A Winter’s Paddle

A Winter's Paddle
I am an avid reader and collector of books related to sea kayaking and canoeing having read literally hundreds over the years.  When I have finished a book I can normally imagine myself taking part in a similar trip and start to mull over the logistics regardless whether it is a canoe trip in northern Canada or a kayaking trip in Europe.
There are very few books which when I put them down I think to myself this isn’t for me, this person is clearly operating on a different level to myself and to most other paddlers.
Paul Caffyn’s “The Dreamtime Voyage” is one such title and it is joined by “A Winter’s Paddle”.  Tara is clearly a highly motivated, technically competent paddler with a flowing descriptive writing style.  I read significant portions of the book each time I picked it up, eager to know what was going to happen next.
The winter circumnavigation of South Island New Zealand is a huge achievement but to complete some of the more committing sections solo takes the paddle onto a completely different level.
I did wander at times why they exposed themselves to such a significant challenge, the surf landings and the long periods of being storm bound all added up to create a trip that wasn’t for me but it did generate incredible respect  to Tara for seeing it through.
If you are a sea kayaker you will enjoy this book, partly because you will have some insight into the technical challenges it presented but also because of the way it describes the routine of life whilst on a long sea kayaking trip.  I don’t think it will be encouraging many people though, to pack their bags and follow in their wake by circumnavigating New Zealand in winter.
The book is available from Amazon and is well worth getting hold of.