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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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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Fiordland sea kayaking

Metvuw weather forecast charts showed a huge anticyclone over most of the south with a cold front approaching fast, the newspaper suggested variable winds and the TV expected a short weather window. If you took advice from weather forecasters everytime you’d never get anything done!
Having said that the coastline isn’t a place even most whitewater paddlers would want to be. With 50km separating Martin’s Bay from Milford Sound, rugged rocky cliffs and few spots on offer to land ashore it’s a good idea to be accurate with your trip timing.

Image - LB Hollyford River, Mt Madeline in the background.

We collected kayaks from Rosco’s kayaks in Milford and headed back through the Homer Tunnel to the start point at the Hollyford road end. By 11.30 we were loaded, a little later than we’d hoped but the sun was high in the sky and scenery amazing. Maneuvering around logs jams and shallows in the river we progressed before hitting Lake Mc Kerrow.

Image – Perfect conditions just before dark, Lake Mc Kerrow.

Moderate winds kicked off the lake into our faces making for some hard going initially until we gained some protection finding a lee in the wind by running along the southern bank of the lake.
A large bonfire burned brightly serving the purpose of a lighthouse as we paddled in fading light. The Hollyford river finishes its course in Martin’s Bay and a hut there was our planned accommodation. Being the middle of the hunting season and the last week for guided walks on the Hollyford track the hut was full. But people found room for us, feed us dessert and asked a few questions about the day.
Road end to Martins Bay 7 hours.

Image Elliott Shaw – Zak packing and getting ready to leave Martins Bay 7.45am

Day 2 Martins bay to Milford Sound
Usually the bar where the Hollyford River enters the Tasman stands up as a crashing surf break. Timing is everything. I didn’t put my dry-top on that morning and floated through without getting splashed!
Image – Sea cliffs gap. LB watches for the freak surging wave before paddling through.

Sea conditions stayed calm for us all day, making for a fairly uneventful days paddling. Along the way we bumped into a few groups of seals and made a beach landing just before Yates point to stretch the legs. After eight hours before we arrived in Milford Sound in time for the rugby!
Image – LB had tired arms, not to tired for drinking beer though!

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