After a slightly unsettled sailing from wellington (Southerly) we arrived at Picton on Friday night. Waiting for us at the Ferry terminal was Nat from Sea Kayak Adventures and we climbed into the parked vehicles which took us to their base in Anikiwa, where we would stay the night.
Waking early Saturday morning we breakfasted and began the process of packing, transferring our gear from rucksacks into drybags, ready to be loaded into the kayaks.
Next the large double kayaks were lifted from the racks and moved outside for loading. When this was completed we were issued with spray decks, spray jackets and life jackets before being given a safety briefing.
After a last minute review of the weather forecast it was decided to relocate the trip from Queen Charlotte sound into the Pelorus (In order make better use of the predicted winds during the weekend).
Launching from Ohingaroa Bay in Mahau Sound we made our way up the Pelorus Sound to Pipi Beach for lunch, before continuing into Nydia Bay where we intended to camp.
Taking advantage of a tailwind we rafted up and sailed down into Nydia bay at a leisurely pace, using a large tarp as an improvised sail.
The original intention was to Camp at the Nydia Bay campsite but our travels took us over to the other side of the bay where Nydia Lodge is located. Being inquisitive the group decanted from their boats at the jetty and took a short walk up to the lodge for a look.
We were surprised to find it empty considering it was Waitangi weekend. On speaking with the warden and surveying the facilities which included electricity, a kitchen with a large gas cooker and instantaneous hot water, most were suitably impressed. Then somebody mentioned hot showers and you could almost hear the Ping!, Ping!, Ping! Of bright ideas as people simultaneously asked “Could we stay here instead?”
It was unanimous and with a lack of objections the decision was made. The boats were unloaded on the beach and then hauled up onto the path by the jetty and all decamped into the allocated bunkrooms before jumping into the showers (the brave people having a brief swim beforehand).
After an early night we woke refreshed and took to the water on what was a clear and windless morning. With plenty of time on our hands we explored Nydia Bay before heading to Jacobs Bay campsite for lunch.
As we were stopping at Jacobs Bay that night, gear was deposited and we headed off to explore North West Bay with the promise of a coffee to follow. Exiting the Bay we headed north to the Lodge at Te Rawa where we were welcomed in and purchased lashings of Coffee and Cake (With the odd Ice Cream thrown in).
The next day we left Jacobs Bay with the benefit of a light tailwind and headed back down the Pelorus.
By lunchtime we had reached Ferndale campsite in Kenepuru Sound where we quickly set up camp.
After lunch the keen ones re-launched their kayaks for an afternoon paddle in the sound.
After another good night’s sleep we again left our campsite in calm conditions, visiting the St Omar shipwreck before heading slowly back down Kenepuru sound and around to the Ohingaroa Pick up point.
Our lifts arrived just in time whisking Kayaks and passengers quickly back to the base for showers and repacking before our transfer back to the Ferry terminal in Picton. (The Movie link says it all!)