Friday, July 13, 2007

Day 1: Aireys Inlet to Warrnambool

Getting started sometimes feels like the most difficult part of the journey. You’ve got to push hardest to get the momentum happening. And it was a big mass we were trying to get moving….or so it felt.

The plan was to paddle from Gully Beach in Aireys Inlet to Lorne and then to drive to Warrnambool. There was no need to do the paddle bit – the Surf Coast is not yet excised – but since EXCISED is about sea-kayaking, we thought it would be good to start the journey with a paddle.

Despite predictions of foul weather, the early morning sea looked good. The paddle was going to be possible. But the hours of packing and talking and coffee and last minute arrangements pushed launch-time back. By the time we got down to the beach, the weather predictions were proved right:

The wind it was howling and the seas were outrageous.
We cut through the surf…….then turned back again…
Apologies to Bob Dylan, Isis.

Not deterred by the foreboding skies and the hellish ocean, we bid our friends and family farewell and headed off beyond the break. It was big. Really big. And scary. Really scary. Not that we were scared, of course. We’re adventurers, after all. Aren’t we? So we braved the waves, balancing against the chopping water, as we turned our 5 meter vessels………. and headed back to the safety of the beach…..

The kayaks felt extremely heavy as we carried them back up the steps, loaded them on the trailer and headed back to the warmth of home.

A sense of anti-climax??? No. More a sense of relief. And an awareness that the next two and a half months will be unpredictable and that even the best-laid plans at times will have to be abandoned.

By the time we got to Warrnambool, having driven to Lorne, we had almost given a radio interview on Perth ABC, almost lost the load off the trailer, and spent most of the day fluffing around at Aireys Inlet. Friday the 13th. First day of the journey.


1 comment:

suzie said...

It was a moving moment to watch this scene unfold. You both looked so small in your boats compared to the vastness of the ocean. The grey of the sky looked so ominous it could have swallowed you both whole. I wish you well on your journey!