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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Sunday, March 22, 2009

2 day Hoki, Southern Alps, NZ

If you asked me which section of river was highest on my list this week I'd yell "The Mungo"
Last weekend everything worked out. Eden Sinclair was home in NZ taking a break from life at sea as a geologist doing seismic work of the coast of Angola. JJ Shepherd was on hand with one week left of his NZ summer stay and Dave Kwant gained clearance to go with baby number on the horizon line.
To be in the Mungo with a team of anything less would make the days longer and compound the uncertainty associated with each must run drop. Its a stand out trip and one of the countries most demanding. Locked in by polished gorges the Hoki feels more committing than any other coast river Ive been on.
Image below - High in the Hokitika the river drops into several spectacular gorges. In shot Eden Sinclair sits below the falls plumming spray happy to be on his home run.

My day started at 4.30am.
I drove out of Christchurch city over Arthur' s pass in time to fly at 10am. JJ, Dave, Eden and I had not paddled collectively since our Tibet Expedition in 2006.
Coffee, hot cross buns, a sandwich and banana's got us to the chopper pick up point on time and we set off on the longest flight.
Image below - Eden Sinclair lines up a table top ledge early day one in the Mungo.

We flew past the regular day run put in and then Bruce just seemed content to keep flying. Below us whitewater raged constantly downstream and we peered into a number of gorges. After a couple of minutes it became a joke, there was so much steep whitewater below us that I gave up trying to memorize lines and looked at JJ in disbelief.
Image below - JJ fly's out and away from another classic drop within the first two hours.

Image below - That man again, from ship to steep creek who would notice!
Controlling the inside of the turn Eden Sinclair on the verge of another feel good drop.

Day one took us 7 hours. Frisco canyon proved to be the crux of the day where our team was faced with two options. Run a drop filled with timber of throw your gear in and swim. JJ probed first and broke his regular pattern of accuracy falling off the drop into a retentive pocket in the base of a drop. He got hammered briefly but resurfaced in good shape within Dave's grasp.
Eden fired through second and made the line clean.
Not excited about boofing a drop with a log in it Dave and I teamed up to provide safety for each other. We threw the boats into the flow then jumped to swim around a short undercut corner. Drama....
Serpentine Hut, a kayakers paradise.
Dave Kwant runs from Dando. The chopper's blades did some tree pruning upon arrival!
Ben Jackson and porno Pete joined us early for day two. Bruce then flew our overnight gear out for us, Bonus!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Almost golden"

Image above - Golden Bay at sunrise. Beautiful to wake up to, not good for kayaking.
NZ's ever reliable weather forecasters spread the warning. "80mm of rain to fall west of the Takaka hill" Thats what Golden Bay needs in order for it to transform from a sunny white sand paradise into a steep creek rain induced kayaking meca.
In the Murchison pub our plan was confirmed and we headed north after work the following day.
We knew we would arrive late on the banks of our target the Parapara river so I packed a spotlight. At 10pm the flow looked good at the takeout but the rain had stopped. We remained hopeful that it would rain throughout the night.
Nine years previous I'd spent an unplanned night spooning two of my good friends, freezing within the Parapara gorge. Fatal mistake - we picked the shortest day of the year to do it.
It got dark at 5pm so we made a shelter out of ferns, kayaks and lifejackets.
Some nights just go forever....
Keen to set the record straight on round two we got an early start and drove back to the rivers take out.
Disappointed the flow had dropped to almost half we had to fall back on paddling the Upper Takaka river.
With the bare minimum flow we still found some good action but lost alot of plastic in the process.

Shannon Mast - Walking into the Upper Takaka river.

Irish Graham gets it done on a cool 6m drop mid way through our day.

Shannon Mast finds his gold in Golden bay.

Teva Buller Fest, Paddlers hit the Matakitaki River head on!

This years Teva Bullerfest went off in Murchison earlier this month.
Here's a few images from the Matakitaki boatercross race.
Brad Lauder cleaned up for the second year in a row in the men's open.
Image below - Brad Lauder makes a clean break through gate 2.

Lead paddler Yohann Rozenburg fighting for first in one of his heats.
Paddler - A focused Josh Neilson