Date: March 10th
Swell: small E
Wind: Light SE
Meal: BBQ Beer Chicken, Kawhai Bites
Impression: Yummy little floured, chunks of Kawhai fish, fresh from the sea and hour before, and tender flavorful chicken baked in the BBQ with a full can of beer up its back side, with organic home grown salad! Stunner
Stars: 10 out of 10 for sure!
March 10th Safari In Zimbabwe
We awoke late in comfy beds, then had a great breakfast of homemade granola, with yogurt and fruit. Man this doesn’t feel like a kayak expedition sometimes I tell yah! We chatted all morning with Doug and Lynette and organized an interview with a local water sports magazine. Enjoying the morning, company and sunshine, the time passed quickly then it was back on the water at 12pm, with the high tide. This way we would have the out going tide sucking us out the southern entrance, and would make good time. Doug drove the kayaks back down to the boat ramp on his trailer and we were set to go.
We thanked Doug and Lynnette for their amazing hospitality, and set off across the , still, glassy flat estuary. Lots of people at the boat ramp where also excited by our adventure and wished us well. On our way to the southern end we cam across another kayaker, who paddled over and said “ Hi guys, I am kayaking from North Cape to Bluff, how about you?”
The chap laughed heartily, then looked over our boats and at our serious faces and his smile dropped “ I was just talking good old kiwi bullshit! But you guys are serious aren’t yah?!”
“Yeah we are!” so we chatted for awhile then he stated, “well you boys better get moving then if you are gonna make it to Stewart Island before sundown!” we all laughed and moved on our way. Pulling up 35 mintues later at Mount Monganui beach area ( a swanky beach area near Tauranga, kinda like surfers paradise) and had a n interview with “Water Line” the local water sports mag, and were told we will probably be the cover story for the April edition. Cool!
We then jumped in our boats (it is about 3pm now) and zipped out the channel with outgoing tide, then paddled on down the coast. Dave soon caught a small Kawhai, that we keept for our upcoming dinner. At about 6pm, we came across a campground, though couldn’t stand the idea of staying there, so we pushed on a little bit further and decided to stealth camp in some sand dunes in front of a suburban beach front area. As I came in through the surf, a chap on the beach stopped tow watch. Dragging my boat up the beach as Dave came in behind, I started chatting with my new acquaintance, he was excited to talk about kayak fishing, and was even more excited to hear about our big mission.
“Nah we are good cheers mate, just got stocked up earlier in the day” I told him, but thanked him for the offer
Dave just out of his boat from and wet ride in on the waves, stated jokingly “ice cream, we would love some of that!” the other Dave looked stunned, “that’s just a joke!” Dave quickly followed up with.
“No worries then, was great meeting you ,and enjoy camping in the dunes, it will be completely fine and safe.” So we shock hands and we went our separate ways. Dave and I started unpacking the boats and setting up camp, when to other characters kayaked in on sit on tops, with a bunch of fish. I quickly went off to chat to them, and came to Know “Neville” and “Jon”.
Neville (Nev) is a local here, a surfer, sailor and kayak Fisherman, and owned a house in this area before anyone else did. Now there are houses everywhere. Jon is his Brother in Law from Zimbabwe, who runs Tracking Safaris there in the winter and comes to NZ for the summers. Wow what great characters with so many stories to tell, and they loved our adventure. Nev quickly told us how safe the place is and the best way to camp without tempting theft, Jon was super excited about how adventurous we where, telling us we where the real deal, and Dave and I Just kept thinking, he was the real deal,” an African lion tracker!”
Next Minute the Dave we meet when we first arrived, showed back up and gave us a six pack of beers “here you go boys, enjoy!” we couldn’t believe it, he wouldn’t even stay and have one with us, just wished us luck, shook our hands and went back on his way. What a friendly beach this is. Wow. Even I, as a kiwi, am amazed at how friendly and gracious my country men are, and I think Dave is flabbergasted what a great experience!
Soon we had meet the wives and where invited up for dinner. We set up camp stowed our gear, and soon were sitting in Nev and Deb’s Garden, drinking beer and eating great BBQ chicken and Fish, talking stories of romance and adventure around the world. Nev’s setup at home is great, they rent out their main house in the summer and live in the back in a really cool little ensemble of buildings, garages and campervan, that make a wonderful outdoor living life, Plus it is right on the water, except for the dunes directly in front, which we are camping in. We had a great night and now have plans of visiting, Jon and his wife Nikki in Zimbabwe. We couldn’t believe our luck and meeting this group of really awesome, interesting people randomly on a stretch of beach and right on their front doorstep. Providence perhaps?
Slipping back through the dunes to our stealth camp, we found nothing gone, and we slipped into a deep sleep