Issue 84

Page 1

Issue 84

At the Top of Our ‘To Explore’ List

- Abel Tasman National Park

Who Gives Way? - Some Reminders About the Rules of the Road

The Sound of Silence

- Paddling Dam to Dam

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Issue 84 Summer 2017


Contents adventure equipment

Sea Kayaking 6. Sound of Silence 14. At The Top of Our ‘To Explore’ List 34. Niue Kayak Record 40. Double Kayak Saga Fishing 20. Capturing Your Catch… 42. Long Line Fishing from a Kayak White Water 46. Canoe & Kayak staff, friends & family... 48. Huka Falls - Start as you mean to carry on... General 28. So Who Gives Way? 30. Fast Passenger Ferries 33. After “The Fire”

Tommahawk Dry Cag

Product 32. Biolite Stove 36. Rhino-Rack 38. Get Maximum Life Out of Your Dry Bags. 45. Kayak listings

High Back PFD

Sladek Recreational Cag

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EDITOR: Peter Townend, PUBLISHER: New Zealand Kayak Magazine is published four times per year by Canoe & Kayak Ltd. PRINTING: MHP Print Pricing: At the time of printing the prices in this magazine were accurate. However they may change at any time. Copyright: The opinions expressed by contributors and the information stated in advertisements/articles are not necessarily agreed to by the editors or publisher of New Zealand Kayak Magazine.

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SUBSCRIPTIONS: Go to: CONTRIBUTORS: We welcome contributors’ articles and photos. Refer to for more details. ALL CONTRIBUTIONS TO: James Fitness, New Zealand Kayak Magazine Cover photo: Abel Tasman National Park By: Thomas Patrick

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Editorial Are we mad? Or is the system broke? You will have heard of new irrigation schemes being planned throughout the country to allow increased productivity from the land. Don’t we know that the existing high production farming practices are destroying our waterways? Our roads in Auckland are not coping, as in many other cities. So, the plan is to build more motorways and increase the capacity of others. Yet, we know from experience, that whenever we expand the motorways they become gridlocked again in a few years! We have sewerage systems in Auckland that are discharging raw sewage into some bays over 50 times a year. The council has given up testing these beaches as they are too polluted, so they just close them to swimming. Yet the council and courts are considering increasing the housing and population in these areas. Wouldn’t it be logical to fix the problem before we pile more poo into the sea, and only expand housing where the system can cope? The urbanisation of the last pieces of our rural land close to cities is rife. An example of the broken system is the Okura Estuary, which is within 20 to 30 minutes north of the Auckland CBD (on a good traffic day). It has the highest natural environmental recognition that can be awarded and has been a Marine Reserve for over 20 years. Bordered by the Long Bay Regional Park (one million visitors per year) and DOC Okura Bush Reserve (seventy thousand visitors a year) it has cultural heritage sites, both Maori and European. Under our current legal system, community groups have fought developers, for over twenty years, through two Environment Courts and the Auckland Unitary Plan process. These developers have tried to urbanise the remaining coastal ten acre blocks into high density developments. The community have won each of these battles at huge expense in both volunteer time and community funds. Yet here we are again, with a developer applying for a zoning change to allow high density development. This will negatively impact on the area for visitors forever more. The Okura battle shows the difficulties that we face in trying to shape this city into something we think our great grandchildren will love. If the developer wins this battle, the land will be gone forever; if the community

Photo by: Meghan Walker

wins, the land owners can wait until the dust settles and will try again - Always following the profit at the expenses of the future generations’ enjoyment and health. We all love New Zealand for being clean and green; we see it as our right to have access to our beaches and bush, to have local places to go to escape everyday life. More people does not have to equate to stinking waters, blocked roads and every beautiful beach and lake urbanised and coastal farms bulldozed under buildings. We must follow the example of other countries and do it better by protecting by law what the people treasure. So, what we need is law change that recognises the fact that the practice of damaging the environment and our stunning coast for the profit of a few at the expense of the many, is archaic. We are now all reaping what has been sown with a lack of sustainable planning over the last hundred years, with streams, lakes and beaches being closed to the public or urbanised to the point that what has been treasured by generations, is now unusable or unrecognisable. What can you do? Talk to your local MP and leaders of the parties, make some waves. This is an election year, so this is when we can make changes that our great grandchildren will thank us for. One of the definitions of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Are we mad? We must be, if we allow this to continue. Let’s fix it! Peter Townend

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Issue 84 Summer 2017


The Sound of Silence – Waipapa to Arapuni

By Ruth E. Henderson

Yakity YakityYak YakKayak KayakClub ClubTrip Trip

For twelve years a group of Yakity Yakkers from the North Shore have headed south every February to base camp at Jones Landing and enjoy Lake Arapuni, the second largest lake in the Waikato hydroelectricity scheme. Each year we paddle a different lake or section of the Waikato River. On this occasion we decided we wanted to do a one way trip from Waipapa dam to Arapuni dam, meaning we needed ‘shuttle bunnies’. We were lucky to have friends Peter & Hiroko volunteer for this task and do a recce as the signpost marking the boat ramp to the Waipapa dam was just a post, off the Waipapa Road, north of dam. And the road leading to the concrete ramp was just a rutted dust and metal track, the kind that removes mufflers and with overhanging tutu trees scraping paintwork.

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Opened in 1958, Waipapa power station is the smallest on the Waikato River, its job being to supplement other stations when demand is heavy. Old-hand Greg, was first to head the one kilometre up stream to the dam. Poking his nose a little too close to the tailgate, the swift current caught him off guard giving Si Eng a newbie on his first paddle after his skills course, buddy rescue practice. After that excitement we settled down to meander with the current, luxuriate in the serenity and tranquillity, the peace and quiet far enough from Lake Arapuni as to not hear any water ski boats, or farm machinery. The calm water reflections provided many photogenic opportunities: colourful kayak bows carving a path, paddlers in fluorescent hats and jackets, duck shooters maimai, raupo reeds standing tall, swans wings and feet flapping escaping from our approach. Closer, the dragon flies lazily skimmed the water, butterflies flittered about the purple flowering buddleia, and fantails darted after their prey, all to the accompaniment of cicadas.

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Observing insect and bird life were not the sole reason to hug the banks. It was blackberry season and these were neither touched by chemicals nor

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Issue 84 Summer 2017




Issue 84 Summer 2017

Yakity Yak Kayak Club Trip

Issue 84 Summer 2017


By Neil Thompson

What can you say? ‘stunning’ ‘awesome’ ‘beautiful’ should cover it.

fouled by livestock. Hunters and gathers only had to reach out and up for a feed. After about 13 km the river started to widen, and we heard our first sound of civilisation – a quarry and then to our amazement we saw the telltale sign of another group of kayakers – paddle blades flashing in the sunlight. Voices and laughter came across the water as astonishingly I knew two of the four, and a brother of a third. Slowly over the next 4 km pine forest turned to pasture, we could see Mt Maungatautari, hear the bleating and bellowing of sheep and cattle. The pasture was more dirt than grass and that was brown. After about three hours we reached The Landing, site of the Hamilton Anglers Lodge and a couple of flush toilets serving a paddock ‘camp ground’. We chose to lunch around the corner from these and the jet skis, and speed boats towing donuts with squealing children. Blackberry bushes skirted our patch, so we had berries with eggs, berries with tuna, berries with chocolate…


Issue 84 Summer 2017

Yakity Yak Kayak Club Trip

Issue 84 Summer 2017

P A G E 11

Paddling with this veiw in front of Yakity Yak Kayak Club Trip you is good for the soul

Re-fueled we soon left the hub of noise behind, and followed the lines of poplar trees, maize fields and paddocks. We cruised past the odd angler and a few families who had set up beach umbrella camps on the Lake’s edge and were taking turns waterskiing. After about 8 km the Lake took a turn right and we were within cooee of Jones Landing, the launching site for many speedboats and campsite for a few. We called it quits for the day. We were saving Arapuni dam for the early morning light. Alarm clocks were not needed as the local roosters had theirs set for 5am. Before dawn, we were on the water relishing the stillness before speed boats ruffled the surface. The towering cliffs, ferns clinging tenaciously at

the waters edge, pine trees many with exposed roots, all gave off exquisite reflections. There was no chatter; everyone was immersed in their own world. The peacefulness was disturbed only by our paddle blades dipping into the water and swallows bursting explosively out of their nests in the pock marked cliff faces. After 3 km we came to Arapuni dam. Completed in 1929 it was the first to be constructed and is the oldest operating dam on the Waikato River. Touching its base we had now completed the 29 km from dam to dam.





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At The Top Of Our ‘To Explore’ List - Abel Tasman National Park and the Routeburn Track. By Thomas Patrick


Issue 84 Summer 2017

Issue 84 Summer 2017


Harris Saddle on the Routeburn track Photo by: Thomas Patrick

On a wet and windy Auckland day, some friends and I decided to do a summer road trip to celebrate the end of semester, and on the top of our ‘to explore’ list was Abel Tasman National Park and the Routeburn Track. So, after our final exam of the year we packed up the truck and hightailed it to the South Island, spending our first couple of days in Queen Charlotte Sound which treated us to some stunning weather and amazing views! After talking to the friendly guides at Marahau, we started what was my most anticipated part of our trip, kayaking in the Abel Tasman. The first day brought us heavy rain and strong winds, hiding a lot of the stunning views that you usually see in the pictures. However, the wildlife was out to play, with the seals more than happy to come out and say hello, as they glided effortlessly around our boats as we struggled to make head way against the wind. Their agility and playfulness was incredible, and if it wasn’t for the weather we could have spent all day with them.

spent the evening huddled up next to it warming our toes and drying out our equipment. The next day brought blue skies and a beautiful sunrise, so we packed up early and headed out on the glass-like water to make the most of what the stunning weather had to offer! As we paddled down the coast we were greeted by more seals who were in a playful mood, swimming around our kayaks as well as jumping out of the water to give us a good eyeball! Sunset at Bark Bay Photo by: Thomas Patrick

Of all the places to stay in Abel Tasman National Park, we were lucky enough to stay in Bark Bay Hut, which looks out over a lagoon hidden behind. As we pulled up on the beach, we could almost feel the warmth of the fire. After tidying away our kayaks and getting into dry clothing we walked into the hut and were greeted by the friendly DOC ranger who had kindly started the log fire inside. We were very grateful and





Issue 84 Summer 2017

3/02/2016 8:46:41 AM

Tonga Quarry Photo by: Thomas Patrick



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Issue 84 Summer 2017


Bark Bay We finished our day at Tonga Quarry Campsite around lunch time, where we caught up with some trampers we had met the night before. We talked about the amazing scenery that we had seen and experienced on the day, as we soaked up the last of the sun’s rays before we caught the water taxi back to Marahau.


Issue 84 Summer 2017

Photo by: Thomas Patrick

With days running short, we set an ambitious plan for the Routeburn track: we would walk from Routeburn Shelter to Mackenzie Hut, and then back the next day. Knowing the big day we had ahead of us we started early, walking through the beautiful natural New Zealand bush through Routeburn Flats, with the tui calling out all around us. We stopped at Routeburn Falls Hut for lunch which gave us a stunning view over Routeburn Flats. We chatted with the warden, who gave us a warning about the cheeky kea lurking around Harris Saddle, then we headed off. Climbing up to Harris Saddle we met some more trampers that we had come across on the Abel Tasman, so we stopped and had a cold drink (whilst catching our breath) and exchanged stories about our different adventures. Before parting ways, they told us of what was to come, and we were not disappointed. The climb up to Harris Saddle treated us to stunning views over the valleys, along with the tarns hidden among the snow-capped mountains. On our way to Lake Mackenzie we were rewarded with more stunning views down the valley before finally descending the valley, where we spent the night at Lake Mackenzie Hut. That night we were entertained with a very interesting fire briefing, which the DOC ranger presented as a flight attendant, and we were told that in the event of a fire we were to relocate to the local bar (which turned out to be another hut a couple of hundred metres away run by a guiding company. Early the next morning we went for a wander around the lake, which was perfectly still and gave a mirror reflection of the mountains surrounding the valley. And so with another big day ahead of us we headed off, stopping many times along the way to enjoy the beautiful weather and take more photos. Later that day we came across the cheeky kea the ranger had warned us about. We watched in astonishment as he attempted to get into the packs of people who were taking photos of the surrounding mountains, before walking back through stunning bush back to the truck.


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11:29:57 I s s u e 8 4 S u m m e r 2 0 20/01/2014 17 P A G Ea.m. 19

Capturing Your Catch… By Jason Walker


Issue 84 Summer 2017

With more and more pressure on our fish stocks these days all anglers are becoming more aware that the big fish are getting harder and harder to catch. As their numbers start to dwindle we are seeing many more of the trophy fish being returned to the water to swim free and to hopefully breed more of the big specimens. Returning that trophy fish or that potential fish of a lifetime back to the ocean is not for everyone as just having a story to tell the boys back at the bar isn’t always believed without some proof or evidence. Well, these days that evidence is possible without having to kill the fish and haul it to the bar in the back of your car to show the boys. There is a wide range of cameras and video cameras available on the market that will enable you to capture that fish digitally and have it available for all to see and not just the boys down at the bar either, you can share it with the world through the internet! In this article I’ll cover some of the options available to anglers for both still photos and videos, also how to best capture your fish whilst out on the kayak including some ‘what not to do’ tips too, and finally what you can do with your photos and videos so you can share your catch with family and friends.

Capturing the Catch What can you use to take a photo or video of your fish? These days with digital cameras there is a huge range of options available to record that awesome fish but as always with kayak fishing the most crucial thing to keep in the forefront of your mind is that kayak fishing is a very wet sport, being so close to the water you need to stick to using a waterproof camera. You may be tempted by some of the cheaper options that are not waterproof but they simply won’t cut the mustard as once they get wet they are history. The water not only damages the camera you also run the risk of damaging the memory card that holds your pics meaning you won’t be able to retrieve them as any evidence of the fish you caught. Luckily there are many waterproof point and shoot cameras on the market and they are available to suit most budgets, you can find them in many high street stores starting around $200 and going up to around $500-600 depending on the specifications and features. You may find cheaper options but from personal experience it pays to pay a little more and stick with known name brands, my personal preferences are Panasonic and Olympus. This preference is simply based on my own use of these two brands over many years. I’m not saying these are the only ones but I’ve put them through a lot and they haven’t let me down.

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It’s worth having an expectation on the life of your camera. My camera goes out with me on every trip and for me that might easily be over sixty days on the water per year. I’m realistic that my camera won’t last forever I expect to replace it every eighteen months to two years, of course that may be longer for others who aren’t quite as hard on their gear as I am. My current point and shoot camera is a Panasonic Lumix FT10. This camera is the one I’ve used for many of the shots you see in my articles; it’s very easy to use, takes good photos and will also shoot video if I want to quickly capture something more than just a fish I’ve caught such as a pod of dolphins passing by. The other huge growth we are seeing more and more of is people taking out video cameras on their kayaks. I remember getting my first waterproof video camera for the kayak back in 2010, it was quite novel at the time and the videos I produced were quite basic with very little editing done. The camera was simply fixed to the kayak facing back at me so all you got to see was me paddling, fishing, and catching fish. These days you find video cameras on a lot of kayak anglers boats and by far the biggest enabler of this is one product – the GoPro – this camera would be responsible for

Issue 84 Summer 2017


over 99% of videos shot from kayaks with many kayak anglers having more than one mounted on their kayak, their body, their paddle, you name it - you can attach a GoPro to it! Not only does this give you multiple angles of the fish capture it enables you to do some very creative editing too, with some of the videos being produced by kayak anglers being as good as those produced with huge budgets by the professionals. The huge advantage the GoPro has is that out of the box it’s ready to go; the camera ships with a waterproof case that really is waterproof and has been tested by millions of users, and depending on which model you purchase it even comes with a remote so you can choose where and when to record. The GoPro isn’t a budget priced product though and across the three models for its current Hero3 line up it ranges from $339 to $599. There are of course “GoPro like” products on the market at lower costs but for some reason they never seem to be very popular, I think it comes down to the fact if you are spending that kind of money you are looking for something that has been put through its paces by millions of users. My personal set up is a GoPro Hero2 (the previous model to the current Hero3), and two Tachyon Inc XC cameras that unfortunately are no longer available. This gives me the ability to capture multiple angles. The GoPro is set up on a short pole which enables me to point the camera where I want including under the kayak so I can capture that moocher rising up from the depths under my kayak. For mounts on the kayak I use a DIY camera boom I made from a shaft off an old fibreglass paddle and several of the Railblaza camera mounts and starports.

Care Even though these cameras are “waterproof” they all have their limits. The manufacturer will give a max depth rating etc but just be realistic with them: if you are heading out through the surf put them away in your PFD pocket or inside your tackle well so they don’t take the full force of the


Issue 84 Summer 2017

wave. Also ensure you read through the after-use care steps laid out by the manufacturer, most will state that if you have used it in saltwater that the camera must be well washed with fresh water before being put away. Some will even tell you to submerge them for a few minutes to breakdown any dried saltwater. Also be sure to check and double check the seals for dirt or sand, even a single grain of sand can render a seal useless and your waterproof camera is waterproof no more.

Taking the Shot Now we will look at how best to capture that fish on your kayak whether you are on your own or with a friend who can fire off a shot of you with your prize catch. If you are on your own and it’s a big fish you have a couple of options, in your lap or on the deck. On your lap is best for the more active fish as you can cradle the fish in your lap, hold the fish still with one hand whilst you raise the other hand with the camera in it to take the shot. The lap shot can be hard to master and even once you’ve taken a few it’s easy to miss off part of the fish, get the angle wrong etc. so make sure you check the shot on the camera before you release the fish. If the fish is more sedate or if you’ve ikied it because you are keeping the fish then you can position the fish on the deck of the kayak, maybe leaning up against your fish finder. This position gives good perspective for fish size as people can judge the size of the fish against the size of your kayak, if your kayak is 750mm wide and the fish is clearly hanging over each side then it shows it’s a good-sized fish. If the fish is smaller and you still want to take a photo make sure you cradle the fish in your hand, don’t hold it up by the tail or put your fingers in its gills as you will vastly lower the chances of survival for the fish.

Issue 84 Summer 2017


If you are with a friend then call them up on the VHF and ask them to paddle over to take some photos for you. It also gives you a great opportunity to show them first-hand the big fish you caught that they didn’t! So once your friend is on his or her way there are a few things you want to think about. Do they have a camera or do you need to give them yours? Even if they have theirs sometimes it’s easier to give them yours as then you know that it’s set up as you want it plus you have the photos on your camera so you don’t have to wait for your friend to email them over to you. Where is the sun? You want to be facing the sun and have the sun on the back of the photographer so you and your fish will be lit and not in shadow. Landscape or Portrait? Do you want the photo flat left to right or up and down? You normally take photos in landscape which look great but if you have in the back of your mind that “hey the guys at NZ Kayak Magazine might put this on the cover” then the shot really needs to be in portrait as that’s the shape of the magazine, and hey if that happens then EVERYONE will see you and your fish!

Not just one If there is one tip you take away from this article above all others, it is please take more than one photo. It’s not like the old days of film where you had to be very conscious of the fact you only had so many shots on the roll and then there was the cost of getting the film developed and photos printed; there was no way you wanted five or six photos of the same thing. Digital photos cost nothing, so every time you take a photo of the fish take at least two or three and before you release the fish have a quick look on the camera at them. If it’s no good or what you thought was a perfect photo actually has the head chopped off you can take another. Don’t wait until you get home and put the memory card in the computer to review your pics to show the family! So, do take more than one, if it really is a fish of a lifetime then you only have one chance to get that winning photo…


Issue 84 Summer 2017


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Showing Off So, you have taken these photos now what do you do with them? We started off talking about the guys at the bar so we can show them but who else? You’ve got this fish in digital format now so lets share it with a far wider audience. The internet is your friend, post your fish up on Facebook so all



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your friends can see it, share it on kayak fishing websites and forums such as, email it to the editor at NZ Kayak Magazine, enter it in competitions. And if in your photo you have some tackle or gear send it to the manufacturer or distributor as they always appreciate seeing their products producing the goods for their customers – Facebook is again good for this, find their page and post your photo on it.

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Issue 84 Summer 2017 COURSES Sep 2016 QTR SOT FSH PORT.indd 1

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Join Join the the Yakity Yakity Yak Yak Kayak Kayak Club Club n n Come and join us on one of these activities • • • • • • • • • • • •

Skills Practice Day Surf Management Course Tutukaka Urupukapuka Abel Tasman Mangakino & the Waikato River Northland Explorer Whangaehu / Manganui-a te-ao - 2 day weekend trip Kaituna / Wairoa - 2 day weekend trip Rangitikei Gorge Section Lake Karapiro & Pokaiwhenua Stream Waihi Beach Coastline

Cliffs dwarf kayakers Yakity Yak trip to Lake Arapuni Photo by Ruth E. Henderson

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now, and let the adventures begin. WHY JOIN? • Meet New Friends • Lots of Great Trips • Discover the Great Outdoors • Safety Minded • Opportunities to Improve Your Skills • and much more...

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So Who Gives Way?


Issue 84 Summer 2017

by James Fitness

Photo credit: Ruth E. Henderson

We often find ourselves in a position where we are going to cross the path of a motor boat. The rules of the road stipulate that a motor boat gives way to sail, dinghy and paddle craft. Cool,so you’ve got right of way, right? Well, not always. It also states “unless restricted by draft”. So what does this mean? Restricted by draft means that if the motor boat cannot change course for fear of running aground (for example) it then has priority. There are a number of situations that the former rule can apply. A common one is where a boat is navigating a narrow channel, such as an estuary. If you are likely to cross its path, wait a moment, let it pass. There are also times when a vessel requires speed to navigate a channel. This generally occurs in fast moving water, such as rivers or again, estuarine channels. Because the water is flowing, a power boat requires speed to retain steerage. How much speed depends on the flow rate. On a river, a jet boat requires considerable speed to navigate and therefore has little time or space to avoid other users. As a general rule, in narrow waterways, a paddler will be the give way vessel. But also, common sense dictates, be prepared to be the vessel to take evasive action. Kayaks are not easily seen, even with flags and bright colours, so don’t assume you have been. If in doubt, let them pass. I am a firm believer in learning about all facets of boating and navigation, giving you the ability to read a situation and to predict what another water user is likely to do and act accordingly. This can prevent many situations from turning into incidents. It’s a big sea out there, but it’s surprising how often you find yourself in the same spot as another vessel. Know the rules and be more considerate than others, for your sake rather than theirs.

Issue 84 Summer 2017


Photo credit: Shelley Stuart

Fast Passenger Ferries They demand our respect!

On a couple of stunning fine long weekends, there were huge numbers of boats, jetskis and kayaks all out enjoying the water. A group of Yakity Yakers were camping on Motuihe Island in the Hauraki Gulf. It occured to them, that they were at risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Waiheke ferries travel at great speed and at very regular PAGE 30

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intervals, often just 20 minutes apart. These vessels have very strick restrictions on where they can travel when navigating the Motuihe Channel. This is where knowing what to expect of another vessel is of utmost importance. With this in mind, we thought it prudent to remind you of the rules and regulations around that busy waterway.

Motuihe Channel Fast Passenger Ferry Lane No vessel may impede the passage of a fast passenger ferry (identified by a yellow flashing light) when within the lane or its approaches. Anchoring is prohibited



The master of a fast passenger ferry passing through the Motuihe Channel MUST: a. use the fast passenger ferry lane at all times when passing through the Motuihe Channel and; b. navigate as close to the edge of the lane that lies on the vessels starboard side as is safe and practicable (to allow safe port to port passing) and;

c. proceed along the lane from Emu Point to Otahuhu Point (north-easterly direction) or in the opposite direction (south-westerly direction)

Issue 84 Summer 2017


Biolite Stove

In this modern age of gadgets and must haves, every so often a product comes along that inspires us to say “Wow that’s clever and I want one, no I need one”. The Biolite stove was my “must need one” item! These days I do more sea kayaking as opposed to tramping, so the weight (around a kg) wasn’t an issue. Yes there are many cookers out there but this appealed to my frugality, as this stove doesn’t require any flammable fuel - you simply feed it small twigs. This feature is great if you travel on planes or have extended kayak trips - you never know how much liquid fuel to take. So you tend to take too much or you run out. I once took my Whisperlite stove on a five day paddle around Nelson Lakes and forgot to take the fuel - that was a dufus moment for sure. You get the twigs alight by using a small piece of fire starter or something similar. The stove has a battery powered fan on its side which forces air onto the fire making it super-efficient and usually virtually smokeless complete combustion. Now comes the cunning part. As the fire burns, the thermo-electric generator inside gets hot and converts this heat into electrical energy. The 2W of energy via the USB port is then available to be used to charge small personal devices like cell phones, LED lights and

By Andy Blake

even my flash Garmin GPS watch. Usually during a trip, my cell phone bleeds power so it’s often virtually dead when I return to civilization - the time I need to call home or book that taxi. Well, not now with my new Biolite stove. There are a few other accessories available with this stove if you are interested. I have used this stove with the large boiling pot and also with a good sized fry pan – makes a great brazier for toasting the marshmallows or hovering around instead of a campfire. If you would like one of these stoves ($259.00) - just contact the good people at your nearest Canoe & Kayak shop and we will be happy to get you a “Must have” stove.

Multi Purpose Accessory Leash Great price, and designed for salt water with a solid brass fitting

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Issue 84 Summer 2017

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After “The Fire” By Pauline Ross

– a return visit to Browns Island Browns Island (Motukorea) is a favourite destination for kayakers. Whether that be as the turn-around point in a training paddle from Okahu Bay, or to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of an island you can only get to with your own water transport. In early November 2016, the island became headline news for the wrong reasons when a fire was lit and burned a large part of the island. “Woman stranded for four days on uninhabited Browns Island lit fires to attract attention.” (NZ Herald) I’d led a trip for the Auckland Yakity Yak Kayak Club to the island two weeks before the fire, and had since watched from shore as the island began to recover. So by mid-December it was time to pay a return visit. I’m pleased to say that the island has recovered well. The bottom of the fence posts show the impact of the fire, but the kikuyu has largely recovered and is lush and green. The birds were out in full force, and a monarch butterfly kept us company as we had lunch on the summit. Definitely back on my list of favourite places to be this summer!

Issue 84 Summer 2017


Niue Kayak Record June 7th, 2016, in celebration of World Oceans Day, my adventure racing team mate Sophie Hart and I etched our names in a little bit of kayak history by being the first people to circumnavigate Niue by sea kayak. The idea to paddle around Niue started to form when I was there on a work trip in April. I was employed by the Niuean Government to do a review of their events strategy and advise on their adventure tourism industry. Travelling Niue Island in April with my family for the Junior Rockman, a kid’s triathlon with a difference, ‘swim, run & play’, I returned in May for the Rockman Offroad Triathlon and again in early June for the two biking events run on the island, the ‘Rally of the Rock’, a five stage 40 km off-road event and the ‘Around the Rock’, a one day 65 km bike race around the island. During my first visit to the island I became convinced that a water based event would be an ideal addition to the events on offer. The waters of Niue are incredible, the island pops up out of the deep ocean, the water depth rapidly drops to about 600 metres and then down to around 3000 metres. The clarity is exceptionally unique. I think the ocean there is being under utilised, it’s an untapped resource. In talks with the Tourism Department I encouraged them to explore the possibility of running some ocean paddling events and they were very open to these ideas. While it’s an incredible destination for sea kayaking, it’s extremely well suited to ocean surf skis. The obvious paddle event is around the island, the whole country, it’s 70 km so probably on the limit of distance for a one day race, but it’d be epic in every sense of the word. Niue is rugged, there are very few launching and landing places, but once on the water it’s amazing. When I started talking about kayaking around the Island to explore the feasibility of a race, the majority of people on the island didn’t think it could be done. Not because of the distance so much, but more because the east side of the island is regularly exposed to the trade winds, crashing swells and has nowhere to land or shelter. It demands respect. That said, there are calm days typically through July to November. With the backing from Niue Tourism to attempt the circumnavigation I called upon Adventure Racing team mate Sophie Hart to join me for the challenge. Sophie had said she was keen for a paddling mission and we’re used to paddling together long distances in racing so she was an obvious choice of partner, we always paddle well together and I thought it was important for a woman to be on the trip, it served to inspire local women to what is possible. We spent three days paddling from Avatele Beach where we could access the exposed eastern shores quickly. Our plan was to depart from Avatele and get as much of the east coast completed while the weather was more settled, typically the mornings were calmer for a few hours after sunrise. Before we could get on the water for the serious attempt we spent a day racing bikes in the Rally of the Rock event. This event saw 31 participants complete eight individual time trails on bush tracks mainly in the interior of the island. The route traversed the country from north to south.

by Nathan Fa’avae

We then turned our attention to the paddle challenge and monitoring the forecasts: the pattern was clear, three metre swells and 20 knot winds. A local fishing charter boat was arranged as a support vessel to accompany us, in fact, we were required by the government to have the safety boat. We’d spent a few days testing the inflatable sea kayak we flew to Niue with, a Gumotex Seawave, it was great vessel but not fast compared to ocean surf skis that we’re used to, or even the Arctic Raiders and Nordkapps we sea kayak in. We decided that averaging about 7-8 km/h would be realistic, given the winds, swells and currents. With that in mind and adding in some time for unknown circumstances, we prepared ourselves for a 12 - 13 hour day. There was 12 hours of daylight so we needed to be on the water at sunrise and have night lights should we still be out after sunset. I was quite nervous in the hours preceding the paddle. I’d said it could be done and a number of people had backed me on the idea, Niue Tourism, Gumotex, the local support boat and of course Sophie. It felt like the stakes were a bit higher than a normal sea kayak adventure, it was in reality, a sponsored expedition. The weather wasn’t making it easy for us which I was actually pleased about as I didn’t want to paddle in perfect conditions, but I did want to succeed, and safely. Going anticlockwise, at 6.00 am we launched from Avatele Beach, it was only a ten minute paddle to the first headland where we could expect to get into the bigger seas. We’d paddled that stretch a few times so we knew what to expect but it was intimidating water, the swells were big and the waves crashing into land were thunderous, the wave clapitis and refraction along the coast there is impressive, the most diverse I’ve seen anywhere. But we knew if we punched out one to two kilometres from land it’d tidy up. Our support boat arrived on the scene as we rounded the headland. We expected to be in rough conditions for up to six hours as we clawed around three major headlands including the most southern point of the island. If all went to plan, we’d then have the south-east trade behind us and we should be able to surf the 15 km to reach the north coast and sheltered water. The support boat provided some level of comfort but the nature of the east coast is wild and remote and there were safety concerns for the boat too: in the conditions on the day there was about 20 km of rough waters to pass before everyone could relax a little. It wasn’t ideal conditions but it was the best forecast for the days we had available to try, plus we wanted to paddle it in testing conditions as that provided more of a bench mark looking ahead at the possibility of making it a race. Had we paddled around in dead flat seas it would still leave many questions in the air as to if it was possible in rough seas. My vision for a paddling event would be outrigger, SUP and surf ski, all of which will attract paddlers who want varied conditions, so it was important to do the trial paddle in rough seas. I’ll admit I was nervous heading out into the open waters even with a support boat in the vicinity. There were a lot of unknowns and there are always sudden weather events or rouge waves in turbulent waters such as we were in. We also didn’t know the kayak well but we soon started to gain confidence as the boat held a good speed and even when we got hit by a few breaking waves the boat handled everything thrown at it. It was exceptionally well made so I wasn’t worried about any gear failure.

The GPS was giving us useful information on what the currents were doing, we could maintain the same paddling rate but be cruising between 5 and 8 km/h. By mid-morning we were released by currents and we made really quick time down the island. When we rounded the most eastern point and had ocean downwind of us instead of unapproachable rocky coast we could breathe easier and enjoy the paddling more, we were over the worst of it. Rounding the northern end into sheltered waters was amazing, the sense of relief and the scenery was majestic, incredible colours of water, coral walls, vegetation and sun brightened skies, breathtaking. We’d been through some sections where the swells were in the five to six metre range, big ocean stuff, the mammoth waves actually gave us shelter from the wind, impressive forces. We’d made great time paddling the first 35 km, two hours faster than predicted, but we knew we were still only half way and the last headland near the end would be exposed again to the trade winds. It was heating up and Sophie was keen to go for a swim so after six hours we had our first break, a swim, food and guzzle of water. It was then back paddling making the most of being able to paddle close to the coast and enjoy the scenery, sea caves, chasms, archways and then we started to paddle next to the villages towards town. With 60 km completed we took another ten minute break to bail the water out, cool off again with a swim and then head back into the high winds and swells to make it around the final headland. It was a really good way to finish, being reminded of what we’d spent the morning doing, fighting into the wind, pitching and tossing around in the waves and swells. Nearing 4.00 pm, we got into the shelter of the land and started to savour the achievement and adventure. We’d done it. 69.3 km in nine hours and 40 minutes. It was a tremendous feeling climbing out of the kayak we’d climbed into ten hours prior, with major unknowns ahead of us. The circumnavigation created quite a buzz around the island and it was really special to have a sizeable welcoming party at the beach when we landed. The chief invited us to dinner that night at the village. Sophie and I both agreed it was an awesome paddle and very challenging and highly rewarding, we felt extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to do it. It confirmed for me that the Niuean waters will be incredible for ocean sports. I’d love to see some paddling events and a paddling culture really grow there, it’s a massive part of Polynesian culture. Our trip was the first known circumnavigation but I have zero doubt that back in time the Niuean people would have paddled around the island in canoes. It’s not that far and given they were paddling between the South Pacific islands: Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, even perhaps Aotearoa, they would have easily gone around Niue. Maybe they never did it in a day as they probably never needed too. The trip was successful for many reasons and we were thrilled to hear that there are a few local people eyeing up the challenge now too.

Dome Awning & Side Wall Do you want to mount a shade awning to your vehicle but the roof is so low that it makes an awning impractical? Rhino-Rack has developed the Dome 1300 Awning to provide the extra height you need for head clearance. The Dome 1300 Awning can be mounted to either side of your vehicle or directly to the rear. So whether you need shade while on the beach or for your family outings it is the Dome 1300 Awning that will provide you all weather protection. With the newly available Dome Awning Side Wall (sold separately), you can get even more privacy and protection from the elements.

Made from the same heavy duty rip-stop polycotton fabric as proven in Rhino-Rack awnings like the Sunseeker range, the Dome 1300 Awning and Side Wall are weather proof and UV50+ protected. The roof domes up to offer extra head room underneath the awning so it will work well for taller people and for lower roofed vehicles. In wetter conditions the engineering of the Dome 1300 Awning has superior water run off. The awning covers a large space opening out to 2500mm x 2400mm and stands well over 2.0m depending on the vehicle you mount it to. The Dome 1300 Awning is quick to set up and easy to use and when packed away it’s only 1300mm in length.


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Issue 84 Summer 2017


Get Maximum Life Out of Your Dry Bags. In simple terms a dry bag is made of a waterproof material that rolls over itself to seal. There is plenty of choice, with varying quality and price. I have put together a simple breakdown of styles, types of construction and how to get a long life out of your dry bags.

Dry bag construction and materials. Dry bags are made of PVC, Polyester or Nylon, with or without woven threads and with electronically bonded waterproof seams. That’s the technical stuff out of the way.

How to destroy your dry bag as quickly as possible. This is easy. Stuff it over-full. Force the top to roll 3 times as tightly as possible and then push it around a 90 degree corner to get it inside the kayak. You’ll win the prize for the world’s greatest dry bag destroyer.

So keeping things simple here are a few things to remember.

Modern dry bags can last many years, possibly for your entire kayaking career.

1/- the clear PVC window has no woven threads in the plastic and is, therefore, the weakest part of a dry bag. 2/- lighter more flexible fabric is less likely to catch and rip going in and out of sea kayak hatches.

Things to remember to increase the life of your dry bags. DO NOT OVER FILL – buy a bigger size than you need. It will last twice as long and cost only a few dollars more. A dry bag that is only 75% filled will easily mould to the odd spaces inside your kayak hatch allowing you to carry more. Normally we would say that more small bags are easier to pack into a kayak than a few large bags. This is true, unless the large bags are only 75% filled. Most dry bags fail either because the fabric rips or the clear window cracks.


Issue 84 Summer 2017

3/- Ripstop is a woven fabric that has an extra thread added to the weave, which stops a tear or rip from travelling across or down the fabric. 4/- When tramping, heavier weight plastic increases abrasion resistance but this is not usually needed when kayaking. 5/- Most commonly failure occurs where the clear plastic window joins the more flexible bag fabric. The strongest bag has Ripstop construction with no window. But who wants to go without a window? The next most common failure is cracking of heavy weight fabric where it rolls to provide a seal. Lighter weight fabrics often last longer.

Making life easy. How to purchase the best dry bag for your needs. All dry bags keep their contents dry, but many make it difficult to find the thing you are looking for without empting the entire bag. It helps to have a big window in the bag. Completely clear dry bags are available, as long as you don’t mind displaying their contents to the world. My personal emergency kit bag is one of these, which I do not access often and can visually check the contents.

Boots and other bigger items packed in a dry bag are often difficult to get into a small kayak hatch. The best solution is put an empty 40 or 50 litre dry bag in the hatch and then pack them in.

To sum up. All modern dry bags can last many years, quite possibly for your entire kayaking career. So it is worth spending the time and money to buy the bag best suited to your needs and treat it with respect. The bag will return the favour.

For other stuff, especially clothes, I prefer a dry bag which opens along its length. It is easier to find things in a shallow bag with a big opening. This style of bag is a little more expensive but is so much easier to use.

Author: Ian Cheesman – Keen kayaker and importer of Seattle Sports equipment.

When the bag is full and closed you squeeze it, expel excess air and reduce its size. This is great for squashing your dry bag into tight spaces in your kayak. Sleeping bags and clothes bulk can be reduced greatly before stowing in your kayak. The smaller the size, the more stuff you’ll get into your kayak.

My purchase suggestions. If you are looking for a medium price dry bag, go for a big opening that opens along the length of the bag. If you can afford a few more dollars, go for the lighter ‘Ripstop’ material. The bag will last longer. Finally buy bigger so you do not need to over-fill. On the other hand if you need a cheaper dry bag for occasional multiday camping trips, buy a known brand.

Some additional points. Are you storing moisture in your dry bag? Remember that if you pack your dry bag on a cold damp morning, when the day warms up the trapped moisture will be absorbed by the bag’s contents. Those who have paddled the Whanganui River may have experienced the resulting damp clothes and sleeping bags. My suggestion is, pack your clothes in sealed plastic bags, one for each day, before putting them into your dry bag. Only open a sealed bag when it’s needed.

Photos clockwise from far left: Ripstop fabric. The Seattle Omni range of dry bags The Hiko Light Dry Bag The Hiko Scrim & Compact Cylindric Dry Bags makes it easy to find gear.


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Double Kayak Saga

A wee story about a Scottish couple buying double kayaks By Ruairidh Smith

Trip from Waikawa Bay to Bay of Many Coves in Queen Charlotte Sound with a happy Wee Sue in her AR Duo

I had started mountaineering in Scotland at 13 years of age and had been a member of the Braemar Mountain Rescue Team for ten, so was very keen to join the climbing scene in New Zealand. I joined the Alpine Club in 1998 and was soon out winter climbing. After a few epics, which included a very near miss with a large avalanche, it was apparent to me that there was a good possibility of “kicking the bucket” on the mountains. A good friend was into kayaking at the time and it was a very quick transition into the kayaking world. Tony had a Siton-Top single and my wife (Wee Sue) and I decided to buy a Cabo (sit on top double with rudder). As beginners we started off in the harbour, Henley Glen etc. We had some good trips at sea and lakes, and decided to leave the rivers to the mad folk in the wee river boats. As my confidence and sense of adventure took over, I could see it was time to get into a sit inside double (I already had a sit inside single). Sue was not as confident, however, a holiday to the Abel Tasman and the hire of a Seabear Packhorse double for three days was a great success. The following year we went to the Bay of Islands on holiday. After a trip out to the hole in the rock on Motukokako Island, we arranged a kayak trip with guide around Urupukapuka Island. We went right around the island going in and out of the caves and we had a very special spiritual experience PAGE 40

Issue 84 Summer 2017

on the way back. I had noticed a dolphin struggling on the rocks and by the time we arrived to help it was cut and bleeding. With the guides knowledge and advice we got it back in the water and held it to re-orientate itself. Sadly it died in our arms 45 minutes later. We were now feeling confident as a team in a double, so a couple of days later in Paihia we managed to hire a Crosswind, with all the gear. We started off well and hours later we could see Urupukapuka Island, in the distance. When I suggested we keep going to the Island for a liquid refreshment, there was no stopping Sue! On the return trip, the weather started to deteriorate and we had to battle through the waves. When we reached the head land before Russell we met a big motor launch with the captain on the top deck going full speed ahead, straight for us. At the last minute, he saw us, and veered off to the left, leaving us in deep troughs. We were lucky to survive and only managed to stay in the kayak by using high brace strokes. The question now was what about Wee Sue! Was this the end of our kayaking partnership? We paddled in silence and went around into Russell and straight into the pub for a few well-earned drams. To my surprise Sue took this near wipe-out in her stride “phew, saved.” By the time we got back to Paihia, we had been away for over 12 hours. A good hard day on the water, “well done Wee Sue” When we got home we spent a long time discussing which sit inside double kayak we should buy. We eventually decided to go for a plastic Eco Niizh 565 (XLT) double. Now we owned our first double sit inside (sea)

kayak. The kayak was great for big trips with plenty of room for all of our gear. We took it around D`Urville Island and had many more great trips. As the years went on we realised it was getting harder to lift on and off the ute, which wasn’t surprising since it weighed 45 kgs. So now we were on the hunt for a lighter double! By this time I had bought a Tahe Marine Reval single and was very impressed with its set up, handling and speed. We therefore decided to order a double Wind Duo from the same company. Ian Cheesman from Great Stuff was very helpful and was soon on the task of finding a cheap way to transport the kayak from Estonia (border of Russia and Baltic Sea). Because the boat (6.5 metres) was too long to fit in the usual size of container it had to travel by land and sea. Ian explained it would take months to arrive, but we were more than ready to wait for the right boat. About four to five months later Ian rang to say it had arrived in Auckland and that it had been damaged by a forklift. We were due to go on a kayaking holiday in a couple of weeks and had been chuffed that the Wind Duo had made it in time, but now we were back to the drawing board! After speaking with Ian he got Peter Townend from Canoe & Kayak, to give us a ring. Peter was magic and rescued our holiday by getting us an Adventure Racing Duo (AR Duo) from Barracuda Kayaks. It was high specification and at 30 kg sounded great. Gordon the owner of Barracuda Kayaks was fantastic and managed to get a boat made immediately and even accommodated Sue by moving the footrests back 100mm, in the front cockpit. The boat was with us in just over a week, how is that for a fantastic service? We were completely blown away on our first trip out in the AR Duo. It was light, fast, comfortable and handled really well in the water. I used to look forward to getting out in my fast singles after being in the heavy double, but the AR Duo has changed my mind; it is heaps of fun, fast, surfs really well and wee Sue is now a happy paddler, especially now that I can load and unload it onto the Ute by myself!




a professional landing in front of a school outing, playing volley ball on the beach. I asked Maggie what she thought of the AR Duo and she had 2016 QTR SOT v2 PORT.indd 1 I even managed to persuade the late Maggie Oakley, who was not COURSES a fan toSep admit she enjoyed her paddle. I said I thought she did since 6/09/2016 she was 2:51:03 PM of double kayaks, to come out with me one day in the AR Duo, at Ocean screaming with joy like a 18 year old as we were surfing! (A splendid day View. We were capsized by the last of many waves, and after a long paddle with a special pal). swim back, we sat on the beach and had an Easter egg each (provided After all the hard work of trying to research and buy a kayak from by Maggie).With a glint in her eye and one of those looks which meant it was full speed ahead, we were off again through the waves. After going Estonia, we have ended up with a fantastic kiwi made boat with back up around Green Island we then headed for Brighton Beach and with a service second to none. following sea we were surfing at high speed. When we arrived we made

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Issue 84 Summer 2017


Long Line Fishing from a Kayak

By Jason Milne

I’ve often proven that Long Line Fishing is an extremely successful and efficient way to catch fish. Using one of the long line kits available on the market I have averaged three to four take home fish, usually snapper, each trip. This is more fish, caught more quickly, than when using rods. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy spending long hours on the water trying different methods with varied success, but using the long line I can be home with fresh fish within a two hour round trip. I am using a kayak specific long line kit that consists of a float, weighted sinker, small sand anchor, a 20 metre spool of mono fishing line and a 12 hook trace set. It can easily be stowed in kayak hatches and tank

wells (Traditional 25 hooks sets are a little less kayak friendly but can be used.) It pays to be organized. Using my Catch 390, Sit-on-Top fishing kayak, I pre-bait the hook trace set and stow it in the rear tank well under the insulated cover. In a sea kayak I avoid smelly hatches by keeping pre-cut baits in a zip lock bag and bait up when ready to deploy the long line. I have my deck area free of clutter. To deploy I attach a weight to the end of the mono line, drop it over the side and allow the line to run off the spool, stopping it to attach the pre-baited traces. Stoppers, roughly 1 metre apart, are attached to the mono line. I clip a trace on every second space. This avoids tangles when


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deploying and when fish hook up. All traces attached, I clip on the small sand anchor and let it run to the bottom. The 12 baited hooks will now sit on or near the bottom between the weight and anchor, floating with the current, in the perfect position for bottom feeding fish such as snapper. I then run the rest of the line off the spool, attach the end to the float and stow the empty spool. I am now free for 20 to 25 minutes by which time I’ve either had a hook up or the baits will be gone. To catch fish and eliminate loss of gear you’ll want to choose the right spot. A sandy bottom near a reef or weed bed is best though I admit I have sometimes, using my fish finder, dropped the long line on a relatively barren and lifeless looking bottom and caught some of my best snapper! Setting in foul ground will only lead to one thing, a snag which is very difficult and dangerous to free. “The best form of defense is don’t be there!” I have had most success in water no deeper than 10 metres which means, at my local beach, I don’t have to paddle for more than 10 – 15 minutes before setting. The fresher the bait the better! Fresh baits are less likely to be sucked off the hook and result in a higher chance of a hook up. I have used fresh kahawai, mullet, bonito, squid & even stingray, all with similar success. When a fish grabs the bait and runs the tension goes on at the next stopper and the circle hook sets itself in the fish’s mouth. Using circle hooks result in a lip hook which means I can release a fish without causing undue damage or stress. I always carry at least two sharp knives, one as a back up in case I lose one. By sharp I mean sharp enough to cut the heavy mono line effortlessly. I’ve encountered two situations when a sharp knife was needed * My line was snagged and I could not release it. This was the first and last time I set over foul ground! • I hooked something undesired like a stingray. This is not uncommon. It can make a real mess of things.

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Get the Kids involved I get great reward from providing my family with fresh fish and even more from sharing this experience with my elder son Milan. Anyone who has taken kids fishing will know that they can lose interest very quickly, so the experience needs to be both interactive and short. Taking him out on the kayak to set the long line is both quick and fun for both of us and Milan looks forward to doing it again as much as I do (Mum gets a well earned break also). When his younger brother is old enough to join us I’ll have to trade the Contour 490 for an Eco Behzig and use the centre hatch as his cockpit. I don’t doubt that a tired Mum will be in full support of that!



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Sea Kayaks Family Kekeno Touring Waitoa Breaksea Doubles SeaBear II Packhorse

Sit-on-Top Family Firefly Whizz Escapee Escapade Swift Double Delta Escapade II

River Kayaks K30 Explore/ Sally K37 Mohaka

Sea Kayaks K40 Tasman Double K50 Pacific


Doubles Sprite 2 Wanderer

Sea Kayaks Family Tui Excel

Sea Kayaks Single Beachcomber Ultra Light Interface Enigma Double AR Duo

Touring Penguin Shearwater Skua Tasman Express Ta s m a n E x p r e s s Elite Foveaux Express Southern Skua Torres Maximus Doubles Wanderer Excel Dusky Bay Classic Southern Endeavour Dusky Bay II

Single Twist 1 Safari Double Twist 2 Solar 2 Solar 3

Recreational Sit-In Single Helios 1 Swing 1

Recreational Sit-In Sprite 1 Kiwi Tui


Double Helios 2 Swing 2

Sea Kayaks Framura Seawave

Canoe Baraka Scout

White Water K1 K2

Sit-on-Top Family Frenzy Mysto Scrambler 11 Tetra 12 Fishing Tetra 12 Angler Trident Ultra 4.1 Trident Ultra 4.3 Trident Ultra 4.7 Prowler Big Game II Double Malibu Two Malibu Two XL Malibu Two XL Angler

Sit-on-Top Family Play Escape Explorer Tourer Fishing Navigator Fish n Dive Marauder Double Tandem SLS Tandem Long Reach

For all these and more go to:

Great Advice / Great Brands / Great Service

Canoe & Kayak staff, friends and family took to the water in the new range of Titan Kayaks.

Thomas Patrick

Thomas Patrick

Thomas Patrick

Thomas Patrick from the North Shore store

Madie McGregor from the Manukau store


Issue 84 Summer 2017

Dave and Joel Oosterdijk www

Photo Andrew Cornaga

Issue 84 Summer 2017


Huka Falls Start as you mean to go on!

My name is Quinton Kennedy. I am currently going

into my sixth season of kayaking and I’m spending the next 12 months paddling the rivers of New Zealand. Growing up on the banks of the mighty Ottawa River has given me a lot of experience in play boats and surfing waves. I had qualified for the White water Grand Prix and realized I really needed to step up my creeking game. That is where my whole journey to finding the perfect boat began. The whole adventure started when my friend Ollie and I packed up and headed to Chile. With my shiny new Titan Yantra we made our way to some classic runs such as: Upper Palguin, Trancura, Nervados, Puesco, and the Rio Fuy. The boat really helped me improve some of the river running aspects I set out to perfect. I went from unintentionally plugging boofs to sending them in no time. My boat control had also become much better overall. Unfortunately, everything must come to an end so, after some sad goodbyes to new friends, we boarded a plane. The destination was to the beautiful islands of New Zealand. I had arrived in NZ, but I didn’t have a boat to paddle yet, and I was anxious to get on the water. I spent some time borrowing boats from friends and just getting used to the white water. I got acquainted with another Titan Kayaks team member, Sam Ricketts who let me take out his new Rival. After one run down the Kaituna in this boat I was hooked. I found myself using the boat every opportunity I could. When running rivers in other boats, I was thinking how much fun it would be in the Rival. The boat cruises over waves and boofs holes like a dream. We got the word that Huka Falls was “in” and only one thing came to my mind, “I need the Rival for this.” We arrived assuming the river to be at 60 cumecs as the gauge online had said. You know what they say about making assumptions. The river had spiked to 105 cumecs, which was going to make this an interesting first experience. The crew geared up and walked up to the put in. I was quite nervous dropping into this rapid, but once I was amongst it I felt very comfortable. I noticed the bow of the boat almost never pearled under curling waves. This made for a very flowy feel while running the rapid. Next came the drop at the bottom. I had watched plenty of video of this drop before, but there is nothing quite like coming up to the lip and seeing that beautiful view. While paddling towards the drop the boat made me feel unstoppable. The large waves leading up had no effect on the boat as it just cruised right through. I planted my blade, took the boof stoke, and soared! When I landed I skipped out and saw the boys at the bottom who seemed quiet impressed with how the boat reacted to this impressive rapid. This boat is truly like no other I have ever paddled!

River: Rio Fuy - Chile Photo: Kevin Kennedy

Drop: Huka Falls Photo: Keegan Huizingh

We can fit a rack to almost anything!


BAY OF PLENTY 07 574 7415

TAUPO 07 378 1003 WELLINGTON 04 477 6911

TARANAKI 06 751 2340

MANUKAU 09 262 0209

WAIKATO 07 850 1002

NORTH SHORE 09 479 1002

AUCKLAND 09 815 2072

Offer closes March 31st



Was $499

Was $949

Now only



Was $1149

Canoe & Kayak Auckland 502 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham, Auckland 1025 09 815 2073

Canoe & Kayak Bay of Plenty 49 Totara St, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga, 3116 07 574 7415

Canoe & Kayak Waikato 545 Te Rapa Rd Hamilton, 3200 07 850 1002

Canoe & Kayak North Shore 2/20 Constellation Dr Mairangi Bay, Auckland, 0632 09 479 1002

Canoe & Kayak Taranaki 468 St Aubyn St, Moturoa, New Plymouth, 4310 06 751 2340

Canoe & Kayak Wellington Unit F 2 Centennial Highway Ngauranga, Wellington, 6035 04 477 6911

Canoe & Kayak Manukau 605A Great South Rd Manukau, 2104 09 262 0209

Canoe & Kayak Taupo 54 Spa Rd Taupo, 3330 07 378 1003

Canoe & Kayak Christchurch (Agency) 03 377 6161 027 376 6161


Issue 84 Summer 2017