It is Christmas morning, 5.00 am and I am up. No I am not waiting on Father Christmas I am jumping in T2 for a quick paddle before breakfast. With mascot the monkey in tow, Jase and myself light footed it down to the beach so I could knock over 20 km quickly and then aim for the beach for the day.
The weather is calm this morning. When I am out on the water I take a little while to get into today's paddling but it was a quick, short day so I was actually looking forward to it. It was calm with only a small ripple, the sunrise was very pretty and it was warm. I wished I did not have as many layers on today but too late and I could not be bothered to stop and peel off anything.
As I paddled I tried to think about the crossing from yesterday but all I can feel at the moment is a kind of thankful relief and some amazement I was able to cross in such splendid weather. I am still not actually sure what some moments were or what location I am in, it takes me to look at the printed planning maps we have to remind me some days. Red you are on the Mainland now and it is Day 60! I can remember Day 10 and feeling proud then, oh dear me, such a long time ago.
Now me and Christmas Day...it is always a very low key affair for me. A great Christmas in my books is the following: do a training session, run, gym or what ever you normally do each morning then the beach, the sea, sun, lots of smiles and laughter. I do not do the big massive Christmas frenzy well. It still amazes me the amount of frenzy and stress this time of year creates and I actually (sorry to say) enjoy not taking part in the madness, the mass shopping and the feeding frenzy and the over the top chaos. I run the other way. I get as far away from the stress as humanly possible and always go to the beach on Christmas Day. I go camping and actually have an amazing and fantastic day. Please don't get me wrong, for the people out there who truly love Christmas, you rock and I admire you, I just do not seem to have this Christmas vibe going on and running the other way seems to work for me. But, I have to say Cuzzie did have fairy lights as decoration, so maybe I am changing and we did put fairy lights on T2 for her night paddle, that was me partaking in the festive season.
Today I found my favourite Christmas place, today I did what I have made my Christmas tradition. My Christmas day I was totally in my happy place. I paddled 20 km, we found a cool little camping ground and were sat in the sun by 10 am, drinking freshly brewed coffee, planning the next 3 to 4 days, answering emails, texting, blogging and general stuff. We wrote lists, we cleaned a little and then we went back to Whites Beach to play on the beach. It was really busy when we arrived but just as we thought nope no way are we going to get a car park, luck struck! We got the blanket, the towels, the suntan lotion, some snacks, water and my new kite (a present from Jase) something to use and entertain us when it is too damn windy to paddle, brilliant.
As we headed to the beach we bumped into Lili the DOC caretaker for this amazing campsite. I had spent time yesterday talking with her in the sun when I was waiting on the team to catchup with me after my Cook Strait crossing. We just got on so well yesterday, she was another reason for our return to this campsite. We all headed down to the beach, the entire place was filled with people having fun, chilling in the sun, playing and having fun. There was lots and lots of talking, Lili went for a long swim, actually swimming up and down the length of the bay. I was impressed, I would have joined her but sadly did not have a pair of swimming goggles with me. Anyway we talked about how cool it would be to put a team together for an adventure race, yes, already thinking and planning, maybe in 2016.
Then we remembered the kite and what fun we had! To keep away from the sunbathers on the beach we stood in the water waist deep while someone lifted it to catch the wind. I was the worst at flying this stunt kite, Jase excelled and Lili was doing damn well, it was such a buzz! It is now our new Redz NZ game when off the water.
I felt so so good about today, it was such a beautiful day. Such a magic setting and such a great time to be meeting and talking with like minded cool people, it surely is what life is meant to be about. I begin to notice things about myself, others and their attitudes. If you are smiling from the inside out then you seem to attract others with like minded thoughts, energy and everything seems truly easy, not the stressed filled feeling that the city life seems to cover you with. I see the things I want to do that are important to me now and that is an amazing feeling. There is no need for me to have new years resolutions as my dream is happening now. Thank you to all that have helped and a bigger thank you to every single person I have meet along the way, some I only know by their names when they comment on my Facebook page or my blog, but I am truly looking forward to putting names to faces.
Tomorrow is another day of paddling, tomorrow is another new place and tomorrow there will be another new fantastic, interesting soul to chat to. I will have 180+ new and cool friends by the end of my journey, how fantastic is that?
What made me smile on my Xmas Day 2015:
Seeing x 2 Hector Dolphins (Thanks Mr Nathan Pettigrew, for predicting these daily fin sightings)
Lili from Whites Bay campsite, what a cool summer you will have as the DOC onsite manager and what a damn cool person you are. Come visit, keep in contact, we will then laugh lots more.
The Kite! Thanks Jason, it is going to make us all smile a lot.
The amazing new beach we have discovered, Whites Beach, it is beautiful.
Watching people doing the Pipi Dance (the wriggling around you do when trying to locate the pipis in the sand)
The feeding of the eels! Way, way cool. Reminded me of my childhood..
For now best I go to bed. Tired, happy and enjoying being a paddling gypsy heading south.