Today's blog is a guest post from Cornelia Luethi, a MaxPaddles customer:
I recently took delivery of a split Greenland paddle from MaxPaddles - the Freedom Paddle. Having RSI in my wrists, I've often yearned to do some cool kayak tours, but such tours would be a painful experience for me with a standard Euro paddle - and my regular Greenland MaxPaddle is too long to transport easily.
Stunning scenery, yummy food...
The launching point for the glow worm tour was on the man-made lake at McLaren Falls, Tauranga. The lake was created for the purposes of hydroelectricity. For a man-made feature, it is mighty pretty...
One of my mottos in life is that "everything is better with food". Which is one of the reasons I selected this particular tour company: the pre-kayak wine and nibbles. Yum! The wine was from local winery Mills Reef - they make an excellent tipple.
It was wonderful to enjoy the sunset on such a lovely autumn evening by the lake.
And we were off!
Soon, it was time to launch the kayaks, and I was able to put the Freedom Paddle through its paces.
The kayaks we were using were double kayaks, so my partner and I tried a little experiment. That being, my partner didn't do any paddling for a while, and I gently paddled with the Freedom Paddle.
To our amazement, we were faster than the other boats - and the other boats all had two people in them, paddling like crazy with their Euro paddles!
In fact, we were so much faster, I kept having to stop paddling to give everyone a chance to catch up!
So yes, with the Greenland paddle, you really can go fast, and with less effort.
The glow worm canyon wasn't far away...
It was such a gorgeous evening, it would have been nice to keep paddling for a while longer. But the glow worm canyon wasn't far away - and by the time we reached it, the sun had set and darkness was all around. The kayaks had red lights mounted on them, so we could see where we were without ruining our night vision.
My photograph below doesn't do justice to the glow worms - they are very hard to capture on camera. (It takes a very long exposure to photograph glow worms clearly, which requires a tripod or similar, and that just isn't possible on a moving kayak.) If you want to see some cool glow worm photos and videos, check out this guy's blog - he actually slept in glow worm caves to get his footage!
The twinkling lights coming from the glow worms all around was just magical. I would have loved to have stayed in the canyon for a much longer time, but as this was a guided tour, we had to leave with the guides.
(Hint: you can do this paddle by yourself, without a guide - just be sure to leave it late enough in the evening so the cave isn't full - the area with glow worms isn't big. Oh, and they're not actually glow worms - they're the larvae of a fly known as the fungus gnat. But we'll stick with glow worm, because kayaking is all about the beauty and romance of the great outdoors, right?!)
The memory lives on...
Thanks for the write up and photos, Cornelia! I am chuffed that you had an awesome experience and were able to do it in comfort.
I'd love to publish more stories and pictures from MaxPaddles customers on my blog. Please email your experiences to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers for now and happy kayaking,