This morning was yet another slow and arduous one where I attempted to stall the paddle start over and over again. My lack of energy and life became the new normal, the constant foggy head and subtle unawareness to my surrounding details was potentially dangerous to my safety; but the ‘show’ must go on…
We located the boat ramp to launch into the Moreton bay waters, as it was decided to paddle the inside of the island rather than the outside in the elements and open sea. I got dressed on site which was a first, deciding the water looked so magical and the sun was blistering hot it was a bikini kind of day! I dipped my toes in the water ready to launch and raced back to the car to grab my booties, my surroundings couldn’t have been more deceptive. The water was about 17 degrees and i felt every part of that bitter coldness.
In terms of paddling there wasn’t a whole lot going on requiring skill for this stretch, it was simply one stroke after another. I did just have to be aware of the reef i was paddling over as it was low tide, so having water navigational skills and knowing how to read the markers and bouys came in handy.
It was great to have the distraction of giant corral underneath me as i glided over the glassy water surface. The water was so calm and undisturbed that everything underneath me was magnified, with the fish darting around the corral and scattering as i sailed across the water surface above them. The reef looked so much closer to me that it actually was, there were a few moments when i thought id run a ground as i pushed my boundaries paddling towards islands. As i got closer to the stunning uninhabited islands the reef became sea grass and i was on the look out for manatee (sea cows) as this are is very well know to house these placid and gentle marine creatures.
As i continued to paddle around the smaller islands i could see some of the car ferries making their way from main land across to the island. Nick was on one of them with the Toyota and i wanted to try and time it so our arrival was almost simultaneous, I thought my few hours head start would have us on similar time frames for sure.
As i got closer to Moreton Island small sand islands seemed to appear out of nowhere it was incredible, i was pretty pleased that the tide was low otherwise i never would have seen all the secret sand islands!
Once i finally arrived on Moreton Nick as always was there to greet me with his usual ‘hey kid, how you doing’ his casual relaxed and fun attitude always got a giggle out of me! Just before i got out of the water i was playing with a small sting ray that was swimming around me, it was nice to feel like i was instantly on island time!
Once we arrived at our accommodation in Queensland University Dolphin Research Centre it was game on, straight off the water and into a safety lecture about the facility. I was salty, sun burnt, dehydrated, exhausted had a 3 second attention span, I was sitting slouched and lifeless in a lecture with 2 other people learning about occupation health and safety, marine animals in the local area as well as first aid. I was pretty off it.
After showering, checking out my burns and a few hours off the water i became slightly less zombie like and more my foggy self. I was able to actually have a look around the accommodation and take in what the students and staff her actually do and achieve through their research. Its an amazing centre and the location is stunning with full water views that turn into mud flats on the low tide leaving boats high and dry until the incoming tide.
Jumping into bed in our cute little dorm room set up was great, I needed all the sleep i could get in the hope that tomorrow is another day and maybe ill wake up with more energy and spark.