Monday, December 24, 2007

I’m Dreaming of a Blue Christmas

Day 90
Bark Bay to Marahau
Time: All Day
Distance: 11 k
Avg Speed: Paddling
Terrain: Water
Location: Abel Tasman National Park

We spent the day sea kayaking along the coast of Abel Tasman National Park. We thought it would be a fun thing to do on Christmas Eve. I booked in with a tour company to make it easy. They have quite a system here since kayaking is probably just as popular as hiking. Every morning there is a flurry of activity to transport people to the tour base and then along the coastline to various starting points. The main method of transport is the tractor. Around here tractors are not just used for farm implements, they are also used for pulling people, water taxis and sea kayaks to and from the beach.
After getting a briefing for the day and suiting up in a dry top and life vest, we found ourselves skimming and bumping along the water to Bark Bay. This was our starting point for making our way back to Marahau. We had some quick instructions on the finer points of paddling and safety, and then launched from the beach. Chris and I were together in a double kayak and he sat in the back as captain. Normally, you would think nothing of this, but Chris has a history with boats, steering and rocks. Ask him about it sometime…
Anyway, we slowly paddled along the shore of Bark Bay past a few different beaches. We saw many people in various stages of their adventures. Some were packing their boats while others were filling their packs. The park plays host to several campsites and huts. It may be the smallest national park in New Zealand, but it’s probably one of the most popular.
For the rest of the day we traded our time between the small rolling waves of the open water and the calm glass of sheltered lagoons. We paddled through the Mad Mile and visited Te Puketea Beach and Fisherman Island. Sometimes I was so concentrated on paddling I forgot to look up and take in my surroundings. When I did, I was amazed once again by the landscapes that this country provides. I was excited to be witnessing this natural beauty from the water.
Wishing you peace on earth,


woodnbow said...

Checking in from cool Colorado here guys. We just finished exchanging gifts (and watching the Broncos flail against the Chargers onslaught) and thought of you two so far from home. Merry Christmas! Love ya both, take care of each other...

Steve and Patty

JennSean said...

MERRY (belated) Christmas and a exciting New Year!!!
Our first Christmas here in Vail, it was nice & quiet...perfect!
Love JH & SK