Day 314...Back By the Ocean

We had had a late night, as mentioned in yesterday’s blog, so as the others slept in this morning, I remained quietly in my corner of the camper-van reading, looking at the news for the day online and generally trying really hard to let the men get their much-needed eight hours of sleep. By 9am, I had made enough noise wriggling about in my sleeping bag to wake both of them up, so we had a late Sunday morning breakfast with my efforts at pancakes and cups of coffee for Jase and I, while Martin feasted on the Freya bread he is so in love with and the huge bottle of Lewis Road chocolate milk I got him the other day.

We have a couple of things to do this morning as T2 is being sent back up north for repairs, so we have to unload her from Cuzzie and reload her onto Jase’s ute. What with having to lower her, then get the cradles down off the camper-van roof and up onto the roof rack of the ute, we reckoned it would take a while. As it seemed easier to do all this in a driveway, we went off to Jason’s Dad’s place, firstly, to say “Happy Father's Day!” then to get the work done. We entertained his Dad for a short time but soon he wandered off inside, leaving us to get on with it. In no time at all, it seemed, having done all the lifting and carrying, we were strapping T2 onto the roof of the ute for her trip north. “Goodbye girl, thanks for all your hard work!” The fact that she needs to be repaired is not at all her fault, I take full responsibility for the damage to the kayak and I’m hoping to have her fixed up and ready to use again once I’m back in my home city.

Before long we were heading back into town to find somewhere for lunch, after which we also had to say our farewells to Jase, thanking him for having driven down and for taking T2 back with him. I felt somewhat sad as we followed along behind the ute on State Highway 3. It’s so weird being back in the North Island and really hard to adjust after having spent so long in the south. To be honest, I’m still finding the return north my biggest challenge. 

Far too soon, we were waving goodbye to Jase and T2 at the Bulls’ turn-off, as he headed up to Auckland and we continued straight ahead towards Cape Egmont. If only I had a magic wand, at that very moment I would have waved it and made one wish. No, not to be home but rather, to be making steady progress and for calm waters so I can start paddling again. I so badly want to get back on the water but, alas, I have no such magic wand, so my wish couldn’t be granted. It’s not going to be happening on this coast over the next few days!

Again, I have to remind myself to be kind to myself; to remind myself yet again that August was a record month for paddling and I can only hope and pray that I am going to get as many days’ paddling this month. Or will September be the month I hit zero? Now that really would set a new record!! Jeez, I’m glad I can still laugh about it but, then, I have to find humour in this mad, crazy world I’m in. Thankfully, I still retain my twisted sense of humour.

With all these thoughts going round in my head, I sit in the passenger seat while Martin drives. The wind plays a game, trying to blow us sideways across the road as we travel along. We make only one stop along the way, to check out a beach landing just north of Hawera. Then we are off again, this time to set up camp for the night in Opunake. Perhaps not surprisingly, we’re the only people in the entire campsite. I’m happy to be back by the ocean again. We both go walking on the windy beach before the sun sets for the day. It’s a mild 14 degrees tonight and there I am on the beach, wading in bare feet, amazed at how much warmer it seems than a couple of weeks ago. Martin clambers over rocks and continues up onto the northern cliffs. While he wanders about up in the wind and the gentle rain, I stay down on the beach rock-hopping until he returns. Then it’s time for Day 3 of the new challenge to do twenty-two push-ups for twenty-two days. As I struggle to finish, Martin starts showing off by going on to do another twenty or so push-ups, for a real challenge.

Tonight we ate early. I had the difficult task of getting the baked potatoes just right and the pork crackling crispy, while Martin got the job of barbecuing the pork chops (mmmm!). Dinner eaten, new DOC tracks have been found and planning for tomorrow has begun. We are going to go hiking, then find a vantage point to watch the huge waves that are forecast. Sure, it’s going to rain buckets and blow a gale, but the new saying in Cuzzie is: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, it’s you that has bad gear!!”

My smiles today:
Perfecting my breakfast of pancakes.
Visiting upcoming beach landings.
Finding peace again at the ocean’s edge.
Wading knee-deep in the waves.
The wind blowing in my face.
My memories of down south.

My thoughts today:
Life is like a road trip. Enjoy each day and don't carry too much baggage!

Goodnight! From Red and Martin. Ma Te Wa.

Opunake Beach. Grey, stormy clouds on a grey evening.

Opunake Beach. Grey, stormy clouds on a grey evening.

The Foxton windmill.

The Foxton windmill.