Adventuring in New Zealand – part the 16th (Sunday)
Let’s talk kayaking. It’s a pretty fun way to spend an afternoon or morning. Let’s also talk fjords. They are a pretty awesome geological formation. So what happens when you kayak a fjord? Awesome things.
For some reason no one else wanted to get up at 5:30 to go kayaking at 6. The operating company, Rosco’s, needs at least two people to book the trip to make it worth the petrol it takes for the boat to drop you off. That trip would have taken me 18 km from the Tasman Sea to the end of the fjord. Weirdos. So instead I booked a 12km paddle from almost the mouth of the fjord to the end. I asked what I should wear and they said “Oh, we’ll dress you “
And did they ever:
In this photo I am wearing striped thermals (top and bottom), a polar fleece, a super rain jacket, a spray skirt, a life vest, and a hat. And my crocs – they might be inappropriate hiking shoes, but they are excellent for kayaking. On the oar are a set of neoprene hand covers- they Velcro around the oar, you stick your hands in, and they automatically wrap around the oar.
And then we were off!
The boat took us about 12 kms to a protected cove where we got in the boats. The group was small – a couple from San Francisco, our guide Courtney, and myself.
Needless to say, the views were beautiful from tha water’s edge:
I lucked out with the weather. It was supposed to rain all day, but it held off until evening. Considering Milford Sound gets 7-9 METERS of rain a year, often spread out over at least 200 days, I was really lucky to have had a day of sun on Saturday and a day of clouds today.
I wasn’t too disappointed about taking the shorter trip. The trip I took involved kayaking under Stirling Falls. Stirling falls is one of two permanent waterfalls at Milford. It’s also the shorter one – only 150m high instead of Lady Bowen Falls which is 165 m high.
After a little psyching up, Courtney and I paddled in first:
Talk about exhilarating! It felt like being in a hurricane. The water pressure was pushing us down and the air pressure was pushing us away. And then, in the middle, I looked up. It was awesome. So we did it again.
We saw seals in the water only a few meters away, a few sunning themselves on rocks, 8-10 legged star fish on the rock wall, and some fantastic geology.
All in all a fantastic trip.