It was a case of everything being shipshape in the end for kayaker Hamish Barclay, who was rescued in a short drama off the Clifton coast in Hawke Bay on Monday.
Everything that was, except the crack in his plastic hull, but, said thankful Barclay, from Otaki, it's fixable, and it won't be long before he's back on the water.
It was essentially a lining-up of the stars in the right order as he realised the kayak was taking on water soon after putting to sea for an early-afternoon paddle.
At about 100kg it wasn't worth him staying on board, and he said: "It started getting a bit wobbly, I hopped off, it had a crack, and it was filling-up rapidly."
As he clung to the craft and waved his tethered paddle in the air his plight was noticed by wife Judy, who alerted police.
Parked nearby, Otaki kayaking instructor Wayne Putt also noticed the predicament and solicited the help of Coromandel traveller Peter Jessup, who had two kayaks atop his motorhome, and a rescue mission was soon launched from the beach.
The pair reached Barclay less than a kilometre from the beach, Putt taking the stricken kayak in tow using its paddle and leash, with Barclay, wearing a lifejacket, clinging to the kayak paddled by Jessup as they headed back to the shore.
Putt said he had seen Barclay "go out" and made his move when he realised the kayaker was in the water and waving the paddle.
Barclay said he'd had the kayak several years, and hadn't been aware of the crack in the hull he last used 2-3 weeks ago off Ngawi, on the South Wairarapa coast.
The rescuers said Barclay had done all the right things, having the paddle tethered, having a lifejacket, and sticking with the kayak rather than climbing back aboard.
Jessup said that when he was told of the predicament it became a question of whether he and Putt would go out, or await "the Coastguard" which had also been alerted.
Conditions were described as like a millpond, and all reckoned that Barclay would likely have drifted back ashore – somewhere - if help had not been so near at hand.
"It could have been worse," said Barclay.