Monday, October 13, 2008

A sincere thankyou to everyone who has encouraged & supported me along this incredible journey

I wish to say a big thank you to everyone that has shared and supported me during this amazing journey, not only of self discovery and personal challenges but also to know it has helped children in need. So many people to thank, having only been home for a day and a bit, catching up with family and close friends.
I look forward to writing a more detailed story to share all the adventures along the way, and to keep people informed of how their donations will be used to help children from the Make a Wish Foundation.So this web page will continue long after the actual trip has ended, an avenue to share and encourage others to pursue their dreams and challenges, the kind of experiences that build resilience and a sense of personal achievement.
I arrived back in Tauranga late Sunday evening after stopping off at Ruakaka to spend some time kayaking with the Northshore club on the Whangarei harbour, they were awesome fun to be with, and great to share some time with them all, especially to catch up with Nadia again who I met for the first time during my solo journey, she paddled out to meet me at the Bay of Islands, and has been so enthusiastic throughout the journey, texting often to see how I was going etc.
Also great to have a chat with Charlie Barker, Greg Dunning, Guy Foster all dudes from the original Kayak for Cancer Cape Reinga team.
We shared a few stories of challenges and adventures.
But the most fun part was when we all gate crashed Greg Dunnings tent!! How many people can you fit in one tent before it potentially explodes?
Now it is time to unpack, clean up all the gear and get back into so called normal routine.
To spend time with my family and to come back down to earth.
I will look forward to writng and compliling photos to share with anyone who would like to have an insight into a personal solo journey.
Thanks once again from Robbie & Family

Friday, October 10, 2008

Trip Update

Mum has finished the whole expedition. She rang me this afternoon to say that she has finished and is safe. She plans to meet up with the auckland club tomorrow maybe for a paddle but she said she is pretty tired. And she maybe heading home tomorrow.She celebrated finishing by doing a roll at the end and having a icecream.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Latest Update

This is my last chance to use the computer before I head off tomorrow to finish off the final two legs of my trip.
I have been trying all afternoon to send and load photos but unfortunately the computer is not co- operating! Partly the p.c and partly me I think, only a week or so away from the computer and I've forgotten what to do !
I have collected a great selection of photos and videos which I am looking forward to sharing with you all.
The forecast is improving & tomorrow I will be completing the stretch of coastline between Henderson Bay and East Beach 25km this is the part I couldn't complete last friday when I was battling against the head winds and between myself, Lynnis, Michael we decided to change tack and work with the wind by heading up to Tapotupoto and completing the 94km stretch from Cape Reinga to Henderson Bay.
Then on Saturday I will be heading to Tutukaka/Mimiwhangata to complete the 30km of coastline which will complete the trip, the final distance will be 366km a bit further than my original estimate. On Sunday I head to Auckland and Monday back to Tauranga.
I would dearly love to have more exciting details for you, but I need to get some sleep.
Looking forward to writing a more detailed trip report when I arrive back in Tauranga and to set up a slideshow etc.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Latest update from Robbie

Hi Everyone, well I'm happy to say today I am dry and warm tucked up at Lynnis' home in Kerikeri, when the storm has hit with a vengeance today. We have been watching the weather updates daily by various means, Steve has been sending updates via text, my fantastic support team Lynnis Burson and Michael Winch have been working overtime to keep up to date with weather forecasts and following me up the coast and VHF contact with coastguard when ever coverage was possible. I sit here typing away feeling very grateful to be in the shelter of a warm welcoming home, yet also feeling satisfied that we have made the most of the good weather.The reality is starting to register that my latest adventure is nearly complete! Lynnis and I have maps spread all over the floor, we have run out of room! Maybe we will have to creep out the room and down the hall? Northland has some rather long coastline, with spectacular white sandy beaches, including 25 km across the never ending sand dunes of Great Exhibition Bay. Lynnis farewelled me from Matai Bay last Friday 3rd October, a 5 am rise for a 7 am start, the strategy was to be on the water early and to have covered the most open exposed crossing before the afternoon breeze kicked in, after rounding Cape Karikari it was apparent the SW head wind had arrived early and my hope of a direct crossing to Farmer Point, above Hourhora, was no longer a safe option, so I changed tack and followed the coastline staying close to shore, this was a 10 km longer course but the most safe, I realized that making the 45 km to Rawara was not realistic. The head wind was strong and the low lying sand dunes provide little buffer from those muscle taxing SW winds, the water was crystal clear, I tried to appreciate the tropical turquoise waters and the beauty surrounding me, but the wind is making for a long tedious day! I crank up the i -pod, Bob Segar blasted out "Against the wind " I find a reprieve within the lee of Puheke Beach, filled up on Tuna and touch up sunscreen, let Lynnis know where I am and that progress is slow today, sick of the head wind!
Unrealistically, I still express my hope of the wind abating and that I would make it to Rawara, but time was not on my side that day, as I left the shelter of Puheke and set out back into the fray Michael txts to say he would meet me at Hauhora, I am relieved to have Michael's support but also disappointed that I won't make my planned destination that day.
Will update again tomorrow - want to help with dinner, my head is losing track of the days and distances, approx 308 km covered, the past three days have been magical.
Saturday - 4th October to Monday 6th October. The adventure continued with an early morning drive to Tapotupotu, we are changing plans to beat the forecast and avoid the head winds, now we are three paddlers together, Lynnis, Michael, Robbie, completing from Cape Reinga to Henderson Bay a 3 day stretch covering 94 km. Together we reached the Cape and shared many adventures and laughs along the way, including climbing to the top of North Cape, walking the mighty sand dunes near Parengarenga Harbour, sharing laughs and creating unforgetable memories.
I will fill you in on more details tomorrow, Lot's of photos to share soon.

Cheers and happy paddling from Robbie, Lynnis, Michael.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Last few days of the trip

Mum has just managed to call me and had to climb up a cliff to get reception. And they think that they will have finished the trip in the next few days. By tomorrow they should have arrived at Rarawa beach.

Mum is safe at and the wind is blowing about 25 knots. They are not going to be paddling tomorrow because the wind is going to get up to 40 knots. She only has 28kms left and she should have finished the trip!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New plan for the next three days

Mum tomorrow is going to be driving up to Tapotupoto to finish the rest of her trip because then the wind will be behind her. She is going to be paddling with her support team Lynnis Burson and Michael Winch.

There plans are to paddle from Tapotupoto up to Cape Reinga and then turn around and head down to Tombowling Bay. Then they are planning to paddle from Tombowling Bay down to Waikuku. And then from there they are going to camp at Rarawa beach. She will not be able to call me on this stretch because there is no reception but she will be able to contact me at Rawara beach. Mum had trouble trying to get reception tonight to talk to me and had to stand on the roof of the house.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Update From Robbie

Hi Everyone, well what an adventure so far! The weather gods have been shining down on me, with minimal swell. Although there has been a couple of tough days, paddling from Mataka Station ( Black Rocks ) to Matauri Bay was a toughie! Straight into a 20 knot headwind funnelling down through the Cavalli Passage.
A supposedly short paddle of 15kms took me 4 hours ! Thats an averge speed of just over 3kms per hour impressive a!
I enjoyed a rondevou with Nadia (Call sign - Stormgirl) she paddled out from Russell to meet me at Urapukapuka Island for lunch, & kindly shared ham sammies, gingernuts and coffee, I'm hoping we will meet up again further up the coast.
Day 4. Matauri Bay to Taupo Bay Sun 28th Sept
Micheal Winch paddled out to meet me south of Tauranga and we had lunch in Whangaiha Bay, he bought a weather update, I was quietly hoping the weather would justify a lay day as I'm ready for a rest. I sent a text to Murray Voyce to let him know I would be arriving at Hihi within the next two days and that I would be camping at Taupo Bay .
He invited me over for a cooked dinner and a spa well how could I refuse! So I was promptly picked up, my kayak safely stowed away in Jans shed and off we headed for Hihi via car.
I was transported to another world - a substantial home perched upon a hill top with panoramic views across Doubtless Bay to Cape KariKari , Murray and Jans friendliness was astounding, they cooked a dinner with fresh veges, wine and a hot soak in the spa, I was put up for the night on the second level with a birds eye view across the Bay and woke in the morning to a glorious sunrise, then back to Taupo Bay to clean up kayak gear, and a rest day was granted, Jan & Murray introduced me to a fellow neighbour Brian Carter, who just happens to be a writer & photographer for the Northland Age newspaper, and we instantly clicked as he had an adventerous streak & understood my passion for challenge, so apparently a story will be published in the thursdays edition along with some humerous photos of me reading the local paper while leaning against my kayak on Taupo beach 7am in the morning.
The paddle between Taupo and HiHi was fine until I rounded Berghan Point then I was paddlling into the head wind again! What a relief to finally land and be driven up the long and winding hill by 4wd by trusty driver Murray, after a rest & recovery it was off to Mangonui for famous fish & chips and a well earnt beer , it will be hard to say goodbye to Murray & Jan in the morning.
Wenesday 1st Oct Day 7 - Hihi to Cape Karikari via Tokerau Beach 39Kms
It's going to be a big day so time to have my last chance for a hot soak in the spa and get a good nights sleep, from tomorrow onwards it will be back to camping and Dehy food.
Distance covered so far - 148.5 kms + tomorrows 39kms = 187.5 kms
Will be meeting up with Lynnis at Tokerau Beach, a long paddle across Doubtless Bay .