Head to beach to cool off

20:07, Dec 25 2012
Mac Langlois
Mac Langlois, 8

The temperature hit more than 31 degrees Celsius in Marlborough yesterday, with families enjoying Christmas on one of the hottest days of summer.

Many people headed for the water to cool off, including rivers, bays in the Marlborough Sounds and Whites Bay, near Rarangi.

The temperature at 4.50pm was 31.6C, according to MetService.

whites bay
Enjoying Christmas at Whites Bay

Anna West said a barbecue and a glass of wine on the beach was the perfect way to spend Christmas Day.

The Blenheim woman and her family were among the many people at Whites Bay yesterday, soaking up the sun and cooling off in the sea.

Ms West said the day sure beat sitting indoors with the heater on.

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Shiloh Edmonds
Shiloh Edmonds, 10

Originally from Britain she and husband Stuart Barber were at the beach with their 6-year-old son Zachary. Ms West's mum, Jan West, had come from England to visit for the holidays.

"It's good to get away from the floods at home," Jan West said.

Anna West met her husband backpacking in Nelson 14 years ago, she said.

Whites Bay
Trying to catch a cooler breeze

They lived in Britain before returning to Marlborough three years ago.

Her mother had visited each of those three Christmases.

"I come over once a year to see my grandson," Jan West said.

Sheenae Ranson
Sheenae Ranson with son Tauria McAlister, 11 months

"I think we're probably at the beach because I'm visiting from England."

Although Christmas in New Zealand was "definitely different", some things stayed the same, she said.

Turkey was still on the menu and Zachary was up at 4.20am to check if Santa had been, she said.

Stuart Barber
Family Christmas on the beach. L-R Father Stuart Barber, mother Anna West, son Zachary, 6, and nana Jan West.

"Then he went back to bed."

The only downside to having a sunny Christmas was the shock of going back home, Jan West said.

Blenheim woman Sheenae Ranson was paddling with her 11-month-old son Tauria McAlister at Whites Bay yesterday.

It was Tauria's first time swimming, Ms Ranson said.

They were spending Christmas on the beach with family.

"There's about 15 of us, we brought three cars out. We're just going to relax, have a barbecue and that's about it.

"Better than being stuck at home."

The Marlborough Express