Pottering down the Otaki

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    Tony Gazley

    by Paddler A

    Paddler T and Paddler A’s adventures continued post lockdown with a paddle down a short section of the Otaki River Gorge.

    The section was short because at the moment Paddler A cannot walk far. This resulted in more time spent car shuffling between the start (locked gate at end of Otaki Forks) and the finish (Bridgeview Track) than actually on the water. However both Paddler T and Paddler A were simply grateful to be out exploring in these unpredictable Covid times!

    Paddler A showed her courage by going FIRST on the “biggest bump” on this section of the Otaki. See between 3.00 and 4.00 minutes in the video for how both paddlers navigated the challenge!

    This left Paddler A hungry for more “bumps” in the river. When she couldn’t find any, she decided to tip herself out of her packraft for some light entertainment. Paddler T declared that Paddler A had fallen victim to “hubris” (excessive pride towards, or defiance of, the packrafting gods).

    Paddler A maintained she did not have hubris, she was just practicing good “falling out” technique. Paddler T conceded that her falling out technique was good – she chose possibly the best time and place to fall out – a gentle corner with banks on either side, on the final run of the day, and only about 15 minutes from the “get out”. Such mastery!

    The day was topped off by lying back in packrafts on the side of the Otaki Forks Road eating mousetraps. 

    Otaki River Flow at Pukehinau 18 September 2021: between 38 and 33 cumecs, decreasing throughout the day. 

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