Saturday, March 26, 2011

26th March; Passing Portland

Date: 26TH MarchDCIM\101GOPRO
Weather: overcast
Swell: 2m N
Wind: light to moderate N
Distance: 34NM
Camp: Dawns cabin Mahia Beach
kayakdownundernzleg2-04442Ok this day we had our shit together, we were going hard, prepared for a 10 -11 hour day, on the water early, packed gear in case we had to camp. at Dave and Margaret’s at 7 am, we carried boats down to beach, loaded them up, noted and liked the small surf we were to launch into, said goodbye to my Mum, Dave and Margaret who were taking photos and pushed out into the surf.kayakdownundernzleg2-04444
Dave went first and made a good go, I came second and caught him up while still in the surf zone, though I then had two big waves nock me back a fair bit. I felt kayakdownundernzleg2-04448lethargic, my heart raced and felt tired, oh could this be side effects from all the drugs and anti venom I have had? We got out back of the surf, I caught my breath, and we regrouped then aimed for the far point, Table Cape, and went for it. Now Mahia peninsula is a strange triangular shape on the end of a narrow neck of land. At the north is the first tip, then you run south to the next, then West North West to the inner tip and into Mahia bay. We needed to round it all to get to the cabin we were staying at.
The morning wind was light the swell small enough, as we got to table cape the winds increased and the swell form the north started appearing. The reef of the point at table cape was rough and choppy, though as soon as we rounded it was all with kayakdownundernzleg2-1030106us for the next 19NM. Table cape is so named for the dead flat land that fringes the hills at the end f this part of the peninsula, quite a cool site really, especially for us looking towards the land at sea level and seeing dead flat land at our eye level just past the breakers, with cows and sheep grazing away merrily. Hard to believe the sea doesn’t just wash it all away until it is cliff.
We ran with the wind and waves’, catching some good surfing rides in the kayaks and making awesome head way. Nearing Portland Island of the southern tip of the peninsula we came across some awesome cliff formations, this lot was very volcanic in its origin again it seemed. The bay kayakdownundernzleg2-1408was almost clawed from the peninsula by a giant monster, lots of vertical grooves with sea caves and arches, very rugged and stunning to look at, despite the drizzling rain and the wind. At this point Dave commented “it would be nice to have two days to have done this as there is so much to see!” though we needed to push on the weather window may be small and we want to get around in one day. Then we found some awesome sea arches to paddle through, oh how spectacular this little bit is!
Portland Island got closer and became less of a hazy blur through the rain; we passedkayakdownundernzleg2-1440 through the channel between main land and little island and then turned west. It was almost 3pm and we had just under 10NM to go, though the wind was now in our face wrapping around the mountains. We punched at it strong using the pocketed shoreline as shelter and rest stops as we went; the points had strong wind though once passed them it wasn’t too bad.
We rolled into Mahia beach at about 6.30 pm, loaded the boats up onto the lawn of some friendly locals and found everyone eager to find out if we made it and that there was a dinner party we had to attend. Everyone was well impressed that we got around in one day in such crappy conditions, though the reality was the wind had helped us a lot. We showered and then were shoved in a car and taken to an awesome dinner and sing along party till about 11pm, when we couldn’t stay awake anymore and where taken back to bed.
kayakdownundernzleg2-1499We had great thoughts of paddling on again the next day, though it wouldn’t happen despite the good conditions, as we were burnt out and had a lot of gear to sort out still.

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