We waited patiently this morning. We packed up, headed to the beach car park, sat and looked out at the ocean while waiting for windyty.com to be proved correct. The wind was going to drop, the gusts would reduce and we would be able to hit the water. At first I just stared, actually feeling a little nervous, and just being very matter of fact, if it happened then it would. If we could not take off then I was not going to risk it. The gusts early on in the morning where horrendous and Cuzzie rocked around and got buffeted in the wind.
At 10.00 am the wind still had big gusts but slowly they started to drop. The intense variation of wind speed calmed and the off shore wind was about 12 knots, maybe a little more. At least there was not sea spray lifting off the tops of the waves now.
We unloaded Louise (my white STAR kayak). The last time she had been in the water was at Mount Mauganui, Andy had paddled in her and too be honest this was the first time I would have been out in this kayak so I was hoping everything would go well and to plan.
Kitted out and packed up we headed for the water and as predicted the wind was dropping, within two hours it was due to drop more and turn to an on shore right as I got to the tip of Cape Turnagain (surely was named this for a reason), where I had been made to turn back two days ago, so my heart was a little heavy. I launched and paddled through a couple of small foaming, waves the little white kayak did well. I got into a gentle rhythm and got used to paddling, I was taking it easy and getting the feel for this leg and felling bad for my red mate on top of the camper van. It was a sad moment when I left her up there today, so sorry Thelma, we did not mean to break you, you were meant to come all the way with us.
As normal the tip of any cape seems to take forever to get to and this day was no different, you think the tip is the point you can see, but normally it is just a teaser and this was no different. There was 23 km from Porongahau to the tip, I am so glad to have my Garmins, it takes away the mind game problem of am I there yet? No Red you are not as you have only paddled 15 km, you have heaps to go still. On this leg once the wind had turned I had a steady 9 to 10 knot head wind. This was okay and bearable, I am so over big gusts! When it is just constant you can just put your head down, paddle and try to zone out but when you have a head wind with massive gusts that just about wipe the paddle from your hands it raises your heart beat all the time.
At last I tucked around the corner I talked with the support team and had only another 10km to go. I did not have to turn back, YIPPEE! I was going to make it at last to Herbertville.
There of course was a river mouth to get across, it was rather wide and the water was its normal washing machine disaster zone. I do dislike river mouths, they are unnerving even in the calmest of conditions, water ripping one way, the waves going the other and then a wind to deal with too. In my new kayak I focused on the crazy water and looked ahead for the calm, just get past this and you are allowed to stop, drink some fluids and eat again.
Today was weird as it was such a late start for me but it worked in our favour weather wise, we both just wanted a calm day and to move down this coastline and at last we were doing just that. I talked with Nat and we both agreed I had about 30 minutes more of paddling, YIPPEE, a short day. I aimed for the rocks where she was standing and then past them to the calmer side. Oops, I got a bit close to the beach and then had to paddle frantically back over a couple of big foaming waves hurtling my way, where the hell had they come from!
I stopped to focus, drink some water, and have a mouth full of chocolate. I watched the sets of waves for a few minutes, I wanted to land well today, not a sideways bracing skid onto the beach. Of course there were fishermen on the beach so I did not want to be their source of amusement. I caught the back of a larger wave, paddle paddle paddle and damn paddle some more. As I got near to Nat I yelled, "Grab the front of the boat, just grab it and drag, I will get out."
You know what, this landing was a 10/10, safe, dry and happy.
We loaded Louise onto the wheels and pulled her along the beach, across a small stream and up the sandy track. She is back happily in her cradles, a joy on her first days outing. It must be a good omen as in I was in the white kayak today, I saw a beautiful white horse on the way to the campsite, where we were greeted by a gorgeous white cat on arrival to the campsite reception (his name is Marmite!) So white was the lucky colour in our world today, thank you Sheena Hanson for your white blessing.
Dinner cooking, clothes washed, blog (nearly) completed and we have moved another day south. Tomorrow is meant to bring us a tail wind, so here's hoping, we are aiming for Castle Point. Nat has a large drive tomorrow as she needs to deliver Thelma to Masterton to be sent back to Auckland via Main Freight. We both have checked and rechecked our tie downs, poor Thelma.
PS. Keep following, keep commenting, and please share. We want to spread this message, we have goals and dreams and need your help in telling others. We love hearing from you as much as you like reading the blogs.
PPS: I had an amazing message last night from the very cool young man we meet in Parongahau. Luke, thanks for the Paua, you deserve a mention. We smile fondly when we talk about you and you will be part of our story.