When it feels wrong, stop and listen.
At 5.30 am we were up, ready and on track to head to the freight company to collect T2 (Thelma 2). We packed up in relative silence, me with my cup of peppermint/honey tea in the front for the trip and Nat with her bottle of water. We filled up with diesel then onto the Mainfreight depot we headed as it was just on 7am. The staff where also only just arriving, friendly and helpful they checked the location of the truck and said it was just under an hour away, so back into Cuzzie we went to sit and wait. This was looking great, as we waited I ate some breakfast and thought about the big paddle today. I would be pleased to get this underway, not a lot of me likes waiting to get on the water. It plays on my mind and troubles me the longer I wait.
T2 arrives, all wrapped up and we load her onto the roof. Someone will explain to me one day the joys and benefits to the upright racks, at the moment they are not my favourites. I struggle now to feel totally happy that I have tied down the kayak securely and it is not going to wriggle off if the arms move. I am sure it was a user error and it will be explained to me in time what the heck I am doing wrong, I can be a little dumb sometimes. I am still a little tense and I am unsure really why, I am at this stage just blaming the roof racks and that I am nervous about the fact we have tied T2 down correctly so we stop down the road to double check everything is tied up and nothing has moved. Satisfied it's all secure we continue.
On the road back to Flat Point Nat asks me what the winds are doing and I quietly say, "Green arrows, 15 knots." Her reply is bang on, “but you said you did not want to paddle in a 15 knot southerly." The honesty of it all. I am always hoping the wind will be easing, forever hopeful. Dumb thinking actually.
We dive along the dusty gravel roads, and back to the starting point. When we round the final corner and can look out at the ocean there is brilliant sunshine and wide open blue ocean for miles. We are way up high and I can see ripples! Inside I know this is not a great sign to see from so far away so I just pretend it is looking amazing. I suggest to Nat that the ocean looks amazing. “Yep,” is the reply, there is no fooling her! As we drive down and get closer there are bloody white caps for as far as the eye can see. They are everywhere, coming from the direction I am wanting to go and with a very close together swell. I am wanting to cover 64 km today, it is a late start already and now, yuck.
It doesn’t matter how positive a spin I was putting on this day the weather was having nothing to do with it. The forecast was saying the wind is going to drop by four pm so we park up. It is 9.15am so a little bit of a wait but I just needed to see and watch the ocean. I am miffed and troubled by the winds. I am miffed at a lot of things today and cannot put my finger on why, it is just one of those days.
We park looking out to sea. The wind blows lots and the waves and whitecaps continue. I wait, it's the four “W's” of my world (wind, waves, whitecaps and waiting!) but at least the sun is out. I find a large patch of long grass sheltered from the wind and wait this out. Today while I waited I wrote, I grabbed a pen and paper and sat in the warm sun and wrote. My feelings, my emotions and my thoughts. As I wrote some things made me feel sad and some things made me smile, but I just wrote everything that came into my head down like a rant to myself. Some things I wrote made real sense and other things, well the words just sat and stared back at me and are still in my head with a question mark over them saying “why?”. I think I wrote like this as normally when I am on the water or training this is “me” time. I usually have time to deal with my thoughts, but three days on dry land have not helped at all and I have to vent somewhere so on paper was my best option.
One pm and the four “W's” are still with me. Bugger. They are coming from the same direction and it is still not okay to get on the water yet. Three pm arrives and the white caps have gone so we head to grab the key from the Flat Point Lodge owner Mary to gain access to one of the beaches. She shares some local knowledge about the coastline and the road access as we feel that if I could maybe make it at least 20 kms before night fall that would help.
My head is now not in a great space, today has been long and drawn out. Too many hitches, too much waiting. After unwrapping T2 I give her a hug and a kiss and jump in. She feels good, but I am not. I paddle out slowly and staying close to shore I head along the beach around Flat Point. It is now nearly 5pm. This is against all our planning and what we had agreed to before this trip, late night paddling was only to be if I was running very late. Unsure of myself I try my VHF to say, bugger this, I want to re group and go in the morning but no answer. Okay Red just get on with it. I look back one last time towards the road and the sand dunes, and to my delight Cuzzie and Nat had been shadowing me, they had been feeling a little nervous and concerned too. I headed for the shore, jumped out, had a moment of 'I want to punch something' and a 'what the hell is wrong with me' groan. After a bit of talking we decided lets just start on a new day.
When it feels wrong, it feels really wrong, so I/we listened to that feeling.
Tomorrow will come, the sun will rise while I am on the water, we will smile and I will paddle well in my new T2. Until then, good night. We are back in our Flat Point paddock, thanks to Mary.
PS. Mary told us it was stunning at Flat Point yesterday, a perfect day. Never mind! T2 was not with us and the stunning day will find us again I am sure. Apparently everything happens for a reason...