Well a lovely time was had by all with our trip to Okains bay this weekend 6 of us headed out Friday night getting to the bay at about 9:30 by the time we'rd found a spot to set up the tents it was dark making putting up the tent not the easiest of things. After initially sticking up the 4 person tent with the wrong pole due to them being in the wrong bag we finally got up and usable after which the small 2 person pup tent was quickly and easily assembled by which point it was 10:45 and was pitch black.
Gear was quickly thrown into them and we headed off to find the facilities at which point we discovered as usually not every one had remembered to bring toothpaste. After that was out of the way we headed back to the tents and spent an hour or two chatting and discovering a number of things about the 4 person tent. First the apparently flat ground was any thing but flat and that I was in the center of the dip while Alethea and Andrew where at the tops of either side of the dip. Actions were thus taken to make sure I was not unfortunately awakened in the middle of the night with the placement of a number of bags on the flour between me and Andrew and Alethea moving her Air mattress further over and deciding to sleep on the far side of it. Apart from that we were entertained by some interesting talk that I can no longer remember and the site of two certain guys staring into each others eyes at a distance of about 10cm's. Sleep eventually eventuated after two people were banished to the pup tent and a slightly uncomfortable night was had by three of us, two due to the risk of sliding, and my self due to a number of sticks that materialised under my mattress and the tent after I'd been lying on it for a bit, and the combination of the loud surf from the beach.
At 6am we were awoken by a combination of light, birds (the camp site be surrounded by trees full of sparrow nests) and Surf, the result of which was we immediately attempted to return to sleep and succeeded until 9ish. At which point breakfast become of interest. While setting up breakfast we noted that the two in the pup tent had yet to get up so we quickly arranged a circle of deck chairs around the door flap and when movement was detected suggesting the imminent appearance of one of it's occupants we all hopped onto the deck chairs facing the flap and stared intently until one of the occupants emerged, with an interesting expression as he realised what he faced. 20mins latter this was repeated as the second occupant emerged and wandered straight past with out paying us the slightest attention, we concluded coffee.
The morning was spent erecting the second of the 4 person tents and three of us moving our gear into it after checking to make sure the round was flatter and had less hard objects.
The Camp finally set up.
A quick wander along the beach and a game of "Ticket to Ride Europe" completed the morning. The cloud cover finally burnt off about lunch time and a swim thus became our primary objective for the afternoon so after waiting half an hour after lunch, much to the annoyance of one person who muttered something about an old wives tale we grabbed the body boards and headed down to the beach. Where we spent the next 3 hours bodyboarding and mucking about in the water. During which I discovered three thing, One) body boarding is fun when someone who has a decent idea of what they're doing is along so you can work out how to actually do it, Two) That at what ever temperature of the water was at Okains that the maximum amount of time that I could stay in for before my body temperature dropped to an uncomfortable degree and shivering/shaking starts to the point were it was hard to hold onto the board was approximately 1 hour, and Third) that using something like 10grams of sunscreen and taking 15mins to rub it in means that I actually can stay out in the sun for 3 or so hours with out getting any thing more than the slightest sunburn (being a red head means that summer is often literally a pain in the neck, shoulders, backs and arms).
The Beach, Saturday Afternoon
Waiting for a Wave
Any way during the 40 or so minute period were I was warming up to the point where I'd be able to hop back in the water the other 4 turned up walking down the beach. After showing them our camp site we headed back to the beach with them in tow where we remained till about 5:15ish. Before wandering back to the camp where we set up another pup tent for the two gal's that had turned up and set about making tea. The rest of the evening was spent talking and playing board games.
Some of us went for a wander up the river that runs down one side of the bay just as it was getting dark where we spent 10mins pointing out "invisible" sheep which apparently only 3 of the 4 of us could see for quite some time. After which we returned to the camp via a different route which involved jumping a number of gates and fences and taking a route that was anything but straight. Arriving back we spent the remainder of the evening talking before heading off to talk abit more and sleep.
We were again woken up at 6am and went straight back to sleep.
After breakfast another round of board gaming occurred after which we wandered off to go rock hopping around the southern wall of the bay finding a couple of other small beaches before heading back to beat the rising tide and to avoid a bloke protecting a plot of endangered Grass.
The cloud didn't burn off until after lunch and so the first part of the afternoon was spent mucking around and talking. Before with the arrival of the sun we headed back to the beach a lack of decent waves meant body boarding was soon passed up in favor of Sand Castle making. Several of the group headed back to Christchurch at about 3:45pm in order to get to church in time. The rest of us spent the remainder of the afternoon enjoying the lovely weather before packing up the tents and gear, heading back to town at about 6pm.
At which point this better describes it.
Akaroa Bay heading back from Okains.
An enjoyable weekend though if only we could do it every weekend!