Order calendars via zakshawphotography@gmail.com or the secure Paypal option below.

Order calendars via zakshawphotography@gmail.com or the secure Paypal option below.
My 2014 calendar was entirely photographed on the western side of New Zealand's Southern Alps. "Land in the West" is printed at a size of A4 with twelve calendar month pages displaying stunning outdoor environment photographs. Take a look at my Facebook page to view all twelve 2014 calendar images! Order here via Paypal or email me at zakshawphotography@gmail.com if you would prefer to pay with online banking. Thanks for your support!
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Monday, February 19, 2007

Boof sequence

Images thanks to - Ben Jackson
Paddler - Zak, on edge, just a little bit!

Timing the final stroke, changing edges.

Landing on the oposite edge, and a forward stroke.

Pretty happy about it!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Go the Waitaha

A good weekend was had. I managed to team up with Eden Sinclair. As mates who had traveled to Tibet during sep/oct last year it was great to team up again and be back on the river.
Photo - Eden places one of the final strokes needed, Waitaha River.

Scenic shot - The gorge sections in the Waitaha are amazing. Its a river that has alot more bedrock than other coast runs. Many of the rapids are locked inside constricted walls, schist boulders and overhanging beech forest.

Above photo - Trying to give the peace signal? Or Eden loves it when Ive got my camera out!
We spent a few hours breaking down the really steep boulder jumble rapids, before committing to the top gorge. Half way through is a nasty proposition that would require boofing over a huge hole and making an immediate 90 degree turn in a slot. The chances of being tossed back into the drop and not being flushed out seemed to high. Eden did his best to convince me it would be fine. Later downstream he confessed he had cracked a rib on the same drop on his last trip to the river! Nice guy.
We opted to portage and make the bold seal launch off the cliff wall below the drop.
Photo above.

Photo - Low flow, but many cool moves.

Harwoods Hole

Photo - Mick Hopkinson descends freely down into Harwoods Hole and Starlight cave system.

Near Motueka, at the top of Takaka Hill is a massive sinkhole known as Harwood's Hole. An intricate network of hidden limestone caves runs through the hill. One of the largest daylight shafts in the world (200m down and more than 15m in diameter) it is a spectacular sight leading to an abseiler's paradise. Access the caves from Canaan Downs via a walking track through native bush with stunning rock formations framing the paths. Cavers can abseil down into Harwood's depths and emerge at a cave system near Takaka.

First discovered in 1957 it was measured at -357m deep. At the time NZ's deepest.
In 1960 Peter Lambert was killed when vibrations caused by the powered winch they were using to raise cavers up out of the hole caused a large boulder to come free of the cliff removing one team members foot and hitting Peter on the head.
In 1986 the Nettlebed system was discovered and measured at 884m deep.

Photo - Leanne Leadbetter, nervous on the Taipo River, at home underground! Deep inside the Starlight cave system.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Bouncing down the Blackball

Image - Ben Jackson
enjoys the best move on the blackball

After rain the Blackball is Mick Hopkinson's favourite.
Its scenic, the whitewater is continous and the walk in is short. Sounds good! so far right?

If its rained hard, and you get there early your in for a wild ride. If you bash and crash down smoko creek when its low you will be wishing you'd chosen anything
but the rock infested ditch your on. There is a reason why Jason Shepherd has a black-list of rivers, its because of the blackball!
Be warned if you go into there with minimal water, accept the fact you will come out with a paddle 2cm shorter and the chances of taking skin off your knuckles is extremely high.

Oli from Wyoming and Graham Charles (fresh from another season down on the ice, Antartica)
joined us for the day.

Photo - Back on the river, Graham Charles

The Taipo river is a great day out. With 23km of river to travel from Julia Hut to the take out road bridge its always a big day out. Our full team at the NZ kayak school met for a day out on the river together.

Bruce Dando dropped us in the head of the valley early. Equipped with 2kg of bacon, 2 loaves of bread we scavenged for dry wood and cooked bacon sandwiches before heading downriver.

Jess Brown
enjoying the juicy
flow and being
out there
paddling for

Matt Shearer,
links the final
moves of