DAY 90...Timaru to Waitaki River

I tried today to get as far down this coastline as possible and say it was all under my belt.  It would have been nice to say DONE and in Oamaru, but it was not to be...

The day started early and we launched from the calm Timaru Beach and the one thing that amazed me as we dragged T2 to the beach along the boardwalk, there were snails crawling across and also on the sand!  I have never seen snails on a sandy beach before in my life!  Oh well, something new everyday.

The coastline, it was a little bit like sea torture today, the waves crashing onto the steep stone beaches for the entire 9 hours I paddled.  It is not a coastline that I would like to have to paddle numerous times and I am pleased to have nearly got this section under my belt. It was not rough really, just tough going and it felt I was never getting anywhere.  Thank goodness for Garmin telling me I was moving forwards, but the kms took their time to clock up.

What did I see?  Lots of birdlife and hundreds of squarking seagulls, a few dolphins, but again they did not want to play and in the distance two other paddlers with sails/kites, yet on my kayak, just little old me, that was the scenery for me today.  I paddled on, I tried to zone out but today was hard.  If my view could have changed just a little that would have been nice but by the time I chatted with Nat at midday I was already saying I was over this day, there is no way I am going to push this all the way to Oamaru.  I wished her the best of luck trying to keep me on the water for another 7 hours.  Some days I sort of know when it is easy and when it is hard, today was hard for me.  I did manage to stay infront of the kite flying kayakers and as I came in at Waitaki River mouth about an hour later I saw them bravely paddling into a strong southerly headwind.  I silently wished them luck and thought maybe, just maybe I should of found some more strength to knock over another 25km.  It was not going to be.

Coming into the river mouth was an interesting experience.  It was bad enough timing the waves to get into the river mouth that once into the river mouth to then be hit by a huge outward current of the river was almost too much. Thank goodness for Nat, she charged down the steep stone cliffs and grabbed T2.  I clambered out and the boring day just got a little bit exciting as we then had to drag T2 a rather long way in and out of the river.  This was not something my legs or arms wanted to do after this paddle and there were a lot of stops and starts.  I was tired and this said it was a good call to stop for the day, 65 km was enough.  Along the way we did try and laugh, me and my numerous abrupt VHF chats and mobile discussions, (we both drained our batteries today) I was grumpy and rather short.  Nat was wishing there was a video camera of the events on the river bank, it was not fun at the time but it all adds to the adventure.  The locals on the river mouth catching Kawhai just looked at us as if we were crazy folk!

We did have help and it was by a gorgeous local, Rex.  He walked down the river especially to give me a huge hug of congratulations for making it across the bar and for missing the rogue waves on the way in.  He carried T2 with Nat up the big hill to the carpark, totally gorgeous and a real lovely local.

What more can be said today, yesterday was a high for hitting a new milestone and today, well I am glad the day is over.

My smiles today:
Getting in from my days paddling, that was the best moment today (until I saw how far away Cuzzie was!).
Meeting an amazing friendly local, Rex you where such a darling.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
My grumpy mood on the water, and yes to my mentor in Auckland I did drink lots of water, I was just grumpy and I now have to laugh at this horrid mood.
I smile as I am just about to go to sleep and that is going to be amazing.
Dearest Nat for saying I do not have to apologise to her ever, she loved today!  Well most of it (wait till she writes her version of this trip)

My thoughts today:
"It is going to be Tougher than you can ever imagine"  and some days it truly is.

Goodnight from Red & Nat, both part of this crazy Redznzjourney

Departing Caroline Bay

Departing Caroline Bay

Early morning loud over Timaru

Early morning loud over Timaru