Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Day 15 Garrylucas - Dunwoody Bay (training into practice)

After two days of rest at Garretstown we were ready to get on the water. Winds drop to around 5-6m/s. It's now or we will be waiting another few days. So we pack up and head to the beach. Waves are crashing into the beach but nothing we couldn't get past to get going.
With a bit of a scramble to get off the beach.. Vibeke filling her boat with water. Finally we are all out. With a few exposed rocks in the bay it wasn't a place we wanted to be.. So pushing on a little bit before making any adjustments to empty boats of water.

For me I seem to be feeling it more in the body after rest days and the shoulders were giving me some trouble.. Oh dear. After the not so pleasant experience of towing a few days before.. My shoulders couldn't have taken anything like that with the small nagging pains they were giving me.
Anyway we paddle on. Frida was dropping back a little bit. I kept checking my shoulder.. And her paddle was still moving so things must be OK. Mm.. A few minutes later.. I hear a shout and the paddle goes up. What's up? We group together to find her back hatch had disappeared. Mm? Where has that gone? Head winds pushing us back. Vibeke quickly clips onto our raft and keeps us in position. Trying to pump the water out of the hatch wasn't the easiest. Sore shoulders and waves continuing to crash in there filling it up again. Managed to empty it a bit and Frida pulls out a plastic bag and bungee cord from her vest ready for me to assemble. Not the easiest operation in the wind and waves.. But it would do until we make it to land just an hour away. Poor Frida she had the heaviest boat as it was. Now it was a tad heavier..

Having not the best start to the day at least it brought up a conversation about our communication and how important it is. Communicating before we get on the water and then again once we are on the water. Just to make sure everyone is happy and comfortable. And to take responsibility for ourselves and what our own bodies can do and then how that might affect the plan for the day. Making sure things are noticed earlier and keeping a check on each other. Luckily this time Frida wasn't too far behind before we noticed but for next time we would want it to be quicker.

After our long discussion on the beach we all agree we are ready again to head into the head wind around the headland. Maybe a two to three hour paddle before we get to any landings. Frida had emptied her hatch and luckily the spare hatch cover from Reed put to good use.

Vibeke's wrist was painful but still she was OK to continue. So we head around into the wind. Moderate breeze with some lovely swells. And again we get into the situation where we get slower and slower. Having learnt from last time we didn't want to tow any raft so Frida clips onto Vibeke and the paddle tandem to ease the pain for Vibeke. And they managed just fine. Unfortunately the nearest landing sport on the map did not look suitable so we had to dig deep and continue. Vibeke to then suggest we might need to do an emergency landing. I think she saw the steam coming out of my ears. Looking at the waves crashing over the rocks. 'we don't have many options!' This is our emergency landing. And we grit our teeth and got around to a safe beach landing.

Unfortunately we realised how dangerous it was for us to be out there with an injury and sadly Vibeke called it a day. It was amazing to have her with us for all those paddling days but for the safety of the team and Vibeke's wrist it was time for her to put the paddle down and end her trip. Luckily now she can give her wrist a good rest and work on preventing the injury for next time.

- Ashley

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