Today was officially the first morning i have woken with a clear head, the foggy cloud has finally passed on over. I actually felt surprisingly good considering i had bloodshot eyes and bags for days under my eyes, i guess i felt much better than i looked, lucky the crew of men are used to seeing a bedazzled and exhausted mermaid emerge from bed each morning now!
The Forster Beach Bum Cafe have been super supportive of me during the paddle so the crew and i dropped in to say hi and grab a coffee! I have had no coffee the entire paddle thus far so i was buzzing hard! After a few quick photos we headed to the Forster boat ramp where a local Black Head Surf Life Saving Club member Pierce was eagerly awaiting for us with his family. He had called me the night beforehand in the hopes to paddle with me out of Forster! I was truly looking forward to the company, despite conversations not being a high priority mid paddle, just to have the change of companion was nice. Knowing that he too was in a world of pain along side me was humbling, the fact that he was so willing to push himself physically and mentally was incredibly impressive! I know without a doubt that whatever this teenager decides to do with himself he will be a great success with!
We left Pierce at Blackhead SLSC after a solid 4 hour paddle to get across the bay to where his family was awaiting his arrival unsure of their son’s state…
Tony and I set off again shortly after saying our farewells, however i did manage to pinch the jet ski for a quick spin and jump waves in the crystal clear waters of the bay! This truly lifted my spirits and energy levels as i could see my final destination up ahead. Based on my knowledge of paddle/time estimations i knew very well that i still had quite a few hours before i reached Old Bar.
After about 40 minutes of paddling the dolphins came to play, they were having a good look at me probably deciding if i was a man overboard situation that needed rescuing… They came pretty close and i could really see them looking at me, they surrounded me and rode on the wash the jet ski created. This resulted in me squealing with excitement and clapping my hands! (note to self, hand clapping does not assist paddling).
Finally i arrived in the Old Bar area, catching a few waves into shore, however learning very much from experience and turning off my shark shield before i negotiated waves. Earlier in the day i caught a few waves only to get the zap of my life from the device!
Once on land I was greeted by a lovely couple Mal and Judi, who said they had been tracking my progress. It was great to sit still at lie out of the water at last!
We had a short drive to the Meridian Resort Old Bar where i had the most amazing view from our accomodation followed by a pretty amazing shower!
Soon after i began to feel more human and a little less mermaid i discovered that today was Saturday, not just any Saturday but it was voting day. We raced up to the local school where i arrived as the last person to vote for the day with just 3 minutes to spare! Everyone had a bit of a laugh about me rushing in to vote, i just said ‘well if you knew the lengths i went to in order to be here and vote you would really laugh’ I mentioned i paddled from Newcastle and there were looks of confusion all round, i did throw out that my arms were sore and tired. I don’t think they believed anyone would be so crazy…
Bed time again and gosh am i excited about sleep, despite today being the first day i haven’t fallen asleep at sea while paddling the tiredness has caught me well and truly now!