Here I go on a crazy Red escape plan! Let me tell it to you, blow by blow. But, without giving too much away, the last chapter of the story ends with me being utterly disappointed.
5.00am: Alarm clock rings. Dress wearing every layer possible.
6.00am: We drive along the gravel roads for one hour. As it gradually gets light enough to see the ocean, my first doubt appears.
7.00am: We meet up with a very helpful local and jump in his 4x4 to check the Anatori River and beach, still shaking our heads. Anyway, we load my kayak, get my gear onto the trailer and cross the "ford" with enough water to make me a little nervous about whether or not we would actually get across. Then we drive for another thirty minutes up and along some very windy roads, across another river and then, at last, arrive at the Turimawiwi River mouth.
8.00am: Out to get up close and personal with waves and to look at and them carefully. Can I escape? Yes!
8.15am: In my kayak. We set everything up and watch for a break in the waves. Then, we wait, and we wait, while I get washed back and forth, hands stuck in the sand trying to keep myself straight, trying to stay focused. As we look to the right, we think it maybe looks better at that location so we move!! But that, if you’ll excuse the pun, was not a great move, as we had to scramble across some small rocks, by the end of which my feet and hands were ice-cold. We stood, looking out at the wave sets, then looked at my watch, and looked, and looked. Then I went “No!!” There’s no way I’m getting out now and it’s also way too late! The tide had turned as we were on the beach, the waves had picked up and, all at once, I was over my stupid escape plan!! Timing was everything today. I needed to be out and on the water by now, before the winds picked up further up the coast.
To say I was gutted is an understatement!! Cold and mentally frustrated, I turned away from the ocean and, as we walked away, of course she seemed to calm. But, by then, I was much too upset to care anymore. Already the adrenaline had started to disappear from my veins. I got my gear into the back of the 4x4, the boys tied my kayak to the trailer and off we headed back to Cuzzie. No words can describe where my mind and mood slipped. I went into remote control as we loaded up Cuzzie and started the long, silent trip back along the roads. I sat in the back just wanting to cry. By this stage, the “what ifs”, the “whys” and the “wherefors” had already started, the verbal justification of why I didn’t manage to escape, the re-evaluation of the weather window; all the while wishing I had a magic wand. The dreaded “you must get tougher” feelings and many other emotions fly about in my brain. When I have a failed launch, it has a continual roller coaster effect in my world, with the result that I’m pretty tough on myself for the rest of the day, and on the poor support crew who have a pretty tough time, too.
We drive while I talk, heading somewhere for the afternoon. I take Jase to a base off Farewell Spit to show him my next planned landing. What a bad a mistake that was! Today it looked perfect, a beach one could only dream of landing on!! I sat down in the sand, with my head in my hands, just asking myself “Why?” “Why is it so bloody difficult?” Eventually I head out alone, to sit on top of the sand dunes among the grasses, to just stare out at the ocean. I feel the warm sun on my face and, in my own time, manage to release an explosion of emotions, but Red is certainly far from smiling for a while.
I stay there until I manage to feel a little more rational, a little bit calmer about things, waiting until the tears I have shed dry up and I’m able to laugh at myself once again for being my irrational self. At last, the day is beginning to get a little better. We wander back to Cuzzie, drive back to the cottage, talk to Joyce about the hideous day, and help to bring in the house cow to be milked. As soon as we get back inside, Hobo arrives. Thinking we are leaving him behind, we head down to the beach for a quick look. But, guess who decides to come all the way to the beach as well? Hobo himself! It’s a thirty minute trek there and back and he was with us all the way. When he slowed too much, we picked him up but he wriggled out of our arms and marched along with us. Hobo has made my day! Somehow, he seems to sense when I’m down.
Tonight there’s a family dinner down on the farm, with shearers, neighbours, and all; including myself (the overstaying nut-bar kayaker and friends).
My smiles today:
Hobo manages to save the day.
Crossing a deep ford by 4x4.
The return to Kiahoka Farm.
Jason and his continuing, patient support.
My laughter at last. At the end of an undeniably shitty day!
My thoughts today:
"Give me the courage to change what I can, the serenity to accept what I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference." Thanks Joyce for this quote you have shared.
Goodnight from a very disappointed but (hopefully, understandably) rather disgruntled Red. Ma Te Wa.