I took an early walk along the waterfront at lake Wanaka. The water was dead calm and looked alluring, although I knew the temperature was cold. There were ducks and seagulls doing their enviable daily routine of floating on the water, bathing in the sun, hanging out with friends, eating and drinking. They skated onto the water and left a clean drag line on the water where they came into land. I could have stayed there forever but had to get on with my day. I began with my usual breakfast in Kai and then bumped into Kingsley and Karen who I haven’t seen for about 14 or 15 years since I did ski seasons with them in Tignes, France. They are still exactly the same and totally content with their life here. And I’m not surprised when they describe it to me. It’s perfect.
Kingsley took me out for a bit of a tour. First we went to Waterfall Creek which is just past and below Rippon Vineyard. The creek is a lovely secluded spot where you can launch your boats or Paddle Boards and get easy access to Ruby Island in the middle of the lake.
Following our stop off there Kingsley decided to take me to the opposite side of Wanaka to the suburb he lives in called Albert town. We visited Dublin Bay, which gave a totally different aspect of the lake than I was accustomed to visiting. Dublin Bay seems to be never ending with shallow water and various trees to take shade under. An expanse of stone beaches, willow and poplar trees.
Next we drove to Kingsley and Carols house that has a panorama to die for. I can imagine when the sun sets and the mountain tops go red, it’s quite remarkable. We popped down to the Clutha River. This is yet another of my favourite spots. The river is turquoise blue and I notice that there is no algae on the rocks. Staggeringly clear and pure water - Pure New Zealand!
Kingsley had to get back to work and I had to get back to meet Pru and Roo. The girls and I headed back to Waterfall Creek with the Mistral Paddle Boards. They are amazing; so light yet so stable. I actually braved taking my Canon 5D Mark III on the SUP without the underwater housing. We paddled around for about an hour or so and then on the way over to Ruby Island we were passed by a speedboat towing a parasender. I was afraid the wake from the boat would knock myself and my camera off the SUP but I faced straight into it and as the SUP handled the rapids on the river, it was solidly stable in the wake.
We did some yoga on the boards out on the water. It was such a stunning scene to do this. SUP Yoga is a rapidly growing trend. I was in New Zealand making a short brand film for Mistral and had some of their 11"5 Kailua Fit Boards with me. So we filmed a yoga session while the sun was getting low in the sky and creating some really nice light.
Doing yoga on a surface that is constantly in motion fires up your core muscles and strengthens muscles that aren't used in everyday practice. In addition it's great to be doing this in such an amazing environment. The boards are very stable, but occasionally you fall in, like Roo did tonight. It was pretty hilarious! But definitely cools you down during a heated session.
We decided not to jump off on the island but instead we hooked the boards together and cracked open a beer and watched the sun set over Treblecone. This is the life! I love my job.