It rained all night and was rather stormy, even sleeping in the camper van I seemed to wake often thinking and hoping that the weather would blow over quickly and that the day would be calm, bright and sunny. It was really not going to ever happen the way I hoped for and I awoke at 5am. It was a struggle and I started getting ready slowly today..
An email I received in the morning that was sent late last night left me feeling a little low (as budgets and fund allocations dipped, and I understand totally) but from every darker moment there is another door that will open, and it will, I have massive faith. The support from everyone has been overwhelming so far and it is totally never being taken for granted, I have started on my journey and am very happy that I am able to fulfill this lifelong dream, I will be saying thank you for a long time.
I hit the beach just on 7.00am and yes, Papamoa did not disappoint. There where waves, about 4 small sets to get over and through, watched and waited with the support team, until I committed. I have to say my paddling gear is fantastic, a BIG thank you to Sharkskin clothing, it is the bomb. It was forecast for heavy rain so I also had on a rain jacket, and later this proved to be the right clothing option as when the heavens opened it was what I needed.
Out the back of the waves at Papamoa it was like a gentle annie washing machine and though I thought I was going nowhere fast, when I checked on my Garmin I had clocked 4km in 30mins! Happy I was covering distance well.
There were large waves at the point just before Little Waihi so I had to head out a little to get safely around. I then sheltered from the wind and chatted to the support team on VHF to inform them that it was easier to keep pushing on to Matata Beach as the beach looked unkind for a stop off, and also the weather was due to get worse by 1pm. So I rested, ate some of my amazing chocolate brownie, ( Kumera/ Beetroot base with chunks of Whittakers dark chocolate, I will post a recipe for anyone that is interested) it is totally yummie, honestly, and gluten free,,
I kept a watchful eye over my left shoulder for the next 10 kilometers as I could hear the thunder and see the storm heading my way. Yes it did catch up with me. I put on my kayak safety leash and paddled slowly with heavy rain and a few large wind gusts. The good thing was that with the heavy rain the seas did flatten, so I took my time and waited for this weather pattern to pass. There was about 30 minutes of storm and then the sun came out and my final 5 kilometers were nice and rolling, no real dramas. I saw the support crew on the beach and talked to them by VHF radio again about the best way to land.
The beach was steep and there where large breakers so I sat and watched the sets rolling in studied the beach. When I finally committed to a landing, I survived! Aapparently I did well, the land crew said. Bis high fives on the beach after that dry landing..
Fed, showered and have had a sleep, over 47 kilometers done today! By the look of the weather forecast, we will be spending the day off the water tomorrow as forecast is not in my favour at all.