Day 11...Whakatane to Ohope Beach to Hukiwai Beach

3.50am we got up and started to get ready for the day.  It was cold, dark and a little windy.  We headed to Whakatane boat ramp, it was really cool as the boot camp group had started their training for the morning and Rachel came to say goodbye (the wonderful friendly local lady we met from the day earlier).  It was so so nice. THANK YOU Rachel if you get to read this, big hugs from RED.

Well I set off and had a wonderful trip to Ohope where I talked with support team on the VHF, hoping that the wind would stay at the level it was in the first 10kms. It was the start of a lovely day... ahhhhhhh no, not to be.  The wind picked up and the battle of me vs mother nature started and it continued until...yep... Mother nature actually won.

I called it a day at lunch time.  Support team found me on the beach, as I landed.  I just stepped out of the kayak, walked to the sand hills and sat for a little while getting some energy and food into me.  I watched the off shore wind lift the waves and sand into the air, contemplating the mornings journey.  

As anyone who paddles knows when it is windy and very gusty there is never a good time to put down your paddle to eat and rest as at any moment that gust may catch you out and you could be over and practicing your rolling techniques, or worse still needing to re-enter your kayak wet and cold.  I was in need of nourishment and warmth and to get away from the head wind, so I called it a day.  On this mad crazy stretch of beach we loaded Thelma (the red star kayak) and headed to Optoki campsite to sit in the sun away from the wind.  We washed and dryed my gear, talked with the local media about my journey and sent some emails out to see if we can get some more support and help.

V3 Ltd have been and are helping me so much, but it weighs heavily with me each day and I am not able to feel fully happy until I am able to repay them in full, then I can dream freely & breathe deeply.  This is just me and my thoughts, as you will all get to know on this journey, just me, myself and my thoughts.

Jason has been a great support person this week while Nat has been in Auckland doing her other work.  There will be a change over tomorrow and then poor Nat has me for the next 7 days, until she disappears again.  I think this is good and best for the support team as I am sure I can get a bit much somedays!

Today and tonight my energy levels are good so am hoping for a big and pleasant paddle tomorrow.  Watch the posts and tracker as we travel up from Hukiwau Beach to Hariki Beach Boat Ramp.  Fingers crossed the weather gods are with me tomorrow.

I am trying to eat lots and already my meals have changed and increased, now for breakfast I have the same as the dinner from the night before.  This morning I had mashed kumera, spinach, chicken drumsticks, lots of olive oil/ balsamic and tahini dressing.  No muesli for me I am afraid to say, I am liking this savoury meal for now.  In fact, I would not share my spare dinner with Nat when she she arrived from her long trip to me.  I am sure she will pay me back!

My food is packed, my gear is dry and my bed is calling.  Early start on a lonely black sand surf beach in the morning, support team will be taking photos, hopefully of a great and entertaining start to mine and your Saturday.

Good night, RED.

View from my contemplation spot on Hukiwai Beach

View from my contemplation spot on Hukiwai Beach