My alarm went off at four am and after three days away from paddling I wanted to get an okay day under my belt. By 5.15 we headed down the hill to get T2 unloaded and ready to paddle. I waited for a little while as I did not want to get out to the end of Nugget Point before the sun had come up, I wanted to have clear vision to navigate the rocks and big swells. Off I set, actually aiming for a slow start and ease into the day. I had an out going tide and a tailwind, T2 was actually travelling along nicely. As we speed to the point I looked up for the support crew on the look out by the light house but no sighting, they thought I would be slower than this.
As I got past and aimed at the next point I noticed that my pace was really good today. The tide, wind and swell were making life easy for the start of today. There was, at times, at least a 2.5m swell and I rose and fell over this. It was really well spaced apart and nothing breaking at all, I would just loose sight of the headland and cliffs as it came through. I must have been about an hour into my paddle when I heard a voice shout out to me! That is weird feeling, but I looked up and saw Christine and John in the Interface Kayaks a little further out than me. We both headed towards each other and spent the next couple of hours paddling together. We stopped for morning tea on the water and took pics of the cool Albatross who sat just next to us on the water. Gosh he was stunning, and so big when close.
After we had stopped for a break they got their sails back up to make the most of the tailwind and T2 and I just paddled and surfed. It was really nice to break my day and chat to some others. After a VHF check point with Jase I then went on towards Pillans Head. We stayed paddling together for a little while longer and then soon we separated to concentrate on our missions and our paddling, thanks guys for your company. I will see you again soon I am sure as we all head up the west coast. I blatted along to the next VHF point, Jase said, "You are travelling really well, do you wish to go further?" The answer from me was actually yes, lets make hay while the sun is shining. My new finishing point was nominated, Porpoise Bay. It seemed if the weather and MN was going to be kind then I best push on.
Of course when you nominate to go a little further then MN seems to hear and I just know the wind and current will change for sure. The head wind arrived and I was paddling against a now rather strong current. At least the swell stayed in my favour but my speed and time to cover each kilometre dropped massively. Typical, but I had opted to go further so I was the only person to get myself there, no bail out anywhere else on this coastline I am told via my Inreach. I knuckled down to the end, every 10 km I checked in with Jase and every 10 km I was getting closer to the final beach. It was tougher thank my easy start and as I reached the final point, Brothers Point, I came around into a huge washing machine of water. There was a helpful boatie out there fishing saying, "You are brave!" Actually by now I have no other option but to get around and back into some sort of shelter. It took awhile but drinking lots of water and eating a couple of extra chocolate bars I was in VHF coverage again with the support crew, phew. The last 6km had taken a huge amount of concentration and slowly I got closer to the beach. I was convinced the land crew had the landing location wrong and wanted to come in further down the beach as it seemed to me that I was aiming directly at the most populated section of the beach, with a wave to get over and then onto the beach. I did not fancy stuffing up my landing in front of the sunbathing people on the beach but fortunately the gods were kind today. I landed and stepped out of my kayak after a big day, 71km on my Garmin, 10 hours of water time.
Sunshine and a smile for a great day on the water, some easy paddling, some a little harder but all done. Dinner is ready, gear is drying and we are nearly in Bluff. Lets just see what tomorrow brings. At Porpoise Bay Campsite Jase is full of his day telling me he had to sprint over farm land to do checkpoints, grab coffee from a crazy, way cool cafe gallery with interactive oddities, Lost Gypsy Gallery. I want to visit, here’s hoping I get time when it starts blowing again and I cannot paddle, even the horse trekking girls told us that this was a must visit. For now I cannot wait to eat, get a hot cup of tea and into my sleeping bag, a shower is needed and also rest.
My smiles today:
Having company to paddle with, thanks guys, see you on the west coast for sure.
Hearing John calling out over the ocean waves, "Albert!” (that is his name for the crazy big birds)
Seeing the pink shirt on the beach at the end of this big day, that always makes me smile.
T2, she made me smile today and made me very proud, thanks Andy I do luv my boat,
The sunshine on this amazing coastline always makes for a fab day of paddling.
A smooth landing! Smiles all around
My thoughts today:
Goal setting! It never ceases to amaze me how strange that if I move the goal posts and make the challenge tougher it is okay, but if someone else moves the finish line I seem to get upset. Weird how my brain works! It is a tough brain to understand sometimes.