Duke of Ed – Silver Adventurous Journey

22 Jun 2024

On 11 May a group of 15 students embarked on a 3-day kayaking journey as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Silver practice and training journey.

As a practice for our qualifying journey, we kayaked and camped for two nights at Mahurangi. We were required to use our skills and knowledge to traverse on water and survive in the wilderness. The group, not having much knowledge on kayaking, managed to all stay together and encourage one another to push through.

Travelling to our first campsite at Te Muri Beach, we went through the Puhoi River, Puhoi translating to slow or unhurried. This was lucky for us as it was the first time for most of us being in a kayak on water! Going through the Puhoi River we stopped at a nearby beach for lunch. Little did we know the struggle of getting back into the water. With kayaks beached and spray skirts being too small, we fought our way back into the water, helping each other as much as we could. Back on the water, we faced our first real challenge, the open ocean. With crashing waves making the kayaks airborne, we were lucky to have stayed in our kayaks the whole way through. Just as we thought we could relax; we did not realise the struggles of carrying eight kayaks up the beach and to our campsite.

Compared to the difficult waves, setting up camp and cooking food was a breeze. We enjoyed a hot cooked meal while also being fortunate enough to see the aurora in full effect. Seeing the sky covered in red and stars, was truly an experience to remember.

Waking up from the cold, we enjoyed some breakfast, packed up our gear and set sail back on the water for our next venture. Using the skills picked up from the day before we breezed through the water, encountering a pod of dolphins along the way, to Saddle Island. Here we had some time to relax and enjoy the beautiful environment.

After a refreshing break, we continued our journey to our next campsite, Lagoon Bay. Traversing through the rocks and calm ocean we once again set up camp at our next location. We even found time to party in a tent once everything was set up and dinner was over.

The next morning was more of the same as we prepared for our final adventure; but the adventure would not be easy, kayaking through heavy mangroves resembling a maze. Once escaping the endless mangroves, to the delight of many, we were on our way back home. But it would not be a quick voyage.

Tired and ready to go home we made it to the beach where the van was waiting for us. But it was not over yet, having to load the kayaks onto the vans and put all our gear into the van.

It was an experience enjoyed by us all and our qualifying journey in October can’t come soon enough.

~ Luke Lin 11B13


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