DAY 226...Sunny and Calm Nelson

Cold with a little bit of early fog this morning but not bad enough to stop the airplanes at the nearby airport. The first flight is just after 6.00am and the flight path is directly overhead of the campsite, so no need for an alarm clock this morning! You know it’s cold when you wake up and you feel like pulling a hat onto your head before you get out of your sleeping bag! I brave the early morning cold to look at the sky and to see and feel what the day is going to bring us while we wait in and around Nelson. It’s a stunning morning and it seems we’re going to be blessed with another wonderful, clear and bright Nelson day. By the time I return to the camper-van, Jase has crawled out of bed and we organise ourselves for yet another day. No paddling today, but general jobs keeping me busy and the body and mind moving forward. I have had my moments over the past few days of just sitting and having “what if” moments. There have been a few each day, and I've needed to dig deep at certain moments to try and find the positive in my tail crack damage to T2. We have nicknamed it “Redz crash test dummy moment!" This morning my moods were again a little up and down as we sorted a few things around Cuzzie. I threatened to just sit and drink coffee all day and fuel the “Caged Tiger“ in me. This was received with a frown and just silence from the support crew. Red on a day of coffee inside Cuzzie - not a great mixture at all.

I was also preparing to get out on the water today and just paddle in and around the sheltered Nelson Harbour. We drove to the beach near the campsite and slowly unloaded Louise. I got my gear out and I geared up, aiming for about 1.5 hours of paddling. It took me until just on 11am to get out on the water today. We stopped and chatted to David and his partner (thanks for the donation to MHFNZ and the offer of repair materials). At last, Jase pushed me down the beach and, as I headed off, I got a message to say “See you back at the beach at 12.30pm.” I sent a grumpy reply, stating my dislike for Louise. I know she’s only a kayak, but she’s certainly not T2. I’m going to have to learn to like her but it’s going to take a few more paddling days. The waters out and around Nelson Harbour are nearly flat, with just a small swell further out and a breeze. Soon enough, we sort of settle into a routine and it starts to feel better. At the 6km mark, we turn at the nearest buoy and I turn towards the island and the harbour again. As I start to put some effort into this short training paddle, my mind starts focusing on technique, my speed and how I’m feeling. I see Jase in Cuzzie, returning to the car park, and soon I’m landing on the beach. It was a pleasant paddle. It did feel good to be on the water, even if I was actually paddling around in small circles but at least it’s positive that I’m paddling and I’ve found some calmer water to keep my fitness levels up.                                                                           
Back on dry land we de-rig, talk about things that need to be altered, then cook lunch in Cuzzie and sit in the sun looking out at the ocean watching a couple of guys go paddle training in their outriggers. They head off and, very soon, they have disappeared. It looks like hard work paddling one of these. What to do on a sunny afternoon? I need to keep walking and be in the fresh air, so we head to the local Nelson Farmers’ Markets,  grab some produce and chat to some of the stallholders. It’s warm enough in the sunshine to hang out there for a while. We also grab some solvents for Louise (thanks to the local Nelson community). I headed to a couple of second-hand stores and then it was time to escape the Nelson streets for a peaceful campsite. We head a little out of town towards a campsite that I will be heading to once around and past Nelson, Cable Bay - just by Pepin Island, and this is where we have stopped for the night. It’s truly calm and quiet; there's only one other caravan! 

Another day over, more things sorted out and problems solved. We wait, listen and meet new people, spread the word for MHFNZ and see more of this beautiful countryside. In fact, if it were not for the bad winds, swells and other hiccups, I would not be seeing any of these places or meeting so many wonderful people. As one Aussie friend just said, “You could be working in an office for the next forty years, so bloody well enjoy this crazy adventure!“ Okay, Greggie, I am enjoying it. I am at last finding some HUGE positives, although it perhaps has taken me a while! 

Now I am in a quiet and very tranquil location, it‘s insanely beautiful yet I still have moments of wanting to get out on the water and keep moving forward. I must be really insane, I tell myself. Just enjoy these days. Soon enough I will be having to grind out some big old days again, so I should just make the most of it. Soon enough, this entire journey will be just a memory and I’ll be back in an office, staring at a screen saver on my computer in a boring old office environment!      

My smiles today:
Nelson on a calm and sunny winter’s day.
Louise and I trying to unite on the water.
Jase with his practical and patient support crew manner.
The beauty of the South Island (the scenery and the people).
Nelson Farmers’ Markets, the Neudorf Mushroom Stall and the South African Dried Speciality Meat Stall.

My thoughts today: 
I found this post on social media today and I like it a lot. It makes me smile and also makes me keep trying to improve each day.

Live beneath your means. Return everything you borrow. Stop blaming other people. Admit it when you make a mistake. Give clothes not worn to charity. Do something nice and try not to get caught. Listen more; talk less. Every day take a 30min walk. Strive for excellence, not perfection. Be on time. Don't make excuses. Don't argue. Get organised. Be kind to people. Be kind to unkind people. Let someone cut ahead of you in a line. Take time to be alone. Cultivate good manners. Be humble. Realize and accept that life isn't fair. Know when to keep your mouth shut. Go an entire day without criticizing anyone. Learn from the past. Plan for the future. Live in the present. Don't sweat the small stuff, it's all small stuff.

Good night (from the tranquility of Cable Bay) from Red and all. Ma te Wa

Red and Louise. Practice paddle.

Word Art while cooking dinner.

Word Art while cooking dinner.