Watery workplace suits couple

BEACH LIFE: Marius Lina and Rebecca Paley-Williams of Mission Bay Watersports.
BEACH LIFE: Marius Lina and Rebecca Paley-Williams of Mission Bay Watersports.

Their "office" is a beach and their days involve paddling around the Waitemata Harbour. Joe Dawson caught up with stand-up paddleboard and kayak instructors Marius Lina and Rebecca Paley-Williams to see if their job is as good as it sounds.

Sometimes at the end of a working day Marius Lina will head out from Mission Bay on a paddleboard and enjoy the quiet and solitude away from the roar of Auckland's traffic.

It's a good way to shake off the stress of a working day for anyone - even someone who spends most of the day using a beach as their office and helping people get out on the water.

Mr Lina, 30, and partner Rebecca Paley-Williams, 23, have recently taken over the running of Mission Bay Watersports.

It's the dream job for former South Islander Mr Lina and Miss Paley-Williams, of California.

Mr Lina is a qualified kayak instructor and guide with several years' experience including in Fiordland, the Marlborough Sounds, Norway and the United States.

Miss Paley-Williams brings the stand-up paddleboard (SUP) experience.

Now based in Auckland, they are building up the business and preparing for what will no doubt be a full-on summer.

"We've taken it over pretty recently," Miss Paley-Williams says.

"We've been trying to get it going in winter and we've been pretty busy even with the wind."

For Mr Lima, recently back in New Zealand after several years overseas, the new job has highlighted Auckland's possibilities.

"I'm really appreciating what New Zealand has got to offer and how awesome Auckland is.

"I'm from the South Island originally and love nature and the outdoors, and my first impression of Auckland was of a big city, very urban.

"But I'm appreciating it a lot more, paddling round seeing dolphins."

This coming summer the duo expect to see even more people trying their hands at the booming sport of paddle boarding.

"In a kayak you're low, but by standing up you get to experience nature on its terms and you can see a lot more when you look down - stingray, coral, reefs, pods of whales," Mr Lina says.

"The sport is massive in the US, and we're starting to see that here. It's going to be much bigger this summer."

The pair work with different groups including schools and are able to accommodate people of varying abilities with the super stable, adaptable boards.

For example a chair can be strapped to a board so someone who has trouble standing can participate in group outings.

It's not all swanning about looking at wildlife and kicking back on the beach.

Setting up and packing down takes an hour at each end of the day, and it's not unusual to spend half a day waist deep in cold water helping people learn.

"It's a lot of hard work, it's not just hanging out on the beach," Miss Paley-Williams says.

"But the nature of the business is you have to love what you're doing to be out there, you can't fake it.

"We're really looking forward to working seven days a week."

Mission Bay Watersports will be at the beach every day from mid-September.

Auckland City Harbour News