DAY 129...Monkey Island to Craig Point

Thursday 3rd March

It was great to curl up in Cuzzie last night, there was a chill in the air so we had the heater on.  It was good to be ready for the next leg of this crazy odyssey I started way back in October 2015.

This is the section everyone has asked me about.
Where will you stay?
What will you do solo?
How will you cope?
You will be in a tent? Yes!
There are no roads?  No!
And numerous other questions.

It is strange but true the closer to each big event, trip or adventure I ever do the quieter and rather more withdrawn I get.  A sort of way of preparing myself I suppose and trying to keep a tight lid on any excitement or self doubts so I am never disappointed.  Last night was like this for me, a lot to focus on and a lot to make sure was ready in my brain and with my gear and my mindset.  A lot may think that this just is a natural trait of mine, I am bullet proof and "fearless" as my pants pic said!  But in reality it is many years of self discipline and giving myself a shove into uncomfortable situations.  Yes I get nervous and yes I have doubts.  I just try and channel them into making me move forward even if it is sometimes rather silently and sometimes shyly!  So when Nat mentioned last night I seemed tired I just nodded, it was my way of dealing with things.  I am not a talker when it comes to me, I just try and personally solve things.

Back to this morning.  I was up early and dragged T2 down to the water edge and started on packing all my gear and supplies, far enough away not to have the incoming tide wash her away.  It all went in, even my fav jacket Nat managed to wedge piece by piece into the front stowing hold.  Enough food, Nat is happy, I saw her out of the corner of my squeezing the remaining small potatoes, beetroot and onions into every nook and gap she can find.  Honestly it is a wonder poor T2 still floated!  Potatoes!  Thanks for the caring support crew team.  Okay final hugs and I am off, waving goodbye for a smallish paddle, just until the weather turns, to Port Craig.

My paddle was okay, if you like the big open bay to bay kind of paddles.  There was not a lot to look at except migrating birds.  I had a biggish swell and the tide and current were against me, making some of this paddle like I was going through thick mud.  Slowly I pushed forward, I looked toward the horizon and it was calm.  It was calmer than forecast on the horizon, and maybe, could I go further than Port Craig?  I sort of aimed away a little from my destination, but then stopped gave myself a stern chat, day one was not the day to go against plans.  So on the calm oily sea I headed into Port Craig.  32km of paddling done & dusted!

Onto the shoreI unloaded, it was low tide so a little way to clamber but to a great camping site that many have stayed at way before me.  My tent up, pics taken, food in mouth eating and a caretaker for the Humptrack Hut appeared to check on me.  She was worried I was going to leave a mess behind, I assured her I would not and she headed off to grab mussels from the rocks.  It is sad in many ways that others have left there waste behind and then we all get the assumption we will do the same.  I found a hand made brick bbq so it was lit and roaring and my dinner of venison mince (thanks again Tim) was cooked.  I added Nat's potatoes, herbs and tomato paste, I cooked enough for my breakfast as well!

One day I will walk this great track and visit Port Craig by track and my feet, but this time it is the coastline and once I arrived and landed I have to say it is a really pretty place, the sand flies like it too.  Most of my gear is charged and I am now in my tent warm and satisfied, listening to the rain on the tent gently falling.  The weather has arrived as predicted, let's see if it goes by tomorrow morning.

My smiles today:
The huge amount of food I have.
The stupid sand flies in my tent!  Why do they rush to get in then want to get out, not even stopping to try to bite you?  Weird bugs.
This gorgeous location I am in that many others have seen before me.
My fire, always makes me smile.

My thoughts today:
Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness.

Good night to all, Red & T2.

Red taking a deep breath before starting the 400km around Fiordland

Red taking a deep breath before starting the 400km around Fiordland