Last weekend I learned how to sail and it was one of the best experiences ever! On Saturday morning at 5 am my host dad and I started the journey to Kawhia, where he was born and raised. He still has an own sailing boat over there and for this reason he invited me to participate at a sailing regatta with him! I was super excited because I actually never sailed before and in general was not often on a boat !
As we arrived in Kawhia the first thing we did was putting the boat in the water, immediately after that we headed out with the boat and my host dad showed me the basics of sailing. In the beginning I still struggled a bit with the different techniques you had to use for changing the direction of the sail, but after a while I got used to it and developed a feeling for the wind! After a training session that took us over an hour we made a short lunch break in the local cafe. The race should start at 1 pm, for this reason we headed directly to the boat again for preparations after lunch time. 6 others boats participated at the race, the majority of them were locals and farmers!
As the race started we were directly in the lead, because we were lucky with the wind direction. Everything went perfectly during the race and we even managed the direction changes without complications! We were in the lead for the majority of the time, but shortly before the finishing line another boat with an experienced sailor passed us and won the race! We suppose the reason behind that was that his boat was lighter than ours, because he sailed on his own. Even though we didn’t win the race, I was super happy and proud of the second place and in general the sailing experience!
After the race we had a quick chat with the other sailors and than we drove to the Oceans Beach in Kawhia,where we were able to watch the enormous waves and walk on the endless beach! The only disadvantage of the beach was the black sand that was heated up by the sun. I nearly burned my feet while running over the hot sand! After the beach visit it was already late and we were hungry, for this reason we headed home and I was so exhausted that I literally slept all the way to Auckland.
The trip to Kawhia was my first time at the wild west coast of New Zealand and it won’t definitely be my last time! In general I will come back to Kawhia the next few weeks, because my host dad want to teach me some more stuff about sailing.