Cook Strait crossing 'challenging' for mayor

TESSA JOHNSTONE
Last updated 05:00 18/02/2014
Celia Wade-Brown kayak

FLOATING HER BOAT: Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown with Fergs Kayaks' Dave Annear during their Cook Strait crossing.

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Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has been making waves again - this time by paddling Cook Strait in a kayak.

Ms Wade-Brown set off from Makara at 5.30 yesterday morning, kayaking the roughly 48 kilometres to Wiriwaka Pt in the Marlborough Sounds with five others, including councillor Andy Foster and staff from Fergs Kayaks.

"It was quite exciting," she said. "There were one-metre swells - and we've seen seals and penguins and lots of seabirds.

"There was one time on one of the swells where it caught the back of the boat and I thought, 'we're going to tip', but we didn't. It was challenging, but not terrifying."

The kayakers were supported by a rescue boat and crew from the Port Nicholson Yacht Club, who accompanied them to the mouth of Tory Channel.

"We've been planning this for quite a while and just waiting for the right combination of tide and weather, and doing a fair bit of kayaking practice," Ms Wade-Brown, 57, said.

The journey took them about eight hours, plus a stop. It was lovely to set off in moonlight from Makara, she said, and the sounds were beautiful.

The group returned on the ferry from Picton last night.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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