Wow, what a whirl wind of learning and new experiences that was…
I knew things wouldn’t go 100% to plan but i didn’t think they would bend as far from planned as they did on day 1!
Paddling out of Newcastle Harbor was surreal, surrounded by smiles and other ocean loving souls; I was in my element! A few loud horn blasts from the ship ‘David Alan’ with a good friend Luke on board, I could hear him and his crew mates calling out to me as I paddled! (Apparently the crew thought i’d be wearing something a little more mermaid looking! hahahah) The positive vibes couldn’t have been higher with a pod of dolphins playfully jumping around me as i paddled!
I was making great time and truly enjoying myself for the first few hours, the swell was massive as i looked to my right i could see mountains of water looming up, trying to find a paddle rhythm amongst the swell was difficult. As time moved on the wind picked up…a lot. Not only was i facing massive swell, but now i had a strong wind swell to negotiate, I was knocked off my board a few times. Having Paul and Bam Bam as company paddling their ski’s was pretty fun too, their energy and jokes are limitless!
After covering 15km of open ocean I was due for another quick break, so i climbed onto the sled of the jet ski to sit and stretch while munching down a very much needed peanut butter and honey sandwich. It was within 1 minute of stopping and starting my sandwich that things started to get serious. I was about 4 bites in when I started shivering un controllably. These shivers soon increased to full body convulsions, I was mentally alert but lost control of my body movements as it tried to fight the absolute freezing conditions.
If it wasn’t for Fish my jet ski driver it wouldn’t have been a successful day, he managed to get me warm after a solid hour, however my condition never returned to normal, i was not in a good way at all.
Things improved as we saw whales, I was paddling so far out at sea that the whales were actually between me and the sandy shore line! Seeing them gliding along was absolutely majestic, they were so happy just swimming north through the swell! It was fun to keep track of them using their water spouts as a guide, I guess i was about 50m away from them!
Throughout the day we were escorted by massive sea birds that enjoyed darting over our heads and around the jet ski.
The day finally came to an end at Birubi Surf Club where the Crest cafe staff went above and beyond to make sure we had a good nutritious meal to refuel post paddle. The Surf Club had us absolutely sorted with dinner, views, amazing hot showers, whales and funky lounge beds! Later in the afternoon I was lucky enough to get a visit from Sheree the surf club secretary and her pet horse!