Kayaking to Rangitoto

Kayaking to Rangitoto

One of the first things I wanted to do when we moved into our flat was to get over to Rangitoto. Every morning I look out at it and feel it beckoning. Well, it took almost a year and a half to get there, but I kayaked over this week!

Kayaking to Rangitoto

The trip over was great, the 6 km. didn’t seem like too much work. Then we hiked up to the summit and that was a nice walk after being in a kayak for about an hour and a half. There is a lot of lava rock and very little soil there and it is very dry. I took a few photos and enjoyed the hike.

Kayaking to Rangitoto

However, I was involved in another helicopter med-evac. One of our party developed breathing problems that continued to fluctuate over time and I talked with the tour guide, a great guy, about that it was safest to not have her kayak back and to get med-evac’ed off the island. This is the second time I have been off on a holiday trip to an island and gotten involved in a med-evac. I am starting to think I either need to do some wilderness medicine course or stop going out to the islands!

Kayaking to Rangitoto

The trip back was really choppy and I was greatful for the skirts we had to cover the opening of the kayak, otherwise, we would have had a lot of water on board!  I also had to swap out mid-way with another kayaker.  Our guide was concerned that two of our party (we were in tandem kayaks with two people per boat) were falling behind in the wind and waves and he wanted to put a stronger paddler in that boat.  He had mentioned we might do this if necessary before setting off, but I couldn’t really imagine how you would swap paddlers in the middle of the water – but here is what we did, we formed a raft of several kayaks with people holding on to the one next to them.  This stabilised the kayaks.  Then one person (me) climbed out of my seat and sat further back on the kayak.  Then the other person climbed over and into my seat, and then I switched over to her seat.  It all went smoothly, but as I was going across, a little more space opened up between the kayaks than I would have really wanted and I was closer to “sitting” in the water than I wanted to be.  The paddle back was gruelling and I felt hung-over the next day from the exertion.  We got a late start and the wind and waves were pretty strong.

Kayaking to Rangitoto

So, I made it to Rangitoto, the crater was smaller than I thought it would be. I got to kayak. I do have to say that I was a little less enthusiastic about running out and buying a kayak after that paddle, though….but we’ll see…

My on-line video debut

My employer got together a few American psychiatrists to shoot a promotional video. The results can be found at the link:

ADHB American Psychiatrists Testimonials

I seemed a lot less wooden and stilted when we were doing the video! It was fun to do, though, and a good chance to reflect on some of the positive aspects of working in New Zealand.

After the Health of Health Professionals Conference

I had a great time at the conference and it was really energizing. I met many inspiring people from all over the world. There are a substantial number of people doing great work to support clinicians and to bring compassion back into healthcare, and they are doing it at the individual, research, and administrative levels.

Of note, Robin Youngson gave a great presentation.

Tony Fernando gave a presentation on positive psychology that had a lot of practical information about how to be more compassionate in clinical work.

Jane Lemaire, from University of Calgary presented a series of studies that her group have done on physician well-being, one of the most interesting was on the positive cognitive and relational effects of simply feeding doctors (something that often takes back seat in a busy clinical day).

Marsha Snyder gave a great presentation on the issues involved in working with patients who are doctors.

You can still see the conference programme on-line if you want get an idea of what the conference was about. I thought I understood that the conference organizers would be putting up some additional information following the conference, although that was up at the time I posted this.

View more presentations from the conference.

The next conference will be in 2013 in Queensland Australia.