Waking up to see a heap of severe weather warnings on your phone is not always the most positive start to a day. I knew whatever happened I just had to get organized as quickly as possible, everything today was about racing the clock and the elements.
Arriving in Caloundra things didn’t seem too bad, until I opened the car door and almost blew away with the forceful wind gusts. I said quietly to myself, ‘welcome to the Sunshine Coast’ Nick heard and laughed at me!
I rugged up with a long wetsuit, booties, a long sleeve wet suit vest, a t shirt underneath it all, a wind spray jacket and gloves. I didn’t look like I was in the Sunshine Coast, and the feeling was much the same.
Once in the water things didn’t seem so bad, it was incredibly windy but I was able to use it to my advantage. Today was going to be a good day… or so I thought in those few early moments. As I rounded a rock shelf just north of Kings Beach the wind didn’t seem so helpful, the tail wind turned cross wind and the pressure on my right shoulder began in this moment and lasted the entire day. I attempted to paddle closer to shore so that I was slightly protected from the close proximity of land with the strong westerly winds. That worked slightly, until the winds were so strong I had no hope even getting close to shore. So I figured instead of fight the elements work with them. So I paddled directly out into the middle of the ocean with the westerly winds becoming a tail wind and thus providing a small amount of relief for my right shoulder. I figured it didn’t matter how far I went out, if I lined up with the next point I could always get scooted back to shore on the jet ski. So that’s the plan I went with for the next 10km.
Eventually I found myself so far out to sea that it was time to get closer into shore. What a massive difference it made to be paddling along the back of the breaking waves. The water was a clear aqua green and things seemed to warm up. It was at this point that I saw Mark on the beach, he has been in touch with Nick over the past week in the hopes to join me for a paddle. Mark is a local fire fighter, ex lifeguard and multiple Molokai finisher, the company and the conversation was truly appreciated. Having someone in the water doing what your doing really does seem to lessen the physical and mental pain of each stroke.
Having Mark paddle along side me was like having a private coastal tour guide, I heard whale stories, shark stories and learnt about local secret surf spots. I had Mark’s company for the next 8ish km and the distance and time really seemed to fly along. As we reached Mooloolaba he took the exit into the small harbor area while I continued on into the main beach area.
Moments later I was greeted by Sommer and Darcy Owen, my land crew from the Bondi paddle. These two will always have a very special place in my heart, their continued support along with Andy their dad/ my mentor.
Finishing the paddle today had me delusional and exhausted beyond words, so arriving back at Atlantis was a relief I slept all afternoon in my big comfy bed until about 6:30pm. There are so many fun things to do round the coast where I am but I have such little energy blog writing is about all I can muster up.