DAY 116...Fire building

Friday 19 February

I slept wrapped up in my sleeping bag with woollen clothes and a beanie on for extra warmth, despite the rain and wind I stayed toasty warm.  Things were a little damp from yesterday but there was no stream or big river running in or around my tent and I was for the most part dry.  I had enough charge to get a couple of message out to let all know I was doing okay.

My alarm wet off at 5am, ha, but it was dark with a strong wind blowing and rain pouring down.  Who was I trying to kid, no paddling today!  I stayed tucked in my sleeping bag, thinking thank you to all who are helping me live my dream.  Many of you must find my happiness about being stuck on a beach under some damp trees and being alone a horrible concept.  Ah well, it is not that bad, by 630am I got up, wrapped up warm and headed back to do some satellite massaging.  No such luck to stay warm in bed to send them, there is no coverage in the tent under the trees.

While sending messages I grabbed some mussels from the rocks for my breakfast, I am saving my food incase one day there is no available seafood.  Soon the weather report came in, "Sorry, not good news.  Terrible for today, Saturday and Sunday, hope you have lots of food!"  It then started to rain so back into the tent, I curled up and went back to sleep.

The rain lifted and the wind changed direction, still blowing but now not directly into the back of my tent, just fiercely whistling over the hills and through the treetops above me.  "What to do?"  I asked myself.  Nowhere to wander, as the tide is in and there is no beach, no point relocating as my gear and tent are wet, so what is the point?  I tidied up the inside of the tent and decided I would make a fire.  The idea truly made me happy, I love fires, so off I went, promising myself that if I succeeded then I would have warmed water from the stream to wash myself in!  

I gathered what wood I could find that was not damp and started on building my fire.  People who know me well will smile at this, I am a firebug!  Eventually it got going but needed lots of TLC to get started.  As promised, I filled a pot with water and heated it, what a damn luxury, warm water!  Clean and smiling I pulled back on my old, grubby but warm clothes.  I kept myself busy most of the afternoon collecting wood and tending to my fire, I even got enough embers to cook my mussels for dinner, along with my cornflour damper, toasted on a stick.  Memories of doing this as a kid rushed to my mind, no lashings of butter today, but still good.

Tonight my fire is still going, glowing like a friend.  The flames and the warmth are great, there are no sandflies (!) so I can sit in my tent feeling the warmth and staring at the beautiful flames as I think.  I am only two days paddling away from Oban, but it all depends on Mother Nature playing ball.

My smiles today:
My fire building skills.
Flames, they always make me smile.
My warm creek water wash.
The simple things in life!
A big smile for Jase and all the camping we have done together over the years.
The thought of nearly being around Stewart Island.
The big, fat wood pigeon in the tree that like my fire too!

My thoughts today:
How simply we could all live, how little we actually need and how complicated we all make our lives.  I am not sure why we are all caught on this treadmill, but it sure feels good when you jump off!


Local friendly wood pigeon.

Local friendly wood pigeon.