Saturday, January 30, 2010

Garage Sale!

Here's the stuff we're trying to sell before we leave from Auckland on Feb 15. All prices are an asking price but we're open to offers, especially if you're buying more than one item. Items are in Auckland.

Bliss Stick Smoothy (playboat) - blue, used for ~ 2 months in good nick with all the padding and an uncut foot block - asking $950 NZD but open to offers

I also have some other kayaking gear shown in the photos that I don't need to sell but would be willing to part with if the price was right and you were buying one of the above items. ***Paddle no longer available.***

92 Toyota Camry Wagon w/ roof rack (perfect for the Smoothy!) - SOLD!

Email us at mjogdahl at gmail dot com with offers, questions, etc.

Happy shopping.



Sunday, January 17, 2010

Back in Christchurch - Jan 18


After Pukaki, we went to Mt. Cook and hiked around there for a day. There were several glaciers and lakes with small icebergs floating in them. We decided not to go swimming. We then went to Waimate (little town on east side of island) and spent a few days relaxing at a holiday home of Neville who we met at bowls in Diamond Harbor. We enjoyed showers and sleeping in a proper bed while baking.

We got to enjoy a 20/20 cricket game (shorter version than the 5 day w/ tea breaks type). The spectators all sat right next to the boundary rope and we were quite close to the action. Kids would line up by the fielders that were in the "outfield" and get autographs between bowls. There was also a streaker who sprinted across the field and hurdled both wickets so we got the full experience.
We stopped in Geraldine to see the world's largest jersey (sweater). It weighs 5.5 kg and was made on knitting machines. Megan had bought 6 kg of roving so I suggested she start knitting a bigger one to steal the record away.

One of the great things about New Zealand driving is the custom road signs! We saw this one and had to get a picture of it.

We stopped into a small town of Fairlie which is in the McKenzie region. It was named after a Scotsman, James McKenzie, who was a sheep thief. He used some unknown mountain passes to take 1000 sheep from one of the wealthier stations in the area. After being arrested, he escaped multiple times until being granted a pardon just because it was so much work trying to keep him in jail. This the statue of him with his sheep dog Friday.

Unfortunately the Tekapo Whitewater Course release did not go as scheduled on the weekend. They had too much water (also the reason for the crazy video in the last post) and were not able to open the gates to let the water in. The gates are basically like a miniature version of the dams on the Mississippi River where the water pressure keeps them closed. Too much water and there is too much pressure to overcome. A few other people from Dunedin (Harry, Ian (who was hairy too), and two other guys I didn't get names for) showed up and we paddled down the Tekapo river which was in flood but very tame (Class II).

We've driven to Christchurch now and are staying with Becs and Dave (paddlers we met). Sunday was another paddle on the Huranui river which was fun and there is a BBQ/slideshow from the kayaking Christmas trip tonight. We're planning to head north toward Nelson to pick up Megan's spinning wheel next.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Whoooopie!

We drove to Twizel yesterday since there was free camping and it was close to Mt. Cook. After setting up the tent we went to check out the spillway where there is a short kayaking run that requires a dam release to be runnable. Usually these are scheduled but there had been lots of rain and they were trying to drain the lakes. We also happened to bump into a kayak club from Auckland and 4 of their members (Martin, Katalla, Jen, and Eric) wanted to run it so that worked out perfect. Here's a picture of the spillway at the put in (no we didn't slide down that).

Meg took a short clip of me running the first drop which was a big tongue of water into waves crashing from both sides. Scouting it from shore and even paddling up to it, it didn't seem too bad. Just hit it down the middle right? Well once I was dropping down into it I realized how massive it really was!
video

That first drop was by far the hardest part of the run (I actually went back and ran it again it was so much fun). Most of the rest was big wave trains and avoiding a few scattered holes which Martin did an excellent job of guiding us around. The water was so high there were small pine trees underwater in the eddies. The run took all of 10 minutes since the water was moving so fast (usually 30-45 minutes I think?). The next morning we asked what the flow level was and they were releasing at 342 cumecs (cubic meters/sec). Normally they do 100-120 cumecs for scheduled kayak releases.

Today we're off to explore Mt. Cook. We won't be climbing it but we'll be in the park at its base. It is in the background of the picture below.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Away in Alexandra

Well we finished the Christmas paddling trip - 14 days, 10+ rivers, 2 lost paddles (not mine luckily), multiple swims (not mine either), and a roaring good time. We're in Alexandra now at a wash and surf where you can use the internet while you do laundry. We'll try to post some pictures of the kayaking trip later.

We're hoping to spend a few days in Waimate at a rental house of Neville (a lawn bowler we met in Diamond Harbor) to recover and relax in a real bed. The whitewater park in Tekapo has a release next weekend which we're hoping to go to. There is free camping!