The howling northeasterly that cut the previous day short had thankfully stopped. It wasn’t long before a gentle southerly picked up and I was flying along. The sun was out and the going was good. I pulled in 15km north of Castle Point for some morning tea where I met some locals picking seaweed. A quick chat and I was off again. The wind slowly died off throughout the day and 27km later I pulled into the lovely seaside town of Akaitio. By this time there wasn’t a breath of wind and the surf was very gentle. I got chatting to someone on the beach who told me that someone had sadly drowned here only the day before I arrived. A timely reminder that anything can happen on the ocean and it must be given the respect it deserves.
Up early with a smile on my face as the gentle southerly was still blowing. Today was the day to get around Cape Turnagain. The Cape is known to be extremely windy and wild. Named Turnagain by Captain Cook in 1769. He was sailing south down the East coast but then came to this point and was met by howling winds. He decided to turn around and head north around the North Island and named the point as a result of his decision. Luckily there was hardly a breath of wind when I got there so there was no turning around for me. It was so still in fact I thought I would make the most of the beautiful back drop and have my lunch just off the Cape. Dining with a view! Shortly after I rounded the cape I was met by a fishing boat who came over to inspect and see if I was alright. I told them my story and they were quite blown away. So much so that they gave me a fresh crayfish. I came into Whangahau a very happy man as I had not only knocked off 39km but had also picked up dinner on the way. To top it all off some friendly locals on the beach gave us some freshly caught tarakihi for an entree.
The gentle southerly had sadly died off and a north easterly was forecast to pick up around midday. I was on the water before sunrise to make the most of the calm conditions before the wind picked up. The next spot was 20km north. I was going along at a fair pace and got there in good time. The wind hadn’t picked up yet so I thought I would try and make it to the next spot which was 10km further up the coast. It wasn’t long after making that decision that the northeasterly picked up and was blowing a good 20 knots. I had already gone about 5km north of the last access point and really didn’t want to turn around and waste any precious km’s. I wasn’t making any ground so I headed into the beach. There I was, right in the middle of a 10km long beach, wet, cold, hungry and not sure what to do. I got changed into some dry clothes and had a quick bite to eat. I then walked inland over the small dunes to see a sheltered estuary running parallel with the beach – you beauty! Over the dunes into the estuary and was off again. I made it another 4km north before the estuary dried out and I got ahold of Dad on the VHF. He managed to get to a small tributary where I pulled in for the day. Up a creak but with a paddle!