Bad weather no deterrent to happy campers

HARDY, HAPPY CAMPERS: Sha and Shane Pragnell with their children Hayden, left, and Taylah spent the day inside their camp playing games and enjoying their annual camping holiday at the beach. They have no plans to budge, despite the weather, and love the whole experience, even if it is too rough to swim or fish this year. Picture by Liam Clayton

SHANE and Sha Pragnell have camped with their two kids out at Turihaua for 11 years, so this unseasonal weather is not going to budge them.

Yesterday, when visited by the Herald, the hardy campers were cosy inside their camp, playing games and listening to music as outside wind gusts of more than 50kmh buffeted the canvas.

Other campers’ tent pegs were pulled out and poles bent in the wind. Many had already packed up and headed home but Mr Pragnell said “big-arse” pegs around their set-up kept them relatively secure, although he was doing regular checks of the situation after severe gusts, and was up most of the night wiping water off the roof.

The weather is expected to get worse, with a severe weather watch from 6pm tonight through to Friday morning, with heavy rain and south to south-west gales, and a risk of severe gales in exposed places.

But this did not deter the Pragnells either.

“We’ve had worse than this before.”

They leave their Gisborne home every year to have their family holiday. Daughter Taylah, 16, was wrapped up warm and happy. She loves the peace and quiet of the beach.

“I don’t mind it. As long as I’m with my family.”

Mrs Pragnell agreed and said they just loved camping, bad weather or not.

“This is our only holiday really as a family.”

Yesterday’s drop in temperature, raging seas and intermittent pounding rain made it more of a winter experience.

The usually-packed stretches of coast between Turihaua and Pouawa at this time of year had lots of noticeable gaps.

Those in caravans and motor homes were fine, but other campers battling the elements with nylon, poles and pegs had their work cut out for them. There were a few flattened tents, while small toilet tents strained against the wind and looked like they could be whipped into the air any second, making nature’s call a little extra stressful.

SHANE and Sha Pragnell have camped with their two kids out at Turihaua for 11 years, so this unseasonal weather is not going to budge them.

Yesterday, when visited by the Herald, the hardy campers were cosy inside their camp, playing games and listening to music as outside wind gusts of more than 50kmh buffeted the canvas.

Other campers’ tent pegs were pulled out and poles bent in the wind. Many had already packed up and headed home but Mr Pragnell said “big-arse” pegs around their set-up kept them relatively secure, although he was doing regular checks of the situation after severe gusts, and was up most of the night wiping water off the roof.

The weather is expected to get worse, with a severe weather watch from 6pm tonight through to Friday morning, with heavy rain and south to south-west gales, and a risk of severe gales in exposed places.

But this did not deter the Pragnells either.

“We’ve had worse than this before.”

They leave their Gisborne home every year to have their family holiday. Daughter Taylah, 16, was wrapped up warm and happy. She loves the peace and quiet of the beach.

“I don’t mind it. As long as I’m with my family.”

Mrs Pragnell agreed and said they just loved camping, bad weather or not.

“This is our only holiday really as a family.”

Yesterday’s drop in temperature, raging seas and intermittent pounding rain made it more of a winter experience.

The usually-packed stretches of coast between Turihaua and Pouawa at this time of year had lots of noticeable gaps.

Those in caravans and motor homes were fine, but other campers battling the elements with nylon, poles and pegs had their work cut out for them. There were a few flattened tents, while small toilet tents strained against the wind and looked like they could be whipped into the air any second, making nature’s call a little extra stressful.

Be prepared for gale-force winds

IT WAS only 13.5 degrees at 10.30am, not what you expect at this time of year.

Gisborne District Council civil defence training assistant Paul Stuart said with so many people camping it was best to be aware of the possibility of strong gale winds and heavy rain.

The MetService has issued a strong wind and heavy rain watch for parts of the district from 6pm tonight.

“For those camping or who have light outdoor furniture or trampolines, please make sure you secure them. MetService believes the worst of the rain is likely to fall around Wairoa.”

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