My first trip of RnR was the Tollgates which are two islands about 6km offshore from Batehaven. The islands are separated by a narrow and rocky channel. The day was calm with a 1 metre swell and though the Tollgates can be treacherous, today they were just right. About 100 paddlers set out in small squadrons and by the time the last team was out there were kayaks as far as you could see. It took about an hour to get there and Eco’s initial comfort gave way to cramping and then excruciating pain in my right leg. I was in a group with Grade 3 paddlers in Mirages and kept up till the islands but had to pull the spray deck up and stretch out. No matter what I do I just can’t fix this. Also bugging me are my Wiley-X sunglasses which fog up and stay fogged. This is not only annoying but bloody dangerous. Fixing this will be a priority.
Still, the Tollgates trip was a great day out and I got to play in some tricky water in rock gardens and holes without any drama. The trip back was a lesson in torture of mediaeval proportions. It looks like I’ve got some homework to do on the boat and my body.