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 Justine's Journal

CackleTV Productions



 


Highs and Lows
Saturday, February 10, 2007


I've just had one of the best days surfing I've ever had in North Wales.
Clean head-high lines of surf rolled onto the north coast of the Llyn Peninsula all afternoon. We put in at the pretty harbour of Trevor, a place we usually drive past on the way to the 'proper surf' at Hells Mouth. Today, most people avoided the pounding unpredicatble walls of white at Hells Mouth and there were cars with roofracks parked all along the road on the north coast of the Llyn. The sun even shone for most of the afternoon and everyone had big grins as we crawled off the water as the sun set. Trevor is usually flat but it's a great spot when it works, with clean steep lefthanders peeling for a few hundred metres. We started off trying to surf outside the harbour but I got caught in the already broken water on my first attempt and struggled to get off the pounding surf as I was driven towards some nasty sharp rocks. We thought better of it, and moved to a slighly smaller, friendlier, and excellent break in the bay. At this spot, you can take a fantastic clean ride in then paddle back out in flat water and set up for another go.

Despite the fun, I've had a shadow hanging over me today as I constantly kept thinking about Andrew McAuley and his family on the other side of the world. I found out last night, UK time, that he might be in trouble so close to the end of his solo kayak journey from Tasmania to New Zealand. I so admire Andrew for living his dreams, for setting himself goals, and methodically and sensibly working towards them. From the few emails I had from Andrew, I have been really impressed with the logical and rational approach he has to challenges - and the guts that he has. It made me feel alive just to read his trip updates every day - which has been the first thing I've done every morning for 4 weeks. So Andrew, as I was catching those waves today, feeling the adrenaline surge through my body, I was thinking of you & Vicky, sending you my best wishes and hopes & thinking of how the sea that we love can be so giving and so taking, how it can bring joy on one side of the world and despair on the other. It's not fair but it's that unpreditable, untamable beauty that draws us to the ocean.

I hope more than anything right now that you are OK. If it's possible to send warmth and energy mentally then you've been getting plenty of help from all over the world. It must be daylight again in NZ now. My best wishes are with you and the rescue teams.

4 Comments:

Blogger Melissa said...

Well said, Justine. Though I've never had any contact with Andrew, like many others around the world, I too have been keeping up on his progress. This latest news is very troubling indeed, but I will continue to hope for a happy outcome, even though we know how unforgiving the sea we love so much can be.

My thoughts are with him, his family, his friends, and with those who are now looking for him.

Melissa
(solo sea paddler, though nowhere near the kind of paddler Andrew seems to be)

8:27 pm  
Blogger Wendy Killoran said...

Justine, your words are poetic. Let's hope Andrew's expedition has a happy ending.

10:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a long time mate of Andrews who paddled in Antarticia with him and many other places I can say where ever he is that he has acheived his goal as far as I'm concerned
One for the history books Andy -you have acheived another first -Australia to New Zealand by Seakayak --see ya soon mate

Gages

p.s beautifull comments Justine and very true keep sending the love especially to Viki and Finlay

1:04 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I met Andrew once at a Pittarak weekend and his mate Stu. That weekend remains special for me because Andrew & Stu gave me the encouragement to do my first off shore paddle. Their support pushed me through a mental barrier with my paddling that I could not pass alone. Since that day I had occassional e-mail traffic with Andrew and was fortunate enough to be able to help him translate some documents into spanish and give him some contacts to present their trip.
I am now living in Switzerland and was shocked to see the news on a German website.
Even though I did not know Andrew at all well the news is still shocking to say the least. These few days later I still do not know how I feel. What he achieved was nothing short of amazing and will become legend in the annals of kayaking. Andrew has left a legacy which speaks volumes about determination, endurance, faith, risk, preparation and love. Love for our sport and love for those close to us.
My heart felt blessings go out to those who did know him well, especially his wife and son, and his many paddling partners.
Richo
p.s. thanks for letting us share on this

9:10 am  

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