Paddle Day 70
Sodwana to Ponta du Ouro, Mozambique 85km (6hrs 30min)
I woke up at 04h00 this morning to hear the trees moving. That’s a good thing if the wind was in the right direction. It was the last morning to go through the daily routine of who get to use the bathroom first. Coffee, rusks, more coffee and load up the Land Rover.
Parking at the beach I was still not sure of the wind direction but once I had climbed to the top of the dune I managed a smile as it was looking positive. No white horses but the wind was in the right direction and if it was blowing this early it should start to blow harder as the day passed.
Not wanting a repeat of yesterday I took five litres of liquids with me. In all the excitement of the last morning I was about to get going when I realised that I had left my gloves in the Land Rover. Warren the kind bloke he is ran back to to fetch them for me while I studied the surf.
At 06h15 I headed out and just managed not to make a mess of the surf. I actually cut over the end of the reef which made the impact zone shorter but it could have gone pair shape. Anyway a miss is as good as a mile and I turned left and headed up the coast.
I ended up paddling much of the way with a rain cloud just off to my right and the wind would gust a bit and then fade off. Eventually this cloud headed off and the real SW wind started to fill through.
The wind against the current meant some good lumps and bumps to ride but not always giving me the best speed. I moved in and out trying to find a compromise.
There was a distinct point between the two which was defined by a line of jelly fish, not just a few but hundreds of them. Quite a spectacular site! I also almost had a head on collision with a rather large turtle. I think we both got a fright as I sped passed with only inches to spare.
By now I was making good progress but never the less it would still be a long day on the water. Approaching Kosi bay I passed on the inside of a reef and I spotted a few of my friends cruising about and decided to stay clear of them.
The final stretch
Once I passed Kosi I only had 6km to go to Ponta d’ Oura and 4km to the South African border. I was thinking about what I should be thinking about especially as this was my last hour of the trip. Should I be savouring the moment? Having just paddled 3300km I decided that I had savoured enough already and I though about all the people I had met along the way and their kindness. I thought of my family and how relieved they will be that it’s over. I was ready for it….. the anti-climax…
All I required was a hug from Warren and firm hand shake with a “well done son”. That is exactly how it happened.
DONE and DUSTED! I completed the entire SA Coastline in a kayak! What an adventure.
I hope we have done something worthy enough to raised awareness for children born with cleft lips and paletes with Operation Smile.