Weather: full-on sun and hot
Swell: <1 meter
Wind: NW 0-5 knots
Distance: 19.4 nm
Camp: Maipu River
Meal: Battered Fish…. a Jaime special
Impression: Very tasty….. a reel winner!
Stars: 10….. the combination of taste and the amount of time, energy and improvisation that went into making this dish makes this an easy 10 rating.
Dave Logging in here! - This morning there was something in the air..... a lightness….. perhaps a sense of feeling good about being in the right place and time even if it’s just for that moment. Maybe it’s the fact that I rose at 5:00 a.m…. brewed myself some coffee and stared about writing our daily blog….. the stars still shining brightly in the sky until the vibrant orange color of the morning light slowly woke this part of the world to another day. Like so many other aspects of this journey I’m beginning to find my pace…. how and where I belong and fit into the puzzle. I’m much more of a morning person so it just made sense to get up early to start putting my spin on this expedition….. which I’d better start doing as battery power is at a premium.
Today is the day we do battle with the mighty East Cape….. an area that can be quite treacherous. But the weather gods have been so generous and the conditions so ideal that the paddle around the Cape is going to be more of a leisurely stroll. Personally, I think that’s fine….. I don’t need my guts to spin in anticipation, my heart to pound itself into my throat or my nerves to split in order to earn extra man-points. I think Jaime is feeling a bit disappointed or perhaps cheated in a way (not to be confused with him needing man-points!) because he enjoys that sort of challenge more than myself. In any case we get-what-we-get and in this case the water is glassy and the seas are slight. We approach the Cape a few hours after low tide and the waves are building as we are going around between a small rocky island and the mainland. As anticipated the route is easily negotiated, but I could still get an impression of how crazy this area could get under a different set of conditions. As we round the Cape with its lighthouse perched on the cliff we take a moment to celebrate…… we have come a long way….. over 600 nm (that’s over 1000 kms….. ya!)….. we have now rounded both the most northerly and easterly parts of the country….. we have paddled through some crazy waters….. endured long days of paddling….. it’s been a wonderful experience. We now set our sights south with a sense of accomplishment, renewed energy and an eagerness to continue this journey of adventure and enlightenment. ~ Dave
~ Ha ha ha! I talk a little of being cheated by a worthy rounding of prominent revered headlands, though at the same time, someone once said, it is the unexpected places that provide the greatest challenges on an expedition. And in the case of our journey I am sure that will be the case. I was happy to paddle round east cape on a fine day, though I struggled to grasp it awesomeness on such a placid day, yet that in itself is a treasure of a moment to be appreciated. I also noticed a school of little puffer fish swimming on the surface at one point and managed to catch one in my hands, it straight away blue up into a tight little sphere, very interesting!
What did strike me this day was the Geological changes that happened as soon as we hit east cape. The previous volcanic igneous coastline, now gave way to Stratified sedimentary cliffs from a past of up thrusting from the sea bed, allochthon ( where lands shifts from somewhere else) thus giving us cliffs with amazing complex patterns and stark contrast to the green paddocks above. The crumbly cliffs have so many layers of ancient sea bed and earth crust stacked on top of each other, you get a sense of going back in time.
For me in particular I got a sense of stepping back home, after spending my teens in this central coast area around all these cliffs and coastal surf beaches, it felt familiar. I was most impressed by this coastline compared to up north, I think it is the harsh sheerness of the cliffs, that can stretch on for miles without a beach, it makes you feel so out there!
I fished hard today, hooking up on about 5 good fighting fish though only landing two in the end, one was quite big and we would have a good feed tonight. This was the first time we had two fish to deal with in one night, some would be lunch for the next day.
We came across a pebbly beach eventually, came through some small but dumpy surf, I ended up being gently put onto the beach upside down by a small dumper wave, I then rolled up and stepped out before the next one got me. I ran over and helped Dave with his boat, and while I was talking to a local fisherman about if we could camp up here, a big wave rushed in and took both boats back out into the surf, Dave stopped his boat, but mine went right out and came racing right back in again, where Dave managed to halt it. Oops, we better make sure we drag the boats a lot further up from now on before we move on.
I cooked up a feed of battered fish and Fish Fritters, while Dave went and befriended the local bus driver while getting some water from his house. This also lead to fresh tomatoes and some watermelon. People are so generous to our trip. We had a late feed then hit the sack ~ Jaime