We packed up camp early this morning, it was supposed to be a big high tide and I had a feeling our camp spot would be underwater if we waited around. It was another wet and windy day, our forecast for today was a 7-8 knot tailwind which would help us cover some miles. I’m in this weird place where I want to just push to the finish, but I don’t know why. Because once it’s finished I’ll be wishing it never ended! The main struggle is the weather, but we can’t really complain about winter weather during winter. I decided that the tailwind would be strong enough for us to paddle while the current was against us. We got on the water by mid morning, the wind was strong and the sea was choppy. We tried to avoid the main current until it was due to turn, this helped and we covered good ground in the first two hours. The wind was due to drop off after lunch time, just as the current was due to turn in our favour. Unfortunately Mother Nature decided to keep things interesting and the wind picked up, big time. We were paddling in big choppy waves coming from all directions, they were swamping the boats and Ngaio was not having a good time. I made the call to land early, the weather clearly was doing something different to the forecast and I had no way of knowing if it was going to get worse. We landed at the first beach we came to. By the time we were pulling the boats up the wind was screaming up the channel, my guess is 25-30 knots at least.
We were on a big rocky beach 10km short of our original destination. I decided we should walk into the bush behind the beach and clear a camp spot there. After seeing how big the tide was this morning I didn’t want to risk it, plus it would be more sheltered in the trees and I could set up the tarp.
I could see that Ngaio was exhausted from the messy day on the water, she gets bummed out when we have to land early because she says it’s “her fault”. But we both know she didn’t ask for big waves and strong winds!
We will take tomorrow as it comes, and make sure we have a few early stop points in case of more bad conditions. Everyone keep their fingers crossed for light winds please!