Day 417...Lay Your Bets!

Friday 16 December 2016

It blew so hard last night, Bianca was convinced my kayak and Cuzzie were going to be blown sideways!! For me, the wind has sometimes been way worse, so I didn’t actually notice the gusts too much during the night. Waking with the sun, I sat and read some up-to-date news and remained still enough to let Bianca sleep a little longer. For me, it was a morning to go and watch the Cape at both high and low tide, to watch and learn a little bit more about what I can expect once I actually get back to some more paddling!

Once we had watched a high tide and a slack tide pass by, I was sufficiently satisfied to head off and discover beautiful Spirits Bay. We hit the road for the 20 minute drive along the dusty, gravel road, parked up and went walking up and over the small sand dunes onto the beach. Wow! What a beautiful, pinky golden beach; even on a very blustery day that was a tad overcast. While we watched, a keen fishermen hiked up and over the hills carrying all his gear, leaving his partner to carry the lunch backpack. Pretty soon, they had disappeared out of our sight to go to their secret fishing spot. I was content just to find a small, sheltered corner and to sit looking out across the beach to the ocean that I, hopefully, will soon be on; and, maybe just maybe, even get a little further past. Both Tapotupotu Bay and Spirits Bay are gems of campsites. I’m so lucky to have experienced both of them pre-holiday season and can’t wait to be landing on some East Coast sand soon. 

Back up the dusty roads we head, as we were keen to get back to Tapotupotu and our little sheltered corner, although we did make a detour to get some more eggs. This time, I stashed them safely on the floor; no more damn egg accidents, we hope! North again we headed, back to rest and to lie in the sun. When we first arrived, there wasn’t another soul about, but this soon changed as families arrived to play in the waves that were beginning to build up on this normally calm little beach. Surfboarders and SUP boarders played in the increasingly big waves. We also braced ourselves for our daily swim. It's never for very long, I have to say, but enjoyable all the same. The best part is actually warming up in the sun after the swim.

From a distance, we watched a couple getting ready for a hike, hoping against hope for their sakes that it was only for a few days, as their backpacks were jam-packed full of gear! Certainly, I’m not sure I would have wanted to carry either of their backpacks. In fact, I got a fit of the giggles when the last thing jammed into the top of their backpacks was their pillows! I’m damn sure that I, for one, would be foregoing a pillow for a bit more food!! By 4pm they had finally headed off for a late afternoon hike. We both hoped they would enjoy themselves and that they had packed plenty of insect repellent! Even being exceptionally careful, Bianca is still being feasted upon each night by the local insects.

As the late afternoon sun cools, I sit solo on a blanket outside, wondering when Mother Nature will let me continue my journey. At last, I’m a little more relaxed about it, enjoying each single moment, knowing full well that all too soon my journey and this odyssey of mine will be over and a New Year and a new direction for 2017 will become apparent. But for the moment, I’m actually thinking that it would be nice just to stay here until the Pohutakawa trees stop flowering.

Bianca and I have talked long and hard about when I think I may eventually arrive back in Takapuna and take my last paddle stroke. Both of us have a possible date stored on our minds but, at the same time, we also know that, as ever, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. For the kayakers who know this coastline, big swells are heading my way. I have to laugh; 3 metres forecast for tomorrow on Ninety Mile Beach but a calm day wind-wise, enough to make me shudder. If you would like to hazard a guess about my arrival date, please leave a message on Facebook or on my blog, laying your bets!

My smiles today:
Watching another magical sunrise and sunset.
The beautiful bays at the top of New Zealand.
Families enjoying the summer’s day.
Wind gusts that covered us in sand.
Yet another cold swim and yet another cold shower.
Watching more Pohutakawa trees bursting into flower each day.

My thoughts today:
Life is way too short.

With another blessed day in the sunny North nearly at an end, Red and Bianca say “bye bye” until tomorrow. 

Ma Te Wa.


Spirits Bay.

Spirits Bay.

Dreaming at Spirits Bay.

Dreaming at Spirits Bay.