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Krystal and Elizabeth preparing breakfast on my bad weather, grounded day at Punalu’u­ photo taken by myself

Krystal and Elizabeth preparing breakfast on my bad weather, grounded day at Punalu’u­ photo taken by myself

Day 14,15, & 16!: Happy aloha Saturday everyone!! Day 14 was a grounded by weather day at Punaluu! After my previous paddle day of horrible ocean conditions I was not upset to stay on land a little longer. The lifeguards advised me to wait one more day before proceeding due to the strong winds. I wasn’t going to argue with that! The girls and I made a great breakfast and filled the day with lounging, writing, and planning for the next upcoming paddle days. Elizabeth and Lu headed back to Kona which left just Krystal and I for the evening and am launch. We did crossword puzzles and fished a little before heading to bed early again. One of my best friends and her mom (Liz Troske and Mary) had contacted my hometown radio station in St. Louis (Y98FM Phillips and Company) to explain the journey I am on and why. The radio station had been wanting to catch up with me for about a week so we agreed on a time! I was half asleep at 2 am when I crawled out of the tent for the interview but I think it went well! I have already received more donations so I am very grateful for that and the radio team to show me so much support from home! You can get on their webpage if you would like to hear it. I woke up day 15 at 5am to pack up and get started on a 20 mile paddle day. The forecast was still not ideal but about as good as it was going to get for the next few days! Krystal helped me push out and I paddled the boat channel, in between the swells, and out to open ocean. As I got more offshore I was having trouble steering the boat. I jumped out to take a look at the rudder and the rivet that holds the steering column in place was gone! With huge wind swell and 20mph winds coming in the next few hours I was nervous about losing total control of the boat. I tried some quick fixes with hair ties, a rivet I took off from another part of the kayak, and finally my emergency whistle that was on a string all while swells were washing over my head. The whistle tied around the rudder seemed to hold it in place with enough stretch to still move the rudder. I hopped back in the boat and continued on frequently checking my fix. The first 14 miles were huge swells and strong winds again. I was handling them slightly better from my previous experience and I found myself much calmer. I pulled into a protected bay 3 miles east of green sands to repair the kayak.

Pulling into a protected bay for rudder repairs and lunch­ photo courtesy of Cassidy Wayant

Pulling into a protected bay for rudder repairs and lunch­ photo courtesy of Cassidy Wayant

 

Krystal and Cassidy awaited my arrival and Boz had gone to Plenty Pupule Kayaks to meet Les for a repair piece for the rudder. The repair went smoothly and off I went again for another 6 miles to the boat ramp by the entry to Green Sands.

 

 

 

Taking back off after my repairs! Happy and ready to finish the day­photo courtesy of Cassidy Wayant

Taking back off after my repairs! Happy and ready to finish the day ­photo courtesy of Cassidy Wayant

I was flying down the coast with the wind at my back and beat the land crew to my landing spot! We set up camp in the crazy winds by South Point, Boz made dinner, and Kirsten and Matty P came to hang for the night. Kirsten gave me an amazing massage and I was off to bed. Rounding South Point is my next paddle day and the day I get back on my home side of the island. For those of you that don’t know the island this is by far one of the most dangerous crossings. Boats have been swept offshore here to never be seen again. The channel can be impossible to paddle and wind speeds can burst up to 50 mph. The weather will never be perfect here but I have to choose the least treacherous and favorable wind day to go. I was anxious for morning to come but I felt mentally and physically ready. I woke up early on day 16 and packed up the kayak for departure. Everyone in camp woke up to see me off when the weather radio beeped an alarm. Small craft advisory for South Point and south waters. A fisherman then came up and asked if I was going out. He said with these winds hitting the channel at the point it could be deadly. The decision was made to stay grounded for day 16 even though I really wanted to push off. SLIGHTLY better forecast tomorrow so optimistic I can continue on! Hope to see everyone on the west side soon:)! Keep caring and sharing!