Day 51 – Whakahoro to John Coull Hut

Whakahoro to John Coull Hut (Whanganui River)

37kms

Dad and Scott arrived at around 10am. There was a group of about 20 of us getting on the river at the same time from two separate hire companies. After a safety briefing and some tips and instructions we were paddling by 11ish. I had a kayak and dad and Scott were in a canoe. We launched at the Retaruke river and it was not long until we came out onto the Whanganui river. Today is the longest day of the three. There were lots of rapids but they were all easy to get through but choppy enough to get very wet. There was a period of rain and wind which was not very pleasant but only lasted for about 30 minutes.

The 26 bunk hut was comfortable. It was fully booked and the camp site was also packed. The large group stayed further down at a campsite. We had our dinners and some chocolate and were in bed by 9pm. Everyone else must have been tired too because most were already in bed.

It is really nice on the river and very peaceful. At the moment the water level is much lower than usual so it gets very shallow in places and more exposed logs and rocks to avoid. Early on I even beached myself a few times before learning how to recognise depths and currents ahead of me. There are times when the current will pull you and spit you out in all directions and steering is almost impossible.

There are lots of people here who have paddled the river many times. There is even a group that have been doing it annually for 43 years.

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