Day 423...East Coast

Thursday 22 December 2016

The mosquitoes tried all night to get inside Cuzzie; they were actually buzzing around the roof air vent, trying to gain access. By morning, there were about forty dead on the mesh screen. Thank goodness they didn’t manage to get in! The amount of spray we used last night was insane, I honestly thought one of us may end up with some bad side effects from breathing in so much of it! We survived, but the mozzies weren’t so lucky; hundreds dead!! The crazy thing is that we are staying at this new campsite site because we didn’t want to return to Spirits Bay for the night due to all the mozzies there!!

This morning was an early start and I was the one sent outside to unplug the power (and to try to deal with the clouds of bugs!) We hit the road towards Spirits Bay so I could get out on the water and start paddling towards North Cape. We arrived, dreading the thought of getting out of Cuzzie. While Bianca made a hot drink, I braved the outdoors and got Louise ready for the day's paddle. The crazy thing was that I didn’t have one single mozzie bothering me, random bugs.

Soon it was time to paddle down the little stream and then to carry Louise over the sand to the calm ocean and out onto the water. Believe it or not, there were no waves in my face and no heart-racing moments getting out and onto the water. It was almost a tad too easy. As soon it was light I was on my way, feeling good about today, and it was a good day. The first couple of kilometers zapped along and then the pattern of the day began; currents, tides and a steady light wind in my face. All causing me to slow from my normal pace. It actually felt like I was paddling in porridge (firstly, because of the pace and secondly, because a lot of the time at Roth Cape, there were hundreds of jellyfish to kayak through!!). At North Cape itself, the roughest patch was the Bluff, just after Tom Bowling Bay. It was a like a commercial washing machine and I had to slowly weave my way through the swells and the rough backwash from the cliffs.

Today was all about getting onto and down the East Coast. I tried hard to push further but, due to my slower pace most of the day, at last I just had to stop and pull in at Hohora Harbour. But I was content with my day and had to laugh, as the end of my paddling day was just every bit as tough as the rest of it. A nice calm harbour but with an out-going tide!! I had to battle all the way to the boat ramp as the waters raced against me. Thankfully, eventually I managed to win the battle but only because all day I’d had to be strong both mentally and physically; a hard-won 76kms.

I sat with Bianca for a while on the warm grass, eating my popcorn and drinking a cup of hot tea. I had even managed to drink all my fluids today and that’s very nearly a first! But only because I’d been nagged by so many people today, so I had to behave!! I moaned out load every time I had to stop to relieve my exploding bladder on the water today. I hope they all heard (not the explosions, just the moaning!!). Maybe I can blame everyone else for my slow pace today and say it wasn’t the weather conditions but rather, the necessity to stop far too often for a “you know what”!

At last, we are now back in the comfort of Cuzzie, with hardly any insects (yay!). Tired but happy. Now I’m off the water again for a few days while the winds return, but on a positive note, that will give us some time to go touring the coastline.

My smiles today:
It's official! I am on the East Coast, heading for home!
All quiet outside. No mosquitoes!
Physically tired and ready for sleep.
Everyone's wonderfully encouraging comments, thank-you.
Christmas in Northland.

My thoughts today:
I have fallen, I’ve cried, I’ve been angry and afraid, but even when I was hurting, I always found a way to keep going. A strong woman never gives up!

Until tomorrow, goodnight from Red and Bianca. 

Ma Te Wa.


Goodbye from Spirits Bay.

Goodbye from Spirits Bay.

Aoteoroa. The land of the long white cloud.

Aoteoroa. The land of the long white cloud.