Nat is feeling way way better today, she is back at her 110% wellness and spirit, phew. That was fab news first thing this morning, 24 hour stomach bug, beaten and gone.
The second positive of the day is the wind had changed to an off shore, I hoped and prayed it was going to be okay to get on the water, but if anyone knows this section of coastline that I am on then maybe you will understand. When the swell is 1.8m and wind an off shore blowing 12 to 22 km, which as it falls and blows off the steep hills and cliffs it surely becomes far stronger once it hits the ocean. The wind did flatten out the waves for sure, but as we sat and watched the wind was blowing the flat ocean like it was blowing sand but it was the sea spray being blown backwards over a flattened ocean and out to sea. Try as I might to just look at the calmer moments and convince myself that it was blowing less each minute I could not fully convince myself or Nat that it was going to be okay to head out.
We firstly drove to Masterton early to grab some things and just get moving, kidding ourselves that by the time we returned the wind and sea would have calmed enough even for me to paddle the 13km I had to do to get into the calm lagoon tucked at the back of Castle Point. With the shopping done (a few longer looks than normal towards the purple hued black eye) I was feeling good as it was calmer and warmish in Masterton so I thought, see we are going to be fine, the wind is dropping. Yippee, I was forever hopeful.
Once back at the beach/bay just up from Castle Point where I stopped three days ago it would have been okay to get out through the rock channel but about 100 metres further out the breaking swell lifted you up and exposed you to the gusts of wind, this was the issue. We even talked about putting my overnight water bladders in the kayak to make me 12 kilos heavier to combat the wind! Well any crazy way to get me on the water, but each time we went, yes, lets do it another crazy huge gust would rock the campervan. So no paddling, we called it a day and I just closed my eyes as we drove back to the campsite.
It was torture as each time we looked down from the hills we were driving on the offshore wind made the ocean look flat. Flat but ruffled and there were white caps out where I would be, and we could see this from way up high. Any kayak person knows that once on the water it is way way rougher when you get next to those big swells and big wind gusts.
I was actually inside calling myself soft today, but mother nature has given me warnings already on this trip and I am listening to her as she does not take to stupidity well. Another warning was a yachtie off this coastline was helicopter rescued yesterday evening after a Mayday call, so I was listening to the the messages being sent to me from the universe.
We went for a drive down unsealed and dusty roads, dodged and weaved past herds of sheep being moved, looked at the coastline and climbed up on a few big rocks. We disturbed some Oyster Catchers and they were rather upset as on the top of this huge high rock we climbed they had a nest with three gorgeous looking eggs nestled there. We dodged their threatening dive bombs and promised to behave. I balanced on the rocks, hoping that the wind gusts would not blow me off the top into the ocean. At some moments I had to sit down on the rock to wait for the gusts of wind to pass by!
We took some pictures and I did smile, you have to enjoy these crazy moments, what is the point of being saddened and grumpy? Really Red you are on holiday and having the time of your life! This is once in a lifetime moment and everything happens for a reason, I am just not too sure yet why three days in this one place. Once I discover the reason I will let you all know, maybe the calm tomorrow will show me some new fins, fingers crossed!
At last, to the joy of the birds, we then climbed down, the protective parents were back up there lickity split. Back we drove to the campsite for one more night, 10am the wind is down to single figures and Riverside I am on my way! Then Nat is on a late night flight back to Auckland for a weekend of lighting work and the weather well in truly cranks up again. That is fine, you know why, I am on my summer holiday and want to have way more wonderful memories of this journey! So when I can I will push the km big time and when I cannot I am going to read the books I have of the crazy adventures that others have been on when they have done this coastline. Everyday each one of these amazing people who have gone before me spring to mind, I admire you all, you rock.
Okay back to our day...
I became camp hairdresser for Nat today (in another life this was my trade!) and with hair dying rinsed out with a cold hose bloody hell we did so laugh! I am sure we entertained the other camper van people watching from behind their tinted windows, crazy Redz NZ Team. The school boy surfers were out again, some actually managing to stand for a few moments on the small waves, some still lying flat. Now if they can brave the water then I am heading in for a dip as well and that is a promise! I need to feel the waves and water for a really quick dip. I need to do something with my day. I have to feel the ocean water on me and remind me of the great feeling and how refreshed and invigorated I do feel after.
Swimming at night, the water gets warmer as the sun goes down, correct?
PS. We ned tips on crayfish foraging in and around the rocks, I am only good when scuba diving and not so good at the moment with my spotting skills on the rock/low tide lines.