Monthly Archives: December 2001

2001 Kayaking Season

Date: 15/12/01
River: South Branch of the Hurunui River, North Canterbury, NZ
Comment: Went kayaking on Saturday, but didn’t get much paddling as the recent rains have got all the river levels up. About 8 of the less experienced paddles sat most of it out after various swims at the put in. Just ran the South Branch down from Esk Station as the main stem was a bit too high. It was a big trip with about 29 boats on the river. We had the traditional pig on a spit barbecue at Angus’s farm after the trip, which was quite tasty.


Date: 21/10/01
River: Buller River, Murchison, NZ
River Conditions: High, water brown and swirly. Grade 2
Weather Conditions: Overcast, occasional rain.
Comments: Had a good Labour Weekend up at Murchison it rain heavily on Friday and Saturday and some of the rivers were quite high, so we didn’t get to do much paddling (with the high water the rivers became very swift and were a bit too difficult for Lauri and I). Still we had a nice restful weekend and got to eat well too (we brought tins of stew and rice…..), we ate at Maruia Springs on Saturday and Monday and had a meal at a local restaurant in Murchison on Sunday, so our cans of stew went home with us. Had some nice swims in the hot pools at Maruia and a few not quite so desirable swims in the muddy brown waters of the Buller River.

Here are a few additional comments from Hilda Mulligan, another novice paddler on the trip. Pictured below being rescued on the Middle Matakitaki below the swing bridge…

20011021 murch_0027

Who’s swimming? Photo by Lauri.

“Sunday saw us heading for Doctor’s creek section on the Buller. We novices were each appointed a ‘minder’ to watch over us on our way down this still huge, grey pumping river. I have to admit I was petrified most of the way, but did manage it without the proverbial ‘swim’. On the other hand, Richard seemed to be out of his boat more time than in it and was eventually persuaded to leave the river and join the shuttlers at the first main road bridge”.

Sure I went for lots of swims on that trip (I blame the Super Sport and its’ slicey tail!) and I didn’t actually require much persuasion to get out. I took about three swims trying to get out of the eddy below the bridge before Barry or Bob finally towed me to the other side.


Date: 7/10/01
River: Waiau River, North Canterbury, NZ
River Conditions: 150 Cumecs at Marble Point. Grade 2, water brown and swirly.
Number on Trip: 18
Comments: Rained lots in the hills the night before and the river was up from 47 cubic metres per second to around 150 cubic metres per second. The river was fast, brown and swirly, I found it pretty scary, fortunately Lauri didn’t come so she missed out on all the fun. It was a big trip with about 18 on the river. I fell in a few times, usually the result of getting confused in the boiling mass of brown water. Had a barbecue afterwards at the Belfast Tavern with Lauri, quite fun and a good end to the day (and who said being on call couldn’t be fun).


Date: 30/9/01
River: Hurunui River, North Canterbury, NZ
Comment: Kayaking on the upper Hurunui with Lauri. Lauri pulled out after a swim on the Jollie Brook rapids and I carried on with the group, either to South Branch or to Seaward. I was paddling the Super Sport with Lauri in the Fly.

The Super Sport by Jollie Brook. Photo by Lauri.

The Super Sport by Jollie Brook. Photo by Lauri.


Date: 16/9/01
River: Hurunui River, North Canterbury, NZ
Comment: Went kayaking on Sunday, got to try out my new kayak (the Perception Super Sport) on a real river, Lauri came along too and paddled the Fly. We went down the Hurunui from Cathill Station down the State Highway 1 bridge. Lauri did really well, especially as she hadn’t paddled anything rougher than the Avon since doing the beginners course last year, just fell out at the beginning before she had got her confidence, after that she stayed in her boat and really enjoyed herself. It was quite hard to keep up with her at times, as her boat is a lot faster. The weather was nice and warm and I missed falling in as it got quite hot in my wet suit.


Date: 6/05/01
River: Waiau River, North Canterbury, NZ
Comment: I got to try out my new kayak (the Super Sport) on some real white water. We went for a 15km paddle down the Waiau from the Hanmer turn off. Mainly grade two, I fell out quite a few times and got a good beating against some rocks. Most people fell out at that point, a nasty spot called Hells Gate Corner with lots of rocks and the water slamming in to a bluff (this isn’t normally a problem but the very low flow made it quite tricky). Pretty scenic trip and not too hard, still I feel pretty sore and tired the next day. We got to paddle round the island in river too, near a jagged rock call the “Sharks Tooth”, always looked interesting from the road, so now I’ve seen it up close, it was pretty neat, thought I was going the a swim there but some how I managed to get by. Boat handled quite well and is pretty quick, though not as stable as larger boats with more volume, very fun though.


Date: 22/4/01
River: Hurunui River, North Canterbury, NZ
Comment: Took the kayak (Prijon Fly) down the Hurunui, had a good paddle and a few swims, the boat handles nicely, but you do have to keep on top of it (other wise you end up underneath it). Tried a few woopies (you bury the front in a wave and lean forward so it sinks, then shoot out backwards with the tail into the air, looks cute if you can do it) with some limited success. Trying things and playing about account for a lot of the swims.


Date: 25/4/01
River: Avon River, Christchurch, NZ
Comment: Paddled down to Kerr? Reach with Lauri on Anzac day which was quite fun. Dropped the car off by the rowing club and then biked home, so the car was waiting when we arrived in our kayaks. Being able drive home makes the whole enterprise a lot easier as some of the river is a bit hard to paddle up (quite swift and too shallow to paddle properly). I paddled my Dura and Lauri paddled the Fly.


Date: 24/2/01
Location: Lyttelton Harbour, Banks Peninsula, NZ
Comment: Went out to Quail Island in Lyttelton harbour last week end in a sea kayak. About a 8km round trip, very scenic, paddled in the caves and around the wrecks that litter the ships graveyard (the tide was low so this was particularly interesting). Had lunch on the island and a bit of a wander round. Lunch was rather disappointing as I had put the delicious filled roll that I had carefully made and wrapped in glad wrap in a plastic bag and just dropped it in one of the sea kayaks compartments. When we arrived at the island and I fished my lunch out, it was soaking wet. The compartment had quite a bit of dirty sea water in it and my lunch had been floating in it, YUK!