With the sixth week of the Shaw and Partners Paddle of Aus. wrapped up, we take a deeper dive into the week gone by.
“Day 36 was spent recovering in Robe. While in Robe we chatted with local cray fishermen, telling us about the conditions at sea and advising us on what conditions we might expect in the coming days. Robe had such a helpful and kind fishing community that the crew and I were lucky enough to be gifted, three crays for dinner!”
“Starting day 37 later in the afternoon from Robe, I paddled 100km into the early hours of the following day.
I experienced what was possibly the scariest moment of the paddle so far, at 85K and around 1am, I fell off my ski towards the boat while trying to eat my protein bar! I then quickly pulled myself back into my ski, trying not to think about what may lurk beneath the surface of the pitch-black water.
It has been a learning experience managing my breaks. These breaks can consist of getting into the boat to have a warm bucket bath, wash my hair, do an outfit change, get a massage, and try to eat before my 60 minutes is up. Where I will then put my gloves and booties back on before jumping back into the 13° water.
My word of the day was Anticipation. The beginning of the bight had been in the back of my head for what felt like weeks and as I was beginning the journey to Kangaroo Island, I was also mentally preparing to tackle the Bight in the next week.
I also celebrated a little milestone with my Instagram clicking over 5000 followers, I am so grateful for everyone joining our community and supporting my mission to break the World Record, showcase Australia’s beautiful coastline and Gotcha4Life’s mission to stop suicide in Australia.”
“Waking up to the excitement of the crew after swimming with a pod of dolphins was pure magic.
The deep blue colours of the ocean 80km off the South Australian shore made seeing a gorgeous giant turtle and my lunch time swim so much more special.
Finishing late in the night doing riddles with the crew as I paddled alongside the Catamaran kept my mind really focused while observing the most beautiful night sky. Amongst the beauty, paddling against 2knots of current, approaching Kangaroo Island was really challenging so I called it a day after 105km of paddling.”
“I woke at eight in the morning, and before beginning the days paddle I watched some of the crews (unsuccessful) attempts to paddle the ski which was very entertaining! Finally enjoying a massage and a rest before commencing the days paddle after lunch. Beginning the paddle at three in the evening, I paddled into some of the strongest currents I’ve experienced for 30 kilometres, each kilometre taking the physical toll of three! After 30 kilometres and a quick rest the currents had turned in my favour and the second 30 kilometres was blissful in comparison. The last hour of the day was extremely eventful with one of the most spectacular golden sunsets followed by pouring rain and lightning. The days paddle was capped off in a comical manner, with a fish jumping out of the water into my ski! Finishing up the day on the north cape of Kangaroo Island.”
“Taking off from Kangaroo Island and headed to Althorpe Island the day brought an arduous 72.5k of current and headwind and the cumulative fatigue of several long days of paddling had well and truly begun to set in mentally.
This fatigue sometimes makes me less able to appreciate the beauty of my surroundings. There have been many places throughout the paddle so far which I would love to revisit under different circumstances in the future!
Throughout the paddle, and life I have drawn inspiration from other women in sport and it was great to see Ash Barty becoming the first Australian woman to make the Australian Open final in 42 years.
Having little inspiring messages around the boat has been helping me to stay focused and keep my eyes on the end goal when times are tough.
Tomorrow I will begin the paddle across the Great Australian Bight.”
“One of the biggest challenges has been trying to find opportunities to take in the beauty of my surroundings and to enjoy the experience, while being so physically drained and fixated on the end goal. The realisation that I am about to be paddling straight across the Great Australian Bight, sometimes up to 500km out at sea has been something that has been in the back of my mind.”
“The next few weeks will no doubt hold numerous challenges, both physical and mental as I battle the elements, push my limits, and enter western Australia and cross the bight! I look forward to the challenge and entering the fifth state of the paddle!”
-Compiled and edited by Ben Lavery for paddleofaus.com