Canon kayaks the Cook Strait


A Paekakariki res­i­dent too young to legally vote or have a beer has pad­dled across the Cook Strait, and he’s not fin­ished yet.

Canon Larsen, 17, com­pleted his 32-kilo­me­tre voy­age from Seav­iew to the Per­ano Whal­ing Sta­tion on Ara­pana Is­land last week. Larsen ar­rived at 1.30pm, with the pad­dle tak­ing about 41⁄ hours.

He had hoped to com­plete a re­turn cross­ing, but chal­leng­ing swells and tides, strong winds and a need for more daylight hours meant he had to call it a day.

He is likely to at­tempt the double-cross­ing later in the year.

A stu­dent at Raphael House Ru­dolf Steiner School in Lower Hutt, Larsen com­pleted the voy­age for his class 12 project, ‘Kayak my Heart Out’.

The project is stu­dent-cho­sen and com­pleted in their fi­nal year of school, out­side of school hours.

Canon said there were sev­eral op­tions on the ta­ble when he started think­ing about his project.

‘‘The orig­i­nal list of op­tions in­cluded mu­ral paint­ing, cook­ing, craft­ing, a dance piece and au­dio en­gi­neer­ing. How­ever, my pas­sion for get­ting out on the wa­ter su­per­seded any other ideas.

‘‘The no­tion of ‘kayak­ing my heart out’ be­came the only true path.’’

His jour­ney re­ally started af­ter he re­ceived his prac­tice kayak for Christ­mas.

Larsen asked for ad­vice from Ti­tahi Bay res­i­dent Con­rad Ed­wards, who has com­pleted more than 20 Cook Strait cross­ings.

‘‘When you meet him, he has that warm yet steely look in his eyes that says ‘I know what I am talk­ing about,’ Larsen said.

Larsen and his fam­ily trav­elled in a cata­ma­ran be­yond Sin­clair Head, where he dis­em­barked into his kayak.

His mother Tina said at­tempt­ing the re­turn cross­ing was tempt­ing.

‘‘Tues­day hap­pened to be one of those magic, calm days between lows, and im­por­tantly, the very first day of the neap tide.

‘‘[It] makes the cross­ing all that much more pos­si­ble, as the dif­fer­ence between the high and low tides are less than at other times of the lu­nar cy­cle.’’

Larsen's feat

Canon Larsen com­pleted his 32-kilo­me­tre kayak­ing voy­age across the Cook Strait from Seav­iew to the Per­ano Whal­ing Sta­tion on Ara­pana Is­land in about 41⁄ hours,

2 ar­riv­ing at 1.30pm.

Paekakariki teenager Canon Larsen dur­ing his Cook Strait cross­ing.

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