Thursday 7th April
I was told last night and also the previous day I had unpleasant weather heading my way, heaps of rain and ugly winds. Really? What a pleasant change I thought, I had seen no rain since Sunday, three whole days of dryness was a long time in this part of NN. In bed I lay, I slept on and off till the sound of the really high tide, waves hitting the stone beach and the rain drops had stopped. Out I clambered in the dampness and checked out the state of my overnight fire pit, its location which someone else had created meant it was still warm so I got it going again while there was a break in the wether. For some strange reason this fire building success also is a positive thing for me and I make a saucepan full of coffee, cook a pot of popcorn, well badly burnt a lot of the popcorn, but it was all eaten.
As I sit by my fire under the shelter of the big trees I start about answering a couple of messages send. Nat is after a lost of things I would like for my arrival at Jacksons Bay. Ha, that is a hard thing to imagine right now. There are a couple of strange items on the list, one is honey mead, it seems I have met far too many people who are associated with bees and hives on this section of my trip and they have got me wanting to taste some local honey mead. I have spent the last five hours outside under the trees, in the fresh air by my warm fire, staring at the crazy ocean and the white caps, sitting on a log swing someone has erected on a visit to Anita Bay. Thinking and looking forward to my next section, and also asking myself how I feel about being solo in a little tent and just waiting?
Actually I still have no set answer to it, maybe the best thing is to say it is sheer and unashamedly pig headedness, nothing better or more descriptive. Enjoy the moment and just embrace what MN throws me, and I apologise to you all for not having anything more deep and meaningful to say about this 'Red' mindset. The pig headedness of a Paterson is how I described to my brother my mental attitude of this last month in Fiordland, nothing more and nothing deeper. Pig headedness,
I have now been chased by the heavy rain into my tent and I munch on some beef jerky. I have to say that Marnix's venison jerky he makes is much better, but I have scoffed all that already. The rain is not scheduled to stop until late tonight so I will be waiting it out now, hoping my fire will last long enough so I can heat some water. I was prepared last night and my dinner is all cooked, just needing to be reheated, now that is totally brilliant.
Milford Sound is the last of the Sounds I now head past beaches for a while and yes Jackson Bay is a milestone for me, then it is onwards to Golden bay. What this section has been like for me, I tried to dare to put this into words, the past 30 plus days are etched forever in my mind, it is again scenery that is so breathtaking, wow it is every single person I have met along the way, you have all left a memory and smile on my face, you have been INCREDIBLE and have truly taught me how life should be. I have taken with me:
Cities make people toxic
Everyone should ask "Do you need anything?"
The generosity of everyone, I can honestly say no one has been negative.
The abundance of fresh food to forage for.
The boating community, the hunters, the fishing community. You will always make me smile.
If in doubt, stay out of the water. From the fishermen.
I have sat and written my blog in my tent, it now rains incredibly heavily and I have just noticed that underneath my tent floor now feels like a water bed! The stone floor of the building is pooling water! With me sitting in that pool I was blocking the flow of water. Everything in its dry bags and me are now piled down one end of an already very small tent. The water bed end is now free to drain from underneath me, two pots of water have been collected in less than two hours and I still have 3-4 hours of rainfall predicted. This could be fun! The positives, my flysheet still working a treat, no rain from above, just a water feature beneath me. Never a dull boring moment for sure. Mental note camp on sand! Not uneven rock floor with no drainage you idiot. it is going to be a keeping upright night. The base of my tent survived with no leaks, phew. I slept till the rain stopped then messaged a couple of people while seated in the tent but could not get them to send unless I wandered up and down the beach in the rain. That was not going to last or make me happy so I shut off from the world for the night. My last message of the night also made me frown, Saturday is going to be a short paddle. My thoughts on that, well best described as colourful! Holy crap give me strength! Frustrated, yes totally, and I am asked, what I think my paddle plan is! Ah Gap It! Paddle alright, or maybe scream.
Sleep is needed, batteries and me need to recharge.
My smiles today:
The rain, it kept the sandflies away.
My tent again keeping me dry.
The insane noise the waves are making smashing into the rocks and stones of this beach.
Paddle planning, a colourful smile and words to match.
Mother Nature, I think you win today. Rain, wind, waves no sunshine.
My yummy second days dinner.
Sitting in a swing made of a log and odd bits of rope.
My thoughts today:
When were always waiting for whats next, we miss what is now.