DAY 172...Reunions

Friday 15th April.

I am so happy, but best I tell you why.

The story is that as I walked along the beach last night, it was clear, bright and not windy, I had said goodbye to all the guys and Gus had said you will be going tomorrow I reckon.  He was more positive than me, the team reckon I was not going to be able to paddle.  Ahhhh this waiting game.  I heated up my water bottle, tucked myself into bed, set the alarm for the 6am weather report and curled up to sleep.

I slept really well overnight and woke just before 6am, the team sent the news that the wind was no better.  Neither thought I should paddle today to and wait another day.  I was bitterly disappointed and Jase even suggests I head out and look at the ocean.  I thought colourful thoughts and pulled the sleeping bag over my head, how was I going to survive another day!  Sleep as long as possible, I could hear no wind, hear no waves, but !

The sun rose, I stirred still not happy.  I looked at the forecast and I listened to outside, they did not match.  I then sent a message to the man I have nick named Master and got a response I smiled about, "Surf's up dude."  In other words, go paddle.  Really?  Yes really, "I have no problem with you paddling in this weather report."  That was all I needed, gear into my white bag, sandflies on mass swarm my tent and I do not care.  I pack down and am ready and heading towards the water within one hour.  It was just on 1045am when I was ready to set off.   As I got to the water John arrived to say his goodbyes, he had been out hunting and was surprised I had not left earlier.  As I swatted sandflies I said goodbye and was off, fingers crossed this paddle was going to be okay.

As I headed out I sat on the calm water sent an "I am off " message to all and placed my coffee container under the straps of my deck bag before I waved bye.  As I paddled out I climbed up and over a couple of breaking waves and that was the last I saw of my mornings brewed coffee!  Idiot thing to do, I knew way better but would I ever learn?  No coffee!

As I paddled along the SW wind pushed me along and also flattened out the swell.  It was actually going really well far, better than I had imagined, I was whizzing along!  10km it was going well.  Then another 10km, yippee.  It was way better than I could have imagined, the weather report for once had been wrong we had fixed MN.

I was excited.

Along the way a helicopter was parked on the cascade rocks.  That was a surprise beyond belief and a video was taken.  I promised to celebrate my 3000km paddle section so ticked off that job today as well.  Soon I was nearing Jackson Bay point, I was so excited as a boat whizzed up to say the chip shop closes in less than an hour and Nat has said paddle quickly.  I did and this bay was beautiful.

I am so lucky, I am so blessed and I have completed my Fiordland section!

Big hugs to Nat, 43days since we saw each other, Cuzzie as well.  So cool to be reunited, chips are amazing.  Life is bloody great today.  I can breathe, I am at the end.  T2 is loaded, we chat and we chat more as we kill sandflies.  Back to Haast campsite to cook dinner to celebrate and meet Jase.  So many hugs, so much to say.  So so damn happy!

Paddle tomorrow, then some down time!

My smiles today: 
Jacksons Bay, I made it.
LP champagne.
Presents from Auckland.
Steak, mmm yummy.

My thoughts today:
Sometimes you can actually out wit MN.  Today we did!

Red, T2, Cuzzie and the Redz NZ Team

Cuzzie waiting at Jackson Bay

Cuzzie waiting at Jackson Bay

Red reunited with Cuzzie and the team at Jackson Bay

Red reunited with Cuzzie and the team at Jackson Bay