Tuesday 8th March
I woke to a weather report from Nat, "Shit, getting shitter." There are dead sandflies and small fire stones everywhere in my tent. The OCD of my home life's ways has had to leave me on this trip. It was raining at 7am this morning, I quickly jogged to the rock pools to harvest some Paua, as they do not move quickly they were still there. I grabbed a large one for my brunch and there will be enough for dinner as they are massive.
Back into my sleeping bag I crawl and wait on the rain to stop. I send some quick messages via my InReach and then turn off the world. I am not sure what the day will bring but sure as heck there will be no paddling. By 930am I see some blue sky out of my tent and I head out to do some more recharging. To my surprise the sandflies have gone on holiday today, is it colder? Windier? Are they bored with me? I am not sure but I will enjoy the moments without them.
I collect some really damp firewood and light my fire, I sit on the smoky side and smile. As a message early this morning from Auckland said they were jealous of me, well, jealous of my Paua and maybe not of the new 'feral' red and my new found perfume, fire smoke.
There is so much blue sky and fluffy clouds zooming overhead, it makes the ocean, deep blue and the waves shimmering foaming white madness a really incredible sight.
So far today I have got brunch and dinner sorted, the fire is sorted for a while, Wacaco coffee machine working its magic and I am sitting on my large carryall plastic bag. Mike Scanlan, you rock for suggesting this, it is my firewood collecting bag, my gear carrying bag, my ground cover to sit on and it cost only two dollars, best and cheapest piece of equipment I have with me.
I have been like the weather today, I have looked to the sky and thanked my son (wherever he is in the world) for actually making this incredible journey of mine begin. I have had a thoughtful moment or two, shed one or two tears for life, for experiences, for his one staying that has stuck, "Mum, if you want to do something, then nothing is stopping you, Just go do it." He is right and now I fell alive again, no need for any of us to pay massive amounts of money to go to a retreat!
Just hook up with a Bluff fisherman, get them to drop you off on a remote beach and pick you up again once the weather improves enough for them to return. Cheap, simple and incredibly good for most, maybe all.
The other thing I laugh at is that during my down time in Invercargill we saw an advert for NZ Survivor! Well what a laugh, Nat has helped me enter, now this will be hilarious. Probably not back in time for filming, but, something made me smile and be entertained. The heavy rain returned and I retreated to my tent, fireplace piled high with wood hoping it will last until the sun returns. Today was going to be an extremely low tide so one hour before I head to go rock cave exploring, it was a bonza today. The Paua I found, I actually said "Holy Crap," out loud, so huge my entire hand span could not measure it. I have bent my stainless steal knife dive knife when prying it off the rock. Dinner for four days this one, and the rest still on the rocks for me and my daily store. I have this one on a rock in seawater on the bottom of T2 until tomorrow to eat. Poor T2.
I skipped along the beach and nearly danced back up to the fireplace after this rock hoping adventure, truly amazing, thanks Green Islets, you are being rather nice to me. Wind, rain and massive swells, nothing new on the paddling front, so I am enjoying my simple life, water collecting and boiling, foraging for wood, fire making and collecting food, MN will let me paddle sometime soon, another day of no fishing boats always means bad weather.
Sleep time in my world, a good day has been had. Maybe handstand practise tomorrow and collecting even more firewood, no need for Paua hunting as I have so much to eat.
My smiles today:
The hugest Paua I have ever seen in my lifetime.
My new fragrance, firesmoke.
My bent dive knife, LOL.
My support crew and their daily updates,
My brother for his support on this journey. Thanks Phil and thinks to his wife Pauline.
My thoughts today:
It is the people in your life who want you in theirs, the ones who accept you for who you are, the ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who care about you no matter what. Thanks to you all.
Goodnight from Red, T2 and my fire.