31 July 2005
A small group of us went sea kayaking around Abel Tasman a few years ago. After being seduced by a break in the weather and an OK forecast, we launched in idyllic conditions only to be greeted a few hours later by a deluge of biblical proportions. The rain persisted on and off the rest of the trip. My then new Doctor Smock jacket got a sound thrashing.
On our last day, we awoke to a huge gale at our 'Anchorage' campsite. The trees were doing battle with one another, and the sea had whipped itself into a frenzy. We weren't kayaking anywhere, so we elected to whistle up a water taxi. We climbed a small hill to get a signal, only to discover that the reception was still dodgy and all three of our cell phones were sporting near-flat batteries. I was able to breathe a little more life into one of the batteries by rubbing it up and down quickly on my Doctor Smock's fleece collar. I felt like Aladdin. I then extracted the emergency puncture repair patch from the jacket, peeled off foil backing, rolled it up tightly and shoved it into the aerial jack. The call was made and we were duly 'rescued'. Step back MacGyver.
James Pinchin, Christchurch
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