DAY 91...Waitaki Rivermouth to Kakanui

Bed was so good last night, the paddle from yesterday had made me tired, sleep and rest was what the body needed so I curled up on my little bed and slept.  Because of all the water I had drunk (damn you guys) I had to stagger to the bathrooms at about midnight.  The only funny moment was when Nat thought it was time to get up for another days paddling, she quickly went back to sleep when I assured her she still had hours till the morning.

The river departure this morning was pretty cool.  A calm little lagoon to start from and then I raced with the river current towards the sea and the waves, waved to Nat then up and over the sand bar and out the other side.  Now that was a text-book morning!   Off I headed on this last section of this rough and tough coastline, in the end after 15 km I at last sighted Oamaru.  Nat had already said there was no point stopping and I was in agreement, make the most of this Northerly wind while it lasted as the Southerly is on its way!  As I got to the last section of the point of Oamaru I was so excited, I could see a sandy beach and green hills.  Thank goodness for that, my heart actually lifted and so did my mood.  I was now officially in Otago and had said goodbye to Canterbury, that is another milestone.

Nat chirped on and off every couple of hours on the mobile and VHF.  "How is it going?" and the going was actually good.  I was enjoying aiming at and crossing from bay to bay, going around rocks and over kelp and seeing some variation.  The winds and ocean where being kind, fairly calm and easy on me, also there was cloud cover and rain.  I like rain in the summer, it was only gently falling today and just kept me cool.  I do have this strange thought when it rains, it is as if Mother Nature is sad and the sky is crying!  A little like I felt like yesterday at times (I know weird, but I never said I was normal!)  While MN is a little sadder and not so powerful, I got my paddling head on and aimed to be finished and off the water earlier today.  I was keen to be smiling at the end of today, I felt great today and can only put it down to the change of scenery.  I felt as at last I was moving forward and  I dared to glance back and see the tougher coastline in the mist and haze far behind me.

There were dolphins today and they did their own thing again, not wanting to play with me and T2, they will come play again soon I am sure.  There was no one else on the water until I got to Kakanui and then it was one solo boat with a couple of guys fishing.  There was a very large loud splash behind me today, some rather large fish leaving the surface rather quickly.  I am not sure what it was but I suspect it was another big shark, but he was gone before I could sight him.

Missed seeing our wonderful hosts from Christchurch today, they where passing through Oamaru at about 8.30 am, checking with Nat on my location.  Sadly Gerard and Donna, we will have to catch up on the west coast.  I will try and be on time and in the right location!

As I rounded the corner to my final bay I smiled, a nice beach with a couple of nice waves and a small hill to get T2 up to load onto Cuzzie.  The day ended perfectly, Nat with her camera at the ready (Mr Caffyn I blame you for this!) while T2 and I surfed in on a perfect wave straight at her feet.  I landed, we unloaded everything and stowed it away.  Nat commented, "I should have made you paddle further, you have too much energy left!"

As I have said before some days it is easy and a great day but some days, it is like dragging a sea anchor behind you all day.

We had time today to drive back into Oamaru and get a replacement Lifeproof case for my mobile as after only three months this case was about to fail.  All SPARK could do was send it off to be accessed. As I didn't trust myself with just using one drybag on my mobile instead of the double bagging I normally do I purchased another, best to be safe.  One iphone was ruined on day one and that is enough for this trip.

Feed, watered and phone case sorted we wandered the streets of Oamaru, in and out of secondhand shops.  Nat got the bargain, a dress for $3.00.  I was not tempted today at all, the health food shops got my money today, fresh eggs, crystallized ginger and fresh tumeric, and also a couple of needed items from the local chemists for the first aid box.

We are are all set up in a cool little campsite tonight, Moeraki Boulders Kiwi Holiday Park, and I have been using my old hairdressing skills on Nat this evening.  Hairdressing skills, too too damn easy and something I will never forget.  Chichen, roast potatoes care of Nat tonight.  It is not hot and steamy today in our world, but you know what, today was fun on the water in the rain, I am not "made of sugar"!

My smiles today:
Still smiling at my 2000km.
Still smiling on my crazy portage out of the Waitaki river mouth yesterday.  There are some stories on that adventure.
Fantastic feeling when you nail an exit from a river mouth and even better when you surf a wave and nail it, so smiling today
So happy to feel energized and looking forward to the next stage of this little paddling adventure of mine.
The ability to see , feel and touch this amazing coastline we have, it is far more than I could have ever dreamed. 
I love ducks I have decided.  We have just had a visit from 9 ducklings and their mum at the campervan door.  This seriously is something we miss when we live n a huge city, ducks at my doorstep is way cool, it makes me smile.

My thoughts today:
I adore this dream I am in and it has given me new strength.  It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.  It takes confidence to talk about a dream and even more to pursue it. 

Red & Nat & Cuzzie, signing out for dinner, YIPPEE

PS.  Tim Taylor, I am seem to be following in your footsteps, I have landed in several places where the locals remember you fondly.

Red expertly surfing in a wave near Kakanui

Red expertly surfing in a wave near Kakanui

The bravest duckling.  We shall name her Red2

The bravest duckling.  We shall name her Red2