DAY 79...Duvauchelle

Another day on this Peninsula dawned and we where stuck on land.  No window to paddle, apart from the rocking of Cuzzie, due to the wind overnight, this morning it was windy, raining and cold.  I awoke during the night and just listened to the weather and rainfall, so very pleased I was not in a tent, pleased we had a camper van with a little bit of space.  We, as per normal, checked the weather forecasts, maybe it had changed and blown through earlier.  Ha, who the heck was I trying to kid?  We had made a list of admin/indoor tasks to get through on the laptop, learn more about this satellite tracking device and get up to speed on how it works.  So we slowly worked on drinking hot cups of coffee while ticking off the tasks.  These had to be completed, we told ourselves, before we could go out and about for a hike to discover new places.  The list we gradually got through but, as per normal, we got side tracked by calls, emails and generally being diverted as we all do once you connect up to the outside world.  Gradually we got through the lists and learning how to use the inReach device I will have on the water with me soon.  I have a total new gadget phobia and always shy away from starting to learn unless I have the brain space and the time to do this slowly and in my manner.  I have to physically do it to learn, I can not just read a manual or watch others, I am hopeless.  So we watched, read and practiced with this cool little unit until I was happy with my progress.  It is an entertaining process and one that has the support crew in fits of laughter at my lack of patience with gadgets and IT processes.  I think there should be just a one step turn on and use button, but alas each piece of equipment has a special process.  I am happier by midday and we are both hungry with a little to much coffee in us so food was in order.

I was trying some new freeze dried food that you just add hot water to, a Venison & Beetroot meal from Radix Nutirtion.  I had been promising for weeks to see if they would be a good option for my up coming solo stints, so this was the test day for me.  I was not expecting anything more than average and was very surprised with the final flavour, albeit we added too much water, (we read the instructions wrong, user error!) wait 10 mins and eat.  It was yummy!  All natural and no yucky additives.  I am impressed and with our tummies full we were looking for an outdoor activity so headed out wrapped up in layers of clothing.

Outside the wind had increased but the rain had at last stopped.  We headed off to walk the Onawe Walk, a sacred Maori site.  We walked and chatted, it is always nice going and discovering a new place not knowing what to expect.  The walk was cool, we pased the Duvaucelle wharf and in the wind at the end of the walkway I had to practice my head/forearm/hand stand.  I am improving and soon I will be doing full hand stands, well by the time this journey has ended, maybe.  I was a little afraid the wind may blow me sideways and have me topple off the wharf into the ocean.  Thankfully that did not happen..

Up and over the central track we walked.  Infact we found a track that was a little like the roads that Tricia was driving on yesterday, rather narrow and steep.  We were going cross country and the real track was down below but ours was far more adventurous and a challenge.  Back down safely on the beach and rocks we stood and looked at the amazing colour and features of the rocks and cliffs.  Tan, terracotta and black rock faces.  The patterns, colours and shapes they made were like pieces of art.  I tried to take creative pictures with my iphone but seriously photography is not my best skill.

The track took us to the end of a cool rock and bush clad point which gave us 360 degree views of the Akaroa harbour and many panoramic images were taken.  The photos never seem to replicate the total stunning on mass feeling you get when looking at this view.  If you head this way, this walk is a must to do even on a windy, cloudy day.  We sat on some huge rocks, we stood tall on them and just went WOW!  There was a great, warm feeling on this point and I have to thank Trish for locating and taking us there.  At last we decided to head back to home base as food and refreshments where badly needed, I did not even have a chocolate bar stashed in my jacket to share.  It was a fast walk back along the beaches and roadsides with a water stop required at the general store to make it back to base.  I know I say it is cold, but today I had not one layer of sharkskin jackets, but two to keep the wind away.  The Southerly was bitter, or I am actually getting softer by the day as we head south.  Yesterday was 28 degrees and today about 14 degrees with a wind chill of -4(!) and a low of 8 degrees tonight.

We are back at our campsite.  Trish is on dinner duties and has headed to the shared kitchen to cook, watch the news and chat to the other campers in the kitchen.  I am in Cuzzie happily typing to you all about my day.  Mentally it is tough at the moment and mentally it is hard to keep focused when it is such a start stop process at the moment.  Yes, I have my times where I would like to see a break in the weather or actually just re write the weather forecast to suit me, I have not been the best person when it comes to being patient.  It is a new skill I have been learning, I do have my moments but as long as I keep busy, accept what mother nature sends me weather-wise and not let it eat away at me I am fine.  Well most of the time, patience is a practiced skill and I am still practicing.  Anyone who knows me will be laughing at me having to develop in this area and it can be a little like being with a caged tiger, I have my moments.

I have things to do tomorrow, like fly a kite.  I need to practice and get better than Jase before he returns.  Also, find a sheltered lagoon, do some rolling practices and just paddle in the calm and enjoy a sheltered water outing to just maybe, just maybe, convince Trish to come for a gentle paddle as out on the coastline where I really need to be heading is impossible.  I have to start knitting that damn scarf I promised Nat I would start when I have an off the water day and yes, more training for the 'technofobe', (Shane I am 100% better than yesterday with my understanding).  The IT guys, Mike, Jeremy and Corey from Auckland who know me oh so well, will be laughing hysterically and can probably visualize my frowning brow.  Never do I want to become that person who refuses to learn new tricks and improve my skills.

Dinner is cooked, Tricia has impressed the entire camp kitchen with her smells and culinary skills. Most are having pasta with a jar of Dolmio Pasta sauce.  We are dining on a Mexican delight tonight.

My smiles for today:
Celebrating others birthdays!  Being the first to wish Nat a 'Happy Birthday' by txt at 6.30am.  She is on a fabulous birthday mission, (anyone in Auckland look out) it will be a massive day for Nat and she was celebrating well before midday, much texting, snapchatting (till it jammed my iphone and I deleted the app, oops!) and many updates on Facebook from her as the day progressed.
Chatting to Ford & Lena as they departed for Dunedin in their little brown and cream Kombi.  Lena was in the drivers seat today and the little Kombi was smiling.  Ford, I think you will have to stay as the passenger, Lena suited driving that little VW.
Being out in the wind, walking and just taking in this totally awe inspiring amazing country we live in.  I have only seen such a little slice but I am falling more in love with it every day.  My dad was right when he said he never ever wanted to travel, he is probably totally correct.
Re-watching my dolphin videos, as they always make me smile.

So a great day and a lot has been achieved.  I have not gone backwards, just stayed in the same place waiting on, you guessed it, Mother Nature to have a change of heart and let me continue.  While I type Trish is studying the weather forecast, it is not looking pretty.

My thoughts today:
If you look for reasons to be UNHAPPY you'll find them..  If you look for reasons to be HAPPY you'll find them too.

Till tomorrow,
Red, Trish & Cuzzie

On Top of the World

On Top of the World

My 'office' view today

My 'office' view today