Allison is a digital reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times

Quiet dawn paddle leaves traffic stress behind

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Imagine travelling to work watching the sunrise, breathing in the salty sea air and avoiding the stress of Tauranga morning traffic.

Leave the car keys at home, this commute from Welcome Bay to downtown Tauranga requires a paddle.

Ross Mahon commutes to work by kayak, about 35 minutes of paddling, to the CBD where he works in the IT department at Trustpower.

Mr Mahon is able to kayak to work only once every fortnight, when the tide is high enough early in the morning.

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"I'm out in the open, it's good to be out of the traffic and not sitting in a queue and it's a great way to start the morning."

Mr Mahon sets off in his kayak at dawn, watching the sun come up as he paddles.

Once he pulls up to Tauranga Harbourside he lands at a little disused boatramp.

To get the kayak from the shore to the Trustpower building, he has built a wheel device, which he stores in the kayak's storage hatch. He wheels the kayak through the Red Square and into the building where there is a special rack to park his kayak.

In summer Mr Mahon paddles to the Mount and then to work, but in the winter months just goes straight to work given the late dawn.

Using a disused boatramp for access is not ideal, he said, and he is looking forward to the development of the Tauranga waterfront.

"The new tidal stairs will be helpful," Mr Mahon said.

When he's not kayaking to work Mr Mahon rides his bicycle, along with 40 other Trustpower employees, or takes the bus.

Searching for a carpark is something he is glad to avoid, as he has no parking allocation at Trustpower.

"It's only since we've been in the CBD that I've been able to paddle to work."

Mr Mahon said if he lived in Mount Maunganui he could paddle to work almost all the time.

Listening to the dawn chorus and watching the sun come up is his favourite part of the commute.

Mr Mahon is a keen kayaker and sailor, and a member of the Kaimai Canoe Club.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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