Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 12th; Where the Albatross Roam

To Porongea


Date: April 12th

Weather: Sunny and Hot

Swell: Small E

Wind: Variable

Distance: 18 Nm

Camp: ?

Back Country Cuisine Food Review


Meal: Nasi Goreng (an Asian, egg and veggie, rice dish)

Impression: Yummy yummy, full of great veggies and seeds. Awesome color and texture, a great vegetarian option and very filling. Nice subtle refreshing flavor.

Stars: 9 out of 10



Awoke early at my dad’s place to a beautiful light over the grass covered hills and a To Porongeafog in the valley, it was an awesome morning. I ate a big breakfast while talking to my step brother Mathew, I trimmed my beard with and electric shaver (it was becoming annoying at the length it was) with the help of my little nephew Andrew. Then we all loaded into my Dads police car and headed back to the beach.To Porongea

We found Rodney just returning from the morning Cray fishing trip and he brought the kayak back down to the beach for me, then ran off to load Crays in the holding tanks, wishing me well before he left. I loaded the boat, improved my hard set with some foam that Mathew gave me, hugged them all good bye and set off onto the water through the small surf. It was another hot day and a late start 11am, a police siren went off, I looked back to shore to see Dad, Mathew and Andrew driving along the beach road a bit more with me, then veered off back inland and to town.

To Porongea

The day was like yesterday, though today I was a little more tired, I ate a lot as I went, the big fish I caught yesterday was now my lunch and I snacked on pieces as I went. After lunch I came across the albatross again, this time I saw them a lot and eventually came across them sitting on the water next to a huge school of Kahawai feeding on the surface. This was the biggest densest school of Kahawai I had ever seen; the see was black with them. The albatross let me get quite close and I got some good pictures, the Black Browed Mollymawk (Albatross)  is smaller than the wandering Albatross though very striking with dark eyebrows that give them a grumpy look. To Porongea

I paddled on across the bay, it was almost 4pm and I had to start thinking about where to land the night. The coast now becomes covered in reefs and much harder to find sandy beaches or ones that aren’t blocked by reef, therefore I can’t just paddle till its dark and come in where ever, I have to plan and think now. I paddled at To Porongeaa spot that looked good, only to find it blocked by reef and also to be a jagged rocky beach, so for the first time in the trip I back paddled to a good spot, as the way forward was all rocky reef and beaches. Around behind the corner lay a long sand beach, there where houses, though I pulled in far away from them. I found a gap in the scattered rock reefs to land and made camp on a lumpy bit of grass above the sand. Not ideal, though good enough.

I reflected on how little fear I have of camping by myself in NZ after doing solo trips in BC and having to think about Bears and Cougars, here only the weather or Katipo spiders can get yah.

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