A few months ago I received an email out of the blue from Nic Mead of Auckland Sea Kayaks. He’d heard about our Svalbard mission and was keen to help, offering to put on a fundraising paddle in which he would donate the profits of the trip to our cause. Nic spent six years living and working in Norway a few years back, and he is one of the lucky few fortunate enough to have been to Svalbard. In February I was heading up to Auckland to speak at a KASK forum about my NZ trip, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to take Nic up on his kind offer.
I joined Nic on his sunset trip to Rangitoto Island. After an hours paddle and a feed we walked to the summit, stopping on the way for a scramble through a lava cave. From the top we watched the setting sun turn the city on fire, and then in the dark we made our way home, paddling back across the harbour towards the blinking lights of the city.
Paddling in the dark is awesome. On my NZ circumnavigation I spent more than a handful of nights paddling in complete darkness, sometimes on phosphoresce filled waters, sometimes in a lonely world of black with the pouring rain drumming on my kayak, and on other nights floating under a shimmering sky. Sometimes I planned it, and other days I didn’t. But no matter the situation it was always an empowering experience, and one that will stick with me for a long time. Auckland Sea Kayaks have captured this unique experience and made it accessible to your average city goer or tourist. Pretty cool really.
So a huge thanks Nic for your generous support in helping to get this project off the ground, we really appreciate it!