Yesterday’s struggle had me down a bit however after a quick chat with a special someone my spirits were lifted. I’m beginning to see just how important moral is. I got to the beach to feel a light off shore breeze. The swell had died over night and I was able to paddle very close to shore meaning that I could almost get completely out of the wind. It also meant that I could get out of the current that was heading the other way. You beauty. I met Dad 20km up the coast to have lunch and a quick power nap. An old fishermen on the beach gave me the local low down on the good fishing spots in the area and was also kind enough to give me some of his mornings catch. Feeling rested, I cracked on while the going was good. There was a river not to far ahead and once I passed in front of the mouth I was picked up by the current which was thankfully heading in my direction. The wind also changed angles and was now slightly behind me. I was flying along. What’s this? Wind and current going with me at the same time. Too good to be true… it was. It wasn’t long before the current died off and the wind swung around and became the all familiar head wind. I had already made it most of the way though so all was well. I pulled in after 45km. Not a bad day. Feeling pretty hungry I asked Dad what’s for dinner, thinking it would the the fish we had picked up earlier in the day. Dad then opened the chilly bin and proceeded to pull out not only the fish but also a gutted and skinned rabbit he picked off one of the small dirt roads he had driven on earlier. He hadn’t hit it himself however still assured me it was fresh. 30 min in the pressure cooker with some mushrooms, onion and red wine – deeeelicious.
We had met a quite a few locals on the beaches and camp sites over the last few days who had been interested in where I had come from and where I was going next. All of them seemed to be very weary of the Mahia Peninsula and were a bit concerned when I said I was going to go around it. The peninsula is about 25km long and has an island off the tip. The stretch of water in between the tip and island is known to be quite dangerous due to strong currents, high winds and and often large swells. It was too far to get right around the tip today so I wanted to get as close as possible. There aren’t many roads on the peninsula and whether they are public or not is another matter. I left the beach early and Dad then went ahead to see if he could get to the point on the map where we wanted to get to. After a couple hours he got ahold of me on the VHF and said that he was able to get to the spot. Fantastic. The wind stayed light for the rest of the paddle so I was able to really enjoy where I was. What a beautiful spot. As I got close to shore I noticed some splashing on the surface so paddled over to inspect. A small hammer head was chasing fish. I tried to follow him for a while but he was far to quick. I pulled into the lovely, calm small bay where we would stay the night. The bay faced west so we would get to see our first and only sunset of the trip. And what a sunset it was.
Today was the day to get around the tip of the Mahia Peninsula. The weather was looking good and according to our charts, if I left at dawn the currents would be in my favour. I was feeling a little nervous after all the hype but knew the conditions were pretty much as good as they can be. I set off with a slight northerly tail wind. It was pushing me along nicely but I really didn’t want it to get any stronger as a knew that in a couple hours I would be paddling in the opposite direction. Just before I got to the tip the wind swung slightly to the west meaning that the eastern side, which I would soon be paddling up, would be slightly sheltered. Excellent. I rounded the tip and got squeezed through the gap by the current. Yeeha. The water was super clear and I could see loads of Kahawai chasing smaller fish. It wasn’t long before I was at the landing spot and surfed a nice little gentle wave in. Great day.