Yes this title reads wrong…I am supposed to be paddling north not south, however due to conditions the game plan changed so i didn’t have to attempt to battle the elements. Major positive for the right shoulder that seems to be taking the effort for the team, dare i say i was looking forwards to the reverse paddle south to save the shoulders and change the neck stiffness position.
The morning was a whirl wind of logistics and strategy but we got there and i still managed to be on the water for 8am at Scotts Head. Getting myself sorted on the waters edge there was all the usual pre paddle banter that I’m getting oh so used to! I thought id play a prank of my own and zap Nick the land crew with the Shark Shield tail/device (genius thought yet horribly executed). I turned the device on thinking i was dry and out of the water so i’d be in the clear. Wrongggg I was terribly wrong, so my morning really amped up from this point onwards as i let out a scream of pain, shock and dismay at such a shocking plan (pun intended).
Jumping into the surf wish Fish on the jet ski up ahead of me was great, I was ripped around the point in the current and was well on my way for the day. The water wasn’t as warm as it has been the last few days but it was super clear with amazing rocky green headlands and bays as far as i could see.
An hour in i had my usual little stretch and chat break, it was really nice mentally to be able to look around and see my fast progression over the hour. Just as i was getting ready to start paddling again a sea turtle popped up for a few gulps of air behind me, so i paddled over to it and just admired the amazing patterns on its shell. They are pretty shy so a few seconds later it darted off under me. Based on watching the little guy swim off i can say despite the water clarity i only actually had about a metre of actual visibility below me.
I continued paddling for well over an hour before the next break, but mid way along the stretch of rocky coast i started looking back over my shoulder at Fish, for some reason he was super casual with his distancing on the water and i called him in closer to me. I did report that i had been bumped 3 times by something underneath me and maybe he should chill a little closer.
I continued to make solid ground and i had maybe less than 10km remaining when we noticed something odd going on with the jet ski. All of a sudden it appeared to be sinking, literally taking on water at a scary rapid speed. Fish drove it straight to shore and i paddled my way to shore to see what on earth was going on with the ski. There was a bit of surf running which concerned me… i didn’t turn my shark shield off and catching waves with it on always ends badly for me. I got a wave in with no electric shock thank goodness, i picked up my board to drag it up the beach and got the shock of my life. Water is a strong conductor of electricity and i guess the whole board was some kind of electrical buzzing device kind of a win lose situation at times. I was so off it, i dropped the board and let out some explicit language at the top of my lungs. Then the ocean retaliated and a wave washed my board into my leg where it smashed into my shin bone. More explicits, way more screaming and yelling with all round agitation.
Once recovered after some deep breathing i went over to Fish and the jet ski to check out the damage. To my amazement the entire inside of the seat where the engine is was flooded with water. So i’d say Fish literally just got the ski in before it sank. We stayed on the beach draining the ski waiting for Nick to come and get it on the trailer as it was in no state to get re launched into the surf.
After organising and sorting the ski and getting back to South West Rocks to pack our gear i was raced off to physio. The session was very much needed and i was given some solid homework to keep my body in order (I feel like that by mentioning that in the blog i’ll be held more accountable to do it). The physio was awesome, so funny and practical yet understanding!
Later in the evening over dinner Fish had a chat with me about a shark he saw today when he was driving around to meet me on the beach at Scotts Head. Apparently the exact section of water that i felt i got bumped and i called him over to me asking him to drive closer was the exact location he saw the shark earlier. If thats not some kind of weird mermaid intuition thing i don’t know what it is!!!