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 Justine's Journal

CackleTV Productions


Upside Down ( 3 times lucky!)
Sunday, March 09, 2008

Hello again from Justine and Barry in Okarito! We left Hunts Beach at around 8.30 this morning, after being waved goodbye from Paul, Whiskers, Jan and the kids! The surf was up a bit, a few metre and a half waves broke on us and stalled us a bit but nothing too drastic. It was calm until about 2pm and we made quite good progress surfing a moderate SW swell. Then the wind picked up dramatically, reaching 30 knots within an hour. We were surfing along nicely at over 4 knots but we started to be worried about a landing. Okarito lagoon is the first place we knew about which is slightly protected but it's not really that protected. As we approached the beach after 57km of paddling we moved in a bit to decide whether to land or whether to carry on ( and hope we could find somewhere else slightly protected to land later, and/ or that the wind and swell would drop later). As we were discussing it, we spotted some very powerful looking 2-3 metre waves that we didn't fancy getting any closer to, but before we could move away, I looked behind me and a saw a curling wave about to break on me. I tried to move back and sideways but it was too late and the wave picked me up and knocked me upside down straight away. The wave rolled me back up again and I was still being surfed in, but it was still quite steep and my bow dug in and knocked me upside down again. It was quite turbulent for a few seconds upside down but I rolled back up, minus my hat, and looked behind me to see what else was coming. There were no more breaking waves for a while but I was committed to landing now so I paddled in as quickly as I could, hoping that Barry was OK to follow. I nearly made it to land unscathed but I got sucked back into a dumping wave a few metres from the beach, the wave broke on top of me, hammering me into the lowest part of the beach and I was upside down again. I thought I was surely going to hit my head on the bottom but I didn't and I rolled back up again before making it to shore. I was worried about Barry, but noticed him landing 100 metres away - he made it in unscathed with much better timing than me!

We're both fine, the weather should be better tomorrow and the surf is due to drop so we'll probably head north again, although we'll see! I've managed to foolishly leave our satelite phone at Whiskers house so I can't send the usual text messages to Karel and Alex to update the website so if you don't hear from us for the next few days then that's why. I'll try to get the phone back as soon as possible, and in the meantime find internet access myself, or a phone signal to get a message back that way.

Okarito is a very pretty place. Thanks to Ramari for letting us use the internet and trying to help us get our sat phone back. We're starving and need to go and eat!!


Blogger karel said...

Ok Justin i"ll wait to hear from you again when you get the sat phone back,bye for now karel

7:38 am  
Blogger derrick said...

Yikes, sounds fun!

8:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi it's Leanne from Sheffield. I'm saying Hi on behalf of Whiskers. He would like you to know that his address is Private Bag 788 Hokitika. Hey it looks like you guy had an amazing time. Good on ya.

4:36 am  

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