February 11, 2019
Muddy slog for Portage pride
Tougher than expected.
Paddlers doing the Portage Crossing between the Waitematā and Manukau Harbours on Saturday had to slog their way through mud and mangroves.
Event organiser James Papali'i says they were counting on a 4 metre spring tide to retrace the ancestral route, but atmospheric conditions or increased sedimentation means it took longer than previous years to reach water deep enough to paddle in.
"I was just so proud of the paddlers. They got their canoes and dragged them through the mangroves with water up to their ankles in mud. The women teams, they just got stuck in and did that crossing. Maybe this was what the real Tainui was like, dragging waka. I was proud of them," he says.
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