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Sea Kayak Business Launch

Sea Kayak Business Launch

What does a slug, a tiger and a bunch of water enthusiasts have in common? Well on the 28th of October, they formed a flotilla of water crafts on the Avon River, coming together to celebrate the launch of Christchurch Sea Kayaking, the new outdoor venture in town.

“The Slug” is the name of the large white water raft. With Chunk at the helm, this central vessel accommodated many people including families with their young children, even including a little shitzu dog, Dooley.

“The Tiger” was part of the shenanigans of dress ups. The call was put out to ‘please dress accordingly that represents a happy celebration’. And all, including Dooley, had an impressive item to wear, and many fluffy, colourful, silly hats filled the Avon River bringing the old vibrancy back to this quake shaken town.

The rest of the participants were the water enthusiasts who were there to support the founder of Christchurch Sea Kayaking, KT.

A karakia opened the whaikorero, speeches, and KT thanked those who were there and gifts were given to the ones who had direct input to the business. Joanne Walton from the Council’s Asset Planning and Management (Parks) team talked about how this enterprise has helped carve a pathway for implementing future ventures. Jenny Te Maiharoa, KT’s mother, spoke with humour and love and was gifted a beautiful, naturally polished piece of dark pounamu for all of her support. A karakia for the river was shared before all the people launched their kayaks and “The Slug” onto the Avon River.

With 30 people floating from the Botanical Gardens to the Margaret Mahy playground, they helped to celebrate with their presence and chants. The Avon looked full of life and the laughs flew to the amused bystanders.

Christchurch Sea Kayaking is the tourism business where keen explorers are guided down the Avon River in sea kayaks. On a typical tour, they meet at the Margaret Mahy playground ramp for a ‘how to’ and a safety briefing. From here, the small group kayak their way downstream under the bustling bridges of traffic, past the regenerated river banks and they see the city from this, very different, perspective.
Kayaking through the red zone is a treat as the noises of the busy city life drift into the distance and is replaced by the gentler birdsong that is now able to be heard across the river. The left over gardens from a once occupied urban spread is now the phoenix sprung from the ashes. The earthquake, as devastating as it was, has left behind its silver lining of nature.

The character of the river changes, as it flows its way toward the ocean where all of the lands water seeks to go. The river widens, the lush greenery, now brown with beachy reeds and the expanse of the bracken estuary creates a desolate Mad Max feel as the sandy banks rise out of the low tide, studded with wading birds. Under the full view of the Port Hills, the water channelizes and we follow these remnants of high tide toward the sea and find our finish at Monks Bay.

And this last weekend of October was a day to celebrate the coming together, of what once was a pipe dream of a local outdoor instructor, that has now turned into reality.

Tours are based on the tide, see the calendar at www.csk.co.nz to check when the tours are available. No experience needed – all equipment provided. Book online and come and see the hidden nature that is a gem of this rebuilt City. When asked what a tour is like, KT said, “It feels like being in the wilderness, but you’re still safe in the City”.

Director: Katarina Te Maiharoa
Website: www.csk.co.nz Facebook: @christchurchseakayaking Mobile: 0274483696

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