Duke of Ed – Gold Adventurous Journey

21 Jun 2024

From Monday 15 to Friday 19 April, five students from Waiuku College and three students from BDSC Anna Ding 13E2, Wesley Teh 12D9 and Ryan Kan 13E2 went on a kayaking journey in the Hauraki Gulf, from St Helier’s Bay to Waitawa Regional Park, making stops on many islands along the way. During this journey, we went through different waterways, ranging from rivers to sea channels. We also trained for many possible circumstances, such as wet exits during a kayak capsize and a wet entry to get back into said kayaks. It was mostly calm and relatively easy-going on the water, with the wind behind us and following the tides. However, on the third day, we experienced a strong crosswind, resulting in some less-than-happy stomachs. But this was a learning experience for us, and possibly for others.

The trip’s highlights were the night walks we went on and the beautiful seaside views. One night we went on a Kiwi and Tuatara hunt with the group on Motuihe Island. We had to use red lighting and stay quiet so as not to disturb the kiwis. We also watched the sunrise on the second day, and it was worth waking up around 6.00am for something I normally don’t do back home.

Sea kayaking requires physical stamina and mental resilience, and this journey was a really important learning experience. We had to adapt to challenging conditions such as wind, waves and weather changes. We also learned a lot of navigation skills and map reading by using different maps, GPS and compasses. This taught us how to plan our journeys efficiently and safely whilst also working with a group of people we normally don’t surround ourselves with.

Anna’s proudest achievement during this journey was making it through the trip and enjoying all the moments. She didn’t know she could paddle as far as she did especially in one go. Anna remembers during her silver kayaking journey she became really tired and had to take a lot of breaks. But this time she was able to paddle almost non-stop for each leg and felt more physically fit. On this journey, Anna truly appreciated the beauty of nature around her, and it felt like a nice break from the devices and schoolwork.

~ Anna Ding 13E2 and Ryan Kan 13E2


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