After arriving in wellington, Leona and I loaded my boat on her car with inflatable roof racks loaned to us by Fergs kayaks and headed to her place. I spent the next 5 days enjoying wellington area and catching up with old friends and family. The storm finally came the next morning after I arrived and proceeded to rain and rain and rain; plus the wind; my, my how the wind blew. This storm travelled north and proceeded to devastate coastal Hawke’s Bay with the biggest floods in 100 years, destroying parts and cutting off many of the coastal villages I enjoyed along the way. No one died, though many people lost homes and farms, I was quite epic. I am thinking of a title for this trip, maybe “ In The wake of Disaster: kayaking the north island of NZ during a summer of chaos” after all, there had been the Christchurch earth quake, the Japanese quake and tsunami, the Myanmar Quake, Floods in Australia and now the floods in Hawke’s Bay. We will see, it is probably to ominous a title.
April 28th was my Birth Day; I turned 30 years old, I couldn’t think of a better way to roll (or should I say kayak) into my 30’s. it has been an amazing 29 years of life so far, I can’t wait to see what more is to come. I celebrated with a small collection of friends and relatives who were around and available for dinner and drinks. Leona made an Awesome kayak cake. What a great little night at a South East Asian Restaurant called Monsoon Poon; it was very funky and the food tasted great.
My father drove down after the storm passed his land in Hawke’s bay hadn’t been affected luckily. We drove up and camped on the west coast looking out at Mount Egmont; it was a fitting way I felt to end things: the boat on the racks of a car, camping back on the west coast and watching the sunset into the Tasman, me sitting in the kayak on top the car as we drove along, setting up the tent in the dunes; all reminiscent of how Dave and I began the trip on the North west coast and now I end it In a similar way. We awoke the next day to a beautiful morning, it was a flat day on the west coast, the snow caped peak of mount Egmont glowed in the morning light and ever so slightly a tingle felt in my belly, an urge filled my mind, the call to paddle on started whispering in the back of my mind…………….. and I knew there would be many more adventures to come.