Waka Ama Mama

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tahiti - Day one done and dusted

Ok.... so I'm writing this on my phone so you'll have to excuse me if there are massive spelling errors and auto corrections!

Arriving in Tahiti was pretty exciting. All those months of hard slog trainings and sacrifices and we have finally arrived at our destination. We arrived in the middle of the night here. And went back a day too. So our first day here was our second Tuesday of the week!  Getting off the plane you're just hit with a blast of hot thick muggy air.  Meeting us the airport was Vesna Radonich who has been the absolute best tour guide since we have been here. Having lived in Tahiti previously Vesna has been awesome in showing us around this paddlers paradise!

We are staying at the house of Wilfred and Tepiu Ahmin. Beachfront at Arue.  Coconut trees just out the front, waka everywhere... feels just like home.... well except for the 27 degree temperatures.... and the coconut trees... and the beach!  Okay so it's nothing like home!

First thing (for our Tuesday part two) was a run. So those that know me know that running is probably my least favourite sporting activity! And so any way... off we go for a wee run... and wow... Vesna runs like she's being chased by rabid dogs... ie FAST! Irregardless of hills or mountains in her way... and along I plod making sure no one is left behind.... lol. A good opportunity to test out our awesome French... 'bonjour' on the way past the locals. Dropping in an 'Iorana' here and there too!

After our run we are straight into the beach to cool off. I don't think I even made it into the beach back home this summer. The difference here being that the water is just so beautiful and warm!!!

After inhaling some food and packing our bags for the day we were off for a tipi haere to the Brightwell/Cowan whare. This is like a papakainga with whanau houses all over the section. Again. Right on the water front. The place is truely beautiful, the whare are very much traditional. Orohena explained that the whare we were in was originally built by her grandmother and so has such beautiful high wooden ceilings and it feels so open and cool in such hot weather. 

Jumping into the v1 from here Vesna took us out and for a tour of the Te Aito course. We said that we'd just go for a wee 40min paddle.... about 2 hours later we were back! 😂  The water here is so clear... you will be paddling along and you can see the bottom... watch the fishes swimming by, waving at all the other waka. It's just mind blowing that we were here paddling in Tahiti. For so long it's been the goal. And to actually be here doing it is pretty cool!

After our paddle it was off to the Carrefour (imagine that pak n save & the Warehouse under one roof) to get a kai. We bumped into team California who were on their way to the ODT home training grounds for a nohi. 

Another hikoi home and then another swim, bit of a play on the SUP. And then kai and bed. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

2017 Waka ama Sprint Nationals - Days 2 and 3 J16 Girls Racing

What a week!!  Sprint nationals was an absolute BLAST!  I've been thinking how to best write up such a busy and full on week.  Not just to summarise what happened on the water but also to try and give an idea of the busy time that we have had in building up to Nationals.

Traditionally I have attended Sprint nationals as a mama or as a coach.  This year I had a number of roles at nats - Mama, coach, singles paddler, team paddler, Aunty, Camp Mother and not to mention taxi driver too!

Generally speaking over the christmas break most non paddler whanau get to have a holiday.  As a teacher, I love the fact that my job gets to shut up shop for 4 weeks or so and I get to spend that time out at the lake training and paddling up a storm in preparation for Nationals. It was hard slog though I tell you!  The weather this summer has been pretty AVERAGE to say the least!  While I might have been out at the lake every day - I can say that there was probably only one or two day's max that I might have actually jumped in the lake for a swim.  In fact on most days I would have a poly-prop or two on because it was so chilly!

Team Okareka!  Te Mihiroa Tangira, Latisha Winata, Kiri Tepania, Rauoriwa Pou Poasa, Kyra Mita and Jada Beckham
As exhausting as it was being at the lake every day (twice a day) on the odd occasion when we would have a day off - the kids would ask to go the lake to 'hang' out!  Crack up alright!

First day of Racing for J16s Tuesday

Anyway - off to Nationals and the start of the week is all about the kiddies racing.  My J16 girls team "Okareka" were entered into the 500m and 1000m Turns races.  The First day they only had 2 races for the 500m a heat and then a Semi.  They did great qualifying for the final the following day in lane three.  This means that they were the third fastest team to qualify for the final.  While myself and Jarra (Manager) were with the girls in loading bay - we looked around at the physiques of the other paddlers from Cook Islands and Manukau, Rahui Pokeka and other teams - and what a difference!  There are some really strong and big paddlers in this division!  But as they say - it all comes down to power to weight ratio.  Its okay to be big in waka ama - you just need to be able to pull your own weight in the waka - and then some.

Waiting for Finals for 500m

Lining up for the Final of the 500m race against some amazing paddlers from all across the motu, it was now all about who wanted the win more!  The Cookies, Horouta and Okareka all got off to a great start and it was pretty much even stevens all the way down the course. I could hardly sit in my seat to watch it!  In fact I think its soo much easier being a paddler in the waka because sitting on the side I was just an absolute bundle of nerves.  The girls had put in some hard yards!  Months of trainings - weights, swimming, running, on water trainings in some pretty cold and ugly conditions, not to mention the last 2-3 weeks of hard out polishing on technique and fitness with Uncle Ted.  And it all comes down to this 2 mins and 14 seconds!

The great thing about making a final is that Maori Television video the races and post them on their website!  So here is the link to the 500m race:

We were all jumping up and down yelling and screaming for the girls when they crossed the line first!  To see that their hard work, sacrifices and commitment to each other come together in such an awesome race was all the reward I needed!  I might have even had a bit of a teary moment.... I'm sure it was the sand that I got in my eye at that moment!

After all the excitement - we then had to get them settled and move onto the next part of the mahi which was the 1000m turns race.  Making the final - again in Lane three meant that there was a bit of work to be done!  When they came off the Semi final the girls weren't happy with their performance and so had spent some time de-briefing what they needed to do and what they could fix up in order to get their goal of podium for the 1000m race.  

Turns out that the girls didn't even really need us adulty peeps anymore!  After we sent them through loading bay it seems that they had their own pep talk with each other.  From what I heard from them later - the girls spoke about the need for them to do this for their families.  That it was their families who had made sacrifices for them to be there today and supported them to get to Nationals - and that they had to show us that they were worthy of that sacrifice.  Gosh - neat alright girlies!  So proud right here.  

Here is the link to the 1000m race:

Gosh those turns though!  All season I have been talking to the girls about how it takes a team to turn that waka at speed - and they proved that in this race.  Their absolute determination was just beautiful to watch!  The way they kept the hammer down and worked the "straights"  Just fabulous girls!  Well - in saying that I was nervous as hell watching them.  As soon as I saw them clear the 3rd turn - and they just had the final straight to go - I was again jumping and yelling and screaming at them!  Ka mau te wehi kotiro ma!  You are absolutely my idols!

I just want to take the time to thank the amazing parents that we had in this campaign for our J16 girls.  I want to thank them for trusting me with their dahlings, thank them for all their hard work and commitment too!  Its not easy running your child up and down to the lake 2-3 times a day, keeping them fed, watered and rested so that when they came to training they were able to train hard and with intensity.  I'm sorry for the times the girls were too tired to help with housework and jobs.  Without your absolute support our girls would not have been able to achieve the amazing results that they did at this years Nationals!

Also - a huge thank you to Ted Sweet who came along at just the right time for us!  His experience and belief in us came at a time when it was easy to doubt what we were doing and his assurances that we were on track and to keep on keeping was awesome.  It was hard slog at times and having someone like Ted on your side made some of those burdens a lot easier to bear! 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Long Distance Nationals W1

So..... its been a really long time since I've had the chance to sit down to pen "pen to paper" on my blog.  Its about high time I updated you all as to the last 3 or 4 months worth of winter paddling!

I've survived another winter season of paddling!  Thank goodness!  The frozen extremities, the 'crunchy grass', the freezing southerlies, the bone numbing cold, the driving rain... let me just say - I'll be happy to hang up the neoprene booties anytime now!

This weekend our Te Puku o Te Ika region hosted the Long Distance Nationals (LDN's) in Tauranga. This was my second LDN's that I have attended and i'm pretty sure this one may have been a bit bigger than the last one I attended in Whangarei.  So how it ran was that Friday was the singles or W1's/W2's and Saturday was set aside for W6 races.  Sunday was booked as a 'postponement day' in case the weather was too rough on the Fri or Sat.  This certainly looked like it might be the case earlier in the week.  On Thursday when I arrived at the Mount - I drove straight to check out the surf - I can tell you it was pretty gnarly!  Not only was the surf looking like a bit of a washing machine but the pouring rain was a bit of a down buzz too!

Roll on Friday morning and off to the Tauranga Fish and dive club at Sulphur point to see the start of race one and cheer for our friends and whanau who were paddling.  Within the harbour was pretty calm, out going tide but around 100 or so W1 and W2 waka chomping at the bit to get started.  After watching the start from Sulphur point we headed back to the finish line to settle in and wait for the wakas to come back.  Before we even made it back the J16 paddlers were already starting to come in!  
This is coming back into the entrance of the harbour - definitely need to learn how to "catch waves'!

After this it was time to get our registration packs and organise our waka for safety checks and all that jazz.  The rules for racing in a sanctioned National event is that you have to have the following items on your waka:
Personal Floatation device
Flare - or other comms device eg cell phone
Spare paddle
Spare Lashings
Foot pump/bailer

These all get checked off by the officials - without this you dont get to paddle in the event. All waka are also weighed as there are minimum weight requirements for national events. In the long distance nats - the minimum weight is 13 kgs... Once you have all this done and dusted you are able to get your other bits and pieces sorted so this is things like having a hyrdation pack and any nutrition gels/blocks etc that you might need for the duration of the race.

Its good to get all these things settled and done well before your race so that you can then relax and prepare mentally for the upcoming race.  Once my boat was good to go I went and watched the finish of race one.  This race was the Ruddered Women and rudderless men from J19+ divisions.  Watching the waka coming in - it was pretty clear that it had been a hard race.  There were some exhausted paddlers coming past the finish line, not to mention the broken waka that came in on the support boats.... I counted five while I was sitting there!  Everyone that came in spoke about how huge the surf had been out in the open sea and that we were nuts to consider going out rudderless!  About this time I started thinking that this was definitely a race that maybe I should take a pass on....  
Beauty Facials!  haha

There were paddlers going and re-rigging their boats... The further out you rig your Kiato - the more stable your waka - but it does slow you down a bit.  After a bit of consultation with my resident 'rigging expert' (Lynora) I also changed the rigging of my waka to make it more stable.  Thinking back to what was going through my head throughout the race briefing and getting onto the water - all I could think of was "just finish the race.... don't worry about racing it - just finish it safely"  My nerves in the build up for this race was all about focusing in on what I would need to do to:
1.  Stay in my boat (ie no swimming today)
2.  Finish the race

Out on the start line I ended up in a far right position close to the shoreline.  There would have been around 65 paddlers lined up for the start of this race - so you can imagine that there is a fair amount of jostling (or what I like to call carnage) at the start of the race.  being in the outside bunch meant that I was pretty much able to avoid all of that.  to be honest though - my thoughts were totally on the upcoming open ocean experience - so I didn't really do the whole "race start" that you would normally do, I went straight into a settled stroke that was more about conserving energy for what was to come.  We had about 3 or 4 kms in the harbour, during this part of the race I ended up having a bit of a tussle with one or two of the ruddered waka (men).  At one point one of the men came up on my left and hit my tail - which spun me to a right angle as to the course direction - after a few polite - but fairly loud words - the other guy backed off and I was able to spend a bit of time getting my waka back on course... hoha... and lost about 20m!  So the normal rule of thumb is that the first waka to a turning buoy has right of way - what happened at one of the buoys in the harbour is that a guy on a ruddered waka (who was behind me....) started yelling at me that I was in his way - I felt that I needed to set him straight - that "I was in fact first to the buoy and that he had a rudder to get around the buoy, so maybe he should back off!" 

And then the real fun and games began... Just past the Tangaroa statue at the base of Mauao we started getting a taste of the waves, and they just got bigger, and bigger and messier and bigger!  It was here that my focus was just about staying strong and 'getting through it!'  That was the mantra going through my head - the only way through it is to keep going!  Every now and then I would glance up and see another paddler  going sideways up a wave - it was very sobering and forced you to stay focused on what you were doing... not to worry about anything else.

There were a few people who went for swims throughout this part of the race, but knowing that we had 15 safety boats on the course with us was so reassuring and you knew that if you needed help - someone would be there.

Once I got to the turn buoy it was a bit easier coming back - as the waves were now hitting you on the non ama side - so you were able to get a bit more paddling on the right side without fearing you were going to tip out!  

Coming back into the harbour was great!  After a bit of a stop to bail out a few litres of water from my boat - the race was back on again!  We had an incoming tide by this time - which made it feel like you were flying!  
You can't see it on my face, but on the inside I am jumping for joy - Yay! Flat water!! woohoo!

Coming into the finishing area was just so awesome!  The feeling of accomplishment!  Of going out into the open water and experiencing these types of conditions was just amazing.  It made me realise that we really don't know what we are capable of achieving until we put ourselves out there.  Every paddler out there was inspirational in completing such a challenging and demanding course.  Hats off to you all!

After slowly (oh so slowly) paddling into the loading area, My Sister, Mum and Youngest Daughter were there to meet me... (thank goodness - cause I really didn't want to carry my boat off the water by myself! hehehe).  I really want to thank my whanau for putting up with my obsession - they are always so supportive and encouraging!  Having them there at the end of a bloody hard paddle, cheering and happy to see me really made me appreciate that I'm not the only one that makes sacrifices in this sport.  My family have had to put up with a fair amount from me in my passion enthusiasm for this sport.  So thank you whanau!  I really love you for putting up with me and my "nonsense"!  xox

Here are a few pics from the day.

Having a bit of a push at the end - the big buoy is the finish line!

Finished!!! Yuss!!

Getting ready to load out - Me, Kyra and Lynora - Not sure if you can see my knees knocking together in this picture!  Photo Credit - Lynora Hati

Love this pic of everyone about to head out of the harbour.  If you squint really hard you can see me about the middle of the pic...???
Medal Ceremony - Kiwi Campbell (Silver Medallist), Me & Kahlea, Hiria Rolleston (Bronze Medallist)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Mauao Series - Race One

With the sprint season well and truly over now - everyone seems to be settling in for the Long Distance season and preparing for the longer distance races as well.  I must say, I really love the sprints - and one of my goals will be to develop my love for Long distance.  Sometimes I think the reason I find longer distances hard is because my brain just isn't wired for that kind of thing!  I don't actually know that that is a 'thing' though! :-)

This weekend there was the first race in a series of races at Mount Maunganui called the Mauao series.  The great thing about these races is that they have singles and W6 races.  The singles race is only 10km - so not too long and a good place to start if you're new to long distance too!  I must admit though - I was a little (read here LOTS) anxious about racing for the first time on the open water!  I had pictures in my head of walls of water coming towards me - waves crashing around me - me going for unanticipated swimming sessions!  But the reality of the race was nothing like that at all!  Thank goodness!  The weather (while pretty makariri in the morning) was fabulous, and the conditions on the water were perfect for the novice that I am!  For me one of the biggest differences between lake paddling and sea paddling is that on the lake it's pretty predictable - the chop comes from one direction - the wind comes from one direction and it is pretty much about 'grunting' it out.  On the sea, the water is constantly moving/rolling underneath you and you're looking for the next swell, judging conditions and which 'line' to paddle.  Also - theres this thing where people can catch the swell/waves and get a bit of a ride - I have absolutely no idea how to do this!

Me coming back into the Harbour - Photo Credit to Timoti Whanau

Just before the race start! - Photo Credit to Raanj Rapana

I really enjoyed the singles race - as it was great to be out on the water and have loads of other paddlers around so you felt safe and able to enjoy yourself.  I got to have a bit of a tutu at trying to get onto some swells/wavy things with varying amounts of success and just had a play really.  One of the most hard case things for me in this race was right at the end.  When we came back into the beach at Pilot Bay - we had to get out of our waka and run to the results tent to give them our race number and then they would record our time/placing.  WELL - once I got into shore and went to get out of my boat I nearly fell over!  Because I was being SUPER cautious about not tipping out - I had paddled a large majority of the race leaning to the left (the side with the outrigger/ama on it).  So apparently when you do that for just over an  hour - your left leg (from the butt down) goes a bit numb!  How hilarious!  And then there was another paddler (from our Tarwera club: Lesa Clarke) who came in just behind me and it kind of turned into a bit of a race to the results tent... me hopping/skipping and her sprinting - just as we got to the tent she tackled me to the ground and we were both trying to call out our numbers in between the fits of laughter!  The even funnier thing is that when they published the results - they had recorded Lesa finishing the race over a min before me!  Crack up!

We had a very short break - may be about half an hour? - to re-feul, hydrate get changed and then we were into the W6 18km Women race.  Pretty much a similar course to the W1 - but we just paddled further down the beach to Omanu and then back.   Was a good hit out with our crew and I was really just trying to focus on one stroke at a time!  We managed to be the first womens crew home - fourth crew back overall behind 3 mixed (men and womens) crews.  Not too shabby for a new crew!

Thats all for now folks!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I'm back!

So - home in NZ again and all settled back in to the routine of daily life again!  I found that I actually have missed doing my daily blogs.  I know I said that I was "over and out" in the last blog I did.... but guess what!?!  I'm Back!!  Hehehe

I'm thinking that I will blog little bits and pieces here and there as I have enjoyed the reflection process of getting my thoughts down on 'paper' so to speak.  Feel free to ignore and carry on about your day - or pop in for visits when you have not much else to do!

The trip home from the Worlds was great.  We checked into the Brisbane Airport and ran into the New Zealand Invictus Games Athletes who were on their way home from Orlando, USA where they had had a very successful campaign bringing home a number of medals.  What a  great honor to meet these amazing athletes who have triumphed through adversity and come out the other side victorious and true inspirations of what it means to be "unconquerable".  I understand that the Invictus games takes it's title from the poem by William Ernest Henley who was an amputee and struggled throughout his life time with illness.  We got some photos with the athletes and they gave us these really cool "I AM KIWI" pins to wear.  Here are a few pics:


Lisa and Te Mihiroa with Kelly (not sure of her last name) who won a bronze medal in Discuss

Here is a link to the New Zealand Defence force Invictus team Video clip, go and watch and see our athletes.

A truly inspirational Bunch!  

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Day 10 - Final Blog from Sunshine Coast

Since we have been here in the Sunshine Coast - I have absolutely loved the weather here.  It is stunning - Here's the crazy thing - I have been here for 10 days, on the first day I went and brought sunscreen and lathered up - the next day I forgot to... and then when racing was on I didn't want to put sunscreen on my hands because it could mean that I might slip with my blade when paddling.  So no sunscreen for the last 9 days - and no sun burn either!?  The heat is so nice and i'm really loving it!  Totally not looking forward to coming back to the cold weather....  But oh well, the dream can't last forever!

So this morning we had an early start - we were the first race of the day - 9am for the Repecharge.  From the repecharge the first three teams make it through to the semi-final. We were really happy to have the repecharge race, as it gave us an opportunity to iron out a few kinks in the race plan.

The Semi-Final was around 11.30ish, we Finished second in that race - approximately 1 boat length (about 4 seconds) behind the NZ team Horouta.  So there was still a fair amount of work to be done by us if we were wanting to make the top three.  Australia's team "Outriggers" were only a smidge behind us - and we knew that come the Finals - everyone goes all out.  No holds barred, times are out the window and the focus is on being one of the first three across that line!

So when it came time for our final race of the final day of the IVF 2016 World Va'a Sprint Championships - we had a wee pep talk from our coach and really knew that we had nothing to lose.  We had made top 8 in the world.  But wouldn't it be cool to make the podium?!

I can honestly say that this race was one where everything in our waka seemed to just come together. It all just seemed to 'click'.  After all those months of trainings, early starts, sore and tired muscles, Aching shoulders, back and pain, time away from whanau, missing out on social events because there were trainings to go to, staying up late to get school work done, doing house work at random times of the day or night (thats if the house work got done at all!!) Everything fell into place.

The calls were spot on, the run on the waka felt good, we were giving it everything we had for each other for every step of the way.  And while we stayed in touch with Tahiti and Horouta, at the end of the day, we ran our own race, it felt great and we came a clear third!  YAY!  Podium!!  We were absolutely ecstatic!

Anyway - I'm thinking that I might do a few more blogs on here but not so frequently.  I hope that you have enjoyed the journey as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you all.  Thats it from me for the 2016 IVF World Va'a Sprint Champs.  Over and out!

Pics from today:

Straight after our Final race we managed to get a cool photo with the Tahitian Winning Team - Teva, Horouta, Us, Mareikura (also from NZ), Whaingaroa (NZ) as well as the Australian Mooloolaba team.  Such a cool atmosphere and an amazing experience to be a part of.

There was a fair amount of trading going on between all the teams today - there were a lot of teams that were really desperate for our NZ tops.  So we parked up outside the Hawaiian tent and set up an impromptu barter station!  I managed a couple of cool tops from Hawaii - their team paddling shirt as well as a long sleeved paddling top from Kihei Canoe Club.  Here are a few of our team swapping with with Hawaiians.

Hoe Maia:  From left to Right, Lynora Hati, Taylor Taute Hohepa, Tui McCaull, Te Whaeoranga Smallman, Bex Still and Dale Thomas

Lynora and I had been trying to stalk this young lady all week for a photo.  This is Hinatea Bernadino, the top Open Womens paddler in the WORLD!  A truly amazing paddler with the most amazing go-go gadget arms!

Sorry - not a great shot, but this is a pic with most (but not all) of our whanau supporters who have been here all week cheering us on and all that goes with that!  Thank you all so much!

Had a quick farewell to my brother and his whanau.  It has been bitter sweet being here with them and yet being busy with paddling and organising paddling and so on.  Fabulous to see my neice and nephew paddling at the worlds - sad that they live in a different country and that I won't get to see them again for awhile.

Popped around to my cousin Guys to say hurray and did you know that they sell potatoes in CANS over here??  Like really?  (Sorry - I know this is totally not related to paddling but just had to put it in there!)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Day 9 - Part Two

So - to carry on from yesterdays quick update.  The 1500m races weren't without their own wee dramas.

The Master (40+) Mens race saw a New Zealand Team - Te Waka Pounamu come across the finish line first, ahead of the top seeded Tahitian team.  We were in the marshalling area as the teams came off the water and went to congratulate the team.  However.... when we were talking to their steerer he told us that at the far end of the course, the turning buoy from his lane had moved quite significantly from where it was supposed to be.  Their team still turned where the buoy SHOULD have been - and he was yelling at the officials to call the race off and fix the flag.... the officials were like oblivious and let the race continue.  So of course the Tahitian team lodged a protest - and the race had to be run again at the end of the day.  The Tahitian team came into that race with a point to prove and they ended up winning the replay event by 0.2 of a second in front of our NZ team!  And that is racing!

As we were lining up in the loading bay - just about to go down to load into the waka, I looked across at the start line and saw that one of the lane buoys in lane four had moved slightly... I didn't think anything of it - thought that maybe it was just the angle that I was at that made it look slightly off.... Next minute - lanes 4, 5, and 6 buoys were off on a tangent and all over the place.  So we got the "stand down" call from officials and then half an hour later the lanes were fixed up and ready to go.

In the afternoon we had our 500m heat.  I know in kapa haka I have heard my haka friends talk about the "pool of death" meaning there are a lot of top teams in there and only 3 can progress through to the finals.... well our heat was like that!  We had the top Tahitian Team, Top NZ team and Top Aussie team plus us in the one Heat!  Wow!  For the 500m races 1st and 2nd in the heat go straight through to the semi - and 3rd and 4th have to go to repecharge (and then possibly semi if you do well there).   It was the fastest heat of the day!  And we are off to the repecharge!  Tahiti team Teva and NZ team Kaiarahi Toa are off to the Semi and we will be in the first race of the day today.  Just means that we will definitely need to work that little bit harder on our road to making the Final today.

This is the final day of racing today - and I can absolutely say without a doubt that this has been an amazing week of paddling.  Good luck to all our NZ paddlers out there today.  NZ has definitely stamped their mark here on this World Champs.  So many new experiences and so much fun has been had this week!  Today will be pretty full on but I will update you on that at the end of today!

This is the Medal Tally to date - New Zealand represent!

Tui and Callum - getting ready to head down to the venue for prizegiving

Te Mihiroa and I

My Pitt crew mama Helen, Frances Banks and Tui
I got to meet Frances for the first time today - Her uncle from Nga puhi country married my mums sister in Invercargill.  So this is a shout out to all my Blair cousins!  I met your Cousin and she is so awesome!  She lives in Perth and just "popped" over to hang out with her other paddling Metes!