Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Latest update from Robbie

Hi Everyone, well I'm happy to say today I am dry and warm tucked up at Lynnis' home in Kerikeri, when the storm has hit with a vengeance today. We have been watching the weather updates daily by various means, Steve has been sending updates via text, my fantastic support team Lynnis Burson and Michael Winch have been working overtime to keep up to date with weather forecasts and following me up the coast and VHF contact with coastguard when ever coverage was possible. I sit here typing away feeling very grateful to be in the shelter of a warm welcoming home, yet also feeling satisfied that we have made the most of the good weather.The reality is starting to register that my latest adventure is nearly complete! Lynnis and I have maps spread all over the floor, we have run out of room! Maybe we will have to creep out the room and down the hall? Northland has some rather long coastline, with spectacular white sandy beaches, including 25 km across the never ending sand dunes of Great Exhibition Bay. Lynnis farewelled me from Matai Bay last Friday 3rd October, a 5 am rise for a 7 am start, the strategy was to be on the water early and to have covered the most open exposed crossing before the afternoon breeze kicked in, after rounding Cape Karikari it was apparent the SW head wind had arrived early and my hope of a direct crossing to Farmer Point, above Hourhora, was no longer a safe option, so I changed tack and followed the coastline staying close to shore, this was a 10 km longer course but the most safe, I realized that making the 45 km to Rawara was not realistic. The head wind was strong and the low lying sand dunes provide little buffer from those muscle taxing SW winds, the water was crystal clear, I tried to appreciate the tropical turquoise waters and the beauty surrounding me, but the wind is making for a long tedious day! I crank up the i -pod, Bob Segar blasted out "Against the wind " I find a reprieve within the lee of Puheke Beach, filled up on Tuna and touch up sunscreen, let Lynnis know where I am and that progress is slow today, sick of the head wind!
Unrealistically, I still express my hope of the wind abating and that I would make it to Rawara, but time was not on my side that day, as I left the shelter of Puheke and set out back into the fray Michael txts to say he would meet me at Hauhora, I am relieved to have Michael's support but also disappointed that I won't make my planned destination that day.
Will update again tomorrow - want to help with dinner, my head is losing track of the days and distances, approx 308 km covered, the past three days have been magical.
Saturday - 4th October to Monday 6th October. The adventure continued with an early morning drive to Tapotupotu, we are changing plans to beat the forecast and avoid the head winds, now we are three paddlers together, Lynnis, Michael, Robbie, completing from Cape Reinga to Henderson Bay a 3 day stretch covering 94 km. Together we reached the Cape and shared many adventures and laughs along the way, including climbing to the top of North Cape, walking the mighty sand dunes near Parengarenga Harbour, sharing laughs and creating unforgetable memories.
I will fill you in on more details tomorrow, Lot's of photos to share soon.

Cheers and happy paddling from Robbie, Lynnis, Michael.

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