With the second week of the Shaw and Partners Paddle of Aus. wrapped up, we take a deeper dive into the week gone by.
“After some extreme weather warnings which we’d dodged for days, a weather front was coming from the south. After arriving in Nelson Bay on Christmas Day evening, we decided to have a 20-kilometre recovery paddle which would help us in the coming week. Whilst racing the weather front, we spoke about some of the amazing beaches and towns we’ve seen so far (Yamba, Port Macquarie, and Seal Rocks) also speaking about some of the Australian adventurers who spent time discovering this amazing country. Doubling back to Nelson Bay to celebrate a late Christmas with the crew. The crew spent the morning paddling on the spare ski, bad Santa presents, yummy food and some time on land. For now, we are bunkered down in beautiful Nelson Bay until the weather passes. Our goal is to get to Sydney Harbour for NYE fireworks and a paddle out with the paddle community on New Year’s Day.”
“Day nine was the beginning of a few downtime days with the weather system still too dangerous to be out paddling, it was time for another rest day, spending some down time with the crew we enjoyed some board games and a few games of UNO! We also managed to get off the boat and go for a little hike up to Tomaree lookout which was a great way to stave off cabin fever and stretch the legs, but I was definitely looking forward to getting back in the ski and continuing on the journey!”
“Day ten was another rest day while waiting for the weather to change for the better. I had a strange feeling in my stomach and felt really hungry despite the fact that I’d already eaten until I was full. I enjoyed playing more board games and getting to know the crew better as well as filming some of our crew interviews, which I am excited to share with everybody later! With the weather system coming to an end, I was feeling well recovered and excited to begin paddling again in the coming days. I was also feeling really grateful to everyone who had been following my journey so far.”
“Day eleven was once again another rest day, the days had begun to blend together and day eleven was almost a carbon copy of the past two days, I was beginning to feel restless to be back on the ski and paddling again!”
“On day twelve I was finally able to be back on the water and paddling! I was feeling well rested and for the first 35 kilometres I felt really good! But after that 35km mark it was back into the world of pain for the final 65km of the days paddle! Finishing the day on 100km with an easier 30k day on the cards for New Year’s Eve tomorrow. The support boat hit the ski, but luckily the Nordik is super tough and was un-harmed, we finished the day with a crew meeting to discuss how we can get better and keep improving as a team which really instilled confidence in me going forward and I’m really stoked to have made it to Sydney for New Years!”
“Paddled into the heads today, paddling 30k to make it into the harbour for the New Year’s Eve fireworks, it was lovely to have Jayke and Charlie from Newport joining me on the water for this stretch of the journey. Once the days paddle was over the crew and I were lucky enough to anchor the boat in an awesome spot on the water with the harbour bridge and fireworks display fully in view! With the 2021 year coming to a close, it was time to reminisce on the year that was and on some of my proudest achievements for the year! Closing the chapter on 2021 and looking forward to the new year!”
“The first day of 2022!
New Year’s Day paddle from Manly to Cronulla was a blast with 19 wonderful paddlers coming out to join me, in some of the best conditions for paddling we have had since day one! With perfect northerly winds and a heap of support from the paddling community it was a great way to start the new year! Throughout the paddle so far, I have been delighted by the support that has come from both the paddling community and the wider public and the donations to our charitable partner Gotcha4Life have been great!”
“One of the main challenges that has presented itself this week has been getting used to being at the whim of the weather systems, having forced rest days when I am feeling good and ready to paddle has been challenging and on the flip side of this, I have to be ready to paddle on days that I typically would rest, in order to make the most of the favourable conditions!”
“We are still preparing for the 240km stretch between Eden and Lakes Entrance and I am readying myself for what will, in all likelihood be some of the most intense and gruelling paddling I have ever done as there is nowhere for the support boat to anchor in this stretch of the journey and I will need to do double my current longest paddle (122k) and the logistics around this is certainly a challenge but this is why I have a team, who are doing their best to make sure I can focus on paddling! Really looking forward to seeing the coastline as I get further south, my favourite perspective to view the world from is definitely from my ski out in the water. So definitely excited to be looking up at some magnificent cliff faces and looking into some of the beautiful beaches of the south coast.”
– Compiled and edited by Ben Lavery for paddleofaus.com