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Discover Another World

2 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 3

NZ Distributors: Southern Extreme Ltd. Ph 03 360 2550 Fax 03 360 2499 e-mail thule@irl.co.nz

Issue 36

Letters to the Editor 6

The Unclaimed Coast - Adventure

Philosophy’s South Georgian Odyssey -

Chapter Two 10

Mangakino Stream Night Paddle 14

Safety at Sea - The Law and how

we can work within it. 15

Whanganui Kayak Trip 16

Rendezvous at Rat Island 20

Alderman Islands Adventure 22

Navigation tips for kayaking

in adventure races 24

Star-studded Coastbusters 28

Coastal Invaders Wellington

Yakity Yak 2006 29

A Paddle in the Catlins 30

Halong Bay - Venice on the rocks 32

Cambridge to Hamilton Kayak Race 34

d’Urville trip 36

Kayaking the Kawhia Harbour 38

Te Waihora Lake Ellesmere 40

The Contour 480 42

Directory: Things To Do 43

Learn To Kayak 44

Buyers Guide 45

Front cover photo: Mark Jones

Contents page photo by Fay and Bruce Schaw

4 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

Anzac Day

Lots of fun and a few tears


Peter Townend

Ph: [09] 473 0036 Fax [09] 473 0794

Email: pete@canoeandkayak.co.nz


Breakthrough Communications

PO Box 108050 Symonds St,


Ph: [09] 303 3536 • Fax [09] 303 0086

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Peter Townend

Email: pete@canoeandkayak.co.nz

New Zealand Kayak Magazine

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A week down the Whanganui River with 55 keen

Yakity Yakers is huge fun. The laughter, the

teasing, the letting down of one’s hair as they say,

is great for the soul.

Hard work you may think arranging a trip of that

size and you would be right. It took eight or nine

trolleys at Pac n Save, a 100kg meat shop from the

butcher, another three trolleys of bread at

Taumarunui, gas bottles, cookers etc. Well over

500 kilos of food and another couple of hundred

kilos of equipment!

Yet I come home feeling that I could take on the

world after one of these trips. A feeling of being

out in the wilderness and thriving, not just

surviving. Seeing the looks on faces and hearing

the comments when we all achieve something

new together is great.

About 70 gathered for a Dawn Service at Tieke

Kainga Marae and with my head always

somewhat clouded at such a time I passed the

proceedings onto Mac from the Marae who talked

well about the fallen. Tony from Hamilton

wrapped it up with the right words and a prayer.

Card No:

Cheque Visa Mastercard

Signature Expiry date:

Send form to Kayak NZ Magazine. PO Box 100 493, NSMC, Auckland.

Or phone [09] 421 0662 Fax [09] 421 0663

email: pete@canoeandkayak.co.nz

These two things, the fun and the

remembrance are I think my fuel. There

aren’t many moments that go by that I don’t

think how lucky we all are. The fun and

enjoyment I get from the outdoors and the

people who venture into it with me improve

tenfold when I remember just how quickly

they can disappear if we are not vigilant. We

owe much to our previous generations, who

fought to protect our freedom and to build NZ

so we can grow in a safe and peaceful

country. Many millions of the worlds

population today would and do die for even

a scrap of the peace, freedom and abundance

we have here in NZ.

So let’s get out there and live a lot. Don’t put

off today something you have been meaning

to do. We owe it to our brave ancestors to

use this peace they won for us to the fullest

and remember, if some little thing needs

fixing then fix it before it wrecks the lot.

Cheers and see you out there on the water

Peter Townend


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ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 5

Letters to the Editor

Hi Peter

Steve and a bunch of clubbies went for a surf the other night. It was HUGE, he even managed

to damage the Polar Bear. One of our clubbies with a flash camera took loads of shots and

they are awesome. I am getting prints off the disc and was going to send you some (via email)

for the mag. It would make a good picture essay.


Karen, BOP Canoe & Kayak

Photos By Doug Dearlove

Challenge 5 Barbara Phillips

Penguin Laraine Hughes

6 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

For Sale

Kayak Centres

Interested in

owning your own

kayak shop?

Canoe & Kayak Ltd is ready to

open Licensed Operations in


and at selected

South Island locations

Phone: 09 473 0036

Peter Townend

Managing Director, Canoe & Kayak Ltd

and I’ll be glad to have a chat.

All approaches will be dealt with in confidence.

Polar Bear Steve Knowles

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 7

Letters to the Editor

How to enjoy your last weekend in

New Zealand

I offer to you my best recipe for how to spend your last weekend in

New Zealand.

Take 1 beautiful destination.

Mix with a dash of warm sunny weather, a large dollop of water, and a good

dose of humour.

Add good food, great friends and a sense of adventure.

Give a good stir, and enjoy.

On my last weekend in New Zealand, I headed out with the gang from Canoe

and Kayak BOP. With Karen leading her first paddle in a while, we headed

across the harbour in Tauranga, to eat lunch on the beautiful sands of

Matakana island. With a beautiful Waitangi day lunch populated with snags

and pavlova shared by all, we were quite dismayed when an incoming tide

flooded our beach sooner rather than later! The paddle back was a bit of a

struggle for those of us (mainly me) who weren’t quite as paddle fit as I once

was. Next time I know to be more prepared!

But again my thanks to those who shared a wonderful year with one Canadian

that was extremely sad to leave a beautiful country, but even more so the

amazing friendships that were forged on the water. Until next time....

Linsay Seitz

Canoe & Kayak

Fishing Competition

April 15th

With fishing off kayaks gaining in

popularity, Canoe & Kayak

recently held its annual kayak

fishing competition. Up for

winning was a Perception Squirt

Jason Bond with the

kayak. This was won for a mystery bigger Snapper.

weight snapper. Gary Harrison won this, his snapper

being just .255 away from the mystery weight of 2.2.

Jason Bond won the prize for the heaviest snapper of

3.555 kg Caught close to the white cliffs, Jason said that

he had planned to paddle in but decided he could give

it another 15mins. It was during this last 15mins that he

caught his prize snapper, well worth the wait.

Gary, Jason and Andrew Bailey.

Another Taranaki catch of the day by

the locals.

The sun was shining but the

sea was lumpy. There was a

good size swell coming from

a low, off shore. This stopped

some anglers venturing out

to their favourite spots. One

angler said he watched a

couple of guys getting

munted by the waves while

trying to paddle out

Pukearuhe way and

therefore decided to head

out from the port instead.

This capsized angler

admitted to not only falling

off on his way out, but again

on his way in. He won a

pirate’s flag for his effort,

with the idea of frightening

off the sharks before he falls

out next time.

Although the fishing was slow, plenty of

fish were caught and most were of a

reasonable size. But most importantly

fun was had by all who joined in.

Gary Harrisson with the

Squirt Kayak

Next year Canoe & Kayak, Taranaki plan

to make the event even bigger. By joining

up with the Oakura kayak fishing club,

finding sponsorship and broader

advertising, including outside the

district, they hope that even more

anglers will enjoy the day.

8 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

Dear Pete,

I have just had a very unique (arn’t they all) kayak stolen though Idon’t

think the kayak itself was the target but the camper van that it was in.

It is an Innova inflatable and unique in that it was the prom/demo kayak

that was brought to NZ for the website photo shoot in Abel Tasman. I was

wondering if you could put a small ad in the next additon of your magazine

to alert any kayaker who might be approached by someone trying to sell it.

It is a SEAKER model - if you have time please check out the innova web

site on www.innovakayak.com or I have attached the relevant page from

the web site. The actual kayak shown is/was my kayak, grey and red single.

It was hidden out of view in the back of my campervan which was parked

up in Nelson marina whilst I was away sailing around the South Island. On

my return the camper was missing with all my kayaking gear. The van could

have been stolen anytime between 3rd April and the 13th April. The police

have been informed and also have the same web site picture I have

attached for you. The other recognisable item is maybe the paddle though

of no particular value it is from Innova and has their name inscribed on

the red blades. I visit NZ every 6 months for a 6 month ‘holiday’ that is

dedicated to kayaking so I am pretty lost without my van and kayak.

Any help or advice that you can offer in helping me get information out

to the kayaking community would be gratefully received.

Hawke’s Bay

Kayak Centre

For Sale

With regards

Jill Strawbridge

Hi Pete

Just thought I would forward these photo's to you incase you are

looking for a filler for the next mag. Might make a nice picture essay.

Photo's by Barbara Phillips. YY BOP Club paddle on Tauranga Harbour

Cheers, Karen

This licensed

area has come up

for sale in the


Hawke’s Bay.

Karen, are your clubbies finding new beach toys?


Phone: 09 473 0036

Peter Townend

Managing Director, Canoe & Kayak Ltd

and I’ll be glad to have a chat.

All approaches will be dealt with in confidence.

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 9


The Unclaimed Coast

Adventure Philosophy’s South

Georgian Odyssey - Chapter Two

By Mark Jones, a member of the Adventure Philosophy team who

lectures at AUT University on its Outdoor Leadership courses.

Mark Jones

The cove we headed for was marked as being 2km deep.

Such was the inaccuracy of our chart that we rounded the

headland and found it to be only 200m to the back of the

bay. A wide sweep of black sand stretched from one side of

the bay to the other, studded with large blocks of ice like

diamonds sprinkled on a couch of black velvet. Beyond the

gems wriggled hundreds of huge brown larvae.

We carried our kayaks past these grunting, barking, snuffling beasts and

claimed a place for the tent. As we pitched it the weather changed abruptly

and in 20 minutes the bay went from near calm to having williwaws twist

across it and the spume blown from its surface in a hazy mist. Sand was

blasted into our clothing, the tent, and every part of any equipment not

stowed. The benign face we had seen had shown us how capricious it could

be, a mood swing in an instant. But there were plenty of rocks to secure the

tent and we soon had a home in which to shelter from the wind.

After 40 solid kilometres with very heavy kayaks, after 3 weeks of little

activity, my body was sore, but oh what a place to be. Facing inland it looked

similar to being on the lower slopes of Mt Ruapehu, with black sand, water

rounded boulders, and a field of tussock clumps climbing to craggy, snowclad

peaks, but when I turned around there were penguins and a herd of

elephant seals, with the sea beyond and a shore of glittering iceblocks. Inside

the tent, although cold enough to make fog of our breathing, it sounded

nothing like the mountains- the crash of surf, skuas’ cries, and the snufflegargle-grunting

call of the elephant seals spoke of a rich seascape. It is the

marriage of these two zones, the mountains and a sea, rich with life, that makes

this island so special.

The cacophony of animal sound increased if anything during the night and

it felt as though we were camped in the middle of a zoo. The elephants were

a constant source of anxiety. Although we had rationalised that the chances

of having our tent squashed did not warrant a watch to be held, it was

nevertheless a possibility, one that was palpable at times as we heard the

scrunch of gravel being ground beneath four tonnes of undulating blubber

next to our beds. On such occasions we all sat bolt upright and listened

intently, breath held as though that would make any difference to our fate.

The wind continued unabated during the night and the pointlessness of

trying to travel that day was clear from the start. Antarctic Bay directs its icy

breath straight out into the Atlantic- next stop South Africa- and we spent

the day enjoying a magic day of photographic forays from, and back to, the

sanctuary of our tent.

10 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

I lay on my stomach and had giant petrels land a few feet away, stalking within

striking distance of me, thinking I was some sort of cast and ill-looking source

of protein. I found a whale’s jaw bone high on the beach, bleached white

and impossible to imagine supporting a mouth. I watched while a skulk of

skuas played tug-o-war with a ragged, bloody placenta, and I watched

elephant cows lactating to small fluffy pups with their enormous black eyes,

thick creamy milk oozing from the corner of their mouths.

This last was especially intriguing when one realised that the cows would

keep producing this milk until their pups were 150kg weaners, without eating

so much as a single squid.

By day three the wind had dropped to 15-20knots and we packed up to leave.

A sizable surf break frustrated my departure. I took two seconds too long to

secure my spray deck and lost the nose of my kayak to the wind. I was soon

sideways to the shore with nothing for it but to get out and start over. My

hands were already cold enough without that sort of lapse, and by the time

I made it through the break I had no feeling in them at all.

A long ferry glide got us to the other side of Antarctic Bay. The next was the

deep Possession Bay. It is the site of Cook’s landing in 1775, where he raised

the Union Jack and claimed the island for King and country. We gained some

insurance by paddling a distance into the bay before making for the other

side in another energetic ferry glide across the wind. Lining up the point we

wished to head toward with the land beyond it and keeping the two points

lined up helped us maintain the correct heading, a critical skill on large

crossings. It can be easy to misjudge the strength of the wind and find oneself

unable to make the headland and get blown out to sea.

Prince Olav Harbour formed a deep indent in the back

of the next bay and rusting at its head we found the

derelict Prince Olav whaling station. It was one of seven

whaling stations which operated on South Georgia, the

first being built in 1904 and the last finally closed in 1965.

The recovery of the whales, which they thought at the

time would only take a few years, is still far from fulfilled.

That they thought the decimated stocks would recover

quickly accounts for the fact that most of the stations are

largely intact- hospitals, cinemas, engineering shops, and

the flensing platforms where the bloody work was done, left as they were,

with the intention of continuing to reduce whales to vats of oil. But the whales

never returned.


•Slides Shows


We stopped for lunch near the rusted hulk of Brutus, an old whaler lying on

its keel in the back of the harbour, and hunched over mugs of hot milo we

restored our stores of energy for the afternoon. We tried to imagine what

the scene would have been like in the early 1900’s. The noise of the

generators, kilns belching smoke, the hubhub of workers moving about the

station, a stench that must have been overpowering, while the tide ran red

with the blood of whales. It must’ve been at once a grim but at the same time

exhilarating place to live, cradled as it was between a peak the shape of a

harpoon head and the restless sea.

We made two more crossings, sneaking up the side of the fiords before

ferrying to the far side. Beside a reef the reptilian-looking head of a leopard

seal broke the surface. It had a small cod, wriggling

hopelessly, hanging from its mouth, and I remembered

the grizzly scenes I had watched from my kayak when

in Antarctica of these same seals hounding penguins

through the sea, chomping them, letting them go and

chasing them all over again until the inevitable final

mauling-macabre and fascinating encounters.

Kayaking around a final headland we entered a wide

bay and approached a broad plain at it its far end,

Salisbury Plains.

“Can you believe this place?” I said to Marcus, as we

hauled our kayaks up to the flat above the tide line. A throng of penguins

lined the beach, the end of which we could not see. Stretching to the tussock

slopes 500m away was an unending penguin-scape, thousand upon

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 11

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thousand of adults standing around in groups like

stately gentlemen dressed in tails discussing the

day’s business. Further away chocolate-brown

chicks gathered in large rookeries, fluffed up as

though each had a down sleeping bag pulled up

about its neck.

Marcus simply shook his head slowly from side

to side as he took in the scene.

It was one of extraordinarily abundance, more

wildlife in one place than either of us had ever

seen in our lives. Dozens of elephant seal harems

dotted the beach into the distance and the air was

thick with the sound of penguins trumpeting and

elephant bulls roaring.

We flattened out a spot in the gravel for the tent

and battened down the hatches as the wind

increased. Spindrift blew along the ground

plastering the chicks white, swirling about our

legs like the visible face of the wind. The

wonderful light faded and the plains became

a mosaic of browns and greys, but the

magic remained.

That evening I tried to take a time exposure of the

camp, fixing my camera to the tripod and leaving

the shutter open, but a gust of wind knocked the

tripod for six and the camera was lucky to survive

the fall unscathed. That evening as the aches from

the day became fully manifest. I began to get an

appreciation of how tough the trip was going to

be. It had been brutal with a head wind most of

the day for a hard won 41kms. With the Polar

Bears loaded as they were this was a huge day.

The wind remained strong the next day so with

weary arms and backs it was an easy decision to

spend the day on our legs exploring our aweinspiring

surroundings. By now the sheathbills

had decided our boats were their new home. All

night long they pecked incessantly at the deck

fittings, all day they crapped over them and

pecked at their reflections in the shiny gelcoat.

The Bears looked as though they had spent the

night beneath a row of battery hens. Sheathbills

are comical for their apparent stupidity and their

antics, and loathsome for their habits, mostly due

to their diet, which consists entirely of excrement

from one source or another. We threw them

cheese and salami and crackers at lunch, but they

turned their beaks up at each morsel. Graham

returned from the intertidal zone one morning

appalled when he turned to find one beak-deep

in his business before he had time to cover it

with sand.

Next day, high on the tussocky slope of the hill the

plain below looked for all the world like a

rendezvous point for a great massing of armies

somewhere in Middle Earth. Great battalions of

brown were pinched between blue-grey

companies, while random individuals made

sorties between the various units, and a constant

stream of the adults returned from the sea as

though just disembarked from landing craft.

Diary 17 Oct:

The South West Coast looms large in my

consciousness. If the swell on this coast is

anything to go by then we are in for a test. We may

be lucky and find landings with enough

protection, but more likely face the prospect of

landings that, if we get it wrong, the expedition is

over, with busted boats, bodies, or both.

Better to focus on the immediate challenges. The

west coast would come soon enough...

12 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 13

Mangakino Stream Night Paddle

Sunday, February 26, 2006

by Peter Koole

My paddle buddy for the evening

was Jane Schnaffer, an American

friend visiting from Washington DC.

Jane had heard about glow worms

and was considering a trip to

Waitomo when I suggested an option

closer to home. I live in Mangakino

and have paddled the Mangakino

Stream several times and thought the

chances of seeing glow worms there

would be high. We weren’t to be

disappointed. I rented a Contour 450

for Jane from Steve and Freddy in

the Taupo store, promising to return

it the next day and paying matesrates

as a clubbie of course.

We put in at the boat ramp in the Mangakino

Reserve at the end of Lake Road around 7pm.

If you come down here at the weekend there’s

a great little café in a bus called - oddly enough

- The Bus Stop Café. It is parked at the lake

front from Friday through Sunday night for pre

or post paddle coffee, toasted sandwiches etc.

Very handy. There’s also free camping with a

well maintained toilet block and even power

for campervans. You’ll usually find a few

campers or house trucks spending the evening

or weekend.

It was a perfect evening with barely a breeze

and the sun setting. The few clouds dressed in

pale pinks and oranges promised a sunny

morning. We paddled the still waters past Dog

Island, which separates the golf course from

the lake front, carrying on south to the entrance

to the Mangakino Stream on the right hand

shoreline , about a 45 minute paddle.

By this time it was becoming dark. I explained

to Jane that the glow worms we were looking

for would look like stars against the dark river

banks and surrounding bush. We paddled on

up the stream and under the road bridge on

Highway 30 between Mangakino and

Whakamaru. Here you’ll find yourself paddling

between sheer cliffs making the waters dark

and mysterious, light faded with the setting

sun revealing stars by the millions increasing in

number and brilliance as the sunlight fades.

We spotted the first twinkling glow worms as

the stars were appearing. First one or two along

the banks near the water, and as our eyes

adjusted to the darkness, many more appeared

rising from the waterline and sprinkled through

the steep bush. Glow worms are the larval stage

of an insect. They hang from threads; a web

almost, using their luminescence to attract small

flying bugs which become trapped in the glow

worms sticky threads, and finally, dinner for

the glow worms.

An interesting phenomenon on the river is what

I call “Pumice Island”. It’s a barrier of pumice,

small branches, flotsam and algae which spans

the width of the stream and is maybe 20 metres

across. It is quite easy to paddle through and

the interesting thing is the temperature

difference between the upstream and down

stream sides of the ‘island’. The water is

probably a good 10 degrees warmer on the

lake side. Check it out as you paddle through.

The darker it got, the brighter the glow worms

and stars became until we were surrounded

by twinkling points of light. Even the water

displayed myriad lights from the stars

reflections. This is truly a beautiful paddle on

a still clear night.

The stream has barely any current but some

sections have sunken but standing trees as

hazards. A more noticeable hazard however

were ducks and swans taking fright and flight

at our silent approach. I don’t know if they

can see in the dark but the stream is a very

narrow airstrip and we were paddling in the

middle of it. The sound of a swan getting

airborne, wings pounding on the water, and

coming directly towards us before lifting off

barely overhead, was quite exhilarating. Maybe

surf landings aren’t the only time to be wearing a

helmet in a sea kayak?

We paddled back downstream to the lake,

gliding silently through galaxies of stars

reflected from the heavens. Looking skyward

we saw several shooting stars, just one more

bonus of a night paddle.

There is seldom boat traffic on the lake at

night as a rule, and none on the Mangakino

Stream, probably because of the pumice island

barrier. We travelled upstream without lights

which is only possible with prior river

knowledge, as it is pitch black once the sun

sets due to the steep sided banks and lack of

light pollution reflected from the sky.

Downstream I used an LED headlamp on the

bow of my kayak to navigate by and we carried

a brighter torch incase of approaching boat

traffic. I’d recommend using an LED torch which

gives extended burn times for batteries, plus

they’re generally waterproof. A glow stick on

the rear of each kayak is probably good in a

group setting. Then you can follow-the-leader

up the stream. The less light shed on the

stream, and in your eyes, the more you can

enjoy the sight of glow worms and stars. Enjoy.

14 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

Safety at Sea - The Law and how we

can work within it. by James Fitness

Last issue I put forward an overview of safety at sea, and

our responsibilities as kayakers.

Kayakers are often perceived by other sea-going vessels as a nuisance, mainly

because we can’t be seen. It is our job to show we are well equipped to meet

any of the challenges the weather may throw at us. Also to be able to help

others in distress, if possible.

A notice dated 19 June 2002, from the MSA states:

There have been a number of collisions and many near miss situations involving

kayaks and other vessels on lakes, bays and on the coast.

It is the duty of every vessel’s skipper to keep a careful lookout using all available

means. Power craft must give way to kayaks. However, in reality it is very difficult, and

at times almost impossible, to see kayaks at a distance of more than a few metres.

Kayaks are very low on the water, easily lost from sight amongst even small waves,

and do not appear on radar screens.

It is essential, therefore, that kayak skippers make sure they can be readily seen by

the operators of other vessels. While brightly coloured hulls and clothing assist to

some degree, a much more effective means of being seen is required.


These are not compulsory, BUT, they are strongly recommended.

A flag on a metre pole will increase your visibility by 100%. When you are in

a trough, the flag will be visible above all but the largest wave.

I was on Lake Tarawera with 80 kayakers not so long ago. We obviously had

to split into pods, and spread out. We were far enough apart that the leading

group dropped over the horizon and all that could be seen was a row of

flags. They work.


At night, all boats are identified by the pattern of lights they display. This

pattern also helps to determine which direction they are traveling.



By law, all non-powered boats under 7 metres in length, such as a rowing

boat, canoe, kayak or sailboat MUST show a white light or torch to indicate

its presence.

Torches are acceptable, although a torch is directional, in that if strapped to

the deck will only shine forwards and it can’t be seen from the sides or the

stern. They also shine in your buddies’ eyes, affecting their night vision.

There are very good all round light & flag pole combinations available.

A torch should be carried to shine to ensure other vessels have spotted you.

Although it is tempting to use devices to attract as much attention as possible,

many can cause confusion, causing accidents and unnecessary expense from

rescue call-outs.

Examples are;

White flashing lights - the international sign for man overboard/ distress.

This can cause confusion and cause a passing vessel to alter course towards

the light to investigate, resulting in a near miss (if we’re lucky!)

Use of red & green navigation lights on a kayak implies you are bigger than

you really are, and could be assumed that you can manoeuvre quickly.


“75% of all those who drown could have avoided death simply by wearing a

life jacket” (Safe boating an essential guide)

It is a requirement that all craft must carry a lifejacket for everyone on board.

As a kayaker, your lifejacket will be of most use to you if it is worn. It will be

of little use if it’s in a hatch, or worse, in the car. Kayaking buoyancy aids are

designed to allow free movement of arms, are shorter in the body to suit the

seated position and tend to have multiple pockets to carry stuff. (Snacks,

compass, torch etc). My BA is stuffed with all sorts of paraphernalia to keep

me going through the day.


This is basic safety gear for a “sit in” kayak.

When you have capsized your kayak and are in the water, you will find reentering

the kayak on your own possible with a paddle float, as long as you

have practised beforehand.

Obviously the pump is used to remove the remaining water in the cockpit

(and is a great water cannon)

Taking part in a Sea Kayaking Skills Course will take you through the use of

these items, along with the most common paddle strokes.

Remember that you have to practise the skills you have and need, so that

they will work for you when things go wrong for real.

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 15

Whanganui Kayak Trip

20th - 25th of April 2006

by Donna

I was up before dawn. The car was

packed and off I set at 5.00am to

Taumaranui. We met at a place called

Ohinepani at 7.30 sharp and there

were Yakatiy Yakkers who had camped

the night before.

There I met a bloke named Pete. We had a role

call and a brief, “Look out for the V in the river

and you’ll be fine”, let’s all listen to Pete’s

instructions and we’ll be safe and have a good

time. (Yeah!). Brown Squirrel you say as we shake

our bums. Oh my gosh what have I done!

This crazy bloke whom Id just met was going to

take all 55 keen kayakers down stream Yer Right!

(That’s what I was thinking in my head) he called

for those who had been on the river before to be

leaders and to help along the way. Gosh what a


Then we packed our boats with clothes and food

and set to launch when, oh no, a chap named

Dennis had disappeared. We drove our cars to

Taumarunui Campsite for the week and shuttled

back to Ohinepani, but Dennis fancied a drive to

Ohakune and back.

We did the numbers game and with everyone

present got on the water and paddled up stream.

It was a great picture, all those boats you know,

all different colours and shapes.

Then this mighty roar, of course it was Pete “All

just follow me (orderly) and look out for those

V’s”. As we made our way through the first rapids

we were nice and close so looked more like

bumper boats. We made our way leisurely down

the river about 10 kilometres or so then upon our

first camp we came.

Pete shouts “All hands on deck mate” to carry

those heavy Canadian boats onto the tiny shore

and then help the others carry their kayaks too.

We set up our tents and the kitchen too and again

all hands on deck to prepare the food.

I’d heard tales of Pete’s cooking skills but alas a

neat lady called Jocelyn could cook just as good

too. Her spaghetti, cheese sauce and all those

puddings were just great (Thanks Jocelyn).

I was glad to hit the sack after all that anticipation

of the day and not knowing quite what to expect.

My tent buddy Christine was really good company

and we had some great chats. Our other club

buddy Natalie was right next door in her tent but

she didn’t snore. We listened through the night

to the chorus of snoring and the chatter of

happy campers.

As day break came it was breaky time. We all got

in line there was porridge and wow some cream.

Alas that famous shout. It’s Pete and it’s briefing

time again, “I think we need to break into small

teams”. There are four green Canadian kayaks

with leaders and Pete’s big red machine.

Once on the water we looked for our teams. Our

leader was Tony. A really nice chap, (so if you’re

in Hamilton call in and say hello! At Hamilton

Yakity Yak)

Tony called us over and gave us a chat; “We’ll stay

in our group as we travel down stream and

occasionally do a count to make sure no ones

left behind”.

This was our team: Tony, Kathy, Lorraine, Dave,

Nigel, Natalie, Bevan, Andy, Sandra, Mark, Jocelyn

and me -Donna

16 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 17

18 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

There were no sacrifices made on this trip. Andy and Sandra had wool on

their kayak seats, no sore bums for those two.

As we make our way down the river I’m in awe of the beautiful scenery. Lots

of caves in the walls, also metal tags way up in the tree tops from the floods

before and goats frolicking on the shore. The sun is shining and the sound

of everyone’s happy chatter and then along comes Pete, “Do you know any

good jokes” or “Sing us a tune” he would say or yell “Look out there’s a big

rock coming your way”.

Thanks Pete for being a great kiwi bloke, lots of fun and cheek all in goodwill.

We even did a 40 minute tramp to the bridge to nowhere and then of course

a marvellous lunch, sausages, bacon and eggs. Then Pete decides to throw

the cooked eggs to see who could catch them and was surprised when I

caught mine in a cup. What great cheers I got.

Back in the boats we got and paddled down stream very leisurely, to the next

camp. Some stayed in their tents while we stayed in the John Coull hut. At

2.00am I needed to go wee’s when sudenly I nearly stepped on Ruth

(Henderson) who slept on the hut veranda floor.

I have heard that Ruth writes a good kayak story or two, but what a pleasure

to actually meet her.

Its time to paddle to our last campsite a place called Tieke which had an

awesome Marae. We met a cool chap named Mac who welcomed us on. We

put up our tents as the Marae was full and chatted and had dinner and wine

or two.

Morning came and so did the rain to bless us on this ANZAC day. We had

some prayers and a minute’s silence in remembrance of those soldiers who

gave their lives. Here a sadness and a relief all in one. It’s time now to go.

We packed our boats and set a float then that voice again Pete yells! “Come

on Bevan sing us a song”. Ten Guitars was what he sang as he did a bit of a

giggle in his boat and everyone joined in. Great hidden talent you have Bevan!

We set off down the river as the rain gently came down. It was absolutely

beautiful as all the waterfalls started to appear, some big and some small.

We reached our lunch time destination and still the rain poured. Then Pete

yells out “We will put up the tarps and start a fire”.

Now I have to admit Pete’s got to be a pretty clever bloke to light a fire in the

rain with wet wood, but he did and then guess what! The sun came out.

Lunch was great and there was lots of chatting as everyone warmed their

bums by the fire. Then it was time to move on. It didn’t seem very long till we

reached the massive rapids. You all know Pete has a great way of making the

rapids sound rather big. We navigated through and we all agreed “that was

really cool”.

As we moved from camp to camp we started to get to know lots of good things

about each other and especially everyone’s names.

I met some great people in those five days. To everyone on our trip thanks

for the great chats and I hope we all meet again.

This is only a small part of what we did in those five days so if you want to

know the rest you’ll

have to make the

trip. Be sure to book

next year to listen

to Pete’s tall tales.

Cheers Pete for the


The BOP Yakity


Donna, Natalie,

Christine and


The NZKI was formed in response to a growing need

in the Kayaking Industry to have more people with

Kayaking qualifications to encourage more kayakers

towards expanding their skills and knowledge, to

continue to increase the safety of our sport.

The NZKI Award Scheme is structured around the

assessment of skills and knowledge that are required

for the type of activity to be undertaken by the

Instructor or Guide.

A star is awarded for each level achieved, starting off

with the NZKI One Star for personal paddling skills and

knowledge and moving up to the NZKI Five Star for

an Assessor.

For more information phone 0508 5292569 or ask

at your nearest Canoe & Kayak Centre

Hi Pete

Thanks for organising the trip last week - it was fantastic! What

an anaemic statement - really, there aren’t the words to describe

how much I enjoyed the trip ... it truly was a complete

experience. I really appreciate the commitment you obviously

made to it.

You mentioned that you were looking for things to put in the

magazine, so I’ve put a couple of thoughts at the bottom of this.

Eight Wonders of the Whanganui

• Why is the campsite always one bend after your team has a

toilet stop?

• Why is there only one potato peeler when there are five 10kg

bags of potatoes?

• Why do the snorers wait until everyone else has put up their

tents, then set up their tents right in the middle? ... Why do

the snorers then roar with laughter as 54 people frantically

relocate their tents to the other side of the campsite?

• Why does camping bring out the hunter/gatherer instinct

in males?

• Why does Pete have his bath at lunchtime in front of the

serving area ... when 55 people can provide feedback on his

bathing habits?

• Where did all the rapids go?

• Why were there 11 uneaten King Size bars of Dairy Milk?

• Why do you feel like you’ve made friends for life?

Rachel Sutton


New Zealand

Kayaking Instructors

Award Scheme

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 19

Rendezvous at Rat Island

by Tony Barrett

It was one of those paddling days that you dream about but

so rarely get! The islands dotted around the seascape sat

bathed in the early morning sunrise. To pause the rhythmic

slice of the paddle and glide was to enter a zone of peaceful

solitude broken only by the occasional cry of a gull or the

far off rasp of a fizz boat heading for fishing grounds.

The previous afternoon, Joy and I headed up to Coromandel from Hamilton

to steal a Good Friday on the water. We booked into a cabin at the Long Bay

Motor Camp, and eagerly scanned the rather windy sea in front of us, hoping

it would faithfully follow the forecast of “light winds” in the morning.

We woke the next morning to a clear sky and a perfectly still day. Although

excited to get out on the water, we had a leisurely start to make the most of a

holiday experience.

Checking in at the camp office before we left, I handed over the ‘2 minute

form’ I had hastily scrabbled together, giving our intended route, contact

number and expected time off the water. This simple procedure is an

important part of executing a safe trip and I was pleased to note the

proprietor of the camp was well versed in this procedure. The Camp office

also has a marine VHF base station, so if you have a portable set with you,

immediate communication is possible in an emergency.

Our plan was to head to Motukakarikitahi Island, more commonly known as

‘Rat Island’, about 2.5 km out from Long Bay, then - weather permitting - go

another 3 km further out to Waimate Island. As it turned out, we revised the

plan along the way.

The water was like velvet as we paddled parallel to the Wyuna Peninsula. A

small head appeared above the surface of the water not far from my kayak,

followed by a stubby little body. Beak nibbling from side to side, a Blue

Penguin cautiously watched my progress as I drifted past. Many people

20 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

would be surprised to learn how prolific these little fellows are around the

North Island coastline. Say penguin and most people think of a large Antarctic

creature shuffling along comically in his waiter’s suit. But the Blue Penguin

(or Little Penguin as he is sometimes known) is very common in our waters.

Measuring only about 25 cm long, he can cover up to 75 km each day fishing

at sea. He comes ashore at night to roost, unseen by humans who have

retreated indoors.

One of the things I really enjoy about sea kayaking is how close you can be

to sea animals without unduly disturbing them. As we passed penguin after

penguin, they watched us carefully but never appeared stressed or unnerved

by us.

Drawing closer, Rat Island soon revealed a lovely beach on its south-eastern

side. Pulling ashore we stretched our legs and watched Kawahai chase

herrings around in the shallows. To the South we could see the gap between

Wyuna Peninsula and Whanganui Island, which opens into the Coromandel

Harbour. As we watched, a pair of flashing paddles revealed two kayaks

steadily heading our way. Just before we had set out earlier that morning,

two Yakity Yak club members from Hamilton, Trevor and Cherie, had called

in at our cabin and we had arranged a rendezvous together on the island.

Making swift progress it wasn’t long before we had four kayaks pulled up on

the beach, with each of us enjoying the warm sun and beautiful surroundings.

Most of Rat Island has a rocky shore, with the beach we were on being the

best landing spot. We explored around the craggy perimeter together in the

kayaks, before Trevor and Cherie had to head back to the Coromandel side,

and Joy and I continued out to Waimate Island. We paddled steadily out

into a fresh breeze that had sprung up. This surprised me as the forecast

was for light winds, but this breeze was starting to form whitecaps which

hissed ominously as we made our way further out to sea. The chop was small,

but sometimes sharp and steep. I had an internal debate with myself as I

weighed up our plans. Should we continue on and face a possibly growing

wind and worsening sea or should we turn back? There was an increased

sense of exposure as Rat Island grew smaller behind us, and I thought, “Blow

it! This is for our enjoyment!” Rafting up together, we decided to turn around

and run with the wind towards Oamaru Bay where I knew there was a small

island called Motupohukuo or (in keeping with the animal theme) simply

Turkey Island not far offshore to explore. This would place us a little north of

Long Bay and give an interesting coastline to look at as we made our way

back. (With hindsight, I would still like to make the crossing, but would set

out earlier before the wind comes shooting through the Waimate Channel.)

Cruising back with the wind and swell it seemed effortless as our sterns were

lifted and we slid forward. Despite that, it took just over an hour before we

reached our next island. This too had only one landing spot so we headed in

to stretch our legs and have lunch. Nestled into the bush just above the beach

was a small closed bach. We had found another deserted island.

Making our way back around the coast, we could see the Long Bay

Campground was full with Easter campers. We arrived back on a falling tide,

tractors were out in the water hauling boats ashore. Much of this Coromandel

coastline has a large tidal range which makes kayaking interesting as the high

and low tide vistas can be very different. We sculled our kayaks forward in

about six inches of water for some distance before a hefty carry up the beach.

Our hosts were keen to hear about our day as I popped my head in to let

them know we were off the water. Thinking back to all the experiences of

the day, it is a location that I would thoroughly recommend. One of the things

I heard myself say was a reflection of the great time we had. I simply said,

“We’ll be back!”

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 21

Alderman Islands


by Roger Hoebers

Rog going deep into a narrow cave.

Four-thirty am didn’t feel like time for breakfast and

I was glad we had packed the previous night. Getting

packed and ready for an off-shore adventure is not

good early in the morning with your eyes half shut.

A trip to the Alderman Islands had been a long time in the planning.

The previous day’s trip had been cancelled due to excessive wind

and swell so we were suitably excited to find the weather gods had

favoured us this day.

As the lucky six of us, Karen Knowles, Roger Crum, Richard Arlidge,

Larraine Hughes, Deborah Jeyes and myself, gathered at the

Bowentown Boat ramp, it was just becoming light enough to see and

the dawn was as perfect as you could wish for.

Although only fourteen kilometres in a direct line out from Tairua

we had chosen to take the Ali J 1, skippered by Tony Prujean from

Waihi Beach Boat Charter.

The boat had been specially fitted with kayak racks to accommodate our six

craft. Once everything had been stowed and lashed on, it was off to the

islands cruising at about 25 knots, blasting through a cool breeze and

ominous looking swell towards the islands way in the distance.

It takes about ninety minutes to get to the Alderman Islands, a group of five

main islands scattered around a four by five kilometre area, interspersed

with loads of rocky out-crops, spires and interesting formations. The islands

are a DOC designated nature

reserve with no landing

permitted, which is just as well

since there seemed to be only

two tiny pink shelly beaches.

As we drew near, the size and

colours of the islands, rocks

and spires looked impressive

rising abruptly from the blue

water. Despite the barren look

of the vegetation you could

hear the early morning native

New Zealand bird song,

especially Tui.

We had to pull into a sheltered area between islands, as these islands are

quite far from shore in open water, exposed to the open ocean swell. When

Tony announced we were anchoring in ten metres of water I had to look at

the depth sounder myself to believe it. The water was so clear you could see

fish swimming amongst rocks and seaweed on the seabed!

With wind predicted to build to over 20 kph during the day we decided to

paddle now and snorkel later. The kayaks were carefully unloaded off the

back of the boat and tethered until we were ready to get in, one by one.

The plan was to explore the exposed side of Ruamahuaiti Island first in case

the weather got worse. We could then fossick around the more sheltered

shorelines if the wind got stronger.

Farewell to Alderman Islands, looking back on the way home.

With warm waters and a moderate sea state it was a pleasant surprise to find

the winds actually easing around the exposed side of the island. We explored

one of the outer islands about two kilometres away, probably the longest

straight line paddle we did all day.

With an incredible variety of rock formations and sea caves around each

corner, few words were spoken as we marvelled at the spectacle of these

unique islands.

We had heard stories

about caves so deep you

need a torch to navigate

them, so I had come

prepared with my little

headlamp just in case it

was true. What a joke, one

cave we were all in at the

same time (in our kayaks)

was so large you would

need a search light to find

the ceiling. The only way I

could find my way in the

dark was by extending a

paddle to locate the sides as I coasted silently through the passages,

sometimes finding a completely different exit route. There were so many

caves, holes and arches to explore around all the islands in the group that

we didn’t have time to investigate them all. We were getting hungry.

It was excellent to have the convenience of the boat as our base as we were

able to return to the boat for lunch and prepare for snorkelling. We had heard

the Alderman’s are a famous snorkelling and dive location. We were not


The fish certainly seemed friendly here and the visibility was better than

most inshore waters. Schools of colourful fish including Blue Maomao, Red

Moki, Black Angelfish, Wrasse and Demoiselle swam around us as we

22 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

snorkelled and dived down for a closer look. It felt like we were in a large

aquarium with a fancy underwater landscape to match.

After snorkelling it was time for fishing! I had noticed some larger fish while

kayaking earlier and I wanted some for dinner. In the deeper waters you

could see the occasional glint of silver as Kingfish and Kahawai moved

around us.

Although catching Kingies from a sea kayak without an anchor is not

recommended I decided to put the lure out to try my luck.

It wasn’t long before I spied movement near the surface chasing and nibbling

my trailing lure then BANG! My poor little rod jerked violently as something

big and fast pulled hard and dashed wildly around me. A small school of

Kingies cruised by within metres of my cockpit, and they were probably

laughing at me.

I braced myself as I set the drag. The little reel was nearly stripped of line. I

carefully worked my little reel as best I could, playing this thing with my light

weight fishing rig.

After about ten minutes of this ‘carry on’. I was no closer to getting the fish

near the kayak let alone landing it. With departure time looming, I had no

option but to hurry things up by winching the big fighter in. I could see a

decent sized Kingie struggling below my kayak and was excitedly thinking

how good it would look under my deck bungee when I returned to the others.

Like so many fishing stories about ‘the one that got away’ it wasn’t to be.

Something else wanted that fish more than me. There was a sudden brutal

tug from the deep and the fish and half the trace were gone!

Another lure lost was a small price to pay for all that excitement. Pumped

and shaky with adrenalin I hurriedly paddled around the island to get back

to the boat for loading.

The return trip in Ali J 1 was much smoother and we were fortunate to be

accompanied by dolphins for part of the journey. It was a great way to finish

the day, a memorable encounter shared with friends as we headed home

after a satisfying day on the water, experiencing such a beautiful part of our

country by kayak.

Photos by Roger Hoebers


Our sail is based on the type of sail used on a yacht, so if you are

familiar with sailing, you will have no trouble using it.

As well as having all the properties of a normal sail, it also has an

adjustment to decrease the sail area and make it more manageable in

strong winds.



When the sail is no longer needed, it can be lowered to the

foredeck from the cockpit.

Additional Info:

How to get there:

Waihi Beach Boat Charters, with Tony and Robyn Prujean, ph 07 863 5385.

Tony skippers the Ali J 1 and can take up to 6 kayaks and 7 people on the

boat. The trip to the Alderman Islands takes 90 minutes. Parking and

departure from Bowentown Boat ramp. The return trip for the 6 of us was

$100 each. Booking is essential, there is no landing permitted on the islands,

they are DOC Nature Reserve.

Beautiful Turquoise waters on Middle Island.

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 23

Navigation tips for kayaking

in adventure races by Phil White

Adventure races are often won or lost on navigation rather

than speed. There is no set course, just a series of

checkpoints and transitions, and it is up to each team to find

their way from one to the next. Thus being prepared, doing

some research, choosing a good course, following it, and

being adaptable when the unexpected happens will help

you to do well.

Grade Two River Certificates

Ask anybody who has competed in a multisport race and they will say

One or two weekends training

Is just NOT ENOUGH!!!

We believe our comprehensive Grade 2 Training & Certification is the best you can get.

To gain the skills to confidently paddle on white water, you need between

3 and 8 weekends on the water with an instructor.


0800 529256



2006 Multisport Package $795



24 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

1. Boat preparation

First decision: who steers and who navigates. Perhaps the same person can

do both and keep paddling. Learn to maintain your stroke rate while looking

at the map, especially if you are steering, or in the front and setting the pace.

A deck compass is at times essential for staying on course. On the water you

can usually see where you are going, but

in low visibility (e.g. in fog or at night), or

where there are no obvious landmarks to

aim for, it can be difficult.. Teams have

been known to turn around 180 degrees in

the fog, and head back to where they came

from. Place the compass far enough away

that you get a good sight at it, and away

from anything magnetic. Remember how

magnetic north relates to grid north on all

of your maps and charts, or even better, mark magnetic north lines on your maps.

Learn to use transit bearings to keep a straight line when the wind, waves or

currents take you sideways. Line up two objects, and keep them in line while

you paddle towards them. In a strong current, you may have to point 20

degrees into the current to keep a straight line.

Night paddling brings a new set of challenges, and is worth practising. It is

harder to read the map, and easier to miss features like channel markers

and checkpoints. You will need a headlight (tied on to a helmet is best), to

read the map and see things, but it will reflect back off the paddle at you

with every stroke (if you have good technique). There is not much you can

do about this, except get used to it (before the race), or let your technique

get worse. At times visibility is better with your light turned off. You also

need at least one bright light in the team, to spot important things from a

distance (e.g. channel markers, rocks and checkpoints). The key navigational

aids at night can be very different from the ones you used in daylight - a

street light, or a house on a distant hill with lights on, that were invisible

before can become significant. And learn to recognise a few constellations,

the Southern Cross at least. It can make navigation a lot easier.

Using a GPS while training reveals a lot about boat speed and direction (how

straight do you really go with wind, current or swells from the side?). A GPS

is against the rules in a race, but in training you can learn how fast you go on

flat water, when it is choppy, with a head wind, a side current, or following

seas. Then on race day you can estimate from the distance on the map how

long it will take to paddle to each checkpoint. If it takes much longer, you

have probably missed it.

2. Research prior to the event

Researching the area prior to the start of the race is extremely helpful in

choosing your course. Information and clues can be gained from a variety

of sources. Once you have a rough idea where the race will go, it is worth

looking at topographic maps, marine charts and aerial photos. These

variously show channels, channel markers, navigational lights, sandbanks,

rocks, islands, water depths, and possible landing sites (transition areas).

You should also get local track, park and road maps, which can show

additional landing sites and short cuts. Tide charts, so you know what the

best times will be for paddling, and what the direction and speed of currents

you will enjoy or fight. Close to the event, check the weather and swell

forecasts. The direction and magnitude of the wind and swells will affect

your speed and direction. There are several good websites around, and I

particularly like www.metvuw.com

(for weather) and www.swellmap.com

(for swells).

If you can spend a few days in the area, a

recce is well worth the time. I find

guessing and exploring where the race

might go can often be more fun and

challenging than the race itself. Take a

look at harbours and inlets at low tide to

see the channels at their worst, but when

they are best defined. Talk to the local boaties and fishermen about sand

banks and currents, and take a look at boat ramps and possible transition

areas. See what large objects there are (hills, bridges, buildings) to sight off

for navigation, and take a look at the channel markers.

3. Once the course is known

The course is usually revealed about 12 hours before the start. First accurately

mark on the checkpoints (e.g. which side of a small island?) and then its time

to think about how to connect them. The shortest distance between two

points may be a straight line, but this is not necessarily the quickest. Check

the forecast again for wind, waves, tides and currents, and think about

shallows, rocks and islands, remembering that shallow water slows a boat

down, and no water at all slows it more, so it can be worth a detour to stay in

deep water. If the detour gets too big, then consider a portage. It might be

faster, depending on the distance, how easy is it to get in and out, how friendly

are the locals, and how hard is the terrain to walk over carrying a double

kayak full of gear.

Mark your preferred course on the map with a bright highlighter which

doesn’t cover any important information. Write all instructions on the map

so it is clearly visible to the navigator. But also laminate the instructions

(papier mache is hard to read) and take those too. Write down compass

bearings, and make a note of big features to aim for, especially at night.

Colour code (with highlighters) the channel markers along the way (most are

red or green).

Make a note of the tide times - it could be worth a quick transition later to

catch those channels with 1/2 hour of water still in them. And for each stage,

estimate (from your vast knowledge) how long it will take, so you have the

right amount of food and drink, and the support crew know when to expect

you at transition.

4. Setting up your boat

Attach the deck compass so it is clearly visible but not in the way, the maps

so they can be seen clearly without taking hands off paddles, and perhaps

the aerial photos and marine charts if they would be useful.

Designers & Constructors of Multisport

& Adventure Racing Kayaks

Phone/Fax 06 374 6222

E-mail:- mike@ruahinekayaks.co.nz


Team Balance Vector

Southern Traverse 2005

Adventure Duet 2005

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 25

New Zealand’s Best Kept Secret

The Yakity Yak

Many of the articles you are reading in this magazine are about trips

organized by the Yakity Yak Club.

Interested in Joining up?

Well read on and get involved

“Too old” you say or “not fit enough” or “don’t like clubs because of the working

bees and committee meetings”. Well guess what, our oldest member is 80 plus

and started paddling in the last two years. Can you walk? well then you can

paddle, in fact that’s not correct we have had members with a missing leg or

two, but you get the picture. The only committee meetings we have are a wine

and cheese evening once a month to arrange trips. There are no secretaries or

treasurers. We just discuss where to go next and who is coming. These trips are

viewed on www.canoeandkayak.co.nz and booked at your local Canoe & Kayak


Join the club. You will get a weekend skills course to teach you techniques and

safety skills and a year’s membership. If you are keen to learn more there is a

bunch of courses to teach everything from Eskimo Rolling to becoming an

instructor. At no cost is the Leader’s Training Course, ten weeks part time for

those who have the urge to put something back into the club.

So what does joining the club cost? Only $295 for the first year including the

weekend course and then only $35 per subsequent year thereafter.


Unit 2/20 Constellation Drive

(off Ascension Place),

Mairangi Bay, Auckland

PHONE: 09 479 1002


502 Sandringham Rd


PHONE: 09 815 2073



7/28 Anvil Road, Silverdale

PHONE: 09 421 0662


710 Great South Road,


PHONE: 09 262 0209


The corner Greenwood St &

Duke St, State Highway 1 Bypass


PHONE: 07 847 5565

26 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

For up coming Yakity Yak trips

Kayak Club

Proudly Supported by Your Local

Now you say “They must charge for each club trip”. My friend you would be

wrong. There is no participation charge for club trips.

The Yakity Yak Kayak Club was set up by a bunch of enthusiastic instructors.

After spending much time teaching people how to paddle we found a few

months later that they had not carried on with paddling. They said there was

no one to paddle with, or they were a bit shy, or they did not have a boat, or

they lacked confidence to go on trips where they did not know the area or

the people.

So we said enough is enough and the Yakity Yak Kayak Club was formed.

We cannot guarantee you will get on like a house on fire with every club member

but we know you will find a bunch of like minded mates to enjoy our wonderful

little paddling paradise.

So get on the phone to one of the Canoe & Kayak Centres (see advert on the

back page) and join the Yakity Yak Kayak Club. You will be welcome.

Welcome aboard

Peter Townend

One of the founding Yakers






3/5 Mac Donald Street

38 Nukuhau Street,

15 Niven Street

Unit 6, 631 Devon Road

2 Centennial Highway

Mount Maunganui (off Hewletts Rd)


Onekawa, Napier

Waiwhakaiho, New Plymouth

Ngauranga, Wellington

PHONE: 07 574 7415

PHONE: 07 378 1003

PHONE: 06 842 1305

PHONE: 06 769 5506

PHONE: 04 477 6911

see www.canoeandkayak.co.nz

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 27

Star-studded Coastbusters

by Ruth E. Henderson

Ponder this: What makes one event stand out from another

equally worthy and memorable event? In another decade

or the passing of another generation, how will Coastbusters

2006 be fondly remembered, and distinguished from others?

Dad used to say that the day he stopped looking at a good set of legs would

be the day he was dead. Well, call me sexist, call me peculiar, call me my

father’s daughter...

But with a bit of luck, in twenty five years, I’ll be old - and I reckon I’ll still be

able to picture and vividly remember Freya’s legs! Particularly when she was

upside down, head first in a kayak and the said legs were pointing skyward.

What awesome skill, antics, acrobatics and athletisim we were treated to on

the edge of Lake Pupuke! And not just from the ‘Lady in Black’.

Freya Hoffmeister, from Germany, was one of four ‘Greenland paddling guru’s’

we were privileged to have attend this years ‘Coastbusters’ held at Milford,

Auckland for the mostly dry events and at Sullivan’s Bay for Sunday’s on the

water Pod scenario’s.

All four ‘Greenland paddling guru’s’ were astonishing and performed

all weekend.

On the Friday night Greg Stamer told the story of Greenland Paddling from

the threat of its demise, through to its revival, popularity and the spread of

‘the movement’ throughout the world.

Then on the Saturday morning, Cheri Perry, took a workshop called ‘Yoga for

rollers’ teaching us not just to stretch our hamstrings but how to prepare for

some of the moves in rolling such as the balance brace, by ‘opening our

hearts’. In the afternoon, she and Freya gave an exclusive women’s only group,

tips on how to roll. They demonstrated, that is they rolled a kayak, ON A

CARPET! They called it “dry rolling”! It’s a pity that these words are now

over used but those girls really were ‘Awesome’ and ‘Amazing’. Most of all

they were inspiring, encouraging and very, very, very patient. After the Sunday

pod scenarios, they plus their partners stood for over two hours, up to their

hips or chests in water, teaching keen paddlers to roll. Over and over.

It was then that I got to watch Turner Wilson in action, up close. We all had

witnessed him demonstrating rolling, along with Cheri and Freya, on Lake

Pupuke, while Justine Curgenven, a British film maker and our Saturday night

keynote speaker, floated nearby capturing the action. In that instance he

stood out , not just because of his luxuriant beard, but because unlike Freya

in an Inuit kayak and Cheri in a low-slung hand crafted wooden boat, he

deliberately took a European styled boat, a EuroX. He showed that rolls (with

or without a paddle) and tricks such as paddling upside-down, could be

done irrespective of vessel.

At Sullivan’s Bay he proved not just to be a showman, but a brilliant teacher.

The picture of him breathing skills into young Billy Bowman, remains etched

into my mind. Both student and teacher were, so, so focused!

Yes, a long, long time from now the Greenland component is how I and many

others will remember Coastbusters 2006. It rocked and it most

certainly rolled!

To see what else Coastbusters offered and to find out about the next event

take a look at www.coastbusters.org.nz

Freya Hoffmeister - performs while Justine Curgenven takes pictures.

Cheri Perry - “dry-rolling” at a woman’s rolling workshop

28 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

Coastal Invaders Wellington

Yakity Yak 2006 by Andy Blake

The date was 9 April, the venue was Onepoto Bay/Porirua

Harbour. The mission was to get wet and try things that many

kayakers hadn’t tried before (to get them out of their comfort zone).

As I know, many perverse, sometimes eccentric paddlers, getting ideas for

this type of competition proved to be quite easy .Mild mannered David

Morrison agreed to assist me with the onerous task of organizing this fun day.

Events were based on both Off Water and On Water activities and as

individual and teams. We started with kayak relay races, paddlefloat re enters

and side draw races just to get everyone warmed up. Then we got them to

perform (like seals) assisted group rescues, Eskimo rolls and kayak swapping.

One man, we will call him Jason Allen of Island Bay, appeared to even walk

on water. The true boundaries of human endurance was tested even further

by the next two events .A first aid scenario where one member of the team

suddenly became unconscious and needed to be brought to shore and have

first aid administered. The next scenario demonstrated to the unsuspecting

public (supporters) what 20 keen kayakers look and sound like when they

act like barnyard animals. Team ‘chicken’ were definitely the most animated

and vocal of the whole barnyard menagerie. I now confess to looking at these

kayakers in a whole new way.

The off water events like balancing a paddle on your head , one handed

hatch cover replacement and paddle javelin ( not my paddle! ) proved to be

very challenging for some of the paddling fraternity. Just to shatter our

YYakers confidence completely, my secondary teacher wife, unflappable Jen,

scrutinized the kayaker theory test proving some should consider returning

to school to redo their college years.

After all the kayaking antics had concluded we finished off with a BBQ and

the prizegiving

There were various categories but the top three participants were as follows;

Overall winner was Neil Thompson, second place went to John deRoo with a

not too shabby third place going to Cameron Farquhar.

It is intended that the first two major winners team up next year to organize

Coastal Invaders 2007.

Who can wait!!!

No kayakers or animals were injured in this competition although one little

dog was left behind.

The Wellington Yakity Yakers wish to gratefully thank the following suppliers

who by selflessly donating many excellent prizes made this event a truly

wonderful day that was enjoyed by everyone who attended:




Quality Kayaks

Brian Phillips Ltd


Canoe and Kayak


Canoe and Kayak


Topline Agencies NZ Ltd


Cobra Kayaks

New Holland Publishers

Day Two

Descente Paddles

Ruahine Kayaks

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 29

A Paddle in the Catlins

by George Lockyer

Quiet as a mouse I brew up some coffee while the family

send up more Z’s, wrapped snug in their sleeping bags. As I

zip the tent back up the bird’s dawn chorus is in full cry. I

carry my sea kayak down the concrete steps to the water’s

edge, not 20 metres from the tent. The sun has recently risen

above Cabbage Point and is just burning through some low

cloud, turning it from pink to white.

Spray skirt, life jacket and sunnies donned and I’m into it. Although it’s only

an hour past high tide, the water here is very shallow. It’s actually a huge

estuary fed by the Owaka and Catlins rivers.

I’d always wanted to visit the Catlins region. The banjo tune from the 70’s

movie Deliverance , would always enter my head like an annoying ear-worm,

whenever it was mentioned. Ding a ling, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. It

would go, along with visions of a land that time forgot; rather like the West

Coast without the insects!

The Catlins were named after Captain Cattlan who bought a stretch of coast

from the Maori back in 1840. Historically the Catlins region was popular with

the Maori due to the abundance of sea food and moa which inhabited

the forests.

My palms press into empty cockle and pipi shells as I lever us into deeper

water. Gulls shriek overhead and a cormorant dives for fish, I lower my rudder

and strike out in earnest towards the west and enter the gentle waters of

what my map refers to as the Catlins Lake. It seems to be simply where the

Catlins River widens into the estuary.

On my right I pass an area of salt marsh with a large stand of virgin podocarp

forest behind it. The forest of rimu, kahitatea, totara and miro forms part of

the 38 hectare Pounawea Scenic Reserve, one of few remaining examples of

the transition of unmodified ecosystems from estuarine, through

saltmarsh to forest.

I know this because my wife, back in the tent has a Masters in marine ecology.

So there!

I begin to wake up as the caffeine from my early coffee kicks in mixed with

the familiar endorphin rush brought on by steady paddling. There’s a slight

chop in the centre of the lake but nothing to trouble the Tui. I smile when I

think of the kayak sitting behind our tent underneath a tree full of its

namesake feathered friends. Any thoughtful dropping would have been

washed off by now.

Ahead of me a couple of grey herons flap their wings languidly and rise into

the air as if in slow motion. I step up the pace. To my left I can see the Jacks

Bay yacht club that we passed yesterday in the truck on the way to Jacks Bay.

There’s a wonderful, sandy beach at Jacks Bay where we spent yesterday

morning boogie boarding with the kids. I also managed a little paddle round

the rocks through water thick with kelp, (in which wet suited locals dived for

paua) but being on my own I didn’t venture out too far. There’s also a

blowhole at Jacks Bay, which we didn’t bother to walk to as it only blows at

high tide.

The yacht club was built on the site of the ‘Big Mill’, which in the late 1800’s

employed up to 40 men. At the height of the operation up to 11 ships a day

would load their holds with timber from the native forests.

I love the different perspective one gets on the water. You can look at

something from the water and it will appear totally different from the thing

seen from the road.

Half an hour later I’m at the Caitlin’s river bridge where I take a short breather

on the rocky shore beneath it. I take a swig of water and stretch my back

muscles as a truck full of sheep shakes and rattles its way above me. On my

left the Catlins River meanders through the green rounded hills of Otago from

its source somewhere up in the Beresford Range.

Back on the water I muck around in the whirlpools and eddies beneath the

bridge before heading back.

The sun occasionally peeks through the low clouds, glistening off the greenish

water. I wonder what’s swimming beneath my kayak and a make a mental

note to throw a lure in tonight and try to catch dinner. I’ve been told it’s a

good spot for flounder.

Yesterday we had visited Cannibal Bay where we walked along the deserted

beach. Deserted that is except for half a dozen sea-lions basking

unconcernedly in the sun. Cannibal Bay is so named by Dr Hocken, who in

1892 discovered the grizzly remains of a Maori feast, including human skulls

and bones.

All too soon I’m back at Hungerford Point and the Pounawea Motor Camp.

I’m enjoying myself too much to stop and the troops are probably still

snoozing away. I press on towards the open sea. The water gets deep enough

for a decent paddle stroke instead of the flattish ones I’ve been doing for the

past half hour. I can hear the booming surf now and on the far shore the

small dots slowly morph into Hooker sea lions. Apparently, these are young

males, some of which have travelled from their breeding grounds in the sub

Antarctic Auckland Islands.

A small voice is creeping into my consciousness and is getting louder. It’s the

voice of reason and it’s reminding me never to paddle in the open sea alone.

With a sigh of reluctance I push my right pedal down and with a few good

strokes describe a nice 180 and head back. Reason has won out over valour.

Anyway the tide is retreating fast and soon the area I’m paddling in will be a

mudflat habitat full of wading birds and crabs.

Back at the camp I haul my kayak wearily up the concrete steps and detect

the delicious aroma of bacon and eggs. You beauty!

The sleepy town of Owaka or ‘Place of the Canoe’ a few kms down the road

(or up the river) is the commercial centre for the region. A couple of

restaurants, a backpackers and supermarket make it an ideal base for

exploring the Catlins. The Deliverance earworm has thankfully now been

banished from my mind. When the Catlins are mentioned now I’ll conjure

up memories of a stunningly beautiful wild coast, native bush, rainforest,

magic wildlife and spectacular views.

There is a pleasantly intangible air of differentness to the Catlins, which is

most refreshing in a world rapidly becoming homogenised.

I make a mental note to return here with a kayaking buddy, sans enfants.

So go on. Strap your kayak on your roof rack, take the Southern Scenic Route

south from Balclutha and see for yourself.

30 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

Catlins River Bridge

Near Surat Bay

Surat Bay Sea Lion

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 31

Halong Bay - Venice on the rocks

by John Banks

Five hours by road east of Hanoi, in the heart of the Gulf of

Tonkin, lies one of the true Natural Wonders of the World,

Halong Bay. As the local Vietnamese all know, it was formed

back in pre-history when the Great Dragon descended from

the place of legends and its mighty tail carved the seabed

into thousands of spectacular monoliths.

In 1994 Halong Bay was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Park. While

occasional cruise ships may give moneyed passengers a glimpse from their

staterooms, it is the kayaker who can really experience the awesome

grandeur of limestone cliffs rising sheer from the sea-bed.

If you are visiting Hanoi there are two ‘must do’ experiences. Forsake the

modern 4 or 5 star hotels and stay in the old French quarter where you can

experience Asia as it once was. Then arrange a two-day, three-day or longer

trip to Halong Bay. Companies such as Handspan Tours will organize

transport, accommodation, guide and good sea-worthy kayaks for less than

the daily cost of living in most parts of the world. Don’t let them suggest you

spend a day in Halong City. It’s a waste of time and there are better places

such as Catba Island to visit when not paddling.

A guide is advisable as the islands and islets number over 2,000 and it would

be easy to get lost unless you speak Vietnamese or have a GPS and local

chart. A mother ship is not a bad idea as sleeping on deck under the stars

beats a hotel most of the time. While English is widely spoken in the cities,

Halong Bay is populated mostly by fisher folk who aren’t quite so educated.

However this is rapidly changing as you will see when paddling past the many

floating villages which rely on the sea to provide both sustenance and an

income from fishing, or more likely fish farming. There are floating schools,

floating stores and even an occasional floating pub. But don’t be too hasty to

tie up and climb out. Every floating structure is populated by mongrel dogs

whose sole purpose seems to be to take rabid bites out of unsuspecting or

foolhardy interlopers. Fortunately they haven’t taken to jumping on your

kayak if you pass close by.

Some of the islands are hollow with stalactites and stalagmites and well worth

a side trip. The awesome beauty of the bay is however best experienced by

meandering among the islands, rock gardens and lagoons. It is not unusual

to find a lagoon that can only be entered by paddling under an archway at

low tide. Legend has it that pirates found such places ideal to bury their

treasure, so have a mooch around.

While many of the channels were heavily mined during the American War, it

is unlikely the occasional remnant will pose a threat to your kayak.

The best time to see Halong Bay is May to October. While February to April is

sometimes subject to mist or rain it’s still worth a visit. And after Halong Bay,

head to the hills west of Hanoi for some great downhill mountain biking. Or

down to the Mekong delta for more paddling.

32 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 33

Cambridge to Hamilton Kayak Race

7th May 2006

Blue skies, light winds, a good flow on the river

and a cracking turnout; Race organizers Su &

Peter Sommerhalder couldn’t have wished for

more! With a mixture of racing kayaks, outriggers,

wooden, composite & plastic sea kayaks and a

smattering of sit on tops, over 250 competitors

made their way down the Waikato River.

We decided that pictures speak a thousand

words so here’s a photo montage - see you all

again next year!!

Rob Howarth

34 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

Will Henden & Neil Watson

Renton Hunger & John Leonard

Peter Van Lith & Kids

29th OCTOBER 2006

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 35

d’Urville trip by Kevin Andrews

For some time Greg and I had schemed to try a

circumnavigation of d’Urville Island, eventually setting a

date in March for a trip. Usually this is a time of settled

weather, calm seas, sunshine and happy kayakers whose

only concern would be getting the tides right for various

areas. Also we both have to co-ordinate our holidays, time

off work, and get the girls to believe that we will be safe.

So on the 27th (Sunday) we arrived at French Pass to see from the road that

the tide was in full flood and going the opposite way that we wanted. But no

problem, within the hour it

should be slack water. By

that time we had the boats

launched. We managed to

paddle into a choppy

southeasterly sea (with the

wind strength around

30knots) from the beach

finally getting the wind

behind us as we rounded

the corner for the Pass.

The tide was slack and our

trip through the Pass was a

non-event. In fact this was to

be the easy part of the trip.

Onward we went and as

soon as we got out of the lee

of the mainland we were

battered by a side blast from

the blustery southerly, a

side on chop, which caused

us to work a little harder

than we expected. However,

we slipped through behind

Hautai Island with just

enough water to float us

over the shallows. On

round Sauvage Pt with wind

and waves pushing us into

relatively calm seas. This is

the life, cruising along

enjoying the scenery. The

gannets and terns flashed

brilliant white against steel

grey cloud as they wheeled

and swirled searching for

fish to pluck from the oily


It was in these pleasant

conditions that we cruised

up through the paddock

rocks and abreast of Cone

Island. Once again we had

the wind to contend with as we crossed the Manuhakapakapa reach to

Okarewa Point. Back into the lee of d’Urville we slid sheltering from that

pesky wind, marvelling at cliffs that rose sheer out of the ocean 200 metres

above us, windswept and craggy, underpinned by large waterworn caverns

that we could poke into and disturb myriads of insects. What an awesome

place, there was a beach to land on for a comfort stop in the top of Sandy

Bay. We extended our trip by following the coastline instead of bouncing from

point to point, up round New Chums Rock, Cape Zach and on to Ragged Point.

Rounding Ragged Point into Greville Harbour the going toughened up. The

Southerly was blasting right on our nose and we spent the next hour punching

into wind and water. The big plus was that we had the tide with us and the

current through the gap in the boulder bank was racing in the direction we

were going. However it was still a long hard pull up to the turn into Mill Arm

and once in the arm we were totally sheltered. This gave us a lovely

picturesque paddle to our overnight camp site.

Six hours after leaving French Pass we were sitting in a bit of weak sunshine

enjoying a well-earned

tipple and wondering just

what the morning

would bring.

Our intention was to paddle

up the Island to Port Hardy.

This we figured would be

another big day but if the

southerly persisted we

should have shelter most of

the way. Just after dark the

first shower of rain hit the

tent and this continued off

and on throughout the night.

Breakfast at six, weather still

overcast, wind on the ridge

tops increased and wind

direction changed to north

east. Not a good sign. Will we

be able to exit Greville

Harbour? Only one way to

find out, so by 7am we were

on the water, flat calm in Mill

Arm, then round the corner

into the white caps we went.

Suffering snakes, there were

huge combers crashing over

the bar with white water

creaming off the tops of them.

Big greenies were rushing

across the entrance and

tearing up the beach. Well we

decided to give it a go as the

tide was with us and we

figured we could ride through

with it. And we did into a

short steep chop on top of a

big long roll. We pushed on

into a sea that got bigger as

we approached the entrance

to Greville.

I said to Greg, “I’m turning left

and heading back towards

French Pass, you can please yourself” “I have,” he said, “I’m heading left as well!”

Looking north we could only just see Two Bay Point through the on-coming

rain squalls and that was only when we were on top of the swells. No choice

really as there were no obvious landing places till well into Port Hardy, and

with 15-20ft rollers running we figured it best to go with them than against them.

36 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

We plugged our way down the coast, at times pushing a head wind and

battling against the lumpy seas coming back off those magnificent cliffs. We

struggled on down the coast past Sandy Bay, no hope of a pit stop in there

today! Paddling past Hapuku Island and into a really mixed sea with the wind

fair howling across the Manuhakapakapa reach, we pointed our nose into it

and struggled towards the lee shore. A gust managed to lift my hat off and

toss it in the tide, causing me to back up and lose some hard earned yards,

so it was a quick lift of the spray skirt and jam the hat in before swamping.

Onward we paddled into a sort of lee shore by Cone Island.

This was as far as we could get as the rollers were turning into huge breaking

combers, a surfer’s delight, and all the Paddock Rocks area was a boiling,

agitated seascape. So it was either head way out to sea or head back up into

Kupe Bay and hope that we could land on the beach there and camp till

conditions improved.

We landed ok on the beach at Kupe Bay and wandered up to the farmhouse

to see if it would be ok to park in a corner of the paddock. Well the reception

we got was fantastic. The owner, Bruce , was in the shed working, asked

“Where did you come from?” We said, “Off the beach.” “How did you get

there?” “By kayak, out of Mill Arm.” He just looked at us in disbelief. However,

we were offered a shower, cup of tea or perhaps a whisky to warm us up.

After a bit of discussion on what the weather was likely to do Greg suggested

that we phone a water taxi. “Waste of time,” said Bruce. “No water taxi will

come round in this sea.” “I have to go over the hill to pick up some fuel, so I

could take you with me to Kapowai if you like. We will put the trailer on to

carry the kayaks.”

So that was the option we took. But Bruce and his wife Rose insisted that

they give us lunch first. Two very nice and generous people.

Bruce dropped us in Kapowai where we launched the kayaks and paddled

across to French Pass, a journey of about 25 minutes into that blustery breeze

and against the tide. So there we were back on the mainland with time, days

in fact to spare. Unfortunately I had no pictures of the wild water we had

paddled as my camera would not have appreciated a soaking had I tried to use it.

I suggested to Greg that Tennyson Inlet would be a nice place for a two day

paddle if he was interested. And this is what we did, camping in the Harvey

Bay camp site that night.

We launched at Duncan Bay on Tuesday morning and paddled in overcast

weather and calm seas. We were not far out when I hooked into a small

Kahawhai, which I let go, and then I was into a good sized Barracouta. This

gave me a bit of fun before I also lett it go.

Well we cruised round the shoreline marvelling at the pristine bush and

listening to the bellbirds and tui chorusing in the bush. The Rata was

blooming and many of the native trees were festooned with fruit. Colourful

orange, blue, red, green berries were to be seen as we paddled along.

We called in at the Matai Hut in Godsiff Bay. This hut is locked! It would be

good to land there in a nor’west thunderstorm soaked to the skin to find the

only shelter locked. Good one DoC! This is obviously one hut that is not

necessary, but it is still there, yet they take out necessary huts in the mountains.

We continued to Tawa Bay, where the sun had broken through the cloud and

we were sheltered from the wind.

We found a nice wee grassy flat on which to pitch camp for the night and had

a wander in the bush here and found some lovely big Rimu, Tawa and

Kahikatea trees. The usual weka provided the entertainment and morepork

kept the night watch. After seeing three satellites pass overhead we retired

for the evening. This day was just neat, one to remember.

Wednesday saw us paddle over to Elaine Bay via Tawhitinui Island and back

into Duncan Bay. We loaded the kayaks on to the car and headed for home,

via the Clansman where a great lunch of Guinness and a pie brought a close

to our trip.

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 37

Kayaking the Kawhia Harbour

September 2005

by Mark Robbins

On several occasions, while taking a break from helping to

build our new family holiday home at Kawhia (the old one

my mother grew up in was kind of sagging in places it wasn’t

supposed to, so unfortunately had to be demolished), I

would look out over the harbour and think “One day,

wouldn’t it be great to hop in a kayak and go exploring over

the other side of the harbour”. This was a couple of years

ago in my pre-sea kayaking days. I had little idea what was

involved, but I’m sure it did help inspire me to take the sport

up when I had the chance earlier last year.

So at a planning meeting, when asked for suggestions for possible kayaking

trips to add to the north Taranaki Yakity Yak calendar, I tentatively suggested

Kawhia Harbour “I’ll organise it but really don’t want to lead it...”. This was

duly set in stone. A brief meeting with Peter van Lith from Canoe & Kayak

sorted out an itinerary and date to suit the tides. Up until the last few days I

hoped for an experienced kayaker to lead the trip but, in the end, I was it.

Seven of us headed up to Kawhia Friday evening in two vehicles, one towing

the boat trailer. Accommodation was at the new still not finished house, which

was designed with groups of people in mind. We brought tea with us to save

time & money, so rather late that night.

The plan was to get going as soon as possible in the morning to catch the last

of the out-going tide towards the harbour mouth. I was quite impressed that

we were all on the water by just after 8am - not bad going for a bunch of

weekend paddlers (although we cheated by not having breakfast!). Launch

point was by the Kawhia wharf, from where we headed south along the

shoreline. Weather was good - overcast but not much wind. We made good

time to Makatu Point, which is one of the two locations in the harbour I was

a bit worried about sea conditions. Two major channels meet here, and like

the proverbial washing machine on the out-going tide it tends to get quite

choppy . The other problem area is at the harbour mouth (especially the

north side) where harbour chop, sea swells and strong tidal currents can

meet to form rather challenging conditions for smaller craft, especially if a

stiff sou’westerly is blowing. Coming around Makatu point will give you a

fair idea of two conditions you are likely to face as you head south - head

wind and sea swell. I was somewhat relieved to find that neither was very

significant, and so it proved for the rest of the paddle to Te Maika, on the

southern side of the harbour entrance. We made one stop, on a sandy beach

just inside the harbour on the north side of the entrance. Crossing the mouth

went without a hitch, with a lazy swell from the north giving us a bit of

assistance as we got closer to our destination.

On the beach at Te Maika, we unloaded overnight gear and opened up the

old bach just above the beach. This also is a family asset, although is very

basic! No power or heating, it can sleep ten people if you don’t mind bedding

down side-by-side on the floor. We had a late breakfast and a quick look

around, before getting back into the kayaks and heading due west with the

current. Our destination was Te Waitere, but as it looked such a long way, I

thought a slight diversion to Totara Point might make the trip more interesting.

Having reached this, I set a straight line to our destination - only to notice

that the seabed quite quickly appeared underneath the boat. “Oh bugga”,

38 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

I thought - “Forgot about the mudflats”. Sure enough, I was soon out of my

boat pulling it, trying to find the deepest parts for the rest to get through.

Have to remember that for next time.

We regained the channel, and paddled on up the inlet to Te Waitere where

we stopped to have a look around. Te Waitere is named after the Rev Whitey

who lived here for a number of years in the 19th century, until he was moved

down to north Taranaki. The locals at the boat club seemed quite

unperturbed by the arrival of bunch of sea kayaks on their front beach, they

were busy making preparations for a party that night. Back on the water we

headed back out to the main harbour, following the shore around to the

north. It was getting quite windy, so we stopped in a sheltered bay, amongst

the limestone formations, and enjoyed our lunch. By this time, Te Maika

looked a long way off, and close to the direction of the wind. We decided to

call it a day and head back via Rabbit (Te Motu) Island - a large tidal island in

the southern harbour. It was a bit of a slog heading into the wind, and we

needed the break on the island. On the other side of the island (we pulled

our kayaks through some shallow water) the wind seemed even keener, but

at least our destination was getting closer. A sand bar extends from the island

towards the sea almost as far as Te Maika which we had to negotiate a safe

path around, but it caused no problems. We were all glad to be at the end of

a really good day’s paddle.

Time for a bit of relaxing, exploring and sorting out beds. We hunted down

some driftwood and lit a small bonfire at the sheltered end of the beach. We

cooked sausages, baked potatoes and roasted marshmallows, accompanied

by a few beers and glasses of wine. What a life!

Sunday dawned overcast, but quite mild and not much wind. We planned to

catch the incoming tide and head up one of the main channels to explore

the east side of the harbour. This gave us plenty of time to do an excursion

(on foot) around the Te Maika peninsular before we left. It is a very interesting

area, steeped in Maori history with several archaeological sites accessible,

and equally important in terms of its geology. It is dotted with baches - but

quite desolate and wind-blown. Vegetation and farm stock have to be tough

to survive here! Coming back to the bach, we finished packing up, loaded

the kayaks and headed back up the harbour. We went around the north side

of Rabbit Island this time, and with wind and tide in our favour, made very

good time to the limestone coast to the east. There are two main inlets along

here, Kaitawa Inlet, which we passed by, and the much larger Rakaunui Inlet.

This is a fascinating area to visit by sea, with its towering limestone bluffs

and white shell beaches. We stopped on one of these for lunch, before

heading up the inlet to explore. The inlet actually continues for several

kilometres (passing near the main road at one point), but we decided not to

continue to the end. Turning around we headed straight into a headwind, so

were all getting a bit tired by the time we made it back to the main harbour.

The group was split in two by this stage, with three of the ladies not in any

particular hurry! I particularly wanted to get to Meurant Island, a small, very

tidal island about 1 km from Rakaunui Inlet. My group headed there with

the view to having a break and looking for fossils. But the other group was

having none of it - they headed straight across the harbour in the direction

of Kawhia. It is a distance of about 5 km directly, so quite a long paddle without

any breaks. The tide was going out by this time, and I was a little concerned

about my group having to go around sandbanks. As it happened, our timing

was good. We paddled over some very shallow water at times (in the middle

of the harbour), but did not get stuck.

Returning to Kawhia, we brought the trailer down, loaded up the kayaks and

headed back to the house to have a cuppa and to get changed. Then it was

back to Te Kuiti for some tea and on to New Plymouth. All-in-all, a very

successful trip which everyone enjoyed. Thanks to Walt and Ruth, Karen,

Jaqui, Emmy and Warwick for coming along. That GPS was certainly handy

for recording distances and speeds, and even checking our location (you

need a good map that shows the sandbanks accurately). I’ll be taking another

trip in June this year, extending it to 3 days to have a look around Aotea

Harbour as well, if anyone is interested. The house at Kawhia is usually

available for club members who want to organize their own trip.

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 39

Te Waihora Lake Ellesmere

by Moi

Just south of the Banks Peninsula and a pleasant 30 minute

drive from Christchurch lies Lake Ellesmere, New Zealand’s

largest coastal lake. The lake is only 5,000 years old which

in geological terms means it’s something of a youngster.

It isn’t your typical deep, blue New Zealand lake and in winter the snow

covered Alps are too distant to be reflected in its salty, brackish waters. It

does however have a character all its own as many anglers, duck shooters,

picnickers and boaties will attest to.

I reach the Lake on a sunny Saturday morning via the Selwyn River at Lower

Selwyn huts; a quaint collection of old batches.

With its bilge pump and paddle float, my Tui looks a trifle over dressed sitting

on the concrete boat ramp with the water as flat as a pancake.

Lake Elsmere’s Maori name is Te Waihora, which means “the spreading

water,” and as I emerge from the mouth of the Selwyn and paddle into the

Lake proper I realise how aptly named it is! The Lake is completely open to

the wind, of which, fortunately for me there is none. There is not even a

Zephyr of the stuff to ruffle the green waters.

In the distance the slight haze makes the water merge with the sky.

On my left I can see the volcanic hills of the Banks Peninsula where I live and

on my right, in the distance I can make out the great Southern Alps.

I paddle up to a duck hide where in duck season, fearless men in camouflage

attire blast away in an un-even contest with nature. A grey heron takes flight

as I’m adjusting my sunnies. I head due south where, in the distance some

10 kms or so away, I can make out the Kaitorete Spit. I soon get into a rhythm.

The swoosh of my paddle as it enters the still water and the slight lurch of

the Kayak is cathartic and my mind wanders. After a while I feel myself really

in ‘the zone’ and put on a burst of speed.

Half way across I take a breather and a drink of water. The water gently

lapping my kayak is murky as befits a shallow, catchment lake teaming with

invertebrate life. It’s only two metres deep here in the middle. Over a century

of wastewater run-off has altered the shallow lake’s ecology. The eel

population has been devastated by over fishing and changes in vegetation.

Eels and flounder are still caught by commercial fishermen but not in large


It’s easy to underestimate the size of Lake Elsmere. Flashing past at speed in

the car, it looks small but paddling it is something else! It is in fact, 181 square

kms or18,000 hectares.

A boat towing a water skier scythes by about 100 metres away and smiling, I

slice through the chop they’ve created. It’s amazing to me that more water

skiers are not taking advantage of these perfect conditions.

I arrive at the spit and have a breather. The conditions are so calm that I

pour a coffee from my flask (which I stowed by my seat) and drink it on the

water, which is a first for me! The silence is deafening and I just rest for a bit,

soaking it up. I drift towards some black swans who gracefully take flight.

Moi on Lake Elsmere

Lake and Port Hills

40 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

The Wahine storm of 1968 decimated the black swan population which once numbered in the hundreds

of thousands. Since the storm ripped out the weed beds which were their main source of food, the

population never fully recovered. Ellesmere is well renowned in the bird watching fraternity, with 160

species having been recorded. Up to 98,000 wetland birds use the lake at any one time. Its prolific bird

life earned the lake a National Water Conservation Order in 1990.

Before turning to the West and Fisherman’s Point I pull my redundant spray skirt off the cowling, but

soon put it back on as the unfamiliar sight of my open cockpit is somehow unsettling.

At the end of Kaitorete Spit is an artificial cut which can be opened when the lake level gets too high.

On the other side is the wide Pacific Ocean. I have a quick look, before turning north to follow the

shore round. I paddle between two small islands at Timber Yard Point then find a tiny area of grass to

get out and stretch my legs.

After lunch I’m back into it, attempting to find the rhythm I had earlier. Maybe its middle age but that ‘in

the zone’ feeling refuses to come. Not to worry. All there is to do is paddle.

I parallel the western shore and notice the odd bach. For a lake this size on a sunny windless weekend,

it seems amazingly under utilized and empty. The water skier has disappeared and it seems the birds

and I have the place to ourselves.

The day wears on. Some serious paddling and another coffee break later I approach the northern shore

again and soon spot the mouth of the Selwyn. Back on the boat ramp, heaving myself out of the kayak

I realise that I am completely dry. Another first!

Back in the truck with everything packed and stowed, I Iook at my watch to discover that five hours

have gone by and realise why I feel so tired. I’ll leave the Eastern end of the lake for another trip!

I’d heard people describe Te Waihoru as “dead” or “dying” and while it would be unrealistic to think it

could be restored to its former glory, the Department of Conservation, Environment Canterbury, and

Ngai Tahu are determined to protect the lake and its surroundings from further degradation. The quality

of the water flowing into the lake is gradually improving, thanks to ECan’s, Living Rivers progammes.

DOC is in the process of purchasing properties around the lake edge, while along the eastern edge, the

Rail Trail is slowly being developed. This will hopefully be enjoyed by trampers and cyclists in

the future.

Duck Hide

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 41

The Contour 480

by Mike O’Donnell

A rifle will fit into the storage area of

the Contour 480 but it will pay to store

it in a waterproof bag (Unless it’s one

of those fancy stainless steel plastic

stock type).

So why would you want to carry a rifle? Well you

could take it to shoot goats or possums on your next

river trip, or coastal trip on the Coromandel. Mind

you, you should check it’s legal first.... Perhaps

you’d better just take a fishing rod, because you can

definitely fit that in, but then you probably need a

permit. Oh well, if that’s a problem just settle for

taking food and drink, lots of it!

Fortunately the Contour 480 can take a lot of stuff,

and still paddle well. The biggest problem is

deciding where to draw the line - because even

though you can get it in - you may regret the load

in a head wind or skimming over river shallows.

The Contour 480 was designed for touring and

sea kayaking and so is a real work horse when it

comes to loading up. The big oval hatches, with

long internal lengths mean you can get in the rifles

mentioned above, and if you want to carry even

more baggage then there is loads more space to

pack it under and around the seat. Just make sure

it’s all tidy and secure. It’s good safety practice

not to tangle your feet up in loose equipment in

case you need to exit in a hurry.

When you are packing the gear into the boat, it’s

always sensible to put the heaviest things as close

to the middle as possible. Stoves, rifles, tent poles,

frozen food, food tins, water or wine, are all

examples of dense cargo, these should be packed

at the front of the rear storage area. By putting

the heavy stuff near the kayak’s centre of gravity,

you are keeping the ends light, so the kayak will

rise to waves the way it is designed to rather than

imitating a submarine. Did you know that

Earthrace, the bio diesel powered super trimaran

that is about to circumnavigate the globe, can

actually pump water ballast into a nose

compartment, so that it will submarine through

the waves? It has a wave-piercing bow and is

really a semi-submersible. Anyway you don’t

want your Contour 480 to behave like that, so keep

the weight in the middle as much as you can, using

your common sense regarding securing


We are often asked, what’s the difference

between the old Contour 450 and Contour 480?

The answer is of course, 300mm! and then the

question is “Well, that’s not much is, it?” It may

only be 300 mm difference, but it makes a huge

difference in speed, and no we haven’t quantified

it,, but it’s noticeable, especially in the open sea.

That extra bit of length gives a lot more speed and

a bit more leverage allowing the bow to rise more

responsively to the swells, and stopping you

digging in when running downhill. If you are a

bigger paddler, the difference is even more


To make your Contour 480, or any other kayak for

that matter, go even faster try minimizing your use

of the rudder.

First of all consider using the up haul and park it

on the deck, except when you really need it,

usually only when you have a wind from the side

and especially from the side and behind you.

Here you will find the rudder a big help in

controlling your course. The rest of the time the

Contour 480 is easy to control with basic paddle

skills without the rudder. So why have it dragging

in the water slowing you down?

Secondly when you do have that rudder down,

don’t ‘pedal’ it. The rudder pedal system is called

‘Tiptoes’ for a good reason. You are supposed to

work the pedal with the tips of your toes to steer

the kayak. Push on the solid part (Foot stops) with

the ball of your foot, transmitting the drive from

you the paddler to the boat though the Foot Stops.

The temptation is to ‘work’ the pedal with your

toes. So every time you pull back on the paddle

the rotation of your body pushes a foot against

the Foot Stop. If that push hits the steering flap

instead, then the rudder will waggle from side to

side, causing the kayak to turn from side to side,

slowing the boat down big time. Although this loss

of speed is not obvious to the paddler it often

shows up with people struggling to keep up with

the group or finding the going tough. But relax a

little, the Contour 480 is fast enough even if your

technique needs polishing, not to leave you at the

back of the pack. So if you find yourself constantly

working the pedals, adjust the tension on the lines

(loosen it a bit) so that you have a bit more

clearance and practice pushing on the foot stops

not the toe flaps. Happy and easy paddling, and

watch how you pack that gear.

Kiwi Association of Sea

Kayakers N.Z. Inc.


KASK is a network of sea kayakers

throughout New Zealand

KASK publishes a 146 page

sea kayaking handbook

which is free to new

members: the handbook

contains all you need to

know about sea kayaking:

techniques and skills,

resources, equipment, places to go etc.

KASK publishes a bi-monthly newsletter

containing trip reports, events, book reviews,

technique/equipment reviews and a ‘bugger’

file. KASK holds national sea kayaking forums.



Annual subscription is $35.00.


PO Box 23, Runanga 7854,

West Coast

42 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

Directory: Things To Do

TAUPO Maori Carvings Waikato River Discovery

Mohaka Whanganui River Trips

Half day guided trip to the rock carvings,

Lake Taupo... only accessible by boat.

$85 per person (bookings essential).

Call freephone 0800 KAYAKN for


2 hour guided kayak trip. Experience the

magnificent upper reaches of the mighty

Waikato River - soak in the geothermal

hotsprings - take in the stunning

environment... a perfect trip for all the family...

Price: $40 adult $25 children Special

group and family rates. Call freephone

0800 KAYAKN for details.

Need some excitement? Take a kayak down

this wicked Grade II river run... this is a

whole day of thrills and fantastic scenery

down the Mohaka River.

Price: $100 per person. Call freephone

0800 KAYAKN for details.

Phone: Taupo 07 378 1003,

Hawke’s Bay 06 842 1305

Interested in a great adventure on this

Magnificent River?

Give us a call and we will give you a

memory of a lifetime.

Canoe & Kayak Taupo

Price on application.

0800 529256

TAUPO Accommodation

Waitara River Tours

Mokau River

Sugar Loaf Island

Accommodation available to Yakity Yak club

members and their families... Ideal for sport

and school groups... Situated on the banks

of the Waikato River our Kayakers Lodge

accommodates up to 12 people, is fully

furnished, with plenty of parking and a quiet


$25 per person per night.

Phone: 0800 529256 for details

For those who are slightly more adventurous at

heart, this is a scenic trip with the excitement of

grade two rapids. Midway down, we paddle

under the historic Betran Rd Bridge where we

will stop for a snack.

Allow 2 hours paddle only. Priced at $50.

Phone: 06 769 5506

Enjoy this beautiful scenic river which

winds through some of New Zealands

lushest vegetation. Camping overnight and

exploring some of New Zealands

pioneering history. A true Kiwi experience.

Two day trips $220.00 or

one day $70.00.

Phone 06 769 5506

From Ngamutu Beach harbour we head out

to the open sea to Nga Motu/Sugar Loaf

Island Marine Reserve. View the Taranaki

scenic, rugged coastline as we draw closer to

the Sugar Loaf Islands. Enjoy the seal colony

and experience the thrill of close up views of

these fascinating marine mammals.

Allow 3 hours subject to weather.

$50.00 per person. Phone 06 769 5506

Hawkes Bay Harbour Cruise

Okura River Tours

Kayak Hire

A guided kayak trip round the safe waters of

the Inner Harbour, while learning about the

history of the area. During this stunning trip

around the beautiful Napier Inner Harbour

of Ahuriri, we stop to share a glass of fresh

orange juice, local fruits and cheese platter.

All this for $40 per person.

Phone 06 842 1305

Exploring Karepiro Bay and the Okura

Marine Reserve. Enjoy this scenic trip with

abundant wildlife and a stop at Dacre

Cottage, the historic 1860 settlers’ house,

which is only accessible by boat or a long


Okura River Kayak Hire Company

Phone: 09 473 0036

Taupo - Open for the summer and by

appointment. Long Bay, Auckland - by

appointment only. Have some paddling

fun on the beach or let us run a Tour for

you and your friends and explore these

beautiful areas.

Phone Canoe & Kayak

on 0508 KAYAKNZ for details

New Zealand Kayaking Instructors

Award Scheme

Become a kayaking Instructor and Guide.

Get into gear and get qualified!

It’s fun and easy to do.

Don’t delay phone 0508 5292569 now

Paddle to the Pub

Twilight Tours

Customized Tours

Join the Yakity Yak Club

Kayaking to a local pub is a unique way of

spending an evening, bringing your group of

friends together by completing a fun activity

before dinner and making a memorable

experience. These trips are available to

Riverhead, Browns Bay and Devonport Pubs.



Okura River Kayak Hire Company

Phone: 09 473 0036

Departs from one of The East Coast Bays

beautiful beaches. Enjoy the scenic trip

with the sun setting over the cliff tops as

you paddle along the coast line.

COST: $49.00 • Group discounts available!

Okura River Kayak Hire Company

Phone: 09 473 0036

Mobile: 025 529 255

• Work Functions • Schools

• Clubs • Tourist groups

Whether it’s an afternoon amble, a full

days frolic or a wicked weekend

adventure we can take you there.

If there’s somewhere you’d like to paddle

we can provide you with experienced

guides, local knowledge, safe up to date

equipment and a lot of fun.

Contact your local store

on 0508 KAYAKNZ

Want to have fun, meet new people, have

challenging and enjoyable trips, and learn

new skills?

PLUS get a regular email newsletter and

this magazine! Also, get a discount on

kayaking courses and purchases from

Canoe & Kayak stores.

Then, join us!

Phone Canoe & Kayak

on 0508 KAYAKNZ to find out more

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 43

Learn To Kayak

PHONE 0508 529 2569 TO BOOK

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 1

Stage 2


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.

COST $295


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.

Course: 4 evening sessions

COST $200


A comprehensive course designed to

cover the skills required to become a

technically correct paddler. Starting off

in a heated pool and progressing

through flat water to moving water, it

allows you to develop techniques and

confidence at an enjoyable pace with

great end results.

Course: Weekend

COST $349


This course covers the skills required to

become a technically correct Eskimo

Roller. This will increase your confidence,

allowing you to paddle in more

challenging conditions.

Course: 4 evening sessions

COST $200

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 3

Stage 4


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.

Course: 4 evening sessions

COST $150


An advanced course designed to build on

your skills. Covering paddling technique,

kayak control, rescues, preparation,

planning and decision making.

Course: Weekend/overnight.

COST $350


On this course we continue to build on

the skills gained on Stage One and Two

Courses. Developing your skills,

technique and confidence on the faster

moving white water of the Waikato River

and progressing on to a Sunday day trip

on the Mohaka River. Includes, eddie

turns, ferry gliding, rolling, surfing and

building new skills in River Rescue

techniques and River Reading.

Course: Weekend • COST $349


During this course we build on the skills

gained on the Stage One to Three Courses.

Developing your moving water skills,

technique and confidence in your Multi

Sport Kayak. We start on the Mohaka River

on Saturday and progress to the

Whanganui on Sunday for some big water

paddling. River racing competency letters

are awarded to those who meet the

standard and criteria as outlined on the

Grade Two Competency Certificate. A copy

is available from Canoe & Kayak Centres.

Course: Weekend • COST $349

Stage 6

Stage 5

Stage 6

Stage 5


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: 4 evening sessions

COST $349


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-enter and roll.

Programme One Evening

Cost $60

New Thule Products

The Ski season is here! Your local Kayak retailer can assist with

Ski Racks from Thule!


Generous loading space and a series of

smart functions in a new exciting design.

This is a roof box with bold lines and a

slender silhouette, yet very generous

loading space. The lowered front and rear, the base and the spoiler on

the lid are all designed for good aerodynamic properties. The new,

patented Power-Grip mounting system makes mounting the box easier

than ever before. Dual-Side, Dual-Force and central locking are other

user-friendly features. You can choose between four different sizes, all

available in the elegant silver glossy colour. From $999.00 retail.

Available from Thule Roof Rack Centres nationwide.


This course is designed to sharpen your

whitewater skills and start learning simple

rodeo moves. We will focus on skills such

as river reading, body position and

rotation, advanced paddle technique,

playing in holes and negotiating higher

Grade 3 rapids. We recommend you are

feeling comfortable on Grade 2+ rapids.

Ideally you should already be paddling the

mid section of Rangitaiki or equivalent.

Course: Weekend • COST $349


Everything about this ski carrier

is “de luxe”.


This course is designed to cover likely

scenarios on white water rivers. The

course is suitable for paddlers who feel

comfortable on Grade One to Two rivers.

The areas covered are rope skills, muscle

techniques, team control, heads up, risk

management and combat swimming. Also

covering skills required in the following

situations: entrapments, kayak wraps,

swimming kayakers and their equipment.

Course: Weekend • COST P.O.A.

This ski carrier is perfect for anyone who wants the very best. An elegant,

aerodynamically designed, aluminium ski carrier, with smart details such

as that it can be adjusted in height to avoid the bindings touching the car

roof. The Thule Deluxe comes in three sizes carrying three to six pairs of

skis or two to four snowboards. From $199.95 RRP, Available from Thule

Roof Rack Centres nationwide.


A price worthy, quickly mounted and reliable ski carrier.

A functional, flexible ski carrier that is just as easy

to mount on the car as it is to load. Two sizes holds

four to six pairs of skis or two to four snowboards. From

$139.95 RRP, Available from Thule Roof Rack Centres nationwide.

44 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

NZ Kayak Magazine Buyers Guide


A comfortable performance orientated sea kayak which will suit all

sizes of paddlers with plenty of foot room for the bigger ones.

Handles well in rough conditions, a fun boat to paddle.

Prices start at $2300

Length: 4.80 m, Weight: 26.5 kg std, 23kg lite, Width: 610 mm


A Sit-on-Top for the family. Able to seat an adult

and a small child. It is easy to paddle and is very

stable. Easily carried by one adult or two kids.

Prices start at $504

Length: 2.7m, Weight: 15 kg, Width: 780 mm


A light easy to use family kayak. Enjoyable

paddling for the whole family in sheltered waters.

Prices start at $885

Length: 2.8 m , Weight: 17 kg, Width: 680 mm


Great general purpose kayak

for fishing, diving and having fun in the sun.

Prices start at $950

Length: 3.46 m, Weight: 27 kg, Width: 750 mm


is great for the paddler who wants a fun fast surf

and flat water kayak. Kids love this Sit-on as it is

not too wide for them to paddle and yet very


Prices start at $649


is ideal for fishing, surfing and exploring and one

of the driest ‘Sit-ons’ you will find. Great hatches

for storing your goodies

Prices start at $895

Length: 3.10 m, Weight: 17.27 kg, Width: 710 mm

Length: 3.43 m, Weight: 18.18 kg, Width: 790 mm

The price advertised is for the kayak only, it does not necessarily include any of the accessories or hatches shown in the photos.

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 45

NZ Kayak Magazine Buyers Guide


‘two person’ is ideal for fishing, surfing and

exploring. It has great hatches for storing your

adventure equipment. Now available with three

person option. It is often used by one person.

Prices start at $1095

Length: 3.81 m, Weight: 25.90 kg, Width: 915 mm


The ultimate fishing/diving kayak. A large well is

located in the stern and holds up to three tanks.

There is one centrally located seat and a smaller

companion seat near the bow. It can also be fitted

with an optional motor bracket for an electric

trolling or small outboard engine.

Prices start at $995

Length: 3.81 m, Weight: 25.85 kg, Width: 914 mm

(hatches & accessories not included)


Fishing, cruising, well appointed with gear storage

inside. Also includes an optional extra pod that

detaches, which is great for carrying your fishing

gear to your favourite spot. The pod can also be

used as a seat.

Prices start at $1199

Length: 4.01 m, Weight: 25 kg, Width: 780 mm


Probably the closest you will come to finding one

kayak that does it all. Surfing, fishing, snorkelling.

Prices start at $790

Length: 3.3 m, Weight: 23 kg , Width: 750 mm


Fast, light, touring kayak suits beginners through to advanced

paddlers. The hull design allows for great handling in rough water.

Well appointed and ideally suitable for multisport training.

Prices start at $2295


Has all the features for multi-day kayaking with ease of handling in all

weather conditions. With great manoeuvrability this kayak is suitable

for paddlers from beginner to advanced.

Prices start at $2250

Length: 4.93 m , Weight: 26kg, Width: 580 mm

Length: 4.8 m, Weight: 25 kg, Width: 610 mm

The price advertised is for the kayak only, it does not necessarily include any of the accessories or hatches shown in the photos.

46 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

NZ Kayak Magazine Buyers Guide


An enjoyable sea kayak, fast and nimble with huge

storage, great features and the most comfortable

seat your butt will ever meet.

Prices start at $2780

Length: 5.4 m, Weight: Std 26 kg, Width: 590 mm


Responds to rough conditions. Its low profile and

flared bow enable it to perform well in adverse

conditions. It is designed to give the paddler

maximum comfort, with adjustable footrests,

backrest, side seat supports and optional thigh


Prices start at $2549

Length: 5.3 m, Std. Weight: 29 kg, Lightweight: 27 kg,

Width: 610 mm


Is a roomy, manoeuvrable, easy to handle boat. A

channelled hull provides outstanding tracking

which helps keep you on course. Its upswept,

flared bow makes crossing rough water a breeze.

Prices start at $2265

Length: 4.8m, Weight: 27 kg, Width: 620 mm


Stable and easy to paddle and it handles surf with

ease. Simple to use for the beginner, yet exciting for

the more experienced paddler.

The flow handles the heavier paddler well. We

tested it with 115kg. It was stable and comfortable to

paddle and the little ones enjoyed it to.

This is an excellent family kayak that will get you and

the kids out on the water exploring, fishing, surfing

and anything else you can imagine to do on a kayak.

Prices start at $772

Length: 2.95m, Weight: 19kg, Width: 750 mm


A versatile touring kayak for lake, river and sea.

Stability, speed and easy tracking make for an

enjoyable day’s paddling. A larger cockpit allows

for easier entry and exit.


Flat water cruising, well appointed, a nifty

adjustable backrest, an access hatch in the back

which is great for carrying your extra gear.

Prices start at $1328

Prices start at $1770

Length: 4.4 m, Weight: Std 22kg, Width: 610 mm

Length: 3.7 m, Weight: 20 kg, Width: 7675 mm

The price advertised is for the kayak only, it does not necessarily include any of the accessories or hatches shown in the photos.

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 47

NZ Kayak Magazine Buyers Guide





Weight: 12 kg

Width: 455mm

Length: 5.9m

Price (Kev): $3220

FIREBOLT This new, very user friendly kayak with its excellent

combination of speed and stability supercedes our very popular Opus. It is

suitable not only for the intermediate / advanced paddler, but also for the

busy, but keen ‘Weekend Warrior’.

Weight: 12 kg

Width: 480mm

Length: 5.4 m

Price (Fg): $2710

Kev: $2940

SWALLOW The next step up from the entry level kayaks. Fast with good

stability. Medium skill ability is required to enjoy racing this kayak. A very

popular Coast to Coast kayak.

Weight: 16.5 kg to 19 kg

depending on construction

Width: 510 mm

Length: 6.43 m

Price: $2980 - $3330

depending on construction

MAXIMUS Fast ocean going Racing Sea Kayak. The broad bow allows

this kayak to ride over waves like a surf ski without losing any speed and is

easy to control while surfing. A low profile reduces buffeting by the wind in

adverse conditions.

Weight: 26 kg Glass

24kg Kevlar

Width: 550 mm

Length: 7 m

Price (Fg): $5260

Kev: $5760

depending on construction

ADVENTURE DUET This lightweight, very fast and recently updated

Adventure Racing double kayak continues to dominate adventure racing in

NZ and is very suitable as a recreational double.

Weight: 23kg kevlar


Width: 600 mm

Length: 5.6 m

Price: From $4110

TORRES A fast and stable sea kayak capable of handling extreme

expeditions. Huge storage and lots of leg room.


Weight: 26








Width: 550mm

4.55 m


Length: 7m

From $1195

Price: $4995 Glass


TOURER The low profile hull of the Cobra Tourer cuts down on windage,


enabling paddlers to maintain high speed and straight tracking with easy

handling in all conditions.

Weight: 14.5 kg

Width: 540 mm

Length: 4.94m

Price (Fg): $2460

Kev: $2740

INTRIGUE This kayak is ideal for the beginner/entry level kayaker who is

looking for a quick, light kayak with great stability. Very suitable for first

time Coast to Coasters.

Weight: 19.09 kg

Width: 585 mm

Length: 5.03 m

Price: $1495

THE ELIMINATOR is a fast stable racing

and training ‘Sit -on’. It has an adjustable dry seat and a cool draining

system. Ideal for the paddler wanting a good fitness work out.

Weight: 21 kg

Width: 510 mm

Length: 5.29 m

Price: $1595

Includes rudder foot plate

and pedals as standard.

SURF SKI An excellent training and competition surf ski, can be used with

under-slung rudder or rear mounted rudder.

Weight: 22 kg

Width: 550mm

Length: 5.15 m

Price: $1495

Includes multisport rudder

and Ozo foot pedals and

foam pillars fitted as


VIPER This boat is designed as an entry level alternative to expensive

composite crafts, has good stability and speed. Colours: Stone grey, Mango,

White granite, Lime, Yellow.

Weight: 22 kg

Width: 590mm

Length: 5m

Price (Fg): From $3310

(Freight charges may apply)

CHALLENGE 5 Slightly larger volume than the Sequel and lighter at 22kg.

A fast and stable touring sea kayak well appointed and featuring a great

rudder/steering system.

Weight: 45 kg

Width: 760mm

Length: 5.64 m

Price: From $3599

ECO NIIZH 565 XLT This upgraded model is proving a hit with its new

lighter weight and some excellent features. We now have a plastic double

sea kayak that is great to use for all those amazing expeditions and


The price advertised is for the kayak only, it does not necessarily include any of the accessories or hatches shown in the photos.

48 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

NZ Kayak Magazine Buyers Guide





Weight: 11kg

Width: 450mm

Length: 5.65m

Price (Kev): $3150





16.5 kg


6.4 m

$3700 kevlar

$3200 fibreglass

REBEL This new fast funky Ruahine Kayak is designed for paddlers of both

genders up to 75kgs.

At 5.65 metres long, the Rebel is half way between the length of the Swallow

and the Opus or Firebolt and is faster than them all.

Weight: 34 kg

Width: 280mm

Length: 4.5 m

Price: From $1790

OCEAN X This Racing Sea Kayak was designed specifically for the ‘Length

of New Zealand Race’ and built around the safety criteria drawn up for that

race. The Ocean X is also very suitable for kayak racing in the many

harbours, estuaries and lakes of New Zealand and lends itself well to the

kayak sections of many multisport races.

Weight: 35kg

Width: 800mm

Length: 4.87 m

Price: From $2833

WANDERER EXCEL A stable fun kayak which is easy to handle. This is

an enjoyable kayak for all the family.

Weight: 22 kg

Width: 610mm

Length: 5.3 m

Price: From $3979

CONTOUR 490 This double Sea Kayak is an ideal day tourer with the

easy ability to do those weekend camping expeditions. It handles well, is

fun to paddle and has well appointed accessories.

Weight: 21 kg

Width: 770mm

Length: 2.5 m

Price: From $630

TASMAN EXPRESS KEVLAR As per the plastic model, the kevlar

Tasman Express responds to rough conditions but its decreased weight, and

increased stiffness, gives even better performance.

Weight: 32 kg

Width: 830mm

Length: 4.2 m

Price: From $1180

WHIZZ A great multi-purpose family boat for big kids and small kids alike.

Lots of fun this summer at the beach. (Hot surfer!)

Weight: 34 kg

Width: 830mm

Length: 4.7 m

Price: From $1472

DELTA DOUBLE Fun for the whole family at the beach or lake.

Plenty of room and great stability.

Weight: 22.7 kg

Width: 810mm

Length: 3.12 m

Price: From $968

ACADIA 470 A great fun family boat with plenty of freeboard allowing for

a heavy load. Excellent for sheltered water exploring. Paddles quickly and

has excellent stability. Dry storage compartment.

Weight: 34 kg

Width: 840mm

Length: 4.75 m

Price: From $1647

TORENT FREEDOM Great for the surf and the river with awesome

manoeuvrability. Excellent finish.

Weight: 16kg

Width: 685mm

Length: 2.92 m

Price: From $999

SWING 470 PLUS A fantastic two person cruising kayak which is stable and

fast. It has plenty of storage and great features to make your adventures fun.

Weight: 26 kg

Width: 640mm

Length: 4.5 m

Price: From $2059

COBRA STRIKE A Wave Ski which the whole family can enjoy. Fantastic

in the surf, it‘s a fast and manoeuvrable sit-on-top.

CONTOUR 450 This kayak is designed for day tripping and light

overnight expeditions. It’s great fun to paddle and handles easily.

The price advertised is for the kayak only, it does not necessarily include any of the accessories or hatches shown in the photos.

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 49

From the USA - Seattle Sports

Paddling Accessories

Folding Camp Sink

Why carry a cumbersome

plastic bowl

3.5 gallon capacity folds flat for easy

storage Top stiffeners Rugged vinyl

Construction, RF welded seams and

webbed carrying handles.

Basic Trolley

If you could not afford a

trolley before, you can now.

Clear anodised aluminium frame

Stainless steal needle bearing

and hardware Pneumatic

wheels Simple design

Paddle Float

Two chamber float for added safety

A 2nd chamber for use when you need

extra buoyancy or if one chamber

is accidentally punctured

Clip on safety tether to eliminate

loss in windy conditions

Dry Bag Technology

moves forward

Super Latitude Dry Bags

Showing the way forward in strength and ease of use

Opens along the length of the bag - no more losing things in the bottom of

the bag Hands-free autopurge valve automatically purges the air as

the bag is compressed or stuffed into tight spaces Light weight

urethane coated diamond rip-stop allows these bags to slide easily

into kayak hatches. A full width window makes it easy to see your

gear. THESE ARE THE BEST Available in 10, 21 & 51 Litre Sizes

Solar Shower

No more cold showers at the end of a

day’s paddling

The 5-gallon capacity for 8 minute shower

Constructed of durable PVC Separate fill

cap, on/off valve and a hanging/carrying handle.

Foam Paddle Float

No need to worry about blowing up your paddle

float - use immediately

Unidirectional trapezoidal shaped foam block enhances

stability Reflective webbing trim and metallic chrome

front panel Large pocket for paddle blade

Wide adjustable leash to secure the paddle shaft.

Bilge Pump

Solid, simple & effective pump

8 gallon per minute

Easy-grab handle

Super-strong pump shaft and

heavy-duty impact resistant plastic.

Paddle Leash

Unique quick release paddle leash

Streamlined, low-profile retractile cord

8' expansion Heavy-duty snaphook

Internal Kevlar cord filament

Deck Bag

A place to put your nibbles,

camera, and extra clothing providing

easy access while on the move

Entire bag is RF welded to keep water out.

Splash proof HydroKiss TM zipper is sealed in

with no holes for water to find. Internal plastic

stiffener to keep the bag in shape

A universal anchoring system

Latitude Dry Bags

Length opening dry bags at a competitive price

Opens along the length of the bag - no more losing things at the

bottom of the bag Polyester body and heavy-duty vinyl ends.


Sizes available in 10, 21 & 51 Litre

H2Zero Dry Bags

Tough traditional design

Frequency welded seams

A three roll closure system

Tough, waterproof, abrasion

resistant fabric

Sizes available in 10, 21 & 41 Litre

Grand Adventure

When size matters

Tough, waterproof, abrasion

resistant fabric Shoulder strap &

grab handle Carry all your gear

in one bag Keep your car dry by

keeping all your wet gear in one bag

Size 99 Litre

H2Zero Dry Bags

The price leader

Heavy weight clear plastic

Frequency welded seams

A three roll closure system

Tough, waterproof, abrasion

resistant base fabric

Sizes available in 10, 21 & 41 Litre

Available at all good Kayak stores

email: greatstuff@woosh.co.nz

Available at all good Kayak stores

email: greatstuff@woosh.co.nz

50 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006 51







502 Sandringham Rd

Telephone: 09 815 2073

Arenel Ltd

T/A Canoe & Kayak Auckland










38 Nukuhau Street, Taupo

Telephone: 07 378 1003

Rees and Partners Limited

Trading as Canoe and Kayak Taupo






Unit 6, 631 Devon Road

Waiwhakaiho, New Plymouth

Telephone: 06 769 5506

Peter & Bronnie van Lith

Trading as Canoe and Kayak Taranaki





15 Niven Street

Onekawa, Napier

Telephone: 06 842 1305

CSJ Limited

Trading as Canoe and Kayak Hawke’s Bay










Unit 2/20 Constellation Drive,

(Off Ascension Drive), Mairangi Bay,

Auckland - Telephone: 09 479 1002

Flood Howarth & Partners Limited

Trading as Canoe and Kayak North Shore







7/28 Anvil Road, Silverdale

Please phone for opening hours

Telephone: 09 421 0662

Canoe & Kayak Limited

Trading as Canoe and Kayak Distribution









710 Great South Road, Manukau

Telephone: 09 262 0209

J. K. Marine Limited

Trading as Canoe and Kayak Manukau







3/5 Mac Donald Street

Mount Maunganui (off Hewletts Rd)

Telephone: 07 574 7415

Jenanne Investment Limited

Trading as Canoe and Kayak Bay of Plenty











The Corner Greenwood St

& Duke St, State Highway 1 bypass


Telephone: 07 847 5565








2 Centennial Highway,

Ngauranga, Wellington

Telephone: 04 477 6911







Conditions and

booking fee apply


52 ISSUE THIRTYsix • 2006

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