DAY 239...Shortest Day of the Year!

If it was to be the shortest day of the year (mid-winter) it truly tried to oblige; rain, mist, low-lying cloud cover, and wind. Even Golden Bay was lacking in sunshine today. It was a tough morning. I woke early with great intentions of getting up, then I heard the rain and now, I feel a headache that’s getting worse with every passing moment. Or is it that I want to blame almost anything for not getting up and on with my day? Bang! I turn on the light and get up to take a couple of pain killers. Part of me wants them not to work so I would have an excuse to stay in bed! But that would never sit well in my subconscious!! “What’s that? You didn’t train because of a measly headache? What kind of lame excuse is that?” For those who know me well, you’ll understand that, in my world, this would never wash. How could I possibly use that as an excuse?

Eventually, I get up and out onto the beach. Firstly, I go for an hour’s walk, waiting for the sun to wake up and telling myself that I don’t need to paddle today. Perhaps I’ll just have a day off!! Instead, I decided to go for a short hike to The Grove, only about thirty minutes walk from the camping ground. With my rain jacket on, I accomplish this little bush walk that’s very pretty, even in the rain. Then I wander back towards the campsite and Cuzzie, stopping to look at the many fruit trees that are laden with produce, without anyone seeming to want to pick the fruit. For me it’s a real a shame to see great food being wasted; why not use the produce?

It was going to be my day, just sitting in Cuzzie, reading a book. But, no, that’s not ever the way it goes. On the way back, eventually I convinced myself to get out on the water for a small paddle. As always, it works and once I am dressed and actually on the beach, I launch and head off towards the islands, past the small port. The hills around this bay did a great job today, protecting me from the winds further out. As I’ve mentioned many times, I actually like paddling in the rain. At least, if the seas are calm enough! Around the islands and the bays, there are numerous small caves, so there’s plenty to look at. I do lots of meandering in, around and up close with the rocks, the islands, and the bird life. The shags are nesting on the cliff faces and many have small chicks that they’re feeding. I enjoyed a couple of gaps I paddled through so much, that I went around to repeat them a couple of times. I’m enjoying my time on the water and all together, I spent three hours paddling some 21 kms. It took a big butt kick to get me up and out this morning but, I’m pleased to have got Tuesday done and dusted. I even did my rolls in the calm of the Bay as I ended my paddle today. Perhaps not the best-looking ones this week but, at least they worked. I challenge most of you to convince yourself to finish your paddle day upside-down in the colder waters of the South Island! Frankly, I know only a handful of people who would actually be willing to join me in this crazy game.

I dragged Louise back to Cuzzie. No need to rinse my kayak down, as the rain was falling really heavily. But my headache hasn’t returned so it didn’t win the mind game this morning! A hot shower, an early dinner, and also a huge pat on the back! Tomorrow I’m going to be up early and nailing the day. In my crazy mind, the days are now officially getting longer and this can only mean one thing...summer is coming!! I grin at this silly, stupid thought. I know in reality that there are still months of cold and rain yet to come, but the power of being positive may just work.

My smiles today:
Mind games. We know them all too well.
Rain on the water.
Another day of paddling in circles.
A silent, solo day.

My thoughts today:
Winter never lasts forever. The days can only get longer and brighter from here on.

From me, Red. Ma te Wa.

Grey Misty Morning.