Sunday, May 07, 2006

Lake Karapiro Rescue

Ride: Waikato River, Sunday 7th May 2006
Present: Paul; Stef.

We got up at the crack of dawn, well 8am to take the two new bikes out for a trial run. This was mainly to fine tune the set ups and get Stef familiar with riding once more. We cycled up one side of the bank of the mighty Waikato River and then crossed the road bridge and cycled back on the other side. This event was without mishap although actually Stef had her first off by surprisingly falling off her bike straight into a hedge from a complete standstill (learnt from the master no doubt). Fortunately no one was around to witness this embarrassing debacle and we promptly cycled off again to cycle the 6km home via a local corner shop for a bottle of NZ spring water to sustain our blood sweat and tears.

The day was only just warming up however as Billybob had rented 2 sea kayaks at The Boatshed Café, otherwise known locally as Waikato’s hidden jewel. A trendy waterside establishment that can only be described as a modest cow shed with café and boatshed to rear. A great little place 10km south of Cambridge on Route 1 south of Hamilton and on route to Rotorua. The owners are a rugged husband and wife team who have completed the Speight’s Challenge twice and have set up this business to give kayakers young and old a place to launch their boats or just chill and swap stories of multisport evening.

The Billybobs arrived for a 1pm start fully kitted out with life jacket, sunscreen and Helly Hanson thermal base layers to begin their paddle south in Lake Karipiro. They were joined purely by coincidence by Robert and Laurie (a couple who have also recently started life in Hamilton, Robert in the same team as Paul and relatively new to the thrill of kayaking). The paddle started well only to be sidetracked 2km downstream by three feck wit city types from Auckland who were waving frantically at us in our Kayaks and shouting garbled nonsense from their suspiciously stationary powerboat. Yes you had guessed it they had run out of fuel and were without paddles, life jackets or any kind of safety equipment. Help they cried in our general direction followed promptly by a feeble plea for us to tow them back to shore, all 2km! With just two kayaks and one novice couple. Fortuneatly the Billybobs having a modicum of sea skills about them managed to throw a rope around the kayaks and in tandem both kayaks (Robert and Laurie in their tandem and Billybob in his more agile Ray Mears type kayak) pulled the stranded city sailors to shore after a hard slog and paddle back. As there were only two ropes Stef was in her Cox supporting role shouting encouragement alongside while fearless Billy bob, Rob and Laurie paddled onward.

After leaving the scène of Billybob rescue the mighty kayakers went off to resume their paddle 6km south to a beautiful cascading waterfall and peaceful haven full of kingfishers and Heron’s, light was against them and a quick paddle home ensured a rather respectable 12km paddle all in before dusk thankfully without further incident. Surprisingly again Billybob went without a pie and left Stef eating a rather large chocolate cake with extra cream before the Café closed for the day.

(Posted by: Paul)

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At 1:14 pm, May 11, 2006, Blogger TCA 2006 said...

Get those reflectors off the wheels!!

At 10:21 am, May 16, 2006, Blogger TCA 2006 said...

reflectors now gone! well spotted


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