Today when we got up it was 7 degrees, holy crap, one day soon I will head to the water without my black leggings and thick jacket on and not grumble that I am cold. Even Nat is not cold this morning and giving me the look of, really what is wrong with you? A calm, tranquil boat ramp launch, not a wave in sight. We waited till just before 6 am today, half an hour before sunrise. It is light enough to see and I weave and wind my way around the rocks and the large kelp beds that are everywhere along this coast. They look like large kelp gardens, at first I thought I could paddle around but that took far too much time so now I weave through them with my rudder up, all the time amazed at the length and size of each strand
I pick my way along the coastline heading towards Shag Point to my first checkin with Nat. All good, albeit it was light southerlies which caused me to frown a little as I was hoping the northerlies would kick in. The points of the headlands were a little like a typical washing machine. Katiki beach took a way to get across due to this but I made it. We chatted and I headed off for the next 21 km, keeping to the coast where possible, but looking over at the Dunedin headland every once and awhile. At the 16km mark I called Nat as it was calm and I was going to change course and go for it across the open waters. Enough of this coast hugging and it looked calm. I was going for it, 21km head down and I turned. I will try and answer all of your questions. Yes there was an ocean swell. Yes it was deep (it is the ocean) and yes, today there were sharks! Three large ones sighted at different times along the way. I did not stop to say hi and they just continued on their way, cruising on the surface. There were also a couple of earlier sightings of Dolphins and plenty of seals when I was still coastal hugging.
As I got over towards the entrance of the harbour (thanks to Ed I kept an eye out for ships coming in and out) I skooted towards the harbour entrance rock wall and beached for 15 mins for a couple of reasons, one to put some charge into my phone and two to just stand and regroup for the next few kms. I really wanted to quit at this point! Not sure why but off I set, just another 10 km I promised my self. Over the harbour entrance and past some beautiful cliffs, caves and seals. I put my video camera on and I hope it looks as good as my view.
Around to harbour mouth and on to Papanui Inlet. Over to the far corner of the beach to get to the mouth of the inlet and over the waves. I cut the corner a bit early and braced on a wave onto the edge of the beach and inlet and then had a short water assisted portagefor a couple of meters into the deeper part of the inlet. I paddled with some seals as I paddled towards Nat and the boat sheds. This was pleasant end to a long 11 hour day. There were some great moments today, some brilliant sights and a couple of moments when I got tired where I just wanted to stop but pushed along and made it. We loaded T2 and ready to get on the road, coconut water in my hand to drink and Nat had got me some salty potato chips as a treat, Yippee.
We are staying with Ina from Yachtbot tonight, the biggest thank you to her and the wonderful bath, it was what I needed. Now dinner is cooked and ready, we are spoilt for choice, everything and more, yumbo!
My smiles today:
Nailing a great distance.
Pushing that extra couple of bays, it was worth it.
Pictures of Sunflowers, care of Jackie W.
Meeting such great new people.
Playing with the seal pups in the inlet.
Dinner, now that made me really smile, thank you Ina.
Oh and I am officially in Dunedin, now that is pretty cool.
My thoughts today:
Where does that mental tough switch come from? Some days it is there and other days it flicks on and off...ahhhh