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2020.10.10 Lake Pupuke Training Day


Lake Pupuke Training Day Trip Report

Saturday 10th of October 2020
Written by Nakita Daniel

Images from the day

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Eagle ray at otata

It was a chilly, overcast morning on October the 10th. Still, as we entered the upstairs meeting room of the Dolphin Underwater Club, overlooking a choppy Lake Pupuke, we were met with bright faces and warm smiles. As everyone settled in, introductions and favourite marine animals filled the air. We hmmed and awwed in agreement- octopus and nudibranch among the fan favourites. The ice was broken, and we were ready to take on the day ahead.

Sophie started with a presentation on Experiencing Marine Reserves. We listened and learned, wide-eyed about the history and mission behind the programme and the Mountain to Sea -Nga Maunga ki te Moana- umbrella trust. The trust that supports and sustains EMR, allowing over a hundred thousand kiwis, from a range of schools and communities to engage with and experience the big blue.

The big blue. The ocean. Te Moana. The body that connects lands and people alike. It's what brought us together that day, sharing in a common passion of conservation, education and action. What followed was the Karakia, an ode to our mission:

Whakamana te maunga
Whakamana te wai
He mauri o ngā tangata
Ngā mea katoa he pai
Haumi e Hui e Taiki e

If we look after the water,
from the mountains to the sea,
it will look after us.
It is our life force.

The wind sang outside as we practised our Māori pronunciations, feeling every vowel and word. The room was alive with chatter and laughter.
Together we ate and drank over the lunch break. Stories were shared, strangers turned friends. Done with the theory, we braced ourselves for the freezing Pupuke waters we were about to meet. As wetsuits were fitted and gears kitted, we huddled together, taking in the windy beauty of it all.
The group was divided into three, each doing a different activity. As the afternoon unfolded we did kayak and in water rescue scenarios, walkie talkie communication and snorkel guide training. A Canadian goose stood, starring, whilst the flax waved at us from the banks.
By the end of it, we were well fed and definitely well frozen. However, we made it. So well done to all the volunteers and organisers who made the training day possible. We came in not knowing what to expect and left absolutely buzzing for the season ahead. We met like-minded people, we made new friends, and we came together, ready to empower communities and get more people experiencing marine reserves. Titiro ki te moana - look at the sea! As we left one thing was clear. Summer and a season full of snorkel are oh so near!


-- Written by Nakita Daniel

group shot