1 EAGLETON NOTES: Reflections of New Zealand: Kayaking

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Monday, 1 September 2014

Reflections of New Zealand: Kayaking

James and Yuko took me under their wing one Monday in 2011.  I had never been kayaking and the opportunity to wander up the Waimapu River at Tauranga was one not to be missed.  It was not, I have to admit, executed without incident.


Setting off upstream
Recent floods have left the river blocked in places and careful negotiation of the hazards was needed
At the end of the journey was a huge swimming hole with a rope swing between the (very high) trees
Which both of the youngsters tried - I didn't!
Returning - a quiet journey.  Almost......
On the return journey we had to negotiate a couple of fallen trees which were blocking all but about a metre of the river which it was possible to get man and kayak through successfully with a very small area adjacent where the tree was out of the water sufficiently for a kayak to pass but not the occupant however low he or she should lean back.  I was, of course, the one who managed to misjudge the fast-flowing current sufficiently to go under the low bit and consequently end up in the water.  The river was deeper than I was tall with a very steep adjacent bank so I had to swim for the other side. Next time I'll wear togs!  Fortunately James and Yuko rescued the kayak and brought it over to me.  The weather was so hot that the rest of the journey was actually rather pleasant.

The photos were taken by James with whom copyright rests.

14 comments:

  1. The only time I was kayaking was with the company I used to work for. It was our annual summer outing and our bosses had the brilliant idea of increasing "team building" by assigning 3 of us to a boat, with no choice of our own as to whom we would like to be in the same boat with. We were kayaking on the Danube, in the summer of 2003 - when the water level was so low in places that we had to get out of our boats and carry them along the river for a while until we would reach deeper waters again.
    Of the two colleagues who were with me, one was from the Black Sea Delta (Romania), a true "water rat" (as we call that in German, Wasserratte, it is not at all disrespectful, just means someone who really, really feels at home swimming and boating). Later, another colleague told me that, as soon as this man knew who was going to be in his boat, he said to the collague that he was going to "baptize" us with Danube water - his plan from the start was to turn our kayak over! And so he did... Luckily, I can swim, and even more luckily, it was a hot day - most luckily of all, I did not lose my specs! That would have put a complete end of all the fun for me, and I would have requested payment for the replacement from my colleauge. Stupidly enough, he forgot to put his own camera into a water-proof container before he turned our boat over... He he he

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    1. I'm glad you survived unscathed Meike and I love the twist at the end of your story. My camera was in a floating waterproof bag and I, too, retained my specs. Oddly my jandals (flip flops) stayed in the canoe although how they did so I have no idea.

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  2. Methinks I can sense your adventurous spirit feeling a little restless...? (longing for mountains and jungles...) You have some great photos to look back on, anyway! :)

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    1. Monica believe me my adventurous spirit will have enough travelling in the next month to keep me well occupied.

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  3. Was this from Katherine's place? A great adventure. The only time I went sea kayaking - in Sri Lanka last year - my hips hurt like hell after a half an hour or so. Consequently I have abandoned my plan to kayak down the River Hull into the Humber.

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    1. Yes Neil it was. It's not bad having access to a river like that at the bottom of your garden. In this case about 25' below the bottom of your garden.

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  4. That looks so much fun, Graham, despite mishaps. I've always fancied white water rafting,too. Wth fairly quiet white water to start off with...

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    1. Ah Frances, white water rafting. Now there's another post. Perhaps tomorrow. (and many apologies for the error in the now-deleted comment).

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  5. Looks and sounds like a lot of fun, even if you did have a bit of a spill! It has been years since I have kayaking and yes it was in New Zealand! Wonderful scenery of course as well.

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    1. It was great fun Serenata and I'd do it again tomorrow but I'd wear togs!

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  6. Looks like an afternoon of fun.
    I have always wanted to try kayaking and river rafting, but they remain on my Bucket List for now.

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    1. Well Virginia don't let them stay on the list too long!

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  7. I think I may have told you a few of my kayaking mishaps. I tried it again in Newcastle a couple of weeks ago. Wish I hadn't - it was so embarrassing trying to get in and out of the craft!! No, that's not true, it was worth the laughs.

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    1. I'm so glad Pauline that you had a go recently. I'd love to have another go but not in the sea.

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