Saturday, 16 June 2012

Bruce Bay to Okarito

Sim, KT and I have made an unexpected trip over to Christchurch after my grandma passed away a few days ago.  We are hoping to head back to the West Coast in the next few days depending on the weather.  Here's a quick update on our latest adventures. 

Sim and I paddling out from Bruce Bay- photo by KT

After spending more than a week in Bruce Bay we finally got the weather window that we had been waiting for.  With an amazing panorama of the southern alps out to our right we we cruised north feeling a little apprehensive about our inevitable messy landing at Gillespies Beach.  Rumor has it that Gillespies is one of the gnarlier dumping surf beaches on the coast, and the advice that I had been given was to avoid it.  At least it wasnt an 'avoid it at all costs' piece of advice- definitely a good sign! When we arrived early in the afternoon KT informed us on the radio that waves were breaking further out but that we would be sweet as, a welcome relief.  I went in first and made it within a couple of meters of the beach before getting rolled.  Sim got smashed further out before making a clean run in to the beach- so far our combined roll count is sitting at 5 haha. 

Sunset from Gillespies Beach

The following day we paddled north to Okarito in pristine conditions.  Timing it between the sets we managed to surf in over the bar and into the river mouth without too many dramas.  So far we are a month into our journey, but of that month we have only managed to paddle a total of 8 days.  Two more paddling days should get us to Hokitika, and another day to Greymouth.  Progress has been slow but i guess that what you get paddling on the West Coast!

Arriving into the Okarito Lagoon- photo by KT

Calm seas and the Southern Alps

KT- our awesome Landing Analyst and Ground Specialist

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