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Right before Christmas we spent a couple days sea kayaking up the coast of Abel Tasman national park. We shared a two-person kayak, Michael in the front, me in the back. The rear steers, so I was in charge of direction. Michael will tell you he was the motor. OK so that’s partly true (about halfway). Our guide said some call these divorce boats.

I’d booked this tour before leaving the U.S. It was a sort of rough luxury safari-type excursion. The guides carried the boats and fed us and had a lodge set up on the beach for us, and all we had to do was paddle. Still, there were a few windy patches where I found myself thinking, where’s the yacht? Powerboat? Cruise ship? Motor boat? Can I get a tug from somewhere?

That was mainly at the beginning, when the weather turned a bit rough, and for what the guide later said was an hour (felt like about 3 to me), it was raining, the wind was smack against us, and I was swallowing ocean water that was blowing up in my face, or was that the splashing off the front paddler’s oars?

I never felt like we would topple over, which is amazing considering how small a kayak is and how big the ocean is. This particular stretch of ocean is usually quite calm which makes it better for kayaking, and there are several seal colonies you can paddle around, which makes it fun. In our photos if you squint you might be able to see some seals. They were actually quite close and some swam under our boat, but it was difficult to capture with a disposable camera, not to mention having to hold an the oar in the other hand. For a good deal of the second day the weather was eerily calm and the water was so still there were barely a few ripples.

We are in Christchurch today headed to Queenstown tomorrow. Hoping for good weather for the Routeburn trek.

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