Tuesday, October 14, 2014

An Apple In Peach Cove

Yesterday I paddled one of my favourite day trips - Taurikura Bay to Peach Cove. It's a round trip of about 20 nautical miles. Part of my trip was from the relative safety of Whangarei harbour out into the open ocean where I hugged the coast for a couple of miles. It's an easy and enjoyable trip in fine weather. I only took an apple and a bottle of water for an early lunch - Us Kayakers, come dieters, who aim to become as lithe, fit and trim as Norwegian Racing Sardines have to make sacrifices - I thought about those sacrifices as I tucked into a fine lunch with wine when I returned home.
My new waterproof deck bag proved its worth keeping my camera and other gear nice and dry. I am slowly building up my kayak gear so that when I am ready and have the time I will have everything I require for an over night trip.
The distant headland on the top left of the photograph is the entrance to Peach Cove.
If you double click this photograph you will get some idea of the lay of the land. I have paddled from the top left hand area of the photograph down to where Peach Cove is marked on the map.
One of the great delights of kayaking is being able to paddle within touching distance of the coast and see the flora and fauna at a very close distance. I will have to ask my friend Gerry, an amateur ornithologist what these birds are. (Gerry has told me that the white wading birds I described as "Regal" in my last blog are in fact "Royal Waders"). Seeing bird and ocean life is one of the bonuses of being in and on the water.
A Pied Shag dries its wings. 
Getting in close along the rugged coastline.
Shooting the gap. There was a bit of a surge between this small craggy island and the mainland, but I managed to time my paddle through on the top of the surge so that I didn't hit the shallow bottom.
I have been on a fairly strict regime of daily exercise to increase my fitness, so I was pleased that I was able to deal with this paddle and the low key, in the back of the mind anxiety about paddling around exposed coast land. I am always very careful, and watch the elements with the well honed eye of a sailor who only deals with heavy weather when he wants to, or has to.


Ben said...

Yes, the sea looks quiet. I imagine that with a stiff Southerly this paddle is really dangerous? Good for you, apparently no anxiety regarding being out alone at sea. How long did it take you? Nice kayak.

Alden Smith said...

Yes, any strong wind from South West round to South East will make this part of the coast a 'lee shore' and therefore dangerous for kayaking, so it always pays to take notice of the weather forecasts. I knew the day would be Ok because at the time of my trip there was a large high pressure weather system over New Zealand. As I write there is a cold weather front on its way, so I will keep my kayaking to the enclosed sheltered harbour - or - stick to cycling until the weather improves.

For open coastal trips it is recommended that a minimum of 3 kayakers travel together, which is good advice - I only go solo if I am absolutely convinced that the weather will be ok.

This trip took me almost 5 hours - but I was traveling slowly and stopping along the way to take photos and enjoy the scenery.

I bought the kayak at a sale price in 2003 - it is a 'Q-Kayak' Brand, 'Tasman Express' Model kayak. It tracks well, is easy to paddle and has plenty of internal storage volume making it ideal for lengthy trips.