DAY 221...Side Step and Way More

Friday 3rd June

Firstly I have to say a couple more things about yesterday.  The little campsite we stayed at last night, Karamea Domain, was totally amazing.  Warm whitebait fritters from the caretakers, what a treat.  A heat pump going in the kitchen and lounge, a pool table and OMG hot showers with no timer.  Also a lovely donation to the charity and a farewell from the beach.

Sometimes you just have to take a breath and side step MN so we did that this morning.  We sat on the beach, we watched, we planned and we waited.  We had the luxury of only a short paddle today so a later start was okay, well okay for some.  I hate waiting and the anxiety in me increases with each hour we wait for the wind and the swells to lesson.  In the end we do a small back track and find a sweet spot to launch.  I have decided if I am going to die of anything it will be from the massive amount of adrenaline that is pulsing through my veins as I paddle out, in and over these huge west coast waves and seas.  The heart rate is out of control and as I get out the back it takes me three to four kms to feel half normal again.  All the adrenaline pumping through my veins, it is like I have drunk a bucket of black coffee, it is nuts.  I talk with Jase for a couple of minutes once I get paddling just to try and calm down.  Later on I paddle along amazed at the beautiful day on the West Coast, gosh it is stunning.  Blue clear skies, green mountains and cliffs, flat calm blue seas but the swell and waves crashing into Karamea beach further up is intense.  There is spray being blown back like a thin veil.  I am pleased to have escaped.

Soon enough I arrive at Kohaihi Bluff, a very beautiful location and today it was calm enough to have paddled in to the river mouth, but I was to push on a little further up to another small bay where Jason would hike out to and meet me.  This last section was rather a fast section for me and I covered the eight km in less than an hour so I sat and waited for his arrival.  As I sat and waited I watched the wave sets, I watched the calm and the rough in front of me.  I watched and watched.  I waited as I had promised Jase I would before attempting a landing but I was tempted to get in and get the tent set up before he arrived.  I sat and waited a little longer then I broke my promise and tried my luck.  This was the worst decision of this trip.  MN sucked me into this bay and then ... 

I was on the beach with a great load of sea foam.  I lost a shoe and sat there going holy crap and I was regretting that broken promise because when he arrived we both looked out onto that ocean, I sat and looked and sat and looked, and I am bloody lucky to have landed.  Today has had its high and its low moments and I am still dealing with the lows at this very moment.  I will share all of them once I have completed the rest of the South Island, you all have come to know how superstitious I am.  It really is for my own sanity.  As someone I respect said, "It is going to be tougher than you can ever imagine."  Today that is so very true.

My smiles today: 
Escaping over the waves this morning.
The thought of my yummy warm white bait fritters from last night.
Calm blue West Coast seas.
My continued slow journey of this coast.
My many bumps and bruises.
My fragile mind tonight.

My thoughts today:
 It IS tougher today than I wanted to imagine.  Not physically, I can deal with that pain.  It is just the uncontrollable things that happen on a day that mentally push me.


Goodnight from Red.

Barefoot on Heaphy Track

Barefoot on Heaphy Track

This mornings Beach

This mornings Beach