Looking back a lot of my big life adventures have been on my own. I have travelled South East Asia and a bit of Europe, but have barely explored my own backyard.
My friend, Julie-Anne and I must have been thinking the same thing, because neither of us have explored Ohiwa Harbour, even though we have lived here most of our lives.
It was a Thursday night adventure - moonlight kayaking at Ohiwa Harbour, out by Kutarere. Kutarere is a small town about 25 minutes out of Whakatane, heading towards Opotiki. Unfortunately it clouded over, so no moonlight, but the darkness meant we could see the phosphorescence in the water. That is one trippy plankton I tell ya!
We went on a guided kayaking tour with Kenny at KG Kayaks, and the kayaks launched just down the hill from his house. As a local, I knew of him, but we had not met formally until that night. Kenny is quite the character, a well known local, always up for a yarn in his unmistakable Scottish accent. I got the feeling that he genuinely loved the water, the harbour and being around people.
There were some funny moments, like Julie-Anne taking on the mangroves, and the mangroves won. Lucky for us, the tide was high and a bit of persistence got us unstuck. I love the overhanging Pohutukawa, though some Kenny said were the result of erosion on the nearby islands.
After a couple of hours in the water, we got back to a camp fire where hot drinks and Kenny's wife's home baking were waiting for us. It was a real family business, even Kenny's son took our life jackets and paddles.
Great company, good yarns and another adventure ticked off. What's next?