Thursday 29 December 2016
3am alarm, and the snooze button is pressed twice before I could encourage myself to move and pull on my damp gear. Not the most wonderful or best way to start your day. Dressed in numerous layers and with my hat pulled on we all went about the norm, I have to say that Jase is the worst at these early mornings! Well middle of the night really! He is the most zombie out of us all.
We hit the road back to the beach for yet another mill pond, calm launch. I was underway before 5am today making sure I had activated my tracker. Not like yesterday where it took us at least 20km to realise it was not tracking me! (Oops. Thanks, Andy for the text.) On the water and all I could do was hope the wind that was predicted gave me a few hours to get along to Bream Head before it awoke.
I did get comfortably to the end of ocean beach and then around to Bushy Head, and before I knew it, just around the corner I could see the water had changed and that it was waiting to blow me backwards at every gust. I talked with the team and said I would push across to Ruakaka and then try and hug as close to the beach as possible, hoping I would get some protection from the big gusts and the South West wind which was picking up pace all the time.
I knew today was going to need all my strength; both a mind game and a physical challenge, and I was not happy at times that the forecast was correct as the gusts where often and for long periods. I felt like I was at a stand still when it blew, all I could do was curse, and when Jase suggested we talk via VHF not mobile I abruptly told him why I did not think it was a great idea for all to hear my cussing comments about the conditions. All I could do was wish I could straight-line directly across Bream Bay, but not even the fishing boats were going wide. Everyone was tucked in by the shoreline. We did a checkpoint where we could, and I got through my moments of "holy crap", my moments of "what" and "why am I trying to battle against this!" I even told the crew it was painful and slow but other than that the conditions where not life threatening, just a tough slog all the way.
As I got closer and closer to Waipu Cove I was briefly given a reprieve in this corner of the bay and was only too happy to head towards Langs, my final destination for today. As I approached the beach, Jase waded out to help me land, a tad concerned I may not pass the small swell on the beach. Or maybe he thought I would actually just run over a small child on their boogie board in the waves. I got to him and then just caught the back of the wave and safely landed on the beach; no one hurt or injured.
We got everything up to the vehicles in between dodging tractors and boats, we managed to sort out all the gear, load it and then sit in the calmness of Cuzzie munching on chips. Me being forced to drink all of my fluids and then a huge cup of chai tea. After that I headed to the ute with no arguments to have a sleep for a few hours, I was half listening to the tractors and chaos around me in the car park, but most of me was so pleased to be mostly asleep.
While I slept Bianca and Jason did a training session on the beach. To my amusement, and also to any of Jase's clients that read this blog, he managed to stop halfway through the training to go and chat to a local who had been snorkeling for Kina, eat some with him, and then returned to his training! Only could it be a Jase story; "Mr Have A Chat". A very late snack lunch for myself and Bianca, then we kindly woke Jase from his sleep to join us. I could have easily eaten his portion.
After I caught up with the happenings of today and with everyone, we hit the road to go and park on a friends lawn for the night and then tomorrow it is ESPR! Only two more paddle days to go. If anyone is keen it looks like I may be paddling into Takapuna on Saturday, pre-lunch, so I would love to paddle with others. I look forward to seeing you on the water or on the beach. Watch my tracker and my Facebook page for updates on approx arrival.
Until tomorrow, when I will be aiming for Snells beach.
My smiles today:
The damn wind. I have to smile at the torture.
Sleeping in the ute after a tough paddle.
We are all smiling. I am at Langs.
Looking forward to 2017.
My thoughts today:
"It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves, and in finding themselves." - Andre Gide
Goodnight from Red, Bianca and Jase.
Ma Te Wa.
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