This is probably is the hardest blog to write and share so far...where do I start...
I went to bed last night with everything signed, sealed and confirmed that the wind was going to be gusting up to 30knots and everywhere I looked it said the same. I even chatted with a couple of others about paddling Thursday and they also were to be keeping off the water, their weather forecast was similar to mine. So to bed late, satisfied it was an off the water day. At 4.30am I woke, I lay and listened for the strong wind gusts but silence! Before 5am I was pacing about looking at a very still morning with a growing knot in my stomach. By 6am the new forecasts were up and available and they had not changed, still big winds predicted. Okay Mr. Weatherman, I believe you, but really it is like a mill pond out there, when is the wind going to wake up, it is meant to be here by now.
I start to get agitated about what to do, by 7.00am I have support crew, Jason, up and questioning him as well. He tries to keep me under control and level with his answers, he suggests we take a drive to the other side and look at the conditions which we humours me until we get there and then it is calm as well. "What is the weatherman talking about?" I ask! A few replies but nothing that would keep me calm and satisfied. I have always promised myself to stay true to the forecasts and not to paddle when it looked as it did, me and a 30 knot wind gust, maybe not. We head back to my launch beach, this has taken us until 9am and I am beside myself with what to do. The frustrations of not having that crystal ball to see the correct answer! I start to convince myself the forecast is wrong, but maybe it is correct! The dilemma and the frustration is rising and the support crew do not have the answers I need.
I have to say right now to all who read this story, I again state I do not envy the team on a day like this. I even drive myself insane with the shear frustration of this situation, I just want to be on the water but I want to be safe as well. I have to sit and listen to the forecaster and have faith, but maybe, surely the wind is just waking up, but, I could have gapped it by now and would have nearly safely been where I wanted to get to! A faint wind is now lifting but it is nothing you could not paddle in. I still sit. I see my fellow kayakers Christine and John arriving onto Kaka Beach as well, they are not paddling due to the bad forecast. We head to a cafe for a coffee the sun is blazing and the sea is calm, this is torture. I head back to the campsite, Jase makes a point of stopping on the way to buy large tubs of honey as he knows this will keep me happy. Kaka Point Clover Honey, it is yummy and I smile. I have to love the honesty box system in NZ, so lovely.
Just about back to the campsite and the lovely kayakers (Christine & John) are needing their gear taken up to their campsite location so they can drag the lighter unloaded kayaks up the hill for the next couple of days. We get everything up for them and then I busy myself with making chocolate kumera brownie and extra supplies for my days on the water. Jase by this stage has a massive headache! I sure l am to blame for this, as by the beach there had been a few stern conversations, tension in my voice, a few tears of frustration and still he had not totally subdued me. I was banished to cooking duties. Brownie underway and now cooked but I am no calmer. The caged tiger is in distress and needing some type of water action but staring at the sea is not helping.
By this stage all I can say is that 'they', the weather people, have got it wrong. We have found a distraction, we are heading to water, but not the sea. We are off to the Purakaunui Falls to make me take a chill pill. You know what, it actually did work. Once we got there and into the bush and walking I felt better. We got down to the falls and stood on the viewing platform, what a wonderful picturesque sight. I love water, so mush so that I had to get much closer. I also needed to laugh and smile today as so far it had been a torturous day. Over the rocks we clambered and then I stood right next to the falls. With spray and water on my face I finally started to smile and feel normal again. Then I thought, bugger this I am going to have some fun. We both put on our togs and it was a very funny sight. Picture this if you can, as tourists stood on the platform we both appeared from the native bush right next to the falls in our swimming gear and took pictures getting wet and swimming in the falls. It was a moment to remember, we got big smiles from the crowd and thumbs up as they all took pictures of us taking pictures of ourselves! Hilarious. I washed away my frustrations of today, my mind is cleared, it only took till 3pm for that to happen.
Back we headed to the campsite, munching on chippies and then we swung towards Cannibals Bay, just to look and take a walk on a beach. We went foraging and found Pipis, I waded knee deep in the sea, just walking and harvesting and enjoying the beach, this moment was just about enjoying life at last. I can not really explain the immense pleasure I actually get from walking in and near the water, on freshly rained sand under my bare feet with no one else on the beach. It is stunning, I am wrapped in my warm jacket, wind and some rain on my face. I want to stay on this beach for a very long time and we did. It was safe now for the team to talk about the weather forecast being so wrong and actually this bad weather was moving slowly across the country, probably a day slower than had been forecast. Damn and blast.
I hope some of you can understand my frustrations. I hope you find something in this story to make you laugh, as believe me after a day like today of me being a caged tiger, I do laugh at myself and I do see the funny side to my gear throwing, my tense raised voice, and my tears of frustration. I deeply feel so sorry for the support person on this section. Jase you are a Rock I and thank him for finding some water for me to play in to take my mind off my journey, it worked.
My Smiles today:
Honey, I love bees, I love honey. Kaka Point Honey, my first smile today
The mother seal and her pup on the Kaka Point Beach
The water fall, this totally made my day
The foraging for food on Cannibal Bay Beach (can I stay a little while longer?)
The cold blustery wind, at last you have arrived, albeit nearly a day late!
The fact I am still trying to learn the art of patience and calmness and I am 53! Oh dear, I blame the red hair.
The fact I can laugh at myself.
My thoughts today:
Really and truly, I think I was a mermaid in another life. I am only happy in or on the water. Land based life seems to make me go crazy!
Goodnight from Red, Cuzzie & Jase.
PS: The Catlins are stunning! I have never been here before, what a gorgeous secret place.