Today began with an amazing sunrise. Yes, I know we say this every time, but they seem to be getting better each time. I am never bored with this time of the day, it is my favourite and I am so glad that I am an early riser.
Today I hit the water at 6.30am. I watched the surf and swell then off I set thinking all was calm and good and I had plenty of time till the next set. Ha ha. My arms said a big "NO", they where not so keen to get moving as I was this morning. Five swells/waves I hit at the wrong time and just made it over each one with lots of water. What a nice way to wake up, refreshing saltwater! Out the back of the waves and in calmer water I was pleased that Nat did not have her camera on the beach, and also really pleased to have the venturi installed in my kayak. With a fast speed sprint for a minute all the water had funnelled out the bottom. Yes, my little Red STAR kayak, you totally rocked this morning.
Once drained and all ready to go I gently paddled to the tip of the next point, getting into my rhythm, feeling the wind and the swells underneath, slipping along quite nicely. I was happy my body did not feel too beaten after yesterdays long haul of paddling.
Nat had set up the plan for today while I paddled yesterday, the sections were smaller between the checkpoints along this next leg (keeping her part of the bargain with making sure she managed my accumulative fatigue!!) just to make sure that I was happy and not hitting the wall because of the big days earlier.
First stop Tokomaru Bay. This was the 15km mark and I was feeling good and tracking well. The sun was up, the sky was clearing and the swell was with me. It felt good! I eased into another day. It was calm and flat so after my first checkin point I paddled from then on with no skirt and no thigh braces.
Second stop Anarua Bay. Another breath taking location and bay, they where all stunning along this coastline. At this checkpoint there was no VHF or mobile coverage for Nat so I ate, rested and waited for 20mins, then managed to send a txt saying I was on my way to Tolaga Bay and would touch base in approximately 2hrs pending the wind, as it was due to swing around this time.
Today was less mentally hard and I could zone out, enjoy the sun, the breeze, the swells and the actual day. No big swells breaking near me and no massive wind gusts trying to blow me side ways or my paddle from my hands. Today is a day when everyone enjoys paddling. I have to say that I love having the use of my Garmin watch to track my kms, and also the GPS Garmin 62S that reconfirms to me I have got the correct bay and location. All the headlands otherwise can blend into one, making it hard for me to head in the correct and exact direction. I made sure I was aimed directly into Tolaga Bay and as you would expect the wind had started to change direction and was now side on and swinging to a head wind. Typical! I just put my head down and paddled for the last 7kms into the wind gusts until I could see the pink top of the support crew it is always such a fantastic feeling to see them as I know my day has nearly ended. A few waves, I got in but as I jumped out the wave swept my red kayak in front of me. She was in need of a wash anyway!
On the beach we grabbed kayak and gear headed for the Tolaga Bay campsite. The sun was out and I had made another day. The negative thing is that we will probably be spending a few days off the water now as very strong winds are forecast. An enforced few days off the water. 25 to 30 knot head winds. Yuck, too much for me to paddle in.
We sat in the sun, chatted to other camper van owners and I had the most wonderful powerful hot shower. Big ups to Tolaga Bay campsite showers. Washing all done and drying on the line, coffee and brownie consumed so now, dinner.
This is the best part of the day and this dinner was special, it has to be voted the best so far.
Sirloin steak, fried eggs, roasted potatoes, onions & carrots with lashings olive oil & rock salt, loads of wilted spinach, broccoli and barbecued yellow peppers. OMG. It was the best yet. We totally won the kitchen battle on who had the best looking food for the night, far better than the sizzlers and pre-packed beef burgers. A big thank you to a fellow camper who gifted us some of her spare fresh veges, that is for our dinner creation tomorrow.
Warm and cosy in the campervan, a cup of peppermint tea and whittakers chocolate bar in hand, we are listening to the wind get stronger. Day off the water for sure tomorrow but we are going sight seeing and will be chatting to the Gisborne reporter tomorrow for a story to be posted in an upcoming issue. Watch this space for tomorrows antics, we will be hunting for adventures for sure. Maybe a two hour hike, maybe some eskimo rolling practice, the pub for a cider, the hot springs...
For now, good night.