We were up before the sun today. Our little island was catching the westerly wind and reminding us we had an early start. We had the daunting task of carrying the boats back down the rocks, a task that sounds much easier than it actually is! Heavy fully loaded kayaks are hard to carry over sharp slippery rocks at the best of times... even more so when it’s windy and cold and there is a big sea lion showing a lot of interest at the waters edge.
We were paddling by 8am, with the wind whipping behind us we made great time on our last leg of the west coast. Ngaio did her celebratory dance when we made it to the bottom of the west coast, but then we had to keep paddling for another 30km, bit of a buzz kill!
We could see Victoria and we were beelining for it. We were heading behind a small island when we heard “to the two kayakers out front, you are entering a demolition zone, please remove yourselves immediately”. Never have i paddled so quickly in a kayak! Ngaio and I turned the boats around and headed for the outside of the island. As soon as we reached the coast a huge boom rattled along the coast. We had unknowingly entered a military zone, the end of the west coast seems to have a few of them.
I saw Ngaio was heading into a strong current, I called for her to come over to the coast but she just yelled out “NO”. It turned out she was trying to stay as far from the blasting zone as possible, but as a result of that she got herself into such a strong current she wasn’t moving forward. I watched her paddle and paddle and paddle making almost no ground before she realised what was happening and she came over to the coast. She was knackered by the time she got to me. I hooked on the tow rope and helped her through the rest of the strong current. We had a long slow 15km slog across the harbour to the city of Victoria. It was not a fun end to the day but the relief we felt when we finally made it into Victoria was sooo good.
Our arms were tired, we were hungry and thirsty and ready to get out of the boats. We have the days ahead to fix the boats up properly before meeting our friends to head up the east coast. We can’t wait for what is next!