Waking up on an uninhabited island with just 8 humans is always an interesting time, waking up as the only female of 7 men on an island is always a hilarious time.
I think the laughing that was done on this island helped fuel me for the up coming longggg day.
The cabins we slept in were as rustic and real as you can get, there was framed ropes a-dawning the walls, old dusty books on shelves, first aid kits and an eclectic mix of nautical trinkets and a hanging santa, the smell of the cabin was a combination of salt air with a touch of antique.
I woke up feeling foggy but got ready and suited up all the same, some how i managed to burn the toast, which then set off the smoke alarms, which then sent all the boys into hysterics! Then i tried to open my curtain from my sleeping quarters onto the kitchen area, only to have the entire curtain rack fall on my head (Good start JBT!!!)
Once ready the boys sorted boats and jet ski’s in the bay while i grabbed my board with Steve and hiked across and over the island, this hike saved me potential hours of paddling time while warming me up in the bitterly crisp island air.
Once on the beach i stood and took in my up coming destination Seal Rocks, funny thing was I could see the rocky point i needed to reach already, its far but not too far i thought. Sea’s are calm, sun is almost out, my guestimation is I’ll be there in 8 hours…
The entire day i could see this rocky point, it seemed to stay where it was, i seemed to stay where i was, the stunning east coast mountains seemed to stay where they were and i felt like i was constantly looking at the same mountain. To say my inner being was feeling that sad sulking demoralising deflating feeling could be somewhat of an insult. Early afternoon i cracked, i couldn’t take the lack of progress, swell or wind any longer. I broke down in tears on the board, tears of shame towards myself and my progress or lack there of and tears of pain, the excruciating stabbing pain i got every time i picked my left arm up and threw it over to stroke through the water.
To move forwards from this low was excruciating within itself, i had a few quiet moments where i just needed to process how and what it was i was feeling. I was visited by the Marine Rescue crew which lifted my spirits, they had some words of encouragement to throw at me which i really appreciated. I think my new liquid energy combination also played a big part in getting me moving, i discovered that sipping on a combination of black coffee and Red Bull really brings out the wings!!! However if it wasn’t for Fish my jet ski driver and his incredible words of wisdom and support i don’t think i had the strength or energy to push on within me. It’s amazing how much he just gets me after just a few long days at sea, he can pre predict when i’m crashing and always offers a smile and wink at just the right moments to keep me going! I am forever grateful for his support!
Again the water crew and myself were blessed with seeing whales, they were doing full body breaches as well as tail slaps, the magic of having whales casually swim by seriously never gets old!
The previous nights antics came to light today, the island plumbers had colourful opinions of the next stretch of water i was to paddle across. Their shark stories and fears were at an all time high, they were a tad concerned about me paddling through there, and also about my mental state for wanting to do so.
Mid way across the open stretch of water i was simply trying to take it all in, the magical blue water the open ocean, the whales and sea birds, today was truly spectacular!
Shortly after my moment of bliss i felt something not physically, but i felt a presence with me. I started to look around across the endless expanse of water, i couldn’t see anything but my gosh did i know something was with me… and it was big! A few minutes later Garry in his support boat started driving a little weird, accelerating quickly and doing a few circles around me. What i found out later was that i was paddling across an expanse of water that was over 30m deep. I then found out that his fish sounder had locked in on something that was rapidly moving up from the depths of the water directly for me and as he told me i noticed his eyes really bulging as he mentioned its size. I had a 16 foot Great White Shark checking me out. By far thats the biggest shark i have paddled with, and it was odd that i felt it with me even before it appeared in the fish finder. I do have these moments every so often when i know i have company. The only way i can explain it is that something deep down in my sub conscious is tuned into the ocean.