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  • Day97

    Kayak for 3 days - Elaine bay

    January 4 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Day 1
    Woke up and had an angry person saying we were too close to their tent. 🙄. That was the worst bit of the day over and done with. We checked in with our Kayak hire place just round the corner. Very nice chap gave us the run down of the area and some suggestions of where to paddle to. He said the wind would be fairly nice for the day but said it never has a consistent direction. Something we found out quickly over the coming days.
    We had a lovely sunny paddle for a few hours. Stopping for lunch on a beach. No one else in site anywhere. Lots of mussel farms surrounding the bay.
    We cracked open some hard boiled eggs to find they had not cooked. Turns out you need to keep eggs boiling to make them hard, not just boil and turn off. Who knew.
    A few hours later we found our campsite. People were leaving as we arrived, leaving the place to ourselves. Perfect. I went for a swim and saw 2 big sting rays. Didn't want to get too close. Water was a bit weird with a top layer of fresh and a lower of salty. Which gave snorkelling a weird drunk type feeling.
    With a fire going we played uno and had G and T as the sun went down.

    Day 2
    Packed up the tents. The sea seemed reasonably calm outside our bay, so we made a route to get to our next campsite. Once we got out into the main channel we found the wind was quite strong. Probably about force 5. The plan was to paddle a few miles in open water to the opposite headland. Probably not sensible. So we abandoned plan 1 and headed back along the same route as yesterday, hugging the coast for shelter. It didn't really provide much! Had a few stretches where the wind whipped up and you could barely paddle against it.
    We made a plan to island hop to get closer to the campsite, then surf the waves downwind to get into the bay. This worked perfectly. We arrived wet, and cold. I was definitely enjoying myself, some of the others not quite so much.
    Effing sandflies everywhere, wind then rain coming in so we set up camp quickly and then hid all 4 of us in the bigger 2 man tent. Watched some Netflix and emerged to find a completely still evening. Not a breath of wind. This lulled us into a false sense of security for what was to come tomorrow....

    Day 3
    Emerged from the tent and it was blowing a hooley. Probably force 6 to 7. Straight into the bay and straight into the direction we needed to head.
    Decided to hang around to see if it would die down.
    By mid day there was no change so decided to have a bash at paddling against it. Again island hopping to try and get back to Elaine bay.
    Solid bit of effort required to get us to the Elaine bay entrance. Found ourselves a cheeky sheltered spot just at the entrance to Elaine bay. So had some food before the final slog. Tried once to go against the wind, but Pete and Cathers got spun around, nose picked up by the wind and couldn't steer against it. We turned round to have another bash together.
    This time got the line right and battled through.
    About 45 mins of paddling later we landed back at the slip way. Epic! The wind was so strong it was whipping up into mini whirlwinds. Never seen that before.
    A surprised Kayak owner came down to meet us. He did not expect us to make it back.
    We de crusted with a shower and he gave us victory coffee and cake. What a day.
    Drove to near Blenheim to a campsite for the evening. Finished off by having a meal out at an English style pub. Those ales went down a treat!
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