It was a very cold morning but I was feeling great about the possibility of getting on the ocean as I walked down the hill pre sun rise. It was calmer than yesterday but again horrible waves and still a swell that rippled all the way to the horizon, looking like a the skin of a Shar Pei dog. Kirsty, Paul and the two dogs were on their early morning walk and stopped to chat. I assured them this was to be my day and I was off and racing north!
I sat in my kayak, we got ready to launch and there I sat, not that it was a gentle sit. We waited, we watched, we went in and out in the surf and we both just kept saying, "Nup, wait for he next calm spell." We waited and we waited, every time we thought after this set of waves they just kept dumping at our feet and sweeping me sideways. Jase (support crew replacement for Nat) was holding me steady and I was hanging onto the sand and stones to try and keep T2 straight and ready. It got to the stage when Jase turned away and looked at me in my kayak. I said, "Is it getting better out the back of the next set?" His reply, "I cant look! It is getting worse!" It was thumping at us. We looked and said okay lets put a time limit on this stupid game. After a further ten minutes it was another down paddle.
Silently we unloaded T2 and carried all the gear up the beach and up the bank to Cuzzie. Jase was frozen from standing in the ocean with me for 45 minutes and I was really miffed. What the heck was going on? Cold and rather disillusioned I started to de rig and pack down my gear. Jase was frozen and headed to put on his warm leggings and get his wet cold gear off. This is rather funny, as Jase was trying to remove his wet clothes Kirsty had returned to take some pics of us and my launch. She got more than she bargained for, a shot of Jase's bare butt! Jase was hell bent on warming up and by this stage had only one concern, to get his wet clothes off and into something warm. OMG Kirsty and I both cried with laughter. As anybody knows, trying to get tight woollen leggings on when you are cold and wet is not that easy. I am sure there is a couple of images he hopes do not make the Redz NZ albums!
It did take us a long time to unpack, me to get dressed and load up my gear. I was positive it was a paddle day today and as we sat with the heater on looking out to sea I watched the wind send veils of sea spray off each set of waves that rolled in. It was really spectacular but also really a reason to not be on the water. MN may have actually been nice and looked after me today so I am going to thank her, she looked after me today and did not allow me on the water. As I sat in the back of Cuzzie a Toyota ute pulled up and out of the drivers seat I see a familiar face, John, one of the wonderful guys from Barn Islands. What a small word! He also give me a hard time for not visiting as I passed through Hokitika. John I totally deserved the telling off, no excuses really, just got busy in and around Greymouth with the Coast Road locals. I will make a promise, I am going to come say hi when I return for my tiki tour of my favourite places. Hokitika, Greymouth and the Coast Road are going to see more of me, also John. Thank you so much for the offer of the helicopter ride for one of us today.
We had off water plans to go hiking. It did take me a good few hours to actually drag myself away from staring out to sea but eventually I went and turned away from the torment. We headed to Charming Creek Walkway. We grabbed our hiking boots, food for a late lunch and at last we threw on our back packs. We set off at a rather fast pace, this was a really pretty walk next to the creek and lots of waterfalls, beech forests and wide tracks. We walked all the way to Mumm's Mill site where we sat and had lunch, made some great coffees and enjoyed the sunshine. I removed my hiking boots as they were not my favourite shoes today, they felt stiff, rigid and actually by the halfway point on our return trip I took off my socks and wore my boots with no socks. I was still getting cramp in my feet and toes so I removed my boots and tramped in bare feet for the last three kms! My boots are about to be given away to another, by the end of this hike Jase was laughing with me as I wanted to hurl my boots away and I did think for a moment to just leave them hanging on the carpark fence with a note to say 'Free to a good home'.
We are in a little campsite tonight at Mokihinui, it is a nice little location. We are the only ones here tonight, the tourists seemed to have all left now and most of the camping grounds are basically near on empty. We arrived, set ourselves up and made a few calls. Another day over, lots of new sights seen. I seem to get to know this coast and surrounding area better everyday and it feels like I am meant to stay. Thank you.
My smiles today:
The amazing ocean sights and waves today, pretty incredible.
The bare butt on the beach moment caught on camera
Me finishing my hike in bare feet.
A picture of Nat's completed scarf (she is a pro thanks to her Nana's help).
Chatting to new friends, the locals are wonderful.
Walking by the waterfalls today.
MN for keeping me another day on this really beautiful section of coastline.
My thoughts today:
Sometimes you meet a person and you just click, you're comfortable with them and you don't have to pretend to be anyone or anything. That is how the West Coast makes me feel, it is like a new friend. I love this place.
Enjoy your evenings,
Red, Jase and our wonderful Cuzzie.