So Much Fun Was Had!!!
Ok, dearest Pals. I'm only 24 hours late sitting down to post this, but hopefully it is worth the wait . . . !
Yesterday morning dawned with me feeling a bubble of excitement as I fed my youngsters, did their hair, stood over the toothbrushing ritual, made sure sunscreen (or "sumscreem" if you are La) was applied properly, sorted out hats, towels, beach toys, and snacks.
Within minutes of their Daddy arriving, I was wheeling my Marlin fishing kayak around the corner to drop it into the canal. Everyone was following along, and Daddy helped me to lift it down the stairs into the water, and then I was off! For the first time since I was gifted with this incredible watercraft, I headed off to have an open water adventure.
Picture this: the canal curves gently to the west of my house, before hitting a t-intersection where a right turn takes you further along the man-made canal system, and winds around to eventually join up to the waterways of Mooloolaba. I turned left, which takes me into a slowly widening waterway that turns into our local tidal Currimundi Lake.
I got to the mouth of the Lake, and there was my family just arriving to play at Darci's Waterhole (what we call the drop off that is just to the left of the mouth of the Lake). I played around there for a while, both girls taking it in turns to jump in the kayak with mum, and Fernie the young Kelpie trying madly to join us (made for some very entertaining viewing for both us and other families nearby).
From there, I prepared to head out through the mouth into the ocean proper. My plan was originally to paddle out a few kms to a small reef just off our coast. However, the conditions were not ideal, so I decided instead to paddle further south to Moffat Beach and fish off the rocks at the headland there. To set the scene - the tide was just starting to come in, there was quite a strong northerly blowing, and the water was pretty choppy with a decent swell just beyond the surf.
Let me quickly explain to you that I have a husband who is "slightly" prone to anticipating the worst, and also a "bit" of a panic-merchant. He is standing with both the girls, and I can almost hear him coaching or critiquing me as I start to head out into the surf.
I start off walking next to the kayak, pointing its nose into the waves. It's hard. Even harder with the fact of doing it in front of someone who is already preparing for everything to go wrong. As a wave shunts my kayak sideways, it tips sideways slightly, and one of my fishing rods promptly falls out of its rod holder. I quickly duck down in the thigh-deep water and replace it in its holder without further incident.
I have been pushed a fair way back to the beach (the tide is still 5 hours from full height, but running much harder due to the push of the chop behind the waves). I grit my teeth, jump in the kayak and paddle madly through the surf. I make great headway, and soon find myself beyond the waves, accompanied by a couple of cheers from neighbouring surfers. I didn't look back at the beach, but was feeling pretty bloody incredible at knowing that I had defied the odds that my husband no doubt had thought were all against me. This was one of my bucket list items for the day already achieved - reminding him (and myself) that I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to.
Darci told me later that hubbie was doing what I have termed "the spastic spider" when the rod fell off the kayak and I turned my back to the waves to pick it up. He warned her never to do something so stupid herself, but was cautiously positive when I escaped certain doom. Darci said he was actually pretty damn surprised, but he managed to pick his jaw up from the ground and continue "the spastic spider" when he saw me get into the kayak. 'No way is your mum going to be get out there like that! You kids stay here and I'll have to go out and give her a hand. Oh. Hang on a minute. Oh. She's actually doing pretty well . . . ' I smiled so large when she told me this later on. My husband also admitted to his pessimism, and his surprise at my overcoming those obstacles. Smiling even larger at hearing that from him!
But wait. There is more!
The rolling waves were heading slowly south, so I paddled down to Moffat, and spent around 45 minutes or so fishing over the rocks. It was fairly challenging, because I would cast out with both rods, then paddle back out as I was swept closer to shore. It did take around 10 minutes to drift closer than I was comfortable, but it was fun and I was surrounded by mutton birds and masses of very pretty jelly fish. Nothing I wanted to swim in the midst of, but very pretty to watch. The fish ate my bait, and I didn't catch a thing in my time there.
The time came to start heading back up to Currimundi Lake, and I quickly realised that getting back was going to be far more difficult than it was paddling down. Yikes. Headwind. Increasing swell. I rolled up my imaginary sleeves, gritted my teeth (again), and started paddling. This is where my Marlin really showed me how wonderfully forgiving it is. In very contrary conditions, I made slow but steady progress, and finally found myself back at the Lake. It took 35 minutes to get to Moffat, and almost 1 hour and 35 minutes to get back. There was a life saver on a jetski cruising up and down the coast. He passed me a few times, and on his last run past me, he came up and asked me if I was ok. I laughed and said that I may be slow, but I would get there in the end. He was really sweet and said that I was doing well, and he wouldn't even have attempted it. He was very positive and made me feel 10ft tall. It was good to laugh, as I had just been feeling a little overwhelmed and starting to slightly question my sanity. Thankfully that didn't last long!
So I slowly fished my way around the Lake, enjoying the totally calm water and serenity. It was not as windy once I was behind the dunes, and the tide was running pretty swiftly, so I could put aside my paddle and just concentrate on casting my lines. Again, lots of nibbles, but nothing serious. I chatted to some fellow fishing people who were on the banks and envying my awesome Marlin. I also paddled with some Stand Up Paddle Boarders and other kayakers, chatting again, and just chilling in general.
Then it was time to head back to my drop in point, and get out with the help of my husband again. I got home, and promptly wrapped presents for a slumber party for Darci, took off the makeup she thought she could apply without me noticing (yikes - 9 year olds have heavy hands with eyeshadow and seem to love bright red lipstick!!), and then dropped her off at the party.
Darci and my husband (again separately) both told me about his response to seeing me start paddling south. "Well, Darci, I am going to have to go home and fit the roof racks to my car, because there is no way that Mum is going to be able to paddle back home from down there with that wind and that swell. That's ok, though, we can prepare and when she calls we can jump in the car and go and get her." He was completely astounded that I paddled back, and even more so when I told him how far south I had gone. In all, I worked out that I paddled in excess of 35km. Probably more, when you factor in paddling against the incoming tide.
Last night I had the house to myself, did a run on my treadmill (just because I could!), had a spa, drank 3 glasses of champagne. I cooked a lovely salmon steak with a balsamic vinegar dressing, and ate it accompanied by a cos lettuce, red and yellow capsicum, mushrooms, feta, sundried tomato, olives, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, coriander, and sweet yellow chilli salad. I watched one of the many shows that I have taped and waiting for me to find time to watch them, read a book in bed, and fell asleep halfway through a page.
This morning, even with no-one in the house, I woke at 5:30am. Decided to take the dogs to the beach, and ended up going for a 6km run along the beach, followed by a half hour swim.
Off to pick Darci up, and then we drove to Noosaville Foreshore and showed our support for a festival being held to raise funds for a young polocross athlete who had been injured. The funds were going towards a communication device that would help him to "talk" to his loved ones. He had a nasty fall that left him paralysed, and unable to communicate. Doctors had told his mum that he couldn't understand anything around him, and she refused to accept their diagnosis and opinions to let him go. She watched him closely for a month after his accident, and noticed that he was starting to wink and raise one thumb when spoken to. She realised that he could, indeed, understand everything around him, and has researched ways to help empower him. This was the answer she found. A whole heap of very talented musicians donated their time today and entertained all of us for the entire day. So much fun, and such a great cause. All the food available to buy was donated, and a whole heap of people had stalls there where everything sold was giving 100% to helping him communicate. I heard so many stories today that humbled and inspired me.
Then off to the kids movie "Turbo" with Darci. I didn't know what this movie was about, but it also carried on the theme of aspiring for more, and having the courage to live your dreams and not be limited in how you do so. It was about a snail doing the impossible. I want to be that snail. I think I definitely AM that snail. Well, I want to be, anyway! I'm making myself laugh.
When we got home, my husband was here, having just dropped in to take the dogs and Angela to the beach. I have drawn very hard lines in the sand for him at the moment, as he has gotten so caught up in his negatives that I am unable to live my positives. I am hoping that he wakes up to himself, but it is so liberating to have time and space to re-visit all the things I love and cherish, and to slowly rebuild all the strengths I have allowed to weaken. I am absolutely blown away at the support that my husband's parents are showing me in my firm stance. They couldn't love me more if I was their own daughter, is how they make me feel.
I was not surprised that my husband was here, but I was definitely surprised at how respectful and positive he was. This is something I could definitely handle having in my life on a constant basis. Who knows? Right now I am so content about where I am at, and the steps I am taking.
Tomorrow I am running along the beach in the morning.
Oh, and one last thing. I wore sensible clothes yesterday, applied a lot of sunscreen on all my exposed skin, had a hat, and protected every part of myself I could from our extremely hot sun. Except for the tops of my thighs. My bottoms rode further up my legs, and those white expanses are now a lovely shade of pink. Not too bad, but certainly I have sunburn for the first time in years. I am hoping that it helps to make my thighs look smaller . . . vanity, thy name is Wil!!
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed hearing about my funny and fun happenings over the past couple of days. The past few months have really been tumultuous for me, and the high days haven't happened enough or lasted long enough to carry me very far. I am feeling as though I am finally turning a corner, and heading to a better and stronger place. I hope to live there permanently. It is too precious for me to let it slip any further away, and I am yearning for this to be my constant rather than the exception.
I love you all, and appreciate your constant support and encouragement. Thank you.