DAY 62...Grassmere/Marfells Beach to Kekerengu

After a night hooked up to the power at a small campsite in Seddon we got up before the sun and headed back out, aiming to have me on the water and paddling by 5.00 am.  It was calm and still with not a ripple to be seen.  The cloud cover was more than the past few days but to be honest this was okay as the sun is intense and hot once it burns through the morning clouds.  I paddled into an incoming tide with not a lot of wind and by the time I got to Cape Cambell the currect was still charging at me. It seems there is something each day to remind you that there is to be a challenge.  The Cape was stunning and very calm, I weaved in and out of rocks covered in large kelp and passed by many seal colonies all pearched on the rocks waiting on the weather to warm up.  A couple of times a seal would appear close by to check out this crazy vision on the water but they always kept their distance, probably a good thing.  As I got further along the dry hillsides climbed up into the sky and the bays were big and endless.  There was not alot of sea activity this morning so I paddled on, not making headway as fast as I would have liked, time was going a little slowly today.  Ever hour I pinged my location to the support team, as they did not have any road access to me.  I was on my own for the first three hous and as a safety measure it is good to give them updates of my location throughout each paddle. 

Just on the 21 km mark I was due to make contact with Jase at Ward Beach, and there he was, chatting to a fisherman on the beach.  You have to luv Mr Have-a-chat, he always finds someone to entertain him.  I reackon by the end of his two weeks he will have them all with a coffee in their hands, freshly brewed from the back of Cuzzie.  All was good and I headed off to tick over the next 13 km.  It was mostly the same as the previous paddle, it was heating up and a couple of the points I headed round were getting a little turbulent due to the tide turning so I had to go out the back of a few large breaking waves over the rocks.  It had been a few days since I was in waters like this, there seemed to be a current against me since the start and it was getting hot and sunny now. Much of the water was stirred up, sandy and murky today so I just focused on the upcoming peaks in the distances and pushed on.  Today I found it hard to zone out and I was pleased at ticking off the initial km and then the shorter distances to get to my final pickup point.  I was also mindful that by 1 pm today the wind was picking up and the water was going to get messy and rough, so I pushed on.

Wharanui Beach was our check point.  I stopped and chatted to another kayaker who was fishing.  He'd had a succesful morning pulling in six crayfish from his craypots so he was a happy fisherman.  I then saw Cuzzie perched on the hill in the carpark and chatted to Jase via VHF.  There was just another 10 km to go and the wind was arriving earlier than predicted.  I could have guessed that would happen.  The bonus was that it was a tailwind and even though the water was messy I did get some good waves and surfed my way down the last 10 km.  I always get a little terse with Jase when he changes things on me at the end of a paddle.  Instead of wearing his pink sharkskin top and walking onto the beach, as we decided the crew should do so I can locate them, he felt it was better to hang it on a large stick!  I VHF in to him and while I was being bashed abut by the wind and the washig machine waves I  mentioned, "can you please wear your pink top, it is easier for me to see." (well maybe I missed out the please!)  As I raced in on the back of a mucky wave I loudly shouted "grab the boat, grab the boat."  There is nothing worse than landing and then getting hit by the next wave set, dry one minute and then sand and sea and stones all over you and the kayak.  This time T2 and I made it, thanks Jase

Up along the beach we go and load up Cuzzie.  While we are unpacking the kayak I quicky jump in a fresh water stream for a rinse off.  As I am trying to get changed and out of my salty gear and sort of hide behind some bushes a lovely lady decides to have a chat about my journey!  Lack of clothing, oops.  Then, the best time of the day, we have a strong black coffee and then get ready to head to Blenheim to collect Tricia from the airport.  She is joining us for the next six weeks while on her summer Uni break.  Now here is my December blooper, Tricia calls and tells me that I have made a rather big error on her flight...I had booked the ticket for the 27th of January!  What a dummy, should have been the 27th of December.  With a little bit of a fare increase she is on her way and it has been noted not to ever let Lynn book the flights again.  It was bwfore the Cook Strait crossing so that is my excuse, nerves and all got in the way.
We are in Blenheim, we have filled the cupboards.  Support crew dared to drag me around the supermarket, starving hungry (or more like HANGRY) and I jammed two baskets full.  Lots of steak, fresh produce,more potatoes and kumera.  Afriend of mine told me to take note of how many kilos we eat but I am actually way too scared to add that up, it would be scarey.  Add to that the amount of olive oil and coconut oil I seem to consume, it is astounding even me.  What ever fuels me and gets me around the coast.

I have found a new snack food fresh popcorn covered in oil and salt and then some days for a sweet fix I drizzle honey over it, you are only allowed to say yuck once you have tried this.  It iss truely really yum, try it.

Another sighting today of a couple of Hector Dolphins.  They seem very shy and as soon as they see me they disappear under the water and are gone.  Soon I will get an image for you all as proof.

My smiles today: 
Seeing Mr Have-a-chat at each checkpoint taking with someone
Seeing a couple of Hector Dolphins.
Watching a mother duck and her wee tiny ducklings swim in the Blenhem river, that was cool.
Having so many likes and comments on our Instagram page of the kite flying image. Check it out,and the other pics. Nat and the team have posted some amazing shots so far of our journey so if you haven't, head to Instagram and follow us, redznzjourney.

My thoughts today, they where a lot like the water and the waves I paddled over, messy, up and down cloudy thoughts, with a little ray of sunshine at times.  Like us all there are okay days, good days and magic days.  Todays paddle was just okay, but still way, way better than not being out on the ocean at all.  Tomorrow there is a small window before the wind picks up again so I will be lucky to get four hours of paddling tomorrow.  That is okay, I am going forward, not drifting back.  Thanks Phil (my brother) for reminding me of this fact.

Oops, running late now for the airport and picking up Tricia, sorry babe we are coming.  So sorry, but the blog had to be written.

Till  tomorrow,
Red

PS: Jase got us some salt cystals from the salt factory! That is exciting. 
PPS: We have T Bone steak and mushrooms for dinner that is REALLY Exciting.
PPPS: We have chocolate coconut ice cream for dessert, now that is me being extravagant.

 Reds favourite, a lighthouse at dawn

Reds favourite, a lighthouse at dawn

 Seals on the rock

Seals on the rock