Day 431...Pinch Me

Friday 30 December 2016

What a wonderful evening last night. A home cooked dinner of roast lamb, crispy roasted kumara, onions, broccoli and lashings of the best tasting gravy with fantastic company. Thank you Ev, it was a shame that we were all tired and had yet again another early start. Langs Bay to Martins Bay. 

Today it was a novelty as Ev had offered to paddle the first 20km with me to Te Arai Point. It was an amazing calm morning and we both glided along chatting; Ev giving me a commentary along the coastline of good diving and fishing spots. We pass by a huge super yacht "Siri" and moored alongside it were all the other smaller motorboat toys and also a sea plane. Wow, we were so small!

To soon it was time to say goodbye to Ev and get on with the next section. Parkiri to Goat Island. This was when the wind and the chop decided to pickup and make this section the toughest. I was pleased to just be moving slowly along this long sandy stretch of the beach. Sometimes I reckon I was going as slowly as the horse trekking groups on the beach, and I can assure you they were going slowly!! Along the way a yacht motored by and then turned, I see them get as close as they could to me and then wave and cheer. Later on I discover that they had been sent to locate me! Thanks Brian for sending them, it truly helped me on this slow paddle section. The yacht then turned and headed back out to sea, aiming for The Barrier it seemed.

I was so pleased to get to the calmer waters of Goat Island, though a tad later than planned. I sat and rested for awhile to get some energy back before the next leg. Goat Island across the Omaha Bay, aiming for turning the corner and seeing Kawau. I was so pleased that Mother Nature had decided to give up on the wind torture and I was able to gap it across the bay and make really great time speeding along. I was again really enjoying my day. Boats were everywhere, but today they were taking care and keeping an eye on me.

As I got around the next point I just smiled; familiar islands and sights, and so many craft on the water. Holy crap, the bay was nuts. I get my bearings and aim across towards Martins Bay. Mother Nature gives a me a tailwind and an incoming tide, so off we go. I had a wonderful time in the hot afternoon sunshine and when one boat looked like it was about to run me over I turned to see them all waving. They had been sent to find me on these crazy waters to say "Hi!" Oh that damn tracker of mine, I can always be found. After a quick chat I get back to my paddling and adjust my direction skimming past the inside of the island. As I get past it I turn and see a familiar bright fluro top in a kayak. Mike Scanlan was on the water, waiting to paddle in with me to Martins Bay. What a wonderful way to end this beautiful day.

What can I say, the rest of the early evening slips by really quickly and before we know it bed is calling. Tomorrow is planned and I have another 40km to get past and back to the Takapuna boat ramp. "Am I excited" you ask? I think at the moment it is a mixed feeling. Yes I am excited, but also a tad sad. Tomorrow is an end to another year and the end of my epic odyssey. Wow. Although, you will have to laugh, as tomorrow afternoon when it is over, we are off camping!!

My smiles today:
Paddling buddies.
Kind boaties.
Goat Island beach, crazy busy.
Familiar sights. That is weird.
Nearly home. Pinch me, it cannot be true.

My thoughts today:
What feels like the end is often the beginning.

Goodnight from Red and the tired but happy team.

Ma Te Wa.


Great friends.

Great friends.