With a stunning forecast for Queens Birthday weekend, 5 crazy friends and fellow St Ayles skiff enthusiasts set off from Orakei on a mission.
The Challenge, Can 5 people pack enough gear into a St Ayles for a weekends camping and still row it efficiently and safely.
Answer: You Bet !
And in fact its such an amazing boat that it swallowed all our gear and rowed just like it normally does, cruising speed 4 knots, safe and dry and as well behaved as ever.
The stunning Home Bay Motutapu island was the destination, total distance 8nm, rowing time 2 hours exactly plus an hour drinking tea and chewing the fat on Browns island along the way.
After a great afternoon setting up camp and a very enjoyable meal, (no dehydrated food here!) We settled into a rather chilly but quite comfortable night ashore.
Sunday saw us into the next wee mission, a short 2nm row to Waiheke island for an icecream.
Followed by another 2nm row to Motuihe island, no ice creams here but a cup of tea out of the trusty thermos and a snooze in the afternoon sun did the trick.
You guessed it, followed by a 2nm row back to Home bay. More good food and wine another chilly sleep and a stunning sunrise.
Before setting off on the return home journey of another 8nm. We had the tide against us on the way home but with a forecast of building easterly winds thought it best not wait for the tide, Approx 3 hours rowing to get home and we were spied departing Browns island by our roving reporter from St Helliers.
What a fantastic weekend, good company, great food, some fantastic rowing, stunning weather. There’s something quite special about getting away for the weekend under your own steam, no engines no sails just good mates some oars, an awesome boat and our beautiful country we call home….
Theres already talk of the next one…