Kia Ora Team! Finally an update you say?! Hope everyone enjoyed their second long weekend! I’ll try not to bore everyone so just some reflections on the first half of semester and some updates at the end! TL:DR It was awesome, you’re all awesome. I distinctly remember speaking to y’all about how I was hoping to have regular updates so you can all keep tabs on what’s happening within the club space and trips. Sadly, I’ve only just managed to fully unpack from Mohaka and Tongo has just been and gone midway through my exams. That’s the reality of balancing university with our hobbies. I know many of you have given up precious catch up time to help these trips succeed. Before I begin, thank you to all the instructors/sweep rafters/guides/safety kayakers/trip organizers for volunteering your time and efforts towards these trips. It would simply not happen without you. I want to also extend the club's appreciation to all the participants for coming along giving things a go and joining this wacky family. I've been genuinely blown away by how proactive and engaged in helping us get the less than fun stuff done such as trailer loading or sorting gear. The Squeeeeeeze! #Sponsored #ThanksUpAndGo. Despite cancelling Fulljames due to Covid restrictions, I’d argue we’ve had an epic start with our replacement trip (Karapiro/Squeeze) being a stunning kick-off trip to the year. Thanks to Lydia and Katrina pivoting from Fulljames to this! I have two favourite moments I’d like to share with you: My first is sleeping outside under the stars at the Arohena Campsite. What a stunning campsite! I hope we get to camp there again because I personally had an amazing time hanging out with everyone. Pro-tip: Don’t drive the trailer down the steep gravel drive unless you have 4WD and a liberal right foot. We barely made it up that hill (took two attempts) in a cloud of dirt and dust. My second is seeing everyone at the last rapid (we’ll call it a rapid though the instructors would argue otherwise) having a great time and many of the beginners willing to eddy out and get a cheeky little surf on the wave despite getting into whitewater for the first time an hour or so before. We stayed far longer than we should have (RIP everyone else waiting for us) but no regrets.
PS: Secret third fav is Frances off Pokaiwhenua Falls #RegretableLifeChoices #GuessWhoIsInTheBeaterReel #Me…ButAlsoFrances. NAW genuinely stoked, she gave it a go and I’m looking forward to her sending it upright next time!
Frances upside down.
My fifth Aniwhenua! One of my favourite trips of the year and also my first trip with the club in 2018. In classic club fashion, I started late (not as late as my first trip with Ben #FaffKing) as I was a muppet and left Dion's boat at Whenuapai and thus drove all the way from CBD to pick it up, grab dinner etc. Finally we got out of Auckland at 1930. Just an hour later. Nothing to see here.
For the first time, I did not kayak as I was rafting both days, however I'm sure many of the beginners will remember that feeling of awe when you first peer over the railings at the waterfall/turbine outlet. For many, this was their first taste of rafting/seeing a more difficult river and it was also awesome to see the excitement of everyone descending Jeffs Joy for the first time.
I heard very positive feedback from the beginners about how slick the operation was particularly on the second day. Thanks to those involved that went ahead early to get the boats unpacked. I think that's a good idea for future trips. Special mention to both Dion and Justus, Dion for volunteering his boat/time for the beginners to work on their roll in the lake in the afternoon and Justus for his backwards and sideways line down Jeffs Joy. We had throwbags ready but thankfully not needed!
Thanks to the weather gods for the fantastic weather over Easter and the additional water in the river. Less thanks for the amount of discussion and worry on whether the campsite would be underwater (for those that did not go, it was very much not affected in any way). Mohaka is an odd trip, it's still basically summer but mighty cold in the morning. Thankfully we didn't wake up to frozen clothes! We had phenomenal weather all three days. Both days were relatively carnage free! On a personal note, this was my first time down both the G3 as a guide and kayaking the G4. Personal favourite moment was watching Moe yeet himself off my raft (which I abandoned) in his kayak whilst simultaneously ejecting Keegan into the water. It's amazing how much carnage a G2 can generate in the hands of the right master.
Brrrrrr.... Is our usual prediction for Tongo even in Feb. This weekend however, the weather on Saturday was absolutely stunning! We finally saw the effect of sickness with one of our guides unfortunately falling ill at the start of the weekend. We dislike not taking everyone on a trip and I thank all that were affected for their understanding. A10 was as usual, challenging but extremely fun and I thoroughly enjoyed hitting features sideways for a cooling spray of water #RIPFrontRow. In the afternoon we decided a punt down Blue Pools (G2) was ordered. Somehow we had more carnage on the grade 2 than we did on A10 but there were smiles all round! A14 was less warm but way more intense!
That sums up my thoughts on the first semester trips. What were your favourite trip moments? This weekend also signalled the last of the Wairoa releases for this season, I believe it will most likely start back up in October. STDs (Save the Date, ya sickos #NineNine!)
- Beginners Trip!!!! 21st-22nd May. It'll be cold but it'll be fun. A weekend hanging out in the Scout Hall while practising on a neat Grade 2 slalom course. This is a great weekend to consolidate your skills and get more time on an easily accessible section of grade 2 water with our excellent instructors!
- We will have a second beginners trip in the second semester as well so keep your ears out.
- I'm considering a Goat Island paddle at some point and I've heard some are keen to get out to the beach for some kayak surfing.
- As winter sets in, we generally run less official club trips but if you're keen to organize one be it a river, beach or more relaxed social event let us know or message in the club FB page! We do much more than just kayaking on the river and we encourage any idea and are happy to help support with gear, expertise etc!
If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I'll try to make smaller bites next time :) Also: Enjoy this video of me getting wrecked on the G4. Till next time, adios! Winter is coming!