This morning was a planned early start, I had looked over and studied the tides and the coastline for this next section of my paddle. Owhiro Bay, Makara Beach, Titahi Bay. We were packed the night before and I aimed to be on the water by 4.00 am so I could be on the out going tide for the strong tides and rips along the way. Part of me was doubting that I had got it right and there was a dread in me that I had got it all back to front and would be paddling against the current and not with it. (Yes I do make bloopers like this sometimes!)
We unloaded the kayak, wrapped up warm, torch and gear was packed. I gave Nat a hug and the plan was to touch base in three hours after about 21 kms. It was dark as I left the bay and it is always hard to get your night vision when you are heading away from the city lights. It seemed dark and at first hard to see any swells or the rocks and waves, so slowly I edged out, wishing not to make an error and be a wash of water at any moment. I headed out into the darkness with the nice feeling that each moment it was going to get lighter soon and it was not going to be dark for the next 8+ hours, yippee. I paddled wide to start with along this coast line, better to be safe than sorry. It got lighter and it was extremely calm. I glided along nicely and did not even dare to think it would last the entire day. Also it seemed I had read the maps and the tides correctly, the tide was going out and the swell was with me, how nice.
I hugged the coast and it was so very calm for me, I was able to actually for the first time this trip slip between rocks and skim over the kelp and seaweed. There were no breaking swells to dodge and no white water crashing about, and a lack of whistling winds! Even the windmills at Makara were fairly still. The strong currents, rips and eddies were going my way and were actually fun today, it was like being on a small river and racing along the top of the rushing water. I was happy it was not rough, happy and enjoying this paddle. There were seals, birds and lots of small fish about, but alas no 'fin' sightings today.
As the sun came up and the sky cleared the south island was clearly visible and the thought was in my head, if only I was 24 hours earlier, maybe just maybe I could have got to the South Island today. But the previous days and weeks weather had not been so kind. Anyway, I was enjoying this day. Nat called and was going to head off for a walk up to the windmills and was checking I was doing okay. She actually new I would be totally fine, as the sea was like glass, but it was great to get the call.
We touched base again at my 30 km mark as she was way up on a cliff top waving at me, just before I reached Makara Beach. As I crossed over this section to head on to Titahi Bay there became a head wind but it was the only section where the wind picked up a little to a be annoying. As I was able to skim close to the beach and edges it was not really a problem.
There were many divers and small boats out gathering Paua and Crayfish today, getting ready for there Christmas feasts. I have to say thank you to the Wellington weather gods, or maybe because I snuck into Wellington in the dark they have not realised I have arrived! This has been a beautiful paddle today, I started with a small inner smile carried over from my night paddle and I finished with a big smile coming into Titahi Bay. The colourful boat sheds and a smooth as glass ocean helped me as I glided into the beach. I stepped out and it was only just midday, how joyous. The sun was shining and it was time to shower and then catch up with some friends back in Wellington at the Waitangi Park.
Sitting in the park this afternoon, chatting to others about my trip, showing the kids my shark and dolphin videos, they were silent and just sat on my knee, just looking and pushing play till my phone battery nearly went flat, it was great. Such a good feeling talking to others about their lives and you know what, I daily now realise that everyone you meet knows someone with a depression issue. Many are fuelled by legal and illegal drugs and the over use of alcohol. The general stress that today's society and our work life puts on everyone and how we all deal with things and manage things differently...exercise is my release from everything. It clears your mind and it is easier for me to think. I would recommend this to everyone I meet, far better to ache from the muscle pain, well that is my thinking.
I made new friends today, Nat and I both meet new people and we showed them our crazy journey. Thank you to Gleann for being crazy enough to be picked up by a stranger at four in the morning, come along and join us on today's adventure, your help and stories were greatly appreciated. We inspired people, that is an incredible buzz for me as each day I believe everyone should make their dreams realities. It was fantastic to spend time with Sean and Kiri and the kids in the sun and in the park, thanks Sean for the invite, Brooklyn, thanks for the shark stories.
It was fantastic to cook dinner tonight in a big kitchen, to cook and share my brownie recipe and have people enjoy my kind of food. We celebrated finally reaching Wellington by opening the beautiful Flat Point wine from Mary and John. Big day tomorrow seeing people as the wind is back, but talking with a few people tomorrow about the cook Strait crossing and my options, watch this space. Tomorrow will have a sad ending as Nat is away from tomorrow evening till the 18th of January.
Best sign out, it is now midnight in my world.