It’s still winter here. It’s not a winter like Michigan, so there’s no snow, and while everyone else here is typically wearing wool coats and fluffy parkas, we’re enjoying the mildness of their cold.
So when it comes to kayaking, the nippiness can be a good and bad thing. Good in the sense that had it been summer, we probably wouldn’t have even been able to rent a kayak since it would be so busy with other people doing the same thing. Aaron, from Sea Kayak Adventures, said they are “essentially closed” right now. But as Daniel said, Aaron seemed like it was pure joy for him to introduce us to kayaking, and even talk about the possibility of us kayaking. So he didn’t mind opening up shop for us at all.
The bad part of the chilly weather I mentioned, is that self-bailing kayaks have a built-in water drainage and bailing system which in turn creates very wet bums. Aaron kindly suggested that we do “the Kiwi” thing, and go barefoot. That was indeed a very good idea. He also commented, “I’ve heard it’s a rule in the states, ‘no shirt, no shoes, no service’, and if that’s the case, I’d never be served because from about November to March, I’m always shirtless and I never wear shoes!” He was barefoot even as he spoke.
We however, had an entire end of Queen Charlotte Sound -near Picton, New Zealand- to ourselves.
And…the part that kept us from thinking about our really wet bums and Natasha’s uncontrollable quivering chin and purple nose, were the seals that swam along with us.
They seemed to think two kayaks bobbing along beside them were the best thing ever. They loved showing off for us, swimming underneath the kayaks, following us along, jumping and diving, and coming up blowing out air behind us.
There were even starfish. Natasha was thrilled and kept saying, “I didn’t know I was going to see my first ever live starfish!”
It was a really cold and wet first kayaking experience, but really memorable for sure.