Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 16th; Rain and Sand



Date: April 16th

Weather: overcast and rain

Swell: 3M S and 1 M E

Wind: Light NE

Distance: 15NM

Camp: Uruti beach

View Kayak Down Under NZ Journey in a larger map

Back Country Cuisine Food Review


Meal: Thai Chicken Curry and Apricot Crumble for desert

Impression: Yum, this meal is great on a cold rainy night huddled under a tarp! Good flavor, great spice to warm you up, and very filling. I have eaten this before, though last time it was a hot evening and I don’t think it went down as well.

Stars: 8 out of 10


I sit in my tent, it is raining! I like the rain when camping, off course; as long as you are warm, well feed and comfortable, which I am. I came in through some good sized surf this evening, in the rain; nothing to extreme, though enough to make you think (some big sets came through quite regularly).

kayakdownundernzleg3-00511I left Castlepoint quite late this morning; almost 11am, but I was in no rush as I needed to check weather well and also I knew I wasn’t going too far down the coast and the longer I waited the more the swell was supposed to drop. I am apprehensive about large surf and not knowing how rocky these beaches are. I pushed out through some pretty punchy little surf as I left the camp ground, then I set into a good rhythm down the coast, my brain a buzz with what the beach might be like to land on. Eventually I found peace in my mind and enjoyed the beautiful coastline and the amazing way a lot of farm land could go right up to the water’s edge and have waves breaking on a reef just feet from sheep grazing lush green grass. In my mind there should be meters of sand before grass!


Eventually I came to my target spot, Riversdale beach, I looked at coming in on the quite populated village and lined up the surf life saving club as a good spot to seek free camping, as I begun looking at the surf and setting up to come in, I came across to knee board surfers in the waves. They told me about a nice beach a bit further round where it would be nice to camp and the beach is sandy, so looking to avoid camping in civilized areas all the time I thanked them for the info. During the conversation it was an interesting game of keep an eye on the big sets and back paddle like mad to stop them getting you, then paddle back in to talk to the knee boarders, as I finally paddled out to move on, a real big set came in and if I hadn’t moved off as early as I did, I would have been surfing all the way in to Riversdale anyway.

Around the next head land I found a nice little bay, the rains came in and I worked in DCIM\100GOPROthrough the surf, easily pulling up on to the sandy beach between big sets (despite my mind making a huge deal out of it all). I dragged the kayak easily up into the dunes, as it was high tide and I pretty much surfed on to them, and then set up camp. Later as the heavy rains came and a number of walkers and bikes went along the beach now the tide was dropping, I noticed that there were actually quite a lot of rocks on the beach, and I wondered if I would be able to get off it at low tide. Maybe there will be a whole reef blocking me?

The rains set in hard and I cooked up a hot yummy back country meal, sitting in my kayak gear the whole time letting my body heat dry it out from the inside (Gortex Dry pants and tops are awesome like this, you stay comfortable in them and they are only slightly damp inside from a bit of sweat, so I wear them until I am about to go to bed, that way they’re dry on the inside for the morning).

Now I go to sleep, and I will awake to decide if I move another 14NM down the coast tomorrow, or hunker in here for 2-3 days; the storm will arrive tomorrow night.

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