BLOG 243...The Locals on This Coastline

On the water to have a quick paddle before the wind and the rain arrives in my part of New Zealand. I put Louise on wheels today as the tide was way out. Thanks Jase, the non-slip matting you placed there has improved. Or was it just that, the last time we used the wheels, we pushed the little trolley over its limits? Anyway, it was easier than previous times. I launched and skimmed out on the still, dark water, aiming for Motu Island to see the shags and whatever else was out and about at this hour of the morning. A fishing boat was heading way out and another, smaller craft went heading out as I crossed the mouth of this small harbour. The sea was again calm, with a baby swell to help me cruise along. It was a little cold but, once I got paddling, it was fine. Good to be on the water and nice to be looking and gazing out. The shags were there in large numbers, also a couple of Paradise Ducks out on the island. I stopped and took pictures, then stopped again, foraging for mussels for my dinner tonight (well, maybe lunch and dinner). It’s been weeks since I had fresh seafood. The timing was perfect as the tide was at its lowest, so my deck-bag was half-filled and then, I cruised back and around the bays at the edge of the harbour and back onto the beach.

I unloaded my mussels and then pulled Louise out onto the water again to have a quick, refreshing roll or two! Today, the locals really did think I was nuts. “Why on earth would anyone actually want to get wet?” was the direct question put to me to me as I walked up the beach, towing Louise behind me. My reply was “It wakes me up!”. Although I added that I do actually have one person I’m directly blaming for this!

The next little while I spent eating breakfast and putting Louise back on top of Cuzzie, then we were off to Takaka. No market today, unfortunately, but a nice place in which to wander and to look in the shops and stores. I met some lovely people and will be calling in again to have a Sunday coffee. Then it was time to head out to look at other bays and possible new sites from which to paddle. As I drove back towards the bays nearer Farewell Spit, the wind whistled and the whitecaps appeared, so maybe not the best location after all. But, while I was out that way, I headed to Wharariki and the beach track, where I was greeted in the car park by a large peacock. Not the normal native bird, but it was still rather gorgeous, and not scared of anyone or anything. This was his domain. I strolled off over the farmland, past the cattle, to the far beach where I was greeted by a rather strong wind, waves and massive sand dunes. Very spectacular and well worth the short 20 minute hike to see the beach and realise that there are good and rather bad places to land a kayak. I would probably have to say that there are way more bad places.

On the beach there were lots of oyster-catchers and today, they obliged by standing still enough for a couple of pictures. After being blown about and rained upon, I headed back to Cuzzie and then, actually hightailed it all the way back to Pohara Beach. It was calm in this bay. It was raining but still good for paddling. It was nice to be out for the day and great to see some different locations. Tomorrow? Well, let’s just wait and see.

My smiles today:
A text message to say Orcas have been sighted in Abel Tasman. Thanks Daniel.
Bird watching. Crazy, feathered creatures.
Foraging. Mussels for dinner and fritters tomorrow.
Takaka, this little place did not disappoint.
The crazy weather.
Ripened avocados from Hill St, Auckland. Wish I could eat them with Vogels.

My thoughts today:
You seriously have no idea what people are dealing with in their personal lives, so just be nice to them. It’s that simple!

Bye for now. Red. Ma te Wa.

The Locals.