Day 428...When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Gets Grumpy!

Tuesday 27 December 2016

I was launched and on the water just after 5am. We all felt a little tired and, most certainly, I was glad I could just sit in my kayak and push off, with no waves to fight against; just my rudder!! For some reason this morning, it just didn’t want to lower easily into the water. But, after a couple of grumpy, stern words from me and a small wave in my lap, eventually I was underway. This seemed to set the tone for the rest of the day, with every single kilometre out of the 67.35 paddled being a real battle. There was too much wind at the start of the day and the ocean itself seemed against me. The currents, the winds, the swells; it was like paddling in mud! Each and every hour I hoped it would get easier but today, nothing did.

I feel sorry for the team today as my grumpy, cross mood seems to have affected everybody, sorry guys! I got to the Bay of Islands and looked to try and cross from Purerua Peninsula to Urupukapuka but, holy heck, I now know what a possum must feel like when trying to cross the motorway! There were boats going in every direction, each at a very rapid pace. How the hell was I going to get across? I did actually think of stopping there and then!! Not only was I grumpy at the weather but also at anything else that got in my way today!

Eventually, when there a lull in the boat traffic, I decided to gap it. I took aim and started to paddle. Half way across and only having had to detour twice, I dared to think it was going to be okay but, as I got closer to the Cape Brett side, the number of boats large and small heading back in around midday was absolutely crazy; a veritable highway of boats that I had to try and dodge! After a very long time spent crossing, I managed to get to safety close to the rocks and cliffs where I remained close. At the Hole in the Rock at least five or six boats watched and seemed to be waiting for a chance to go through. I didn’t bother waiting but went past and continued my battle with the currents and the wind blowing off the cliffs. I dodged a couple more boats, then got on with aiming at the next checkpoint where I wanted to end my grumpy, tough day!!

Well, that turned out only to be a dream as the support team had nothing but bad news. There was no beach access, so I had to keep paddling for another 13kms; not at all what I wanted, but paddle I did towards Home Point and then into Bland Bay. The entire process was irritating and extremely slow-going but eventually, I managed to land. Then just sat on the beach for a while, hugging my knees, saddened that today I had fallen short of my larger target.

Slowly I unravel the day and my feelings, then wander up the beach with the team to get showered and eat copious amounts of food, to chat to Wayne at the cool little campsite and then, at last, to realise that I was lucky to have landed at this gem of a location or it might have stayed a secret to me as well!

Tonight the wind has at last dropped, leaving us with a beautifully still summer’s evening. The stars will look cool once it gets dark and, who knows, maybe the wind will blow so hard tonight that I will need to stay here for a while; or maybe not, as the case may be. Best I go and get ready to sleep and also check the weather and the plans for tomorrow.

My smiles today:
Me in a bad mood and jeez, it seemed to be catching.
Successfully a little further south.
Cold turkey for dinner.
Beautiful Cape Brett!
The beautiful Bay of islands!
Crazy people steering boats in all sorts of different directions.

My thoughts today:
Inhale confidence.
Exhale doubt.

Goodnight from Red and the team.

Ma Te Wa.

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Watching and waiting for Red.

Watching and waiting for Red.