Sometimes a so-called “weather high” is one of the worst days of this trip. Sunny for sure, which is what everyone wants and calm along most of the west coast, but I’m pretty unsettled. Not like when I was at Kohaihai, more a feeling of disbelief of “How can I be so, so close and yet not be able to paddle?”. As I sit in the cottage pre-sunrise, it seems that I’m having a nasty trick played on me. The weather forecast I’m looking at must be lying to me, as if that were possible!! All I want to do now is paddle. There’s no noise from the ocean, the huge trees are not bending in half like yesterday. I message others, terrorising those who I know will be awake at this ungodly hour. I even message the cray-fishing team who say it’s not all that great with them either. I’m really not sure how to describe this section of the west coast. All I can say is flipping heck, I’m not half frustrated!
As I sit on my tall cliffs and rocks, high above the farm beach, from my viewing platform the ocean looks like a Chinese Shar Pei dog’s wrinkled skin. It has been worse, that’s for sure but, from high up, the ocean seems to wake up and start rolling into the beach. Maybe it’s trying to say to me "settle down". But it’s just not that easy. The longer I have to wait, the harder it seems to get. I have a journey to continue and all this hiking, good exercise though it may be, certainly isn’t getting me any further north. Far out on the horizon, I see a fishing boat and I wish I was as big as them, and that I had a motor! Today is frustrating, to say the least, with moments when I’m close to tears. One day, sometime in the future, I’m sure I’ll look back at this section of the journey and laugh, but holy crap, not today. I look up to see eight sets rolling in at me. They look huge from where I’m sitting, so I turn my back on the torment, empty my bucket of shells from yesterday’s food-foraging mission and attempt a smile on this sunny Sunday. My bucket rocks from the wind funneling down off the cliff where I’m sitting. It’s going to be a long few days and I’m having to dig deep today. Perhaps I didn’t train correctly for this section of the coastline? I’m sure it can’t be that bad!! “Really?” I can almost hear all the support crew saying, “Really, what binoculars are you looking through?”.
Wood and pine cone re-stocking, hen egg locating, inlet paddling and cooking, and talking to the ginger Burmese cat perhaps sounds a perfect way to pass the time to most, but not to a paddling nutter! I have paddled on the inlet for two hours in my surfing wetsuit! I still have Mike Scanlan’s birthday challenge to complete. Try as I did yesterday to find somewhere out of these gale force winds, I was at a total loss. There is no way I can say my rolls were enjoyable! I had an instant ice headache after just a few. Mike, I think Rarotonga next year, please! But I got them done and, at last, I’m smiling. I have missed paddling on the water, but I also miss rolling in warm water! Best I stop missing the north as, just at the moment, I’m going nowhere fast. I have just seen the weather forecast for the next ten days and today was about the best! Ha, paddling in the winter, Red. You must be insane!! I sit in Cuzzie, warming up after my crazy rolls and then, I’m back in the cottage on the farm.
My smiles today:
Oops, me and my early morning messages. Sent to anyone that would listen!
My need to feel and hear the water.
Hobo. The lovely, ginger Burmese cat
This section of the west coast, it isn’t half testing.
My farm cottage, thanks guys. You have a squatter!
My urge to walk the Heaphy Track! It’s not just an urge, I’m going to do it!
Fresh farm eggs from ginger chickens.
My thoughts today:
Stay patient and trust your journey plan.
Signing out for now, Red (and her ginger farm mates). Ma Te Wa.