This morning was cold as we awoke in our camper van. It was not early as we had to wait on our new part for Cuzzie.  We were both light hearted and happy this morning, who really knew why.  We made coffee, it was nearly barista quality this morning :).  By 9.30 we were on the road back into Masterton as the overnight courier had delivered the new part and they could replace this before lunch.  We dropped her off and then walked into the shops in Masterton, (it was raining with a cold, strong wind, I sound like a stuck record) we had some time to kill so in and out of stores, spending longer than you think in some.  Chatted to people and heard a couple of great stories, a big thank you to Donna for the offer of coffee and a chat when we were heading back through Caterton, I promise I will buy the silver glitter shoes once my journey is over!  I will make sure a picture will be sent to you, I just could not quite imagine sparkling glitter shoes hiding in the camper van cupboard!

Just before lunch we got a call to say Cuzzie was repaired, fantastic news!  Big ups to the team from Auto Electricians, so helpful, prompt and fantastic service.  On the road again, lunch beside the lake in Masterton, weather checked then on the road, back to Te Humanga Point to watch, wait and plan.

There was a weather window, at last it was looking hopeful!  It was a small but it was going to be all done through the night.  I am not sure about you all but it is okay to paddle at night in an area you know well, I did rather a lot but mostly mornings for many months pre this trip.  It is however an entirely different level when it is an unknown stretch.  The wind was under forecast to be eight knots and dropping all through the night, there was a small moon no rain, some cloud cover and the swell was reducing.

Anyway enough of all the positives, I still needed to get myself sort of focused on this.  I lay and tried to be rested, rechecked the weather updates and also tried to keep my nerves under control, (was I actually made of sugar ?) at times this afternoon I did question myself.  The weather was playing ball and the wind had dropped.  The sea was calming and all that was left was to get me on the water, launching off a rather unpredictable steep black stone beach.

Nat had wrapped some battery powered fairy lights on my kayak deck bag in an effort to cheer me up, not much smiling from me at this point.  A long night ahead and a lot of wondering.  I did not want to get wet at the start of this night, but it was not a picture perfect departure.  I made it out in one go but got drenched in my efforts, shit!  Once I got past the waves I emptied the water via my Venturi and got settled, put my skirt on and made sure my water for the trip was in close reach.

The plan was simple, touch base every hour so we both knew what was going on.  Check points and bailout options were sorted, VHF and mobiles dependant on coverage.  There were some really nice moments on this paddle, the first three hours were very pleasant.  I was going well, the headland had rough sections and I took a really wide berth of the noise and waves over all of this.  My night vision was thankfully doing okay.

I got around the point and aimed at the next light beacon on the hill, just on 31 km done.  Once I was closer I rechecked my maps and distances, talked with dear Nat and went okay buddy see you in Owhiro Bay.  Wellington looked calm as.  I navigated the rocks and located a point to aim at, checked the distance and times to kept a look out for the damn night ferry's, knowing there was a 2.30am one to dodge.

Nat called once she arrived at Owhiro, I still had about 9 km to cover to feel safe and away from the big ships.  With ears listening and eyes scanning off I went to cross the Wellington harbour!  I did see the ferry and made sure I was well clear, I paddled side ways for awhile until she passed and then crossed behind.  Then I "gapped it" telling myself no stopping, no slow paddling for the next six km, then you can recheck navigation and talk with Nat.  I have this great little Garmin watch and every km it vibrates, so I counted six vibrations and then knew I was well clear of the shipping lane.

Phew!  Nat called and gave me some location markers, I adjusted my course on my navigation app and soon I could see our flashing beacon we have on the shore, bloody hell it felt good!

Big ups to me for this paddle, huge ups to Nat for being my night voice every hour and thank you to the weather gods, I am finally in Windy Wellington!  You ask me is it windy now?  Oh yes it is 😀but the sun is shining and I am seriously hungry, alas most of my food was not eaten on this trip.


Owhiro Bay at Sunrise

Owhiro Bay at Sunrise