Brenda carrying all of the weight. I have been extremely busy organising the new shops. She has my grateful thanks and deserves a pat on the back.

KING OF THE HARBOUR



BAY OF PLENTY



WISE UP TO THE WHITE STUFF



TAUPO WESTERN BAYS



WHITE ISLAND



KAYAK FISHING



SEAS OF TEMPEST:



p8

MOUNTAINS OF FIRE TOP MULTISPORT BOATS



SPEIGHTS COAST TO COAST



CHALLENGE

p16 FRONT COVER: ADVENTURE PHILOSOPHY –

p34 p37 p26

TIERRA DEL FUEGO


Reading a

Compass Steve Knowles Lost in London? Ask a policeman. What would happen if you were out for a paddle, the fog rolled in, and all you could see was white? Or suppose carnage on the river. You have to walk out. Which way do you go? A policeman is hard to find, but in conjunction with a chart or map, a compass is very useful. Kayakers mainly use orienting [grid steering] and deck-mounted compasses. “What’s the difference?” I hear you ask. The deck mounted compass is popular for sea kayaking. Provided you drill holes in the right place it is fixed on deck always pointing along the centre line of your kayak. Numbers on the ball or disk inside the compass relate to the course you wish to steer. You match the heading you want with the lubber’s line on the face of the compass and keep it there while you paddle. In choppy conditions the kayak will yaw, roll and pitch a fair bit, so steering to within plus or minus 5 degrees is normally very good. An orienting compass is used to calculate headings. It needs a base plate about 100mm long with a rotatable dial. You use it as a protractor. To calculate a heading place the base plate of your compass on your chart or map so the direction of travel arrow points away from your starting point towards your destination. Turn the rotatable dial till the arrow [or north on the dial] points to north on your chart or map. The orienting lines on the rotatable dial will now be parallel to the north/south lines on the chart or map. Read your TRUE heading from the index mark at the base of the direction of travel arrow. To use your compass subtract magnetic variation printed on your chart or map. This varies from almost 25 degrees at Stewart Island to about 17 degrees at Cape Reinga. You now have your MAGNETIC compass heading. To follow your magnetic course hold the compass in front of you, the direction of travel arrow pointing away from your body. Now turn yourself and your kayak until the red end of the compass needle points to the north on the dial. Pick out a landmark in the direction indicated and head for it.

Warning! Metal objects or static electricity, including another compass close by, will cause magnetic deviation. Avoid serious error by stowing or keeping objects well away.

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003

5


Malcolm Gunn

Kaikoura is one of the few places in the world where the edge of the continental shelf is close to shore. At Goose Bay, just south of the Kaikoura peninsula, the deep Kaikoura canyon - a 1000m deep gash in the continental shelf - comes to within a few hundred metres of the shore. A stroll along the beach here is just as likely to yield the remains of deepsea fish as the more common shallower species. Among the denizens of the deep waters are giant squid which can grow to 15 metres long. Equipped with terrible beaks and suckers the size of dinner plates, these animals give a good account of themselves when attacked by their most feared predator - the sperm whale. Giant squid also live at improbable depths, making it difficult for air breathing predators to reach them and it is only millions of years of evolution that has equipped the sperm whales for the pursuit. Sperm whales can dive to over 2800 metres until their air-filled lungs collapse under immense pressure. The oxygen stored in their lungs and muscles can sustain them for dives of over two hours and when one of these whales surfaces after dining on calamari tubes the size of a car, it is for a well-earned rest hyperventilating to restore oxygen to its blood and muscles. It is while the whales rest, gasping for 20 or thirty breaths, each one flushing a full 90% of the total lung capacity, that tourists get the chance to see these giants of Kaikoura and if they’re lucky, to smell their appallingly bad breath. It takes a good fast vessel and considerable investment in technology hydrophones, sonar, communications, GPS and a lot of experience on the part of the skipper to get a payload of whale watchers close enough to see a sperm whale. The whales have to be located and approached quietly

6

ISSUE TWENTY

one • JUNE 2003

before they lift their tails to the sky against the backdrop of the snow capped mountains and head down again to the black depths. Not surprisingly, we rated our chances of seeing a whale from our 5 metre sea kayaks as vanishingly small, but we had to try. Sunrise had set the water on fire and Goose Bay was glassy beyond the robust shore break which pounded out a rhythm, unbroken for centuries on the steep beach. Any sea kayaker knows that this is the worst of places to enter and exit the water. On a shallow shore, the swell’s energy is dissipated gradually over a hundred metres or so of breakers. Here the swells emerge from nowhere, disguised by deep waters and they grow from nothing into a seething mass of white water, which then explodes up the steep beach. Brent pushed Dean and me off the beach with precision timing and once we were a few metres off the shore, all was calm with barely a hint of the ocean swells passing deep beneath. The morning was cold, calm and clear - perfect it seemed, for whale watching. Now anyone who has ever been fishing knows that the biggest fish are always those which are most inaccessible. Usually this means furthest from shore. Tidal pools have tiddlers, baitfish are just off the beach and it takes a surfcaster to reach anything worthy of the dining table. If you want anything for a photo album, you get a boat and the bigger the boat, the further you can go offshore and the bigger the fish prizes in the lottery that we call fishing. Extending this simple logic to marine mammals, we headed for the horizon in search of Moby Dick. After about 40 minutes we were a good 5km offshore and the water below us deep enough to accommodate the cone of Mt Ngauruhoe. We decided we must be in sperm whale territory. And then came the dilemma. What


All photos provided by Whale Watch Kaikoura Ltd. now? We were pretty sure we were in the right place - give or take a few kilometres, but it all seemed pretty futile sitting way out there munching on muesli bars on a gently heaving Pacific, waiting for an improbable event. Scanning the horizon for signs of whales we could see occasional fishing boats and after a long while, we paddled over to one for a chat. When we drew alongside, its two-man crew were preoccupied with retrieving a net from 800 metres below. A winch was straining to haul the leaden gear, a process that takes over an hour. “Gidday!” I yelled over the gunwale. The skipper and his mate turned and stared in disbelief at the head that had just popped up from nowhere. It took them a second or two to realise I was in a kayak, and they nearly died laughing. Once they had regained their composure, they confirmed our hopes - this was a good spot for whales, although they’d not seen one that morning. No sooner had the words left his lips than his mate yelled “There’s one!” pointing over the stern. Being low on the water, we couldn’t see it, but we needed no encouragement to set off for a look in the indicated direction. After a few minutes we realised we didn’t know how far we were supposed to be going. Presumably the whale must have sounded before we got close enough to see it. After cruising around for a while, hope faded. Eventually we returned to the fishing boat to see what was in the net. Not surprisingly the fish were all deep-water species, mostly unfamiliar to us. Occasionally one floated free, lifelessly to the surface with a distended gas bladder. This attracted a dozen or so large petrels to the stern of the vessel. These marine vultures table manners are finely honed to secure as much as possible, at the expense of fellow diners. It was chaos. Dean and I retrieved drifting fish and the grateful fishermen gave us a couple. Delighted with the prospect of bringing home fresh fish, I stowed a couple of very nice hoki in my cockpit and secured my spray deck. We headed back to shore still hoping to see a whale, but it was not to be. We timed our landing to avoid being monstered by the shore break. Dean went in first, waited just beyond the breaking swells and then charged in, running up the shingle beach just behind the leading edge of rushing foam. He made it look so easy. My turn. Waves come in sets, often seven or so larger swells punctuate a pattern of smaller ones. Out here, they all looked insignificant until they reared up a few metres from the steep gravel beach, so it was difficult to differentiate between the small and big ones. I should have waited to get a feel for the waves, but I was impatient and besides Dean had no problems so I waited for a crest and paddled hard. I was almost home - just about 6 metres to go when I felt my kayak lift with a wall of water growing beneath me. The backwash from the previous wave dragged truckloads of shingle down the beach with a sickening roar into the maw of the growing wave that I now teetered on. This was going to be bad - and then suddenly it was. I was tumbled brutally in a chaos of cold foam and gravel. My world was a hostile mixture

of solid, liquid and gas. In a flash, order was restored and I was somehow kneeling on the gravel, the sea having momentarily departed, to postpone my execution. I looked up the beach to see Brent running away. A glance behind confirmed my worst suspicion. Twenty five metres away the next wave was gathering and it was BIG. My kayak was there too, looking like a paddling pool toy as it bobbed in the growing wall of foam. The reality was more like a sinister yellow torpedo - broadside on, with a cockpit full of water, and about 300kg of buoyancy. I couldn’t get out of the way. I instinctively ducked under it and felt it bump my back. As the wave receded, I pounced on the wayward kayak and made a few metres up the beach. A couple more waves and I was safe. Dazed, confused and totally humiliated, I collapsed on the beach. “You lucky bastards!” Brent exclaimed. Unsure of the basis on which he judged me to be “lucky”, I invited him to elaborate. I’d just lost my fish, some gear, my last set of dry clothes were now sodden and my pride was more than a little dented. Even Brent would have been a little less enthusiastic had he known then that I’d also lost his camera case. But Brent was unmoved by my protestations. “The whales!” he exclaimed. My blank expression must have said it all, but just to make sure there was no misunderstanding, I inquired “What bloody whales?” Brent was having trouble taking me seriously at this point and it took a minute or two to explain that I was not in any mood to be pretending that my state was all for nothing. It transpired that Brent had spent the last hour and a half watching whales from the beach through his binoculars. He’d counted seven and was convinced that we’d seen them all. At one point there were two - one on either side of us! One had come within 300m of shore and he couldn’t believe we’d not seen any. This did nothing to improve my morale. I picked gravel out of my ears, and searched the shoreline for the various items that had been snatched from beneath my deck bungies. It occurred to me that perhaps the low tech approach to whale watching is not really suited to finding the Kaikoura sperm whales and maybe, just maybe next time I’ll go with the professionals.

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003

7


Off to Camp

Ruth E. Henderson

As a young girl I remember the excitement of standing on the bus station platform, waving goodbye to Doris, my grandmother who was dressed in court shoes, silk dress and light overcoat, hat planted squarely on head. At her side, a bulging leather suitcase, tartan travel rug neatly folded and secured on the outside with belt and buckle straps. She was off to camp - the Keswick Christian camp at Rotorua. And now, nearly fifty years later, I too was off to camp. But whereas she took along her piano sheet music, voice and bible, I had a couple of kayaks strapped to the roofrack, the backseat covered in plastic gear bins full of paddling paraphernalia. The boot held zippered nylon kitbags containing polyprops, polarfleece, sunhats and sunblock - not a party frock, silk stocking or song sheet within cooee. The excitement was anticipating another KASK weekend at Keswick, on the shores of Lake Rotorua. Like schoolgirls we jumped up and down on the bunks and eyed the space in the dorms before selecting between the villa, a cabin or campsite. Claims staked we headed back to town, to traipse the streets and window-shop menus till we found an Italian Restaurant. The pasta was divine. Memo: must remember “Zanelli’s” on Amohia St. at right angles to Hinemoa. Back at camp, at what should have been ‘lights out’ stragglers arrived ...and the hunt for beds was on. There were plenty but some people’s nocturnal nasal reputations had preceded them, and they were moved on...outside perhaps? All I know is that we slept soundly. After a school-camp style self-help breakfast and welcome by Vincent Maire, KASK President, we had a delightful dollop of Maori history and mythology by elder Don Stafford. As a lad he sat at the feet of many wise men and women and tale telling must be in his blood. I wasn’t the only one who could have sat spellbound for hours, captivated by his bi-lingual tales and reminiscences. A true orator. Next up was Kim Young, from DOC. Her topic “Our forgotten fauna - NZ Native Freshwater Fish” was well presented, informative and challenging. For instance, as a land developer or project manager are you providing ‘fish passes’ or are you putting in drainage culverts which prevent the passage and thus the completion of the life cycle of native fish? As a boat owner, are you diligently washing your boat and trailer (or kayak and trolley wheels), to prevent the spread of aquatic weeds and fish eggs? From a generous array of healthy foodstuffs, we made our lunch before a paddle on Lake Rotoma, a scenic lake to the east of Rotorua. Old and young people and boats took a dip. Plastic fantastics, Kevlar creations, plus plywood painted and beautiful strip plank cedar, wooden handcrafted vessels - plied and played together in the sunshine. Scrubbed up, well fed at Camp Keswick, briefed on the next days dawn assembly, we crossed the road to Manary Lodge (not an alcohol free zone) for a social affair. No one stayed up late as kick off the next day was 5.00am and on the water at 5.45am. Memo: must get some reflective tape. Very useful in the dark. Glad I had my headlamp. We approached Mokoia Island in the soft (unfortunately overcast) dawn light to the sound of birds in flapping flight, rising like clouds of mosquitoes from the knarly pohutukawa on the shore edge. The chorus of thousands of birds offset the lack of a colourful sunrise, as did the sighting of saddlebacks, and the gorgeous calm of the early morn. We were ‘promised’ up to three hours ‘in the saddle’ - I felt not a thing in my lower extremity, but certainly an up lift in my spirit. Memo: must get a thermarest cushion for my bony bum. After hot showers and a late breakfast various local paddlers gave useful

8

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003

Not everything comes out of a mould and interesting descriptions of their favourite individual Rotorua lakes. Someday, when ‘retired’ perhaps or when I have two weeks to spare, I’d like to try the Rotorua lakes circumnavigation - entailing a total of 65km portage and 300km paddle. Memo: must organise a two-week holiday. Over a cuppa, we viewed trade displays on the lawn and verandahs and had to choose between lingering longer, drooling over the latest gear and

Waka tuition


A marvellous array of craft – some handcrafted paddles or selecting two workshop topics: The choice was between, ‘Sea kayaking Qualifications’ an update on proceedings with Vincent Maire leading a lively discussion’; or ‘Paddling in Scotland’ an enticing talk and slide show with Alan Hall; or ‘Trout fishing’ tips and secrets with a local angler. As a Yakity Yak’ [YY] club member it was pleasing and reassuring to hear at the Sea Kayaking Qualifications session that YY is regarded as a leader in setting standards and in providing training. The ‘grand finale’ of the weekend was the Waka tete paddle, with Te Waiariki Purea Trust members instructing. Reluctant to get back into wet paddling gear, I elected to be one of the sideliners and take photos. As a spectator I was skeptical...all that chanting and paddle waving (before they got on the water) being a tad touristy. However, those that got into the mood and rhythm of things, and had an hour on the water going through their practised paces, told me it was “ truly a special Rotorua experience” and a “highlight of the weekend”. Waka paddle power

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003

9


An Interview with a

Coast to Coast Novice

You completed the Coast to Coast just months after emigrating to NZ. Had you participated in any Multi Sport events in the UK? Not really but I had enjoyed tramping, had done several long cycle rides each year as a 3 week holiday and also run a marathon. After several small adventure races in the UK and meeting heaps of enthusiastic Kiwis, Andy and I decided to emigrate to NZ for a life packed to the rafters. We heard about the Coast to Coast a couple of weeks after arriving and everybody thought of it as the ‘epic event’ so we just entered in blind ignorance. How did you feel when you realised why this is called an “epic” event - were you prepared? Well I had never been in a kayak, had never done bunch rides, had ridden my road bike less than a dozen times, had no concept of boulder hopping and had never kept going for that long. I love a challenge but at the time it did seem insane and that maybe, just maybe I was out of my depth. How did you convince yourself that you could do it? Well we weren’t short on enthusiasm and determination, and the few adventure races we had done in the UK had taught us that you don’t have to be lightning fast. It’s just as important to be steady, keep going and make constant progress, then you always make it to the end. So what was going to be the toughest discipline for you to complete? Definitely the kayaking. I was terrified of the prospect as I had never been in a kayak before, let alone paddled a river. To enter the race you must complete a Grade 2 river certification. A friend told us to contact Canoe and Kayak and I have to say that was the best move we ever made. The instructors were just fantastic and made the training fun. Their knowledge and experience was obvious, they knew when to encourage, support, sympathise and just help out. They were with me every step of the way from day one to building my skills and self-confidence to reading a river and navigating the way down 67km of the Waimakariri River under my own steam in my own boat. To me that was my greatest achievement. Did you find it difficult to keep motivated, especially as most of the training is done over winter? Yes we started training in June, but it is important to spend this time not only to build your base fitness but to learn how your body reacts to training, what to eat and when and what gear you need. You can only really learn by trial and error and this takes time. This was particularly true for the kayaking leg. A group of us novices started the training together and would meet most weekends in Taupo to practise and learn from each other. There is always someone really keen to discuss the pros and cons of gear and techniques. There was an overwhelming feeling of amazing fun and adventure during our time in Taupo. This was our motivation to keep going. We made some great mates. Once you had gained paddling confidence, was this still your most difficult discipline to train for? I found the paddling training the most rewarding, probably because I was so terrified at first. I spent as much time as I could paddling, learning to roll took me an age, sometimes I was in despair but Pete Townend gave me

10

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003

Karen Colman talks with Linda Wright

lots of encouragement and I finally got it. My partner Andy was also fantastically patient. You had originally entered in the 2-day event, when did you decide to go for the Longest Day? A few months before the race we decided that our fitness level was good enough to complete the two-day event. During the Christmas holidays we went to the race course, completed the run and had a good paddle down the river . We made the decision that we may as well get our money’s worth and do the Longest Day. Cut off points were going to be the demon of my day but you don’t know if you can do it until you try! How did you feel as the Longest Day dawned? Honestly I felt daunted by the task, I desperately wanted to finish as I, and so many other people, had put so much effort in. The first sprint up the beach was just carnage but good fun. It was a relief to reach my bike and calm down and get underway on the 58km bike ride. How was the rest of the day? On the bike ride, I was riding with 6 men and watched the sun come up. We worked well together but it would have been easier if the group was bigger and the workload spread further. I would have had fresher legs to start the run. I had done the run before but only with others. Without Andy to follow I had to navigate the best course for myself. This really slowed me down. My previous time of 5.15 hours was increased to 6 hours on the day and on reaching goat Pass at midday I knew the news wasn’t good. I figured I had 2.5 hours to go and cut off was at 2.45pm, so time was tight. I refused to give up and kept working to make it, I got into the water at 2.30pm with 15 minutes to spare. My immediate concern was making it to Woodstock by 7pm. I knew I could get there in 4 hours leaving me 15 minutes to spare. But a lot can go wrong in four hours. We were warned the wind was gusting in the 25km Gorge section, I decided not to stop and eat. Two hours later the wind blew my kayak over. I had been taught to low brace and stabilise the boat but fatigue and low sugar levels had slowed my reactions. Although my mind registered that I was about to go over my body did nothing and I was in. The other phenomenon I noticed was that the usual alarm bells and panic which kicks off when you go over didn’t occur. I was so chilled due to fatigue that I just thought ‘yep I’m upside down, this is quite relaxing, maybe I had better do something about this’. Eventually I managed to get out (I was too tired to roll), empty the boat and get back in. All this time I had Pete Townend in my head giving me a full run down on how I should deal with the situation and get moving. I knew time was against me. An hour later an official told me Woodstock was still another hour away and I had to be there in 50 minutes in my Intrigue. I couldn’t give up. I had to try. I had to make it. There were 5 of us close together in various boats, all working like dogs to make the cut off. Some were taking swims or rolling due to the wind but I kept the boat railed to the wind to prevent any more spills. We were down to 10 minutes in which to make it, all shouting encouragement to each other. Finally Woodstock came into view and first I


into me the most gorgeous red sunset appeared along with a tail wind, unheard of on this leg. It was welcome after the gusting wind of the gorge which had caused so much mayhem. After about an hour of biking alone in my ecstatically proud and happy state, the paddlers I had struggled through Woodstock with caught up to me. We all approached Christchurch together. People in cars stopped at traffic lights, cheered and hooted. People came out of restaurants to cheer us towards the finish. A marshal joined us on route to count down the km’s and shout encouragement, it was just fantastic. We all held hands and crossed the finish line together. We made it and that Speights was a long time coming. Andy looked relieved after his threehour wait, Canoe and Kayak were still cheering at the finish, some 16 and a half hours after the start. After such a huge effort was it just relief to be finished or much more? I was thrilled to finish. I could see areas where I could decrease my times, but for my first time I was ecstatic and still feel that way now. After months of hard training I had made it! My support crew were fantastic and I couldn’t have done it without Canoe and Kayak , Pete’s voice in my head in my moments of need was a godsend. I could hear him clear as day.

heard then saw Pete, Tony and Steve shouting from the riverbank. At three minutes to 7pm I passed through Woodstock! I cannot tell you how immensely proud and pleased I was. My heart did go out to those that didn’t make it after all the hard work getting to the event. Three of us worked to get to Gorge Bridge and there again were the Canoe & Kayak boys cheering me on with much appreciated encouragement. I set off on the remaining 70km for the most amazing bike ride of my life. Twenty minutes after heading off and concentrating on getting some food

What is your advice for people wanting to participate in the Coast to Coast or other multi sport events? You need to be fit and ready for the race and have all your gear sussed but this takes time and it isn’t going to happen overnight. You are putting in your valuable time, money and effort into this race and you have to enjoy it, so stay relaxed and have fun learning the ropes. Make the most of professional training courses such as the Canoe and Kayak Multi Sport Package. This can save you time, money and of course get you through the day safely. The Coast is the most fantastic event and day out. There is so much support and encouragement. The best way to find it is to get stuck in and have a go! (See race maps on pages 44 and 45)

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003

11


THE COMPLETE Kayak Training package for All new Multisporters

Ask anyone about the kayaking section of the

!

Speight’s Coast To Coast or any other great event and they will tell you stories about people capsizing and swimming repetitively, resulting in some receiving the label “DNF” (did not finish). With our extensive experience in training Multisport kayakers for events like the ”Speight’s Coast To Coast“, ”Motu Challenge“ and the ”Tongariro Classic“ we know exactly what is required and will not cut corners in your kayaking preparation for the race. When you arrive on the riverbank on race day you will be prepared and confident in your ability to successfully complete the kayaking section of the race.

THE training package • As many weekends of White Water instruction (based from Taupo) as you need in order to build your Skills, Knowledge and Confidence so that you can enjoy kayaking the river and COMPETE well in the race. • All necessary kayaking equipment supplied on courses. • A free course repeat for each kayaking component of the package. • A comprehensive “Grade 2 Assessment and Certification”. • An “Outdoor Emergency First Aid Certificate”. • Professional advice on equipment that you will require.

All this for the unbeatable price of $750.00 inclusive of GS T. AlS O AVAILABLE:

Extensive specialist weekend and evening courses • Personalised one on one instruction • A range of tours for all abilities.

For more information

and to enrol call your nearest specialist Canoe and Kayak store.

Or PHONE FREE on 0800 KAYAKNZ (0800 5292569)

BOOK NOW FOR YOUR WAIMAKARIRI FAMILIARISATION IN JANUARY! 12

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003


Training Package

Step One “Introduction To White Water Kayaking” course. This builds the essential foundation of basic skills and knowledge required to become a Multisport Kayaker. Dates for this course are as follows: AUGUST 2-3 & 23-24 NOVEMBER 1-2

SEPTEMBER 6-7

Step Two “Intermediate White Water Kayaking”. This course builds on your previously learnt skills and is spent kayaking on classic grade 2 white water. This will provide you with the skills and knowledge you will need to successfully kayak in Multisport events. Dates for this course are as follows: JULY 12-13 SEPTEMBER 13-14

AUGUST 9-10 & 30-31 OCTOBER 11-12

NOVEMBER 8-9

Step Three “Long Boat Weekend”. Here using all your skills and knowledge you will paddle a multisport kayak down a grade 2 river. Learn about picking fast lines and river reading. Practise all your new skills including rescues while in a multisport kayak. Dates for this course are as follows: JULY 19-20 OCTOBER 18-19

AUGUST 16-17 NOVEMBER 15-16

SEPTEMBER 20-21

Step Four Repeat all of the above as many times as required to develop your skills, knowledge and confidence. Remember you get a free repeat for each step. Further repeats are available at $50.00 inc GST. Step Five A one day Grade 2 Assessment on the river. (Resits of assessments are $150.00 inc GST). Assessment dates are as follows: JULY 20 OCTOBER 19

AUGUST 17 NOVEMBER 16

SEPTEMBER 21

Step Six “Outdoor Emergency First Aid” This fantastic, comprehensive course will teach you how to handle situations you may unexpectedly face while racing. Dates for this course are as follows: JULY 26-27 OCTOBER None

AUGUST None NOVEMBER 22-23

SEPTEMBER 27-28

Step Seven Get out there, go racing, enjoy yourselves and know that you are a well trained, competent and confident grade 2 Multisport Kayaker.

e s i d a r a P SPECTACULAR SCENERY…

AWESOME RIVERS…

SPECIALIST STORE…

EXTENSIVE RANGE OF COURSES…

YAKITY YAK – THE best Kayak club in the world…

38 NUKUHAU STREET, TAUPO

SPECIALIST GUIDING • RAPIDS • SCHOOLS • CONFERENCE GROUPS

JULY 5-6 OCTOBER 4-5

a paddlers ADVICE • ACCOMODATION • TOURS • GRADE 2 CERTIFICATION

MULTIS PORT KAYAK

Phone: 07 378 1003 • Fax: 07 378 1009 EMAIL: andy@canoeandkayak.co.nz

0800 KAYAKNZ 0800 529 2569 TAUPO ISSUE TWENTYo

ne•JUNE 2003

13


Mahurangi Karen Colman

Winter provides some of the year’s best paddling conditions with more settled winds and clear days, so grab an extra polypro and don’t let the cooler climate stop you. One of my favourite winter paddling spots is the Mahurangi Harbour, just one hour north of Auckland city, one of Auckland’s best-kept secrets. The Mahurangi region is packed with pristine beaches, rock gardens, off shore islands, estuaries and a choice of six camping grounds. The best access is via Sullivans (Otarawao) Bay in the Mahurangi Regional Park. Before you descend the hill to Sullivans Bay pull off at the look-out on the left, a great place to plan your trip and check the weather. From here you can enjoy a sweeping view of the harbour mouth. Saddle and Motuora Islands provide shelter from easterlies while the mainland provides shelter from the north and west. There are many options for day or overnight trips from Sullivans Bay and an interesting paddle can be found for all age groups and experience. Many paddlers take a relaxing trip down the Mahurangi River. Going with the tide you can meander though mangroves and past the historic cement mill to Warkworth village. The Warkworth wharf has a floating ramp, which makes landing easy and boats safe from the change in tide. Alternatively, land at the ramp behind the library on the left before the wharf. You can then have a cappuccino in a café or fish and chips on the riverbank. Returning to Sullivan’s Bay with the outgoing tide makes the paddle back seem a breeze but some stamina is definitely needed for the run up the harbour to complete the 30km round trip. The harbour takes a full day to explore. At Scott’s landing you can visit the historic homestead which has had many lives, from family homestead to brothel, but now just makes a very nice lunch spot for passing kayakers. Just off Scott’s Point is Casnell Island, a Maori Pa site. At low tide you can walk to the island on an exposed causeway. From here, paddling down the eastern side of Scott’s Point will take you into Te Kapa inlet, which is a safe option if the wind is unfavourable in the harbour. Navigating through the mangroves, follow the river through bush and finally farmland, but please remember the latter is private so no landing is permitted. Back across the harbour is Pukepuke Inlet, interesting to explore but very tidal so check your tide charts first. Just twenty minutes paddle eastward off Sullivans Bay is Saddle Island. The sandy beach on the western side provides easy landing in almost

all weather. For those continuing to Moturoa Island, Saddle Island makes a good place to re-group your pod of paddlers and make sure everybody is comfortable about making the 4km crossing to the Motuora campground. The sea state can change significantly out of the harbour area. If you are unsure about continuing to Motuora, make the short climb up Saddle Island and take a look first. To complete the return trip to Motuora paddlers should have moderate experience and the ability to self-rescue. Moturoa has been a ‘paddlers island’ for decades. The days of the open fire are gone, for a good cause, as the island is being reforested and threatened reptile and insect species are being introduced. The

Beehive Island – Big Steve Knowles

Camping in the Mahurangi Camp Ground

Water

Toilets

Access

Camping/Cabins

Administered By

Sullivans Bay

Yes

Yes

Car

Camping

ARC

Mitre Bay

Yes

Yes

Water/foot

Camping

ARC

Lagoon Bay

No

No

Water

Camping

ARC

Big Bay

Yes

Yes

Water

Cabin (sleeps 8)

ARC

Motuora Island

Yes

Yes

Water

Camping/Cabin

DOC

Te Muri

Yes

Yes

Water/foot at low tide

Camping

ARC

14

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003


brown kiwi is already established on the island. The western side of Motuora has excellent rock gardens and a beautiful white sandy beach at Still Bay. For paddlers who want more, Motutara, Moturekareka and Motuketekete Islands are just 3 km to the north. Exploring the wreck of the ‘Rewa’ on Moturekareka Island makes a good turn around point for a longer distance day trip. Campers on Motuora can explore these and Beehive Island on a day trip. Coming back into the harbour along the mainland will bring you past Big Bay and Dairy Bay. Both have excellent beaches if a rest is needed and Big Bay provides good surf in a South Easterly. Te Muri Beach, south of the harbour entrance also has a long beautiful beach and excellent surf in an easterly.

TARANAKI

To book and pay for your campsite phone Auckland Regional Council (ARC) Parksline on 09 303 1530 or Department of Conservation (DOC) on 09 425 7812. The ARC ranger at Sullivans Bay will look after cars by arrangement. If the ranger is not around, phone using the Parksline phone by the toilets. Have your licence plate number handy. To reach Sullivans (Otarawao) Bay: The Mahurangi Regional Park is signposted off S.H. 1 approximately half way between Warkworth and Orewa. Take Mahurangi West Road, then the right fork into Nagarewa Drive; this leads down to the park on a gravel road. Big Bay

• Courses • Equipment Hire • Tours • An excellent range of kayaks and accessories • Visit a seal colony • Experience the thrill of white water • Enjoy a scenic paddle showing the best of Taranaki Come and visit our friendly family business, dedicated to giving Taranaki professional service in all kayaking activities! Ph/Fax: 06 754 8368 email: canoekayak@maxnet.co.nz McClean Street, Waitara ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003

15


Ngaruroro River Wilderness Whitewater Get In: Kuripapango (DOC camping ground) on the Napier-Taihape Road (downstream of the bridge, river right) Get Out: Kohatunui Road (permission required) off Whanawhana Road east of Napier, river left. Maps: NZMS 260 U20 (Kaweka) and U21 (Kereru) The Ngaruroro River from Kuripapango to Kohatunui is a comfortable overnight trip for Grade III whitewater paddlers. The trip has been paddled in a day (about 7 hours) but breaking the trip into 2 days makes it more fun and allows plenty of time for playing (or misadventures). Day one is generally easy Grade 2-3 and usually ends just below an old bivvy known as Lindsays Lodge. This structure is now deemed to be unsafe due to subsidence. However, just below is another much better built shelter on river right (not visible from the river). Day two begins with the crux rapids - good grade III rock gardens with some drops. This lasts for about one hour. Once at the Taruarau junction, the grade drops back to easy grade II and there is another good hour of floating. Jet boats use the lower part of the river so keep your eyes and ears open. While the grade of the rapids rarely exceeds III, there is no easy access into the river gorge so your group needs to be self-sufficient in all ways. This means taking tents or flies as well as the usual cooking gear and food. There are plenty of rocks in the river so rescue gear and 1st aid kits are essential items. Once on the river, the scenery and wilderness experience begins. It’s important not to linger too long so that you make progress. All rapids are boat scoutable but it pays to have an experienced Grade III-IV leading paddler to indicate the safest line. Under normal flows playboats are okay for the river but of course you really need a creek boat to carry all your gear. Skills required include rolling, river reading, basic rescue skills, outdoor survival skills and a reasonable level of fitness. Paddlers should be happy on rivers such as Tongariro Access 10 and the Whangaehu before running the Ngaruroro. The most convenient Get-Out point is at the end of Kohatunui Road. This involves driving across land owned by Chris Beamish of Wilderness Jets. You should seek permission from Chris ahead of your trip by calling him on (06) 874-2777 or 027 255-2551. Chris may also run a shuttle by arrangement. For more information see Graham Charles 125 Great Kayaking Runs (Revised 2002) Page 97.

16

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003

Alan Bell


KAYAKING IN NEPAL Photos and article by Helen Brosnan

People who have kayaked in Nepal boast of the clean warm water and sandy beaches to camp on, a real expedition trip, the mountains, the people and the culture. It’s a bit of a plane ride from New Zealand to get there. But once you’re there it’s all dirt cheap and even on kiwi dollars you can afford to eat out three times a day! Don’t be put off if you’re not a white water pro. There are loads of easy runs or rafting trips you can jump on to. Maybe you could go hiking and do a bit of white water on the side! For the hydrophilic who spends most of their time in a kayak, a quick flick through some rafting web sites will not be enough. Get the bible ‘White Water Nepal’ by Pete Knowles (latest edition 1999) and then decide what you want to do. The kayaking season is in March, April, May or September, October, November and December. September is usually preferred because there is more water after the monsoon and the skies are clearer for those beautiful mountain backdrop photos. Trekking agencies block book seats from the main gateways (Singapore, Bangkok, Delhi) so make sure you get in early or you will pay a fortune. If you have time, go to Bangkok and hang out until a flight comes up - it’s supposed to be cheaper that way?!! Generally speaking it is easier to get your mitts on a river running boat than the latest tinniest play-boat. In fact the best play boat that you might be able to hire is a 230 or an Ultra Fuge. So if you’re only going to do a couple of easy rivers with raft support, a really small play boat will be the best. But if you intend to scare yourself silly and take all your essentials in kayak support trips you’d better take a big river running boat.

Your boat choice depends on your skill, the grade and volume and if you plan self support or raft support trips. Some self-support trips served by the many teahouses require less gear. Others are very remote from villages. Nepal is really beautiful. To take it all in and see a decent amount of the country youwill need TIME. I suggest a minimum of 4wks to enjoy a handful of trips. Six to eight weeks is probably best to really get in amongst it. Some of the best kayaking is within a day’s drive or walk between rivers. Trips range from 3hours to 10 days. Shuttles take from a 1hour drive to 19hours drive and 4days walking. You choose. What about the present political situation? You may get caught in a curfew - which means sleeping on the bus until 4am. There may be strikes called by the Maoists which means most shops and public transport will be closed. There will probably be a festival or two while you are there, an interesting and enriching cultural experience - which drives up the cost of your porter (like penal rates for working Xmas day)! With your Western appearance there is little chance that you will be harassed at police and army check points. Tourists are not targeted and if you keep out of the Western End of Nepal the ‘she’ll be right attitude’ applies. Last season my favourite river runs were Modi and Madi Khola, Marsyandi, Bhote Kosi and Upper Bhote Kosi. Best expedition: Tamur River and favourite play run: the Upper Seti Khola. I enjoyed the scenery so much I scarcely had time to focus on the water ahead. Make sure you have a good camera, lots of film and time to get out of your kayak and go snappy snap. Mountain back drops, amazing wildlife (bats, monkeys, birds, fish) and ever smiling, friendly Nepali people make a trip to Nepal more than just a kayaking trip.


Perfect Paddles

from Descente

With almost 30 years of experience manufacturing a variety of quality paddles for the kayak market, we thought it was time to talk with Bernard and Sandra Fletcher about their latest venture: The manufacture of Resin Transfer Moulded Paddles. Bernard and Sandra Fletcher have been paddlers since the 1960’s and were competitors in sprint, WW racing, slalom and multisport events from way back. It all began in the 1960’s when Bernard started making kayaks during the folding boat era, which also saw the first glass fibre kayaks evolve. In 1967 he made the first glass fibre sprint K1’s and K2’s in New Zealand, this progressed to the manufacture of numerous glass fibre slalom and white water kayaks in the 1970’s. Their focus on the manufacture of paddles began in Holland and the UK in 1975 when they produced some of the first all glass sprint paddles. This was followed by the development of carbon fibre construction to suit the new ‘wing’ paddles in the 1980’s. With the ever increasing popularity of multisport and adventure racing, Bernard and Sandy saw their wing paddles used in events all over the world. In 2002 the desire for something different led them to investigate a new process called RTM [Resin Transfer Moulding] which has been used in America and Europe for paddles, specialist auto parts and aerospace components, with the ability to strictly control weight, thickness, resin ratio and thereby strength. Descente Paddles negotiated and purchased the assets of Whetstone, a business using RTM in the States. The equipment for the manufacturing of RTM touring and white-water paddles was shipped to NZ, and is now set up and operating in Taupo, with a range of five paddles being available to the New Zealand market.

The Technology The RTM Resin Transfer Moulding of paddle blades is unique to NZ. Woven and unidirectional Carbon and S-glass cloth are placed into the heated steel mould. A pre moulded foam core inside a uni-directional carbon braid is contained within the lay-up. The mould is closed and epoxy resin/hardener mix is pumped through, assisted by a vacuum to help eliminate all air in the fabric. Because the mould is heated and the resin is a ‘fast’ system, the cure cycle takes around 20 minutes, the part is removed and new material placed for the next blade. The system allows for a higher reinforcement percentage than hand lay-up, so the strength to weight ratio is greater. After the blade is demoulded it is held on a vacuum grip table and using pre-formed patterns, is cut to the shape required with a diamond router bit. Bernard and Sandra Fletcher

The Materials Aircraft-grade Carbon Fibre, woven to Whetstone’s specifications. The same qualities that make carbon fibre suitable for aviation light weight, strength, stiffness and the ability to take a complex shape - make it the material of choice for premium paddle blades. All blades feature an extra-heavy-duty carbon fibre lay-up - saving weight where it counts the most, the farthest from your body (“swing weight”). Premium S-Glass material to reinforce the tips and edges of all blades - both white-water and touring models. S-glass is high silica content fibreglass, used for structural applications. This one is a tightly woven, dense fabric to provide improved impact strength and abrasion resistance. The S-glass is differentially layered into the high wear areas. Most glassfibre manufacturers use E-glass, originally designed for electrical components. S-glass is stronger and stiffer, but more expensive. You’ll find S-glass on composite race boats, aircraft and other high-end applications where the emphasis is on strength and weight savings. The same reasons S-glass is the best choice as a reinforcing material for high end paddles.

20

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003


The Result? RTM produces a stronger, lighter and more durable paddle minus the inconsistencies of hand laid paddles. The new range includes:

Forte, Finesse, Fulcrum... for Whitewater Carbon all-round whitewater performer. Ample surface area grabs securely, pulls smoothly. Carbon fibre blade with S- glass reinforcement at tip. Standard assembly is with Carbon/ Glass shaft oval for the right hand.

the best

Store on the

Shore!

Weight: 980 grams for 200 cm 1 piece

Price: 1 piece: $385 2 piece take-apart: $399

For a wide selection of paddling gear…

advert

a full range of kayaks…

Tripper, Opo... for touring and sea kayaking Larger touring blade for quick acceleration and confident bracing.Carbon fibre blade with S-glass reinforcement at tip. Carbon twill / glass shaft with right hand index.

and paddles…

Weight: 680 grams for 220cm One-Piece

Price: 1 piece: $385 2 piece take-apart: $399

and the best Kayak club in the world…

2/20 Constellation Drive Mairangi Bay, Auckland email: rob@canoeandkayak.co.nz

Phone: 09 479 1002 www.canoeandkayak.co.nz NORTH SHORE

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003

21


Nutra-Life

King of the Harbour Surfski Event

The 2003 Nutra-Life King of the Harbour International Surfski marathon resulted in double celebration for the local paddlers. New Zealand team paddler Mike Walker crossed the line in first place, and combined with his team mates to take the international teams’ title. Walker, third in the inaugural event in 2002, has been in superb form recently. He won the Nutra-Life Takapuna Surfski series held over the summer. A field of 11 international athletes and 18 of New Zealand’s best kayak and surfski paddlers started the race. NZ team member Pete Longdill made the early pace, displaying the speed he has developed as part of the national sprint kayak team. Longdill was joined by teammate Mike Walker in an early tactical move. They headed away from the rest of the field along the southern aspect of the Waitemata Harbour, paddling close to the wharves against the incoming tide followed by local paddler Oskar Stielau and Tahitian visitor Leopold Tepa. Meanwhile, Tim Jacobs took a more direct line across the harbour to North Head in front of a large group. Shortly after passing Devonport Jacobs broke away from the bunch, taking top young Queensland paddler Dane Sloss with him.

22

ISSUE TWENTYo

Off North Head Jacobs dropped Sloss off his wash. His fellow Aussie was replaced by Walker when he and Longdill reconnected with the main race in a well-worked early punt on the tide. Jacobs was happy to trade leads with Walker on their way to Rangitoto. They continued to put distance on Sloss and the following bunch, which now included Longdill. Australian Mark Davies and South African Rory Cole were leading the group, while also tucked behind on the bow waves were Aussie Tom Woodriff, South Africans Julian Callebaut and Scott Rutherford, Hawaiian Steve Kelly and Longdill’s team mate from Wellington, Rob Nicol. In Islington Bay Walker led Jacobs into the short portage and was first paddler under the bridge. The top two paddlers had opened up a 300m

ne • JUNE 2003

gap on the following bunch, now led by NZ team member Ben Fouhy. He had come from well behind in the flat conditions on the southern side of the island. Howling northeasterly winds from the previous day had generated a metre of swell moving across the northern shore of Rangitoto, but the swell did not reach the Rangitoto channel. Jacobs trains in swells on the north Sydney coastline, and was able to overtake Walker by surfing efficiently close to the island. Flatwater expert Fouhy slipped back through the field as the better surfers in the bunch made the most of the conditions. The big movers were South Africans Callebaut and Cole, the Aussie trio of Davies, Woodriff and Sloss, and the most experienced paddler in the field, Shaun Rice.


All competitors are required to carry flotation devices on board

Disaster lay in store, however, for local paddler Paul Wilford. Trying to catch the bunch, he surfed his craft into the rocks The next section of the race was the long return trip to North Head. It was made harder by the lack of swell in the channel and the outgoing tide. The best line takes paddlers close to the island inside the lighthouse. Jacobs had maintained a 100m lead over Walker, but the Kiwi paddler covered the defending champions line by staying further north. Walker continued to track Jacobs from a more northerly line all the way to North Head, and cut the lead to about 80m. At this stage in the race the Sydney paddler was expected to really assert himself, so Walker would have taken much satisfaction and motivation from having narrowed the gap. Jacobs rounded North Head about three metres out into the channel, and set off towards the Devonport wharf. That was to become the critical part of the race, as Walker’s local knowledge and superb decision making saw the Waiheke paddler squeeze his surfski as close as possible to North Head to minimise the push of the outgoing tide. Paddling sometimes centimetres from the rocks Walker was able to take metres out of Jacobs, and also take a more northerly line towards Devonport, again minimising the tide. About halfway to the Devonport pier the big Aussie was unable to improve his line against the tide and Walker hit the lead. Jacobs dug deep into his reserves, holding onto the Kiwi despite having to paddle harder into the vast body of

water moving out of the Waitemata. Walker continued work on his lead on a more northerly line towards the Viaduct Harbour. He fully expected Jacobs to paddle him down when their lines began to converge. However, the motivation to win in front of a home crowd, which included his father Max, continued to propel Walker’s fatigued body towards the finish line. He won in a time of 2 hr 47 min 50 sec. Jacobs finished only 200m behind in a time of 2 hr 48 min 53 sec. He was the first to congratulate Walker as they both reflected on a fantastic duel. Meanwhile, the minor place getters became apparent, as was the international teams title, based on the results of the top three paddlers in each team. Jacobs’s fellow Sydneysider Mark Davies had brought his strong form from the Australian Men’s Health Surfski series across the Tasman. He broke away from the remaining paddlers. Davies was 100m ahead of the fourth paddler in 2 hr 55 min 34 sec, but still an amazing 1500m behind Walker and Jacobs. Auckland paddler Pete Longdill took fourth place in a sprint finish from top South African marathon paddler Rory Cole. Longdill had expended a lot of energy helping Walker onto Jacob’s wash early in the race. He recovered amazingly well, a credit to the fitness he has built up over the past few years. Ben Fouhy had also staged a fantastic comeback over the final quarter of the race, to take sixth position and guarantee New Zealand both the individual and the international teams titles in the 2003 NutraLife king of the Harbour.

Cape Town paddle manufacturer Jules Callebaut finished strongly to take seventh position. Shaun Rice took the masters title from Simon Maclarin by finishing eighth overall in a very classy field. Kiwi Rob Nicol and Aussie Dane Sloss completed the top ten placings, with Sloss securing his team second place ahead of the South Africans. Top New Zealand sprint kayaker Katie Pocock improved on her 2002 time by 12 minutes to be first woman home in 3 hr 24 min 53 sec, retaining her Queen of the Harbour crown. The Nutra-Life King of the Harbour also featured a two person outrigger race for the first time. The early pace in the nine boat field was made by the Rotorua pairing of Berndt Somer and Lance Roozendal, with Auckland paddlers Gavin Clark and Brent Whitcombe chasing hard. Somer and Roozendal maintained a handy lead at Rangitoto, before really opening up some distance on the Auckland pair on the return to the Viaduct, winning in time of 3hr 16 min 48 sec. Clark and Whitcombe were never challenged for their second placing, which they took in a time of 3hr 26 min 10 sec. The country s top women OC2 pairing of Heidie Verhagen and Bernie Murch paddled a very strong race to finish not far from the better male crews in a time of 3 hr 37 min 38 sec. After the race, Jacobs described the tussle with Walker as the toughest race he has ever had, both mentally and physically. Walker himself was just overjoyed to take the title in front of a home crowd, winning himself $3000 to help with his preparations for the European sprint kayak tour. Ben Fouhy, Pete Longdill and Katie Pocock will also join Walker as they train towards the World Sprint Champs and the opportunity to secure New Zealand and themselves a start at the 2004 Athens Olympics. At the after race prizegiving, race organiser Darcy Price reiterated how much he had enjoyed the New Zealand victories. It augured well for the aspirations of our sprint paddlers overseas. The consensus of the international field was that Auckland has a beautiful course. It will always be a tough race, because of the need to paddle around the back of Rangitoto on the full tide. Experienced South African Julian Callebaut commented that the paddle against the tide both ways makes the race feel 10km longer than it actually is. And there was an almost unanimous preference for having to race in the conditions thrown up on the Saturday, where being able to surf the swells home would have countered the effects of the outgoing tide and made for an even more exhilarating race Courtesy of Steve Knowles

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003

23


Kerry Howe

Seakayaking Bay of Plenty (against the wind...) My intention was to sea kayak from East Cape to Waihi Beach. That would complete my East Cape to North Cape project, undertaken during the summers of 2000-2003. My son James drove me to Hicks Bay/Te Araroa, a seven hour trip from Auckland. There was massive surf and a howling southerly. After a rapid retreat back to the Bay of Plenty, I launched my kayak in calm seas at Otamaroa, just inside Cape Runaway. In the late afternoon I paddled across Waihau Bay, around reef strewn Orete point, and along Papatea Bay. The water was dirty and full of massive logs from the local rivers. As evening approached I wondered how I would get ashore. The surf was pounding the steep gravel beach. Fortunately at the end of Papatea Bay there was a sheltered way in through rocks and I made camp on a grassy ledge. Good progress was made past Te Kaha in calm conditions. This coastline is quintessential East Coast – a background of rugged dark mountains, an indented bush and rock coastline. Parts were quite built up with holiday homes, which is in stark contrast to when I had last been in this part of the world forty years ago. After 22 nautical miles of great paddling I called it a day just past the Motu River. The landing was through surf on steep gravel. The following morning I experienced the first of the head winds which plagued the rest of the voyage. They started

near Opotiki, where the dramatic hills and headlands of the previous few days gave way to the empty beaches that stretch all the way to Tauranga. Late in the day I gave up after 18 nautical miles and was pleased to take refuge from the windy chop at the Waiotahi campground. Early next morning I went past the entrance to Ohiwa Harbour, its bar awash with large swells. Then the nor’westerly set in and it took hours clawing along Ohope Beach. On two occasions large waves caught me side on and took me on a broaching surfing run into the shallows. That was to happen several times over the next few days. No matter how far offshore I tried to paddle, there were always a few rogue waves breaking even further out. My best campsite of the trip was that night, in a sheltered cove just beyond Ohope Beach and tucked inside Kohi Point to the east of Whakatane. A stiff west/nor’wester and rough seas meant my normal 3 knot speed was often closer to 1 knot and the sea kayak bucked about in steep chop. The coastline past Whakatane is a featureless beach stretching to the horizon. After about 5 hours I had had enough and decided to tow the kayak along the


beach on its folding trolley with a harness around my waist. Bad move. The sand was soft. My wheels left deep furrows. After every ten steps I had to stop and gasp for air. I read a lot about Antarctic travel and have always dreamed of man-hauling a sled to the South Pole. Not any more. I thought about heading back through the waves, but the wind was screaming. Nearing the entrance to the Tarawera River the sea turned black, and was very smelly. This river begins in pristine Lake Tarawera, near Rotorua. It leaves the lake in a trout filled stream that disappears into a huge hole and then gushes out half-way down the massive escarpment marking the volcanic plateau. It then runs through the Kawerau paper mill where it is instantly transformed into a black and stinking waterway that eventually runs into the sea near Matata. No one seeing it pouring into the Bay of Plenty, staining the sea black for kilometres around, could ever believe in New Zealand’s clean green image. It is a national disgrace. But I had no time to indulge in eco-political sentiment, for I had to cross the smelly thing. I lined the kayak upstream until I came to slower waters, and then very gingerly ferry glided to the other side. This was not the place for a capsize. I then lined it down the other bank, back to the beach, and continued with my man-hauling, fortunately now upwind of the dreadful river. I decided to camp in the sand hills, but abandoned that idea when I saw that they were recently heavily churned up by fourwheeled drive vehicles. I had no desire to be run over at night by drunken hoons. Another mile or so down the beach I came to a camp ground at Matata and gave up for the day. The campground owner took pity on me and gave me a night’s free camping, plus a fifty-cent coin for the shower. Did I really look/smell that bad? That evening I indulged in fish and chips at the local shop. I was hell-bent on getting to Maketu, before the predicted strong nor’westerlies set in again in the afternoon. If the trip was now in danger of being aborted by bad head winds, I at least wanted to get there. I had one nasty moment when a tiny wave made me overbalance while getting out of the kayak for a rest stop on a steep stony beach. I sat up and saw big black spots before my eyes. For a milli-second I thought I might have damaged my optic nerve. But no, it was just small stones jammed between my sun glasses and my ordinary glasses. And they were under my hat, in

26

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003


my ears, and everywhere. A couple more times I was washed nearly to shore by sneaky rollers, and my rudder was bent in the enforced broaching. But after 6 hours I finally made it across the bar into Little Waihi, at Maketu. It was high tide and I was able to paddle right up to the empty campground in the sheltered estuary. It is a restful place. The tide ebbed in the later afternoon and I watched pipi gatherers on the vast drying flats of the estuary. A happy evening was spent dismantling my rudder assembly, finally being able to use a spanner that for years I have faithfully carried for the very purpose, and straightening the rudder blade using a rock for a hammer. I also repaired a badly worn stern keel with epoxy glue kindly lent to me by the camp owner. The weather forecast for the next day was very bad - 30 knot head winds - so I planned a day off. The tent was buffeted by high winds overnight. I had a luxurious sleep-in, instead of my usual 6.30am on-the-water regime. But by about 10.00am a front moved over and the wind dropped. I hastily packed up and set off for The Mount. I saw it for the first time through passing squalls when rounding the point at Maketu. I found out later that on that day its regenerated native bush had been set ablaze by idiots. Inevitably the nor’weaster returned, stronger than ever, and the sea was now very rough. I was hardly making any headway at all. After 5 hours I reached Papamoa. Being now in a suburban landscape where free camping was not an option, I was forced to go to the Papamoa campground - a seething mass of humanity crammed into hundreds of caravans, family sized tents and four-wheeled drives. With gale force winds predicted for the next few days, my time and luck had run out. out. II was wasrescued rescuedthe the next day by my wife Merrilyn. I had paddled 100 nautical miles. But there’s still some unfinished business - a good day’s paddle from Papamoa to Waihi Beach, providing there’s no head wind.

Kerry Howe

ISSUE TWENTY

one • JUNE 2003

27


Matt Barker is a senior lecturer at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). He is responsible for part of the Diploma in Outdoor Recreation and Leadership (D.O.R.L.) and The Sport Recreation degree(B.S.R.)

EDITOR: Peter Townend Ph: [ ] 

  Fax [ ] 

  Email: pete@canoeandkayak co nz ASSITANT EDITOR: Brenda Flood Ph:     OR [ ]   Email: brenda@canoeandkayak co nz DESIGN & PRODUCTION: Pauline Whimp PawPrints Design & Illustration

 Hillside Road Glenfield Northshore City Ph: [ ]    • Fax [ ]    Mob []   

Email: pauline whimp@xtra co nz PUBLISHER: Kayak NZ Magazine is published six times per year by Canoe & Kayak Ltd PO Box   NSMC Auckland PRINTING: Brebner Print DISTRIBUTION: IMD SUBSCRIPTIONS: New Zealand –  year  Issues  $  Overseas –  year  Issues  $ Payment to: Canoe and Kayak Ltd Po Box   NSMC Auckland Ph [ ] 

  • Fax [ ] 

  Overseas subscribers can make payment via credit card number on subscription form CONTRIBUTORS: We welcome contributors of articles and photos • Text should be submitted on disk or emailed as a Word text file • Please send a self addressed stamped envelope • Photos should be accompanied with negatives and in good condition or emailed as a high resolution (  dpi) jpg • All care will be taken to safeguard and return material • No responsibility is accepted for submitted material • Material published in the magazine must not be reproduced without permission ALL CONTRIBUTIONS TO: Brenda Flood brenda@canoeandkayak co nz New Zealand Kayak Magazine

Wise Up

to the White Stuff This is the first of a series of articles looking at white water safety and rescue. This article focuses on safety issues. Future articles will discuss the principles of white water rescue and the latest equipment and techniques that can be used when safety goes wrong. Many kayakers see white water as threatening, dangerous or as an unsafe environment. The facts are that white water can be as safe as any other branch of canoesport as long as participants enter into it with an appropriate attitude, which must be based upon “prevention is better than cure�. The development of this is underpinned by a set of core safety principles, these are;

• Principle of Mutual Support: It is vitally important that all group members see themselves as part of a mutually supportive team, not as a group of individuals or as a group being led. If group members are expecting to be part of a team then they will naturally be looking for opportunities to safeguard other members and not sit in eddies thinking to themselves “Thank god I survived!â€? but, “That was tough! Where should I be now? How can I help the rest of the team?â€? Even just knowing you have a team around you can lead to safer paddling. With greater mutual support anxiety levels can be dramatically reduced leading to more controlled and efficient paddling. This allows the kayaker to meet the demands the water creates and not get out of control, miss eddies or safe lines.

• Principle of Line of Sight: There are two parts to this principle, the first is ensuring you can see safe clear water from where you are, all the way to your destination. Never run anything blind, never run a drop that you haven’t seen the bottom of, never drop into an eddy that you can’t be sure is clear and safe. You will never find yourself in the position of being committed to or having to run anything that you hadn’t planned on. The second part is line of sight between group members. Be in view of at least one other team member at all times. It is only by being in clear view that the team knows exactly what is going on and where team members are so that they can act if things do not go to plan.

• Principle of Calculated Risk: Weigh up the risks involved and the likely benefits in all situations. Don’t rush into any situation without carefully pondering it first. Listen to your inner feelings. We all have off days. Don’t push your luck when something is wrong. As long as it continues to rain in New Zealand the rivers will continue to flow and there will always be a next time, just make sure you are around to enjoy it.

• Principle of Clear Communication: It is of vital importance that all team members understand all signals and that mistakes are not made in translation. A good way to ensure that messages have been understood is to confirm all communications before any action is taken. Ensure that all members of the team can communicate to the whole of the team at any given time. There may have to be a chain of communication when the river bends or an obstacle obscures line of sight to all members of the team, signals can then be relayed from one to the other. This is linked to the principle of line of sight so a message can be passed to all members at any time.

PO Box   NSMC AUCKLAND

• Principle of Visibility

www canoeandkayak co nz

Personal visibility is vitally important, and so is the visibility of your equipment. You want team members to know where you are if you need to be rescued, or to get your gear back. Helmet,


buoyancy aid and paddle jacket should all contrast with the aquatic environment. Colours which contrast in most conditions are yellow, orange and red, but when we look around a gear shop we see a predominance of green, blue and black. Some manufacturers are slowly coming to the party with their new ranges and it is up to you to make wise choices. Bright paint or reflective tape on paddles and helmets can be used to good effect, if you are on a tight budget. To be easily identified day and night I would like to see the silver reflective shoulder straps replaced with reflective orange. Good visibility can make the difference between a minor and a major incident.

• Principle of Prevention Make the best use of manpower and equipment to prevent situations from starting or developing and ensure “clean rope” . The loose end of the throw bag should have no knots or handles on it. It is then said to be ‘clean’ allowing the rope to run through hitches and belays. It will not jam between boulders on the side of the river or in the riverbed. My first practical demonstration of this was when my party came across a kayak

apparently auto surfing upside down in the middle of a river. A throw bag had been clipped by the bag end to the inside of the kayak and the occupant had taken a swim, some rope had worked its way out of the bag and the handle had subsequently jammed in the riverbed pulling the rest of the rope out and holding the kayak in the flow, where it was found wildly thrashing from side to side. What if the kayak was a person around whom the throw rope had become entangled. These seven principles, if used on every trip, mean that kayakers would seldom have an accident. Unfortunately we can push our frontiers or underestimate our skill and sometimes things just go wrong. Future articles will equip every level of kayaker to enjoy safe and rewarding paddling when things have gone awry.


TAUPO Western Bays Les Dollard

March 2003 - My first trip with the “Yakity Yak Kayak Club� Taranaki branch. We met at Kinloch in northern Taupo, 8 people and kayaks. Brett and Peter were leading the group. Brett has spent a lot of time in the Western Bays and as a recent kayak convert, was keen to show us the highlights of the area.


First stop after leaving Kinloch was a tiny natural “Boat Harbour” at Kawakawa Point. We had seen some trout activity on the surface, so after lunch I paddled out for a quick fish and caught a nice 3lber. Passing Waihora bay the line went out again, and I caught a hard fighting 4lber. Past the Otupoto Falls which drop straight into the lake. We paddled for 5 hours and set up camp at Waihaha Bay. Brett’s recipe for the trout was a winner. Fillet and skin the trout - cut out the thin strip with the remaining bones - cut the remainder into finger food sized pieces. Then fry in breadcrumbs - and serve with mint jelly. It was great. The following morning Peter and I swapped kayaks, he was keen to try out my fish finder. He caught his first Taupo rainbow. A big one broke his line before. We headed up the Waihaha river to look for a waterfall said to be up there somewhere. After about an hour, and with increasing scepticism, we heard it in the distance. It was a beauty, well worth the paddle. We headed south following lunch, and camped at Cherry Bay for the night, quite lovely. Early evening, Brett and I had a go at jigging for trout. It is the recommended technique in the deep water of these bays. I caught a very well conditioned trout in about 100 ft of water in the mouth of the bay. I buried it in the sand on the beach, dug it up the next morning and we had it with breakfast. We woke to an easterly breeze, and got under way early to pass the Karangahape cliffs before the wind got any stronger. I was a little nervous as the waves are renowned for bouncing back, making a lumpy chaotic pattern on the water. I didn’t want to fish until we were well past them. Peter was unfazed and fished all the way in close - he hooked a beauty, estimated to be twice as big as any we had caught, but although he got it close enough for a good look it eventually threw the hook. The cliffs towered above us and we tossed around a bit. It wasn’t too frightening but I wouldn’t like to be there in bad weather. Once past, I put my line out and within 5 minutes caught a 3lber. On the way in to Te Hape bay for lunch Peter spotted trout activity. He trolled along the beach and caught a nice 3 pounder. We headed off with a tailwind to push us “home” to Whareroa, where Brett’s parents took the drivers back to Kinloch to collect the cars. It was the first time I have used my kayak for a multiday trip, and I really enjoyed myself in the Western Bays.


Ruth E. Henderson

“WOW, WHAT A WEEKEND - forget Rotorua or Waitomo for showing off NZ to overseas visitors, go to WHITE ISLAND, GO TO THE MOON” I shouted with email etiquette and brevity. “Pictures will best convey why I liken the place to a lunarscape, a mammoth fluorescent rock garden and why I had an out of this world experience.... Neil Armstrong move over...unfortunately high seas meant we didn’t paddle as planned the first leg (to Whale Island) nor circumnavigate White Island. But a must repeat trip! as the coastline cruising we did do at dusk and then again early morn was great - so different from a normal island’s scenery. Stark and steamy, barren and bald, yet filled with colours - layer after layer in the cliffs terrain, the atmosphere made eerie with the topping of dead denuded trees shrouded in steam. The land/lunar walk part of the trip was a very organised tour with yellow hard-hats and gas masks ...and felt very adventurous. And when on the lip of the crater, with steam billowing skyward, mud plopping and sulpher and ash stinging the eyes - remember this is an ACTIVE VOLCANO ...it could blow at anytime (although is carefully monitored and measured

32

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003

constantly) - it was an adventure.“ The patterns, textures and colours could drive an artist wild.” I burbled. Then proceeded to dump a dozen pictures down the line. Actually it was difficult to pick which dozen since I could have used up a dozen rolls of film (I restricted myself to only three plus two digital CF cards, then ran out of batteries and time.) The place truly is spectacular, its history and geology unique. Lying 49 km off Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty, White Island was discovered and named by Captain Cook in 1769. Surprisingly it took till 1826 before anyone realised it was a volcano which reaches 321 metres above sea level, but actually is 760 metres from the sea floor. (Work that out! ... it is below sea level). It was 1885 before sulphur mining commenced. The first stint was short lived, ceasing through fear after Mt Tarawera erupted. The second, around the turn of the twentieth century, lasted little longer, presumably closing for financial reasons. Industry resumed in 1914 but a series of industrial accidents and a volcanic incident when the crater rim collapsed and lahar pushed the boilerhouse and accommodation out to sea, with the tragic loss of 10 lives was the


disappeared and a new explosion crater formed. The following day the island was a dark dusky red. When we were there the predominant colour was yellow. Careful close up observation on steep ‘cuttings’ showed the layers of past activity. Patterns of yellow overlaid with red brown red again and yellow. (Looking not too dissimilar to the souvenir glass tubes one buys at Rotorua.) Other wonderland sights are sulphur deposits in columns, and white and yellow crystals which dissolve in the rain. Alternative attractions for the visitor are the bird life (gannets and muttonbirds) and the underwater world of fish, eels, stingrays, crayfish and seaweeds. Divers in our party raved. I am still raving...my enthusiasm has not waned. I’ll readily go again and in the interim, in preparation am reading up on the subject. The tour guide operators Peter and Jenny Tait have put together a beaut little book titled “White Island - New Zealand’s most active volcano.” It covers the historical and geological aspects and asks the question “with its mining days over and status as a scenic reserve, what does the future hold for White Island?”

What indeed.

shortest stint. The longest period of mining was from 1925 to 1933. The Depression and its resultant lack of spending on commodities such as fertiliser meant that again, economicsstopped mining. Now derelict hoppers, rotary drier, wheels and timber beams make for interesting photographic foreground or framing opportunities. The timber appears preserved, whilst the old steel machinery or building components battle with corrosion and being buried by volcanic activity. Since 1967 there has been scientific monitoring of such activity, first by the Department of Science and Industrial Research and now by the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences. Visible are a seismograph and its solar panels and survey pegs. Earthquakes and tremors are measured and recorded at IGNS’s base at Wairakei, another area of volcanic activity. In addition scientists visit five or six times a year and collect samples and record ground deformation. However the almost daily visits by guided tourist parties means that any surface changes are quickly noted and reported. As recently as July 2000 there was an eruption. Peter and Jenny Tait of PJ Tours, tell of arriving a few days later to a totally altered landscape - of sinking into mud and scoria on landing, finding the crater lake had

ISSUE TWENTY

one • JUNE 2003

33


KAYAK Fishing Craig Lawry

I can hear a ringing sound in my ear. It’s my alarm clock saying 2:45 am! As strong as the urge is to roll over and go back to sleep, the urge to go kayak fishing is even stronger. The two-hour journey went in no time. Just a few kilometres short of Coromandel Town is Te Kouma where the adventure begins. After the usual unloading and preparation, the kayak is ready to launch. Lloyd, the gentleman who started my kayak fishing adventures, has turned up and is ready to hit the water. The phosphorescence creates a surreal glow in the water and the baitfish make mystical patterns as we paddle out to our favourite spot amongst the mussel farms.

MY PERSONAL BEST!!! 12LBS.

Once the berley bag is in the water, the lines are dropped and it is time to enjoy the sunrise and (hopefully) catch some fish. It does not take long before the fish are interested and the game begins. A friendly competition is always afoot to see who lands the biggest fish, with the reigning champion being Lloyd. During the next few hours the fishing is going at a steady pace with the benchmark being raised from the legal 27cms to 35cms. The obligatory “one that got away” well ...... it definitely got away and judging by the bend in my new rod it was a monster .....really!! Fishing amongst mussels with very sharp edges has some hazards. By now the sun is warming up and the beauty of the region is apparent. We make a quick beach landing to clean the fish we paddle back to the car to pack the catch in ice for the journey home. It is over all too soon and plans start for next weekend. I’ve got to win that competition sometime! A hot mouthful of tea from the thermos and it is homeward bound for lunch. I clean the gear and enjoy the task of smoking and/or filleting the fish. With snapper at $28 per kilo! I only have to catch 1.5 kg to break even. A hazard to avoid during the week is fishing tackle shops. Just like women and clothes shops, men have their weaknesses too!

34

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003


SPECIALTY KAYAK SHOP with heaps of kayaks in store… YOU MUST TAKE THE TIME TO COME AND SEE US!! EASY TO SEE FROM THE SOUTHERN MOTORWAY. FOLLOW THE MAP BELOW TO FIND OUR DRIVEWAY BETWEEN BRONCOS BAR & MANUKAU TOYOTA

US! FIRST DRIVEWAY

710 Great South Road, Manukau Phone: 09 262 0209 Email: manukau@canoeandkayak.co.nz

Subscribe a friend to the Kayak NZ Magazine

S ubscription Form • One year subscription, that’s 6 issues for $30, saving nearly $6 off the news-stand price, delivered free. • Two year subscription, that’s 12 issues for $60, saving over $10 off the news-stand price, delivered free. Name:

email:

Address:

Phone: Card No: Signature

Cheque

Visa

Mastercard

Expiry date:

Send form to Kayak NZ Magazine. PO Box 100 493, NSMC, Auckland. Or phone [09] 473 0036 Fax [09] 473 0794 email: pete@canoeandkayak.co.nz

S ubscription Form


Mark Jones is a senior lecturer with AUT’s Outdoor Recreation Leadership programme and a member of the Adventure Philosophy team.

36

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003


Tierra del Fuego lies at the bottom of the South American continent, “almost completely surrounded by seas, lashed by the savage gales that rage around Cape Horn, shrouded in almost perpetual mist, ... and lashed by incessant rain”. So wrote Eric Shipton following his 1962 expedition. During the summer of 2003 Graham Charles, Mark Jones and Marcus Waters succeeded in pioneering a north-south traverse of the Cordillera Darwin after a 450kilometre approach by sea kayak. Mark Jones tells their story

I sat numb-fingered stitching up a 40cm rent in the tent while spindrift streamed in. Outside the storm raged. Eight days it had pinned us down; eight days we had hung on doing what we could to hold our own against the wind and drifting snow, and our tent bore the scars. Despite round-the-clock digging shifts we could no longer keep ahead of the snow that seemed intent on burying us. So passed the fortieth day of our journey to traverse the Cordillera Darwin, first tracing the route of Charles Darwin along the Beagle Channel by kayak and second attempting a traverse of the mountains Eric Shipton made known, if not popular in his book “The Fatal Loadstone”. Following in the footsteps of such eminent explorers, in an area renowned for its wildness and remoteness, promised to be an epic adventure, and it certainly was. It had not been an easy start to the expedition. We had to hire an Argentinean lawyer to release kayaks we owned from a property we didn’t. For three days we negotiated with the Chilean Navy in order to paddle unsupported. We were tired. I tried to tell myself that it was all part of the journey, part of the adventure. In a sense it was, but what I had come for lay beyond the influence of schedules, beyond the reach of authority and office, it lay in a place at the edge of my imagination, a wild seascape of rock and tumbled water and mountains wreathed in cloud. On January 20, when we finally pushed off into the waters of the Beagle, it felt like the beginning. We made good progress on that first day, brewing tea on an open fire after 60km made good, a huge distance in kayaks laden with 50 days food, mountaineering gear and video equipment. A day later, all thoughts of having any easy time were swept away by an approaching line of whitecaps. We were mid-channel, making the most of a favourable tide, but we could tell the day was over before the wind arrived. We made for a sheltered caleta (cove), on our beam and spent two and a half days waiting for the wind to allow us passage. The wind was master. When it spoke we listened. When it fell silent we took our chances. At 10pm on the third day a hush fell


over the channel and we packed up the tent and left. Twilight became dusk, dusk became darkness and in the darkness we pulled ourselves through the black waters of the Beagle. We could make out the skyline of the mountains and patches of snow. Behind us, and to the east, the next day was creeping up on us. It was a reluctant dawn, revealing a drab, sullen seascape, and with it the wind. We played cat and mouse with the wind for the next three weeks. We were the mice, scurrying for cover when the wind pounced, with a suddenness that was difficult to believe at times. The Chileans call them rachas, violent squalls that spring from nowhere and harry those hapless enough to be short of a lee shore. It was a spectacular landscape and forever changing- devout forests of beech, bowed to the east. A herd of granite domes, their flanks creased and grey and glistening wet. Beside us, great mountains, reared from the sea and lost themselves to the sky. Fingers of water probed deep inland, glaciers tumbling into them- all busted ice and broken rock. It was easy to feel humble when traversing such a place. It was a

38

ISSUE TWENTYo

barren landscape, spare of the usual trappings. Life played a small part in the scenery; it clung where it could. Each evening we searched for a place to land, a place with a flat spot, firewood and water. It was seldom easy. One evening, our best efforts only resulted in a swampy flat; the water pooled about our feet as we walked around the tent, that quivered with each step. We left the waters of the Beagle Channel and entered the more open Canal Ballenero. The sea had a more oceanic feel. Islands to the west of us stuck up like the stumps of rotten teeth, jagged and grey and in the gaps between them we could see the Pacific. The wind forced a landing on a low-lying island, and we camped on a clutter of stones above the tide. Strong headwinds and heavy rainsqualls, were sometimes accompanied by a wonderful light show. The sun would become a silver disk behind the clouds, backlit hills receded in the mist in overlapping shades of gold and grey, and the ever-present albatrosses wheeled across the stage in great calving arcs. We snatched crossings between islands as the

ne • JUNE 2003

wind allowed. Our next camp lay only a few miles distant, but took three hours hard graft to reach. Wrenched kelp lay knee-deep where we landed, heaved there by the sea. We found a mattress of spongy ground a short way above the tide, and called it home. That night our tent was flogged by gales, thick with rain and salt spray. We were camped on the edge of the land, between wild seas and craggy slopes of beech, bent by the wind. It felt a long way from anywhere, and was. Ahead of us, the Brecknock Passage waited with its reputation for frightful seas. It lay exposed to the open ocean and westerly gales, and even captains of large ships spoke of it with respect. “One sight of such a coast” wrote Darwin “is enough to make a landsman dream for a week of shipwrecks, peril and death...” It was with a mixture of disappointment and relief that we arrived at the cape to find it in a gentler mood. Life in our tent was cramped and to stay one step ahead of the Fuegian wetness required effort and cunning. It was with a sense of having outwitted the rain that we discovered a huge granite overhang with a drip line 20 feet from


where we slept. It was a welcome change from jockeying for position in the tent. A continuous stream of water ran from the end of a ten-foot stalactite of moss, which hung nearly to the ground. We collected it by the billy-full, brewing coffee on a fire like castaways. Having rounded the corner and now making our way back east we crossed our fingers for the westerlies that, up until then, had been the bane of our kayaking. Eventually they arrived, forty knots of wind, funnelling into the great sound of Keats. There was no need to paddle, except for support, as the boats were pushed at near their top speed anyway, unless the object was to surf a wave. I could hear glee over the roar of wind and water each time Marcus or Grum sped into the distance. For fifty exhilarating kilometres we rode those white horses, galloping from one crest to the next, our boats bucking beneath us. We flashed tired grins at each other. We had made it to Seno Agostini and found a small bay,

less hammered by the wind, to get a fire going, dry out and feed ourselves. One almost-sunny afternoon we became the centre of interest for 80-odd fur seals. They leapt, arced and plopped about between our boats, their movements liquid, like black darts beneath us , trailing wakes of blown air. We had caught them in an inquisitive, playful mood, all craning heads and whiskered noses to the air. Though we snapped away with our cameras, I realised we were the specimens and they the observers; we were in their world. On day 20 we nosed our way into a field of brash ice which filled Seno Hyatt. Ahead of us two glaciers slithered into the sea. The air temp plummeted. We approached the head of the fiord, a bleak place, everything grey in a mist of driving rain, and beached our kayaks beside the smaller glacier of the two. It was the end of the first section of the journey and an excuse for celebration, but our enthusiasm was eaten up by the cold. We scraped out a place to camp in the only place possible, a couple of boat lengths from the glacier and crawled into clammy bags, contemplating what lay ahead of us in the mountains. We left the Polar Bears and cut the umbilical cord of the seaways. After 22 days in the mountains we pioneered a north-south crossing of the Cordillera Darwin from Seno Agostini to the Beagle Channel. Midway we were besieged by a great storm that pinned us down for over a week! But the mountain leg is another story in itself. Finally we arrived at the Beagle in a squall of freezing rain. The Beagle is never extravagant with clear spells, but we felt we had earned a day cheered by at least a glimmer of sunshine. Instead, a family of foxes brightened the day. The last of our lard bars ensured their company and thieving ways. Several times we retrieved crampons and snowshoe poles from where they had been dragged. Two days later, a passing boat from the Chilean Navy dropped by to offer us a lift to Puerto Williams. 45 days of unsupported travel was finally over. We had made our own way through the seaways and landscape, but the route was not entirely of our own making; the weather and terrain had conspired to persuade us of our choices. On our maps we had marked each days end and the dots linked to form a circle. But though we found ourselves back where we had started from, we were no longer the same- trimmed of excess somehow; certainly I was leaner, but fuller too, richer of the stuff of life. We shared some wonderful experiences, and some I would not wish to relive. We had felt the magnetism of distant headlands and passes, uncovered the mysteries of what lay beyond. For a brief time we could feel kindred in spirit to our counterpart explorers from days long past, however humble

ISSUE TWENTY

one • JUNE 2003

39


our deeds by comparison. Little has changed since those days, in the landscape or in the human response to it. Tierra del Fuego is still, a wild, mysterious landscape. Daily, it evokes awe for the sheer wildness of the place, its beauty and the power of the elements combined. Darwin was fascinated with Tierra del Fuego and his words sum up why people are drawn to this dramatic place. Mark Jones Adventure Philosophy

“Why then...does this barren land possess my mind? (...) I find it hard to explain...but it might partly be because it enhances the horizons of imagination.�


FOR SALE! Canoe & Kayak Shops, Operations and Licence Would you like to join us as Managing Director/owner operator of your own Canoe & Kayak shop? You will get the support of a nationwide company which provides training for you and your staff; buying power; courses and activities for your customers; assistance which ensures that you will succeed‌ The opportunity will suit a physically fit, kayak enthusiast with good human relationships, a strong desire to own a business which operates comfortably and effectively within the wider Canoe & Kayak team. He or she, will spend 2 weeks studying the business in a now proven introductory course. This enables you and Canoe & Kayak Ltd to proceed confidently or not at all. Canoe & Kayak Ltd is preparing to open Licensed Operations in other centers.

Interested? Then send a brief resume of your background to pete@canoeandkayak.co.nz and I’ll be glad to have a chat. All approaches will be dealt with in confidence.

Peter Townend Managing Director, Canoe & Kayak Ltd


F1 Kent This innovative new multisport kayak is designed for the advanced and elite paddler. This radical kayak is fast with considerable secondary stability and is fitted with our new “bikini” seat. Its lower volume and 6.2 metre length will let it accelerate with ease, cutting wave trains and eliminating rocking. The F1, designed with Coast to Coast and the Waimakariri in mind, will be ideal for those who have mastered the Opus, or paddlers searching for the utmost in speed/stability.

f1 kent Opus

This popular long kayak is suitable for intermediate/advanced paddlers and has performed extremely well in many events. The Opus is specifically built for multisporters wanting to move up into a faster kayak than a Swallow etc. but still requiring extra stability to help them get down the rivers for the Coast to Coast, Mountains to Sea, Tongariro Classic, Track and Gorge, Motu Challenge and other multisport events in Grade 2 water. Opus is fitted with the innovative Kengineering dynamic flip-up rudder with the new hydro-dynamic blade designed by Richard Karn. This rudder gives up to 80% less drag than flat bladed rudders and vastly improves turning efficiency. Length 5.89m (19' 4"). Beam of 450 mm. Weight & price are dependent on customer requirements. Available in glass or kevlar with carbon.

opus

Tri Bear Excellent tracking and stability makes the Tri Bear an ideal multisport boat for down river racing and sea going competition. It is an ideal boat for the novice and intermediate paddler. The Tri Bear has been designed for year round training, giving the competitor the overall edge. The rear compartment is completely sealed. Kevlar and Fibreglass construction. Weight: Std 18kg • Width: 0.57mm Length: 5.4 metres Weight: Kevlar from 17kg • Paddler weight range: up to 120kg.

tri bear

42

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003


Swallow 2001 Swallow = speed and stability in the face of adversity This is the radical update of the popular Swallow. It has the same basic dimensions as the earlier model, being 5.4m long with a maximum beam of 480mm. Designed for the Multisporter who finds a K1 too unstable progressing to a faster kayak from an Intrigue etc. The Swallow is a very popular intermediate level kayak for such events as Coast to Coast, Tongariro Classic, Crater to Lake, Weka Wild Thing, Wellington Crazy Man, Track and Gorge Tri, Mohaka Madness and The Motu Challenge to name a few. This new kayak is slightly faster, is more stable and turns easier than its predecessor. The 2002 model comes complete with easily adjustable OZO footrests and the new “Kengineering” hydrodynamic rudder. Length 5.4 metres long. Beam 480mm. Weight & price are dependent on customer requirements. Available in glass or kevlar with carbon.

swallow

Intrigue Intrigue: Stability first – to allow you to put the power down. The Multisport kayak designed for those paddlers wishing to move up from heavier plastic kayaks. It has become a very popular ‘entry level’ kayak and is particularly suitable for novices and those requiring extra stability in white water. The Intrigue is fast, very stable, straight tracking, but still manoeuvrable. It has a low windage profile, large cockpit for easy transitions and paddler comfort. It comes complete with easily adjustable OZO footrests and the new “Kengineering” hydrodynamic rudder. Intrigue has been specifically developed to get paddlers down the Waimakariri for the Coast to Coast and is very suitable for other multisport events such as Tongariro Classic, Crater to Lake, Weka Wild Thing, Wellington Crazy (Wo)Man, Track and Gorge Tri, Mohaka Madness and the Motu Challenge. Length 4.94 metres. Beam 540mm. Weight & price are dependent on customer requirements. Available in glass or kevlar with carbon.

intrigue

Visit your local Canoe & Kayak Store for more information and great advice on Multisport boats…

Adventure Duet The Adventure Duet is 7m long , weighs 24kgs ‘all up’ (carbon/kevlar) and has a waterline beam of 550mm , to meet the requirements set down for the Southern Traverse & other adventure races. It has decklines , bulkheads and hatches and is very suitable for recreational paddling and adventure holidays or adventure racing where one wants to carry gear in a lighter weight , fast double. The “Duet” is ideal for situations where one paddler might be stronger than the other ( such as a mix of gender and/or generations) and would be very suitable for places like the Whanganui River, Lake Waikaremoana, Waitamata Harbour and the Marlborough Sounds. The Duet is available to suit, in either Glass or carbon/ kevlar models, with seating & rudder options. The Adventure Duet has proven to be a consistant high performer in all conditions.

adventure duet

ISSUE TWENTY

one • JUNE 2003

43


SPEIGHT’S

COAST TO COAST

www.coasttocoast.co.nz Check out the route that Linda Wright (page 10-11) took then come down on the 6th and 7th of February and support the racers on their personal challenge for a great fun weekend! Ed, NZ Kayak magazine 44

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003


1 RUNNING 3KM, CYCLING 55KM 2 CYCLE RUN TRANSITION

3 RUN CYCLE TRANSITION END OF DAY ONE

4 CYCLE KAYAK TRANSITION

5

6 KAYAK CYCLE TRANSITION

7+8

9

ISSUE TWENTYo

ne • JUNE 2003

45


Taranaki Tours

North Harbour

Waitara River Tours

Taupo TAUPO Float Trip

Okura River Tours Exploring Karepiro Bay and the Okura Marine Reserve. Enjoy this scenic trip with abundant wildlife and a stop at Dacre Cottage, the historic 1840 settlers house, which is only accessible by boat. Okura River Kayak Hire Company Phone: 09 473 0036 Mobile: 025 529 255 For those who are slightly more adventurous at heart, this is a scenic trip with the excitement of grade two rapids. Beginning at a historic swing bridge, the lower part of the Waitara River is a safe and ideal introduction to the thrill of white water paddling.

Call one of your Canoe and Kayak stores today. • Taranaki 06 754 8368 • Taupo 07 378 1003 • Manukau 09 262 0209 • North Shore 09 479 1002

Instructor/Guides WANTED

Windyglen farm guided horse trek Combine your paddling experience with a one hour horse trek through open dairy farming, a towering old eucalyptus plantation, historic battle sites and native bush. These trips are guided by fully trained staff at Windyglen Farm. Allow 4 hours combined or 2 hours paddle only. Priced at $70 pp combined or $40 paddle only. Phone: 06 654 8368 • Mobile: 025 608 3844

This is just a sample of some of the GREAT tours available from…

If there is somewhere you would like to go we have qualified guides ready to take you there.

Canoe And Kayak are looking for

WHITE WATER COURSES STAGE 1 – 6: Packages include a comprehensive introduction, eskimo rolling, river skills, multi sport and river rescues. PHONE O508 KAYAKNZ FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Kayaking Instructors/Guides to run tours and courses. These can be part time or full time positions. You will need to be a competent Sea Kayaker, have a current 1st aid certificate, have a pleasant, fun manner and be able to encourage our customers and club members to achieve more. Training will be provided. Please send your CV to pete@canoeand kayak.co.nz or phone 0508 5292569

SEA KAYAKING INSTRUCTION COURSES Stage 1

Stage 3

Stage 2

SKILLS COURSE

ESKIMO ROLLING

WEATHER & NAVIGATION

A comprehensive course designed to cover the skills required to become a technically correct and safe paddler. The course progresses so you develop techniques and confidence at an enjoyable pace with great end results. This course is run over a weekend or by request in the evenings.

This course covers the skills required to become a technically correct Eskimo Roller. You increase your confidence, allowing you to paddle in more challenging conditions. Being able to eskimo roll will make you a more competent, safe and capable paddler.

Understanding the weather and ability to navigate in adverse conditions is vital when venturing into the outdoors. Learn to use charts and compasses and forecast the weather using maps and the clouds.

COST $250

Course: 4 evening sessions COST $150

Course: 4 evening sessions COST $150

Stage 4

Stage 6

Stage 5 KAYAKING SURF COURSE An advanced course designed to build on your skills. Covering paddling technique, kayak control, rescues, preparation, planning and decision making.

Surfing is heaps of fun when you know how. We will spend the evenings starting off in small surf and building up to one and a half metre waves. We will use a range of sit on tops and kayaks to make it fun and easy to learn. Skills to be taught include surfing protocol, paddling out, direction control, tricks and safety

Course: Weekend/overnight. COST $299

Course: 4 evening sessions COST $195

OCEANS COURSE

CONTACT

RESCUE COURSE You need rescue skills to look after yourself and your paddling buddies in adverse conditions. This course covers Towing systems, Capsized kayaks, T- Rescues, Paddle floats, Stern Deck Carries, Re-entry and Rolling.

COST $60

on 0508 KAYAKNZ for more details or visit our website: www.canoeandkayak.co.nz


Profile for Canoe & Kayak

Issue 21  

Issue 21