After a late night to bed post rest day antics and late night salsa lessons i awoke to find Jonathan and Fish almost ready to get moving and get paddling. Fish was all suited up, his method is that body heat will warm the suits so your better to get them on earlier rather than later. And he is 100% spot on!
Today i was nervous from the moment i woke up, i mentioned to the boys that my heart rate when i woke was already 72 which is pretty high for just waking up. I downed a pre made green smoothy and suited up. We were all really organised and efficient this morning! I played my 1000km paddle mix through the car sound system as we made our way down to the boat ramp. At the ramp I met a lovely local Dave who asked about ‘who needed rescuing?’ I guess he saw the lifeguard jet ski and thought someone was in strife! After a quick chat and a short explanation of what we were all up to he magically produced a camera from his pocket and got a few pics to help spread the word of our adventure and mission!
Today we were lucky enough to have the escort and company of Garry and Daryl who’s vessel of choice was a 22 ft tinny named Tink (after Tinkerbell the fairy from Peter Pan). We had so much gear to cart out to Broughton island that it was a relief to have the guys and their boat! Garry had the tunes covered and the coffee kept on the boil from the moment i began paddling.
After paddling out of Shoal Bay i can literally say my entire green smoothy was almost a waste of time… for the next solid hour i vomited as i paddled. No major reason why, but obviously not ideal. Something like this so early on has the ability to cause major havoc later in the day with dehydration. However for the entire duration of the paddle anything i ate continued to be vomited up. A good friend has always said to me that there are no beauty pageants at sea, and it’s lucky for me that this is true as i wasn’t going to win anything to do with looks covered in vomit!
Finally i got through the choppy entrance of Shoal Bay and began to use the westerly winds to push me further out to sea, once i felt i was in good alignment with Broughton island way off in the distance i began to catch the southerly swell bumps towards the island. Finally the elements truly were assisting me! I was making solid progress and i knew it! Gradually Broughton Island grew in size and soon Tomaree Mountain didn’t look so big after all!
I was visited by the sea birds yet again, we all stopped and had a picnic of Jatz biscits mid paddle! The birds continued to fly around me during the day and almost land on my head again!
Mid afternoon we arrived at Broughton Island, paddling into the little protected cove with antique looking fisherman huts, it was so surreal. I was greeted by Steve one of the Islands Conservation Society members, he was such a breath of fresh air with his smile, light hearted jokes and absolute assistance with anything and everything he could do!
Once i stopped paddling and had my feet on the white sandy shores of the island the shivers began, i was whisked away and shown the best shower on the island! After an amazing hot shower i emerged to discover i packed socks, but nothing more to put on my feet! One of the plumbers who were on the island fixing a few things gave me his ugg boots, they were way too big but oh so perfect! Fish and I had some food chatted with the plumbers who we seemed to catch mid lunch break then it was time to go exploring!
We trecked over the other side of the island to discover another white sandy beach with dolphins swimming around the shallows, sea birds huddled on the rocks and giant shells everywhere! It was such a great experience to be exploring post paddle; I had this great idea that we should hike to that headland just over there, as i pointed up and north east to a grassy/rocky point. Fish just went along with it, I think he learnt this moment that he should call the shots of impromptu exploration over me… We began to walk through grass, not just any grass, grass that stood taller than 6 foot tall. I discovered that it was actually more efficient to crawl over the grass instead of attempt to walk through it. I also discovered that if you dived onto the grass it caught you! (some funny video’s were made here, and its obvious i was struggling with dehydration induced hyper activity).
We eventually turned around when it was clear we were not going to get through all this grass or the spikes shrubs beyond that, or the cactus masses beyond that! We headed back to camp via another short trip to watch sun set from a rocky cliff face! While sitting there and overlooking the oceans we covered just a few hours earlier the whales put on one heck of a show, they were jumping and tail slapping all around the island and we literally had the best view in the house!
The evening antics had me crying with laughter, the plumbers and their personalities and stories were defiantly the life of the party! Discussing helicopter pilots, fire fighting jobs and tinder. The laughing just seemed to continue on into the night even when i was in bed the tears of laughter continued! It was great to have such light hearted company and get my mind off my daunting task ahead for just a moment!