Thursday, 5 July 2012

Hokitika to Westport

Hi Sim here
We have made it up as far as Westport, after a few good weather days and fortunately there is more to come! You'll have to excuse the lack of photos as were unable to put any up the moment.
So after landing at Hoki, we left our boats in the capable hands of Brian at the Beachside Holiday Park and headed up to wait out some rough weather with our mate Jono in Greymouth. During that time there was up to 6m swells out on the coast no fun for kayaking. While in Greymouth we had a chat to the local outdoor education students about what we were up to and where we work in Fiordland. We also met with Paul Caffyn and got some good local knowledge on landing further up the coast.

When the weather improved we set out again from Hoki at first light for a very tough day. After pushing into a 15knt Northeaster for 11 hours and one of my rudder lines breaking halfway through the day, we made a surf landing at Greymouth again in the dark! Only 35 kms. Fortunately we had a good crew of KT, Ben and Jono on the lookout for us and they quickly found us and got us back to Jono's. Where KT told us it had been a tropical 1 degree when the picked us up.

Next after a few repairs  in the morning we set off to 12mile where Paul Caffyn lives, a much more pleasant paddle than the day before. Tara was happy we arrived before just before Paul got home as she took a roll right outside his house in small surf after taking the landing a little to relaxed!

Leaving the next morning was a bit sad as KT was heading home after being out support crew for the last month or so. Thanks heaps KT!!!. From 12mile we made our way up to Woodpecker Bay and paddled in to the fox river to camp for the night. Getting in at 3pm was great as we had a bit of time to enjoy it on land and dry some gear before it disappeared again.

I enjoyed paddling up to Charleston past all the awesome rock formations that are popular with climbers. The climbs are right on the sea cliffs and would make for some spectacular views. The entrance to the bay at Charleston is on 8 or 9ms wide so would make a interesting landing spot in big swell. Lucky for us it was just an easy roll through the gap.

We had a rest day yesterday to prepare for making the most of the good weather that is coming up and wait for a new radio to arrive in Westport as our current one as died and it will be vital for getting forecasts for the next stretch as we will start seeing less towns and cell coverage.

Had great paddle up to Westport today around Cape Foulwind in perfect conditions the weather looks like it is to continue to play the game so we hope to be up around the spit and off the wild west coast soon.

This will probably be our last update till we round the top in a week or so. Hopefully then we'll be able to get some photos up. Thanks heaps to everyone for all your help and support along the way and a big thanks to Len from LEGEND Paddles in Chch for helping sort our paddle issues.

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