The gale north easterly was in force so there was no point in heading out. Instead we decided to head into Napier to stock up and recharge the batteries (ours and the vans). It was like somehow when we were away from civilisation the world had gone back in time because when we drove into Napier everyone was driving cars and wearing clothes from the 1930’s. Turns out the Art Deco Festival was on and the year was still 2016.
We were feeling refreshed and the gale north easterly finally died off in the afternoon. Back out to the coast and I was able to sneak a few kilometres closer to Cape Kidnappers.
Up early and not a breath of wind. About time. Shortly after rounding the cape I saw a black pointy thing moving through the water. Hmmmm. As I got closer I could make out the distinctive shape of a hammer head sharks head. The shark however was only about 4ft long and wasn’t hanging around as my 17ft board approached. I saw about a dozen more and managed to get fairly close to a couple. Unfortunately I couldn’t hang around as it was a beautiful, hot, clear day meaning that the sea breeze would soon be up. Sure enough, it was.
The wind was forecast to be light variable all day and I had a lot of ground to catch up on. One access point was 25km further up the coast however that wasn’t doing the conditions justice. The next point was another 20km north but there was nothing in between. 45km in a day, seems doable. I set off with high spirits. About 2hrs in I got to a point where I could make out what looked like the place I was trying to get to. It still seemed awfully far away but I was making good progress. As I got closer to the next headland I was met by a current which knocked off a couple km/hr. Soon after that a slight headwind picked up. Great. Progress was now pretty slow and I could still only just make out the point I was aiming for. Over 9hrs and 57km later I arrived at the point to meet a slightly concerned Dad. I might have to double check the distances next time. In bed and asleep by 7:30pm.
The short paddle down the river from the campsite towards the beach was a nice warm up after the big previous day. I was feeling good to go. However as I got closer I could feel something on my face – yep wind. Up already! Dang it. A southerly. Usually this would be great and would help me up the coast however I was right in the middle of the Hawkes Bay and it was pretty much the only day of the whole bloody trip that I want to be going in an easterly direction. Great. I was there ready to go so thought I may as well knock a few kilometres off. It was slow going so after nearly 3 hours I called it a day.