DAY 216...Red in a Nordkapp

Coffee and then it was onto the days excitement, we were off to paddle on Lake Brunner.  I grab my gear and help with the loading of the two Nordkapp kayaks onto the roof of the Subaru and then we were off to pick up another to join us for the days outing.  Leon was ready and waiting for us at the end of his driveway and really soon we were on the road.  It was looking like the weather was going to be okay for the days outing, I could hardly believe I was going to get my self out paddling, albeit on a lake.

At Lake Brunner we departed from a different launch than last time.  We headed out onto the water with me gingerly getting into my unfamiliar red kayak, Mr. Caffyn's favourite kayak which from all accounts is rather a tippy-over kayak.  She was being nice to me, soon we were best friends and I glided along nicely on the glassy lake water.  Paul was in his other Nordkapp and Leon on his paddle board.  It was insanely beautiful on the lake today, calm and we did have some rain but not intense rain like the past few weeks, just gently falling from the sky and looking like the sky was crying.  The mist rolled in and the ranges surrounding the lake were covered at times and then the sun would come out again.  We found a great location for a return trip when we will all head out again, build fires and spend a night by the lake, summertime on Lake Brunner.  Look out I am coming back.

Today I saw the most gorgeous kingfisher, so beautifully coloured and a lucky charm for sure.  Today it was so cool to paddle with two people and discover and enjoy together.  Paul shared with us his knowledge of this area and we paddled over areas that are normally too shallow.  We reckon the lake waters were at least two metres higher than normal, pretty incredible how the trees and the plants close to the lake edge survive getting wet feet/roots like this.

Paddling along today was relaxing, a couple of times I pushed and raced ahead a little just to see how the body felt and also to see the differences in the feel of this boat to T2.  It was different but I am not sure if it was a good or a bad different.  LOL, I am actually sure I would find pleasure in most kayaks as I am on the water and that is fun in its self.  As much as Paul tried I was not being drawn into responding to his questions about which kayak was better.  Each craft has its positives.

We weaved through the trees on the lake and after a little while headed back to the car and the lake edge to eat and load for the return trip home.  What a great adventure.  Soon, in fact too soon, we were back on the cast, unpacked and it was time for me to say my goodbyes to Leon and Paul, and to the west coast.  I am sad, I will miss this great, small, fun community.  I am going to come back and probably stay and absorb this place in the summer, for longer than my stay this time!

On the road heading up towards Westport I stop and say goodbye to the sunset, the ocean and one more time absorb the feelings.  I say to the ocean that I will be back, that is most certainly a promise.  To sit and light fires, listen to stories, paddle lakes, and go camping.  Leon maybe I will come armed with a SUP instead of sitting in a kayak.  It was really cool to see a mixture of paddlers today, all three of us enjoying the water and the outdoors in and on the water.

Into Westport I speed, fuel, gas, water and the dump station as well.  Cuzzie was filled and also emptied then it was into the airport to pick up Jase.  Back he comes for another section of Redz NZ Journey.  Thank you and thanks to his understanding clients at such short notice.  I promise to paddle as fast as I can so he can head back and keep you all fit, healthy and tortured (Jase is a Personal Trainer).  We are in Westport now, tomorrow it is a nicer weather day but I am waiting until the swells drop.  One more day off the water and then maybe, just maybe I will be paddling further north.  A paddle planning day for Monday, download to Jase the upcoming sections, and then...?

My smiles today:
Paddling in the iconic legend of the Nordkapp.
The sight of a sea kayaker and a paddle boarder next to each other on a lake.
The feeling of my final departure out of 12 Mile this afternoon.
The sunset, the ocean and the blue clearing skies.
The feeling of a new weather window arriving.
My clear mind.
Chatting to like minded people, this is the best.
Seeing the colourful Kingfisher, very special.

My thoughts today:
Take deep breathes, stretch and take breaks now and then.  Enjoy life, go outside and appreciate nature, keep yourself sane.

Good night from Red, Cuzzie and Jase.

Leon and Paul paddling Lake Brunner.

Leon and Paul paddling Lake Brunner.