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Cheers and thanks for your interest. Hayley
Friday, March 12, 2010
March 12th - Day 13
S 54 01.214 and W 37 34.631
Although I had a relatively good forecast apart from the SW 35knots building by 3pm, today ended up being the most uncomfortable and creepy morning on the water yet.
Woke to calm conditions but heavy snow had fallen over night and it was still falling as I packed up camp around 5.30am
After meeting up briefly with Northanger I set out, rounded Cape Buller in near white out conditons. Chubby snowflakes fell generously and it all seemed aa rather tranquil beginning.
It didn't take long for the gentle head wind to pick up, carrying with it snow driving into my eyes and stinging them. I had to paddle with my eyes half shut and my head down. Sunglasses didn't do the trick, they made me paddle more blind than without.
It was a rugged section of coastline, boomers and erractics caused swell to spontaneliously explode over these hidden rocks, at times I felt like I was paddling through a mine field and with the low visiability it made for more of a challenge.
There were few places to land, and if there was a beach, it was steep and surf beaten.
Soon squalls started to hit along with the snow blizzards, and the dark grey sea and skies limited my visability even further and simply gave me the willies.
I was aiming for Right whale Bay where Northanger would be at anchor but suddenly the squalls became more frequent.
SW wind had already started to produce itself and along with that comes the katabatics doing their lethal dance out from the bays and valleys.
I noticed a small pocket beach with little swell and thought best I get off the water, now that an opportunity has produced itself.
Once turning into the bay severe winds hit me as though I simply paddled into a wall. Will I even be able to make it to shore I questioned. The thought of not made me paddle vigorously.
Once close enough, the best part of the beach was taken up with adult male Fur seals sparring with eachother, I chose the more exposed but less of a hassle section.
The challenge continued as I tried to set up my tent in this now full-on breeze, with the coldest hands I think I've ever had.
I crawled into my pole-less tent carrying big river boulders and eventually was able to erect the tent, poles an all without it taking off in flight. I will be sleeping with my buddy boulders tonight.
Once in my sleeping bag, food in my belly and luke warm hot choccy in my hands I found some comfort. At this point I did question for the first time on this journey "Why on earth do I chose to put myself through this bloody uncomfortable and a little creepy style of adventure"
I sudden urge for domestication flooded my thoughts. All I wanted to do was make a roast dinner, dig a little in the garden and ready my book near a warm and cosy wood stove..
Ahh but it was a gorgeous part of the island I saw today (in the seconds it was clear enough to see)... despite the relentless wind and the chill it carries....I still am addicted to South Georgia.