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SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) Standup Paddle Board Mission - Brent (Brick) Bourgeois - Mt Maunganui around Mayor Island and Back
by StevesMarineAdventures
New Zealand Bay Of Plenty Tauranga
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My Adventure Story

WHAT AN ADVENTURE!! Completed by Brent (Brick) Bourgeois!

Solo Standup Paddle Board Mission 90km Round Trip from Mt Maunganui to Mayor Island and back! 

Set myself this challenge about three months ago and trained hard. All done and wow, what an adventure it was.

Perfect conditions on DAY ONE. Made good time with a slight tail wind and a flat sea. It glassed off in places. The deep water is an incredible blue out beyond 20kms. I always planned to, but didn't know until the day if I could/would, circumnavigate the island. So pleased I made it. 52kms in 7 hours 15mins. I was very pleased to get to South East Bay, as I had very little 'left in the tank'. I got through 4.5 litres of water enroute and ate all food on board. Support boat gave me a chuck of bacon and egg pie at 28kms, then "the bacon and egg pie leg" to get to the island seemed to take forever. At 40kms I was ready to get off the board. Feet were numb, legs were struggling and upper body very taxed. But the scenery around the island was just the distraction I needed. Made it into beautiful SE Bay to be greeted by my support crew and Vicky, the island caretaker. Great afternoon relaxing in the sun (over the hill at Western Bay). Beer, wine and food.

Not perfect conditions DAY TWO. These were the conditions that two days earlier made me think the mission would have to be postponed. I woke early and could hear little waves lapping the beach _ oh No! Got up to feel the breeze and could see white caps out at sea passing the bay. With my body sore and tired from Day 1, I must admit I feel a little apprehensive. Unless you are doing a 'down-winder' white caps are not what a SUP paddler looks for. I set off at 8.10am, out of the mouth of bay, and suddenly realised that the white caps were very real. The wind was strong and blowing over my left shoulder. This was the start of some serious balancing work and paddling on only my right side for the next 38kms!! The first 5kms were horrendous conditions. I considered Waihi seriously (could I keep a line for the Mt, while paddling on my R side and staying on my feet?). I stopped, looked back out my line (for a very distant Mt) and to my surprise I saw I was on line for the Mt. 10kms, 15kms, 20kms - just ugly conditions (nobody goes SUP'ing in this stuff). There was a ENE 1 metre ground swell meeting a confused NE wind swell, with solid wind, creating some big cresting waves, and deep holes. I got wet early on and kept taking falls every 2-15 mins. Reckon I went into the water 50 times. As the Mt got closer (very very slowly) I could see buildings, then worked out where Tay St was. I was changing my mind a lot. Should I go to land in via the entrance to Pilot Bay, or just aim for Leisure island?? I was worried about a heavy surf landing at Tay St. So tempting, but the thought of people waiting for me at Tay St kept me going. Paddle, concentrate, the pain will soon be over. Made it to the beach in 6.5 hours (about 1.5 hrs more than the same distance the before before).

90kms. God, please let me sit down.

Thanks to everyone that came to see me off and those that managed to fluke my arrival time home. Sorry I was late!!

A huge thanks to my support crew. What a cool experience.

I PADDLED TO THE MAYOR AND BACK FOR ROSIE! (Shsshh, don't tell Rosie but I also did it for all my kids, to make them proud and to show them, that at 52 you can still do this sort of stuff - Danelle, Cam, Jordi and Holly). Love you all very much. X X X X X

Last but not least thanks to my beautiful wife for her support, help and love. X X X X X X X

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