The alarm was set for an early wakeup to check the most important thing each day - the weather app. It had been blowing a lot over night and timings this morning were having to be changed and made till later. The wind she was a blowing. With a few texts and a call or two we rescheduled things to a little later on this morning and the day seemed to be a little more planned. We sat and waited till the sun came up and had breakkie, I did think about going back to bed but decided against that. Off we headed to Sumner to park up and wait on calmer winds. I watched the surfers out on the swell, catching the waves into the beach, there were plenty to watch and it is fascinating to watch them all just floating out the back of the swells waiting for the right wave. Meanwhile I am sitting waiting for the swell and winds to drop! Polar opposites needed. The coolest thing we saw this morning was a surfing girl push biking in her wetsuit with her surfboard strapped to a special frame on the side of her bike. That moment made both Tricia and I (and in absentia Nat!) want to be a surfer, just so we could have a bike like that,way cool.
I also meet up with John Kirk Anderson. We chatted then he raced around with his camera and video while we unloaded T2 and got her ready and I tried to forget I was having pictures taken. I spent time chatting in Cuzzie to John and could have stayed there all day listening and chatting about paddling and the places he has been. Alas Tricia was giving me the look that the weather and wind was now suitable for me to get going and she had some important errands to do, like get the new water heater picked up and then drive to our first location for a VHF check. The driving today was far more challenging and longer than my paddle seemed to be so off she raced and I paddled around a little trying to eat the handful of brownie I had grabbed before Cuzzie and her fridge contents had disappeared, I wish I had grabbed that coffee earlier as well, never mind.
On the calm waters by Sumner beach boat ramp I got sorted for my next leg of paddling and with a brisk tailwind off I set. I could not quite believe the speed and the cool surfing I was able to do on this first leg, I caught some way cool rides and sped along, whizzing past the Lyttleton Harbour mouth before I even knew I was crossing it. 10 km in just one hour five minutes. T2 was coping and going well, and saying that so was I. I actually beat poor Tricia to the first checkpoint and as the weather was in my favour I sent her a message to say keep going and I will meet you at Little Akaloa. She responded a little later on and confirmed what we had been told, coverage was terrible, but thanked me for the update.
As with any good wind it has to change and move because having it as a tailwind the entire trip, well the weather gods would not be quite that nice(!) and soon the wind spun to give me a head wind. It was not too bad and the dolphins popped up for a quick visit along this leg, but not for long. I checked my mobile and discovered I had a need for more battery charge, just incase I decided to keep going, so I stopped and pulled into a rocky beach. I landed and dragged T2 up onto the big rocks to keep her out of the water and swell until I had my phone connected to the solar battery charger and then stashed it back in the clear drybag and placed this on my deck to make the most of the sunshine. I then jumped back into T2 and headed out to the point to try and reconnect with the support team, I was behind schedule and I was sure she would be a little concerned. Eventually I heard her voice on the VHF and as the wind was continuing to increase in speed I said lets call it a day and I will come into Little Akaloa. I am pleased with this decision because this bay is a gem, sheltered and calm with a boat ramp to pull into. I love landing like this, as I was paddling in a small yacht was being towed in by a large commercial fishing boat. I thought that is an omen, to be heading in as the wind whistled over the top of me and off the steep hill tops, it was nice to be off the water before the predicted storm was to arrive.
We loaded Cuzzie, sat and ate chips sprinkled with vinegar and then I remembered that I had seen a boat jetty with kids jumping off it as I paddled in, so I had to go and see how high the jump was and have a go. I am thankful that all the kids had departed by the time this old lady decided to have her turn, yes I jumped in more than once to Tricia's amusement. It was brilliant! Feeling cool and refreshed after my paddle I watched two fisherman coming in on their dinghy as I launched myself off and splashed into the deep water. Tricia has promised to join me one day before she departs at the end of Febuary and I am holding her to her promise.
Back into the warm camper van and we started the drive back to Christchurch, part of us wanted to stay in this little bay overnight but we need to get the water cylinder replaced so back we drove. We went across some amazing hills, the coastline and bays are incredible, I want to stop for longer and paddle down each bay, so I will be back to this coastal section for sure, it is on my new bucket list of things to do.
We are back at our wonderful hosts house again, I am sure he is going to be praying for our departure really soon, what with Cuzzie down his driveway and being woken at crazy hours in the morning. I am very sorry Gerard, we will be on dinner duty tomorrow I promise, that is if you let us in your kitchen! He seems a little protective of this domain and is at present cooking up a storm. My day has been better than I imagined, and to top this off I have a friend who sent me this cool, cool poem this afternoon, and it is my biggest smile for the day, thank you Kevin.
The easy path is taken ~ to grizzle all day long
It's every other bastards fault ~ that life has gone so wrong
We fly right off the handle ~ when things don't go our way
The ego gets a hold of us ~ and has the final say
Exploring different tactics ~ to halt the grumpy bugs
Yoga ,meditation ~ or herbal tea in mugs
There has to be a better style ~ to ease the pain of stress
Learning to accept what is ~ seems to work the best
But of all the stuff I've mentioned ~ fails and you still brood
I've saved it for the last ~ to get you in the mood ........
Try ripping off your clothing and prance round in the nude 😊
That is me for today, grinning. I am running for dinner as I am being shouted at, and still smiling.