I got up early before the sun was up to see if the weather would let me do the paddle today. Mahia was okay, just a few little ripples but it was the head wind around the corner and for the next 36km that I was not looking forward to. This leg I for some reason wanted completed and not really with a head wind.
It was more of an on shore wind for most of this trip and the coastline says it all about this section, steep, steep black beaches with driftwood everywhere, even lots of large tree trunks. I could tell that is an unforgiving coastline by the way the trees all grow nearly side ways to deal with the constant wind battering them. The swells and the waves where like a commercial washing machine today and after all the beautiful paddling yesterday from nowhere came todays section of another tough, constant mental and physical battle. If I did not watch the incoming swell I would find myself out if my boat and in a rolling foam heading towards the beach, with maybe a couple of thigs broken once I had been dumped there.
I was not looking forward to this landing so I contstantly looked at the waves, reminding myself to stay back of the biggest wave, paddle, paddle, paddle and then paddle some more. I was determined to get the landing nailed on this beach or otherwise the sea would nail me.
A rain storm also decided to heighten the challenges on this leg, pre arrival the wind picked up and I just focused on the end of a point and paddled slowly and carefully through, around and over the swells. At last I got to the river mouth entrance. I do dislike these sections of the coast, the water gets messy and waves seem to come from every angle.
Of course tokay there was no mobile coverage and no pick up on VHF, so I paddled a little more. In between waves and swells I got a call from Reg and with my mobile pouch in my mouth I talked to him through clenched teeth, in between moments of "hold on", "keep talking" and "I can't hear you properly".
He was at last able to see me so we briefed each other again about my landing. I took a deep breath and got as close to the beach as possible. Paddle, paddle, paddle, back of the wave and I made it. Thanks to the team for getting wet. With the foam and sea going everywhere, I jumped onto wobbly legs, and just missed getting bowled over by the next big wave.
It is a joy when you get it sort of right.
It is looking like I am going to be stuck in this spot for a few days as the winds are at least 15 knots and climbing, not something I want to paddle this next leg in. More compulsory rest days coming up, but this will help the blister that has decided to form on my right hand. It is a little bit "ouch", but as the men in my world would say, "So?"
FYI everyone, after today's paddle, I am most defenantly not MADE OF SUGAR!