Donnerstag, November 08, 2007

Progress Report 11/08/07 Thursday - updated by Freya 09.11.07

Weather Update from Karel Vissel:
thu mrng ne 2bft noon se 2 bft aft se 3bft sea 2 to2.50 mtr frm se
fri mrng w 3bft noon s 3bft aft se 3 to4bft sea 2.90 to 3.20mtr frm se

Message from Paul Caffyn:
John Kirk-Anderson is picking up Freya approx. 2pm Thursday, NZ time.
And will drop back to beach early Sat. am.
I also have suggested patience...

Satellite text messages received from Freya:
The dumpers became trashy 3m over night with rising se swell no way to get out nor in later without crashing :( some more rest days :( patience...

I'm safe and sound in Christchurch again at John Kirk-Anderson's house, swell is just too big :( will try on the weekend again.

Updated by Freya Friday 09.11.07:
I had a nice tentsite in the dunes again, but the thought about launching next day into the dumper wasn't really putting me to a quiet sleep...

Actually what I had to learn about this part of the world is that a safe paddle is not only about the wind, the swell is creating especially on this open steep coastline much more of an hazard with those fat dumpers...

Karel's forcast was for Thursday an increasing south-easterly swell, but the wind and chop was still looking fine and I guessed when it becomes worse I'll just stop then.

Although I was already in my dry suit and have packed the boat, telling myself don't be a whimp and go out and just DO it, I was standing a the beach for a long time watching the dumpers coming in.

This IS a 2,50-3m high dumper!!!

They seemed to have grown a bit i size over night, and after about 1/2 hr I decided to call Paul Caffyn (good I was in cell phone range!) to ask him if he would think I was a coward pulling out for today with this wind, swell direction and - height...
My fear was he would tell me:"Liebchen, it is always looking like this on that stretch of coastline, you just need to deal with it!" or "Now when it's becoming serious NZ - conditions you are showing fear!"...or something like that...

And another one, even more trashy, same size...

But for god's sake he calmed me down and told me his forecast predicts even higher swells and more wind...and started to call around who might be able to pick me up and host me for two days. I would have been able to stay at the beach as long as necessary to wait out the weather, as I had enough food, water and shelter, but for sure two days or more to spend off are better in nice company!

First I walked up that mile along the lake extension to find a road access, still in my dry suit and even with an overcag on! Chilly it was that morning! The whole area didn't look too inviting to knock at a farmhouse's door, and I was glad to get a call soon that John Kirk-Anderson was able leave work early to pick me up at about 2pm. He came luckily with a 4-wheel drive car that we didn't had to leave my kayak behind on the beach.
We drove back to Christchurch - actually back to the Banks Peninsula where he lives in a lovely house high overlooking Lyttleton harbour.

Mary, his wife, prepared a nice dinner to fill up my not spent energy today. Thanks, Mary!

Later we sorted out two new local contact phone numbers for my epirb, just in case things go wrong that there is no delay in the rescue process.
John Ashby of the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand actually contacted Paul Caffyn about that issue himself after he read in the paper about my circumnavigation, and offered to put his number firsthand in the US-epirb registration list, and suggested JKA's or Paul's number as being locals as second. Probably a good thing to avoid delays! Thanks, John, for thinking about that!