It wasn’t exactly the sort of day the Nelson tourist folks would be advertising – grey, damp, windy and with limited visibility – but all four waka were full of Maitahi paddlers and our guests from Wellington.
The behind the scenes work began on Friday with Rongomai and Jeff skirting up all four waka. That saved us a huge amount of time and allowed us to get on the water at 08.00 after a quick safety briefing in which sunblock wasn’t mentioned once.
We headed out together after Rongomai’s karakia and Kiri lining us up in the marina for a photo op. The Wellington men, ably assisted by our own Jason D, were naturally a bit quicker than the rest of us but we all enjoyed a run up the boulder bank and then a nice ride down to Tahunanui beach. All the steerers (Greg B, Jeff N, Eva V and Henry B) ran great lines and looked after their crews.
We had a very quick stretch on the beach and a fun relaunch in the surf then headed for home as the rain started to fall. While we were out Kiri, Rongomai and Evan had put on the BBQ and after helping us up the ramp they brought us into the pagoda, offered a karakia and we then enjoyed a very welcome feed.
Big thanks to everyone who paddled, everyone who helped and to our friends from Wellington whose company we enjoyed.
Its never too early or too late to start paddling waka ama
We always welcome new members to the Maitahi Outrigger Canoe Club.
We have social and racing waka ama crews catering for a wide variety of ages and abilities.