4th January

Yesterday was good to sort out a few things. In particular I took the VHF back and borrowed Vince’s that is identical. He’s a mate from Ballina and I was pretty lucky. Spent an hour and a half on TLC FM at Yamba with Di Ellis in a very free ranging interview and immediately followed it up with Jessica from Illawarra ABC. The media has been fantastic at a local level showing just how important grass roots action is to overcome the power of the fossil fuel lobbyists.

Thought there would be no paddling today but decided to give it a shot after doing a radio interview with Nowra, which went great, and then making a call into another station where I found that shock jocks are still around and that their brains still have not gotten any bigger. Left Yamba at mid-day and hit the southerly at the end of the south wall. It was a bit of a bugger so I decided to call it quits at Spooky Beach, Angourie. Because Angourie Point provided shelter the last kilometer was fine but the first eight were very slow and wet.

Anyway, a bit is better than nothing so we headed off to set up camp at Wooli. I had built a removable canopy that has windows, floor etc for the ute, but unfortunately I left a way for the rain to get in so mattress, bedding etc was soaked. Two hours in the sun helped but only partially and we didn’t have an extra tarp to cover the mattress. Not to worry, the thermal blanket in the first aid kit did the job and I reckon we have a fine place to sleep tonight. Apparently there is another opinion but when she is really tired I don’t think that will matter.

Up at 4.00am tomorrow and see if I can get to Minnie Water before the south easter makes life pretty ordinary.

9km for the day.p1020034Looking back at the entrance to the Clarence River when the southerly hit

leaving-yambaLeaving Yamba. Nice out of the wind!

loadingDarren from Wooloweyah helps load at Angourie. My bit must have been a lot higher than his.


Steve told me that as part of my support crew role I have to write a daily blog, as this is day 4 I am a wee bit behind. So I will write a precise of the last three days.

The send off from Ballina was great, media, family and friends were all there. Steve’s daughter Amanda did warn me that it could be hectic as she had coordinated one of his previous trips. She  was right. Nbnnews were great, even when Steve knocked their GoPro off his kayak into the deep briny water.  But my salty son Corey dived in and retrieved the camera.

Ok so I am new at this role and I am bound to make a few mistakes! Steve was due to arrive at  Evans Head after leaving Ballina that afternoon (part of my home ground) by 5pm  I was there in the prime position above the Evans Head bar at 4pm. I waited and waited and by 5pm no Steve, I was getting worried so my two sons who were driving their 4 wheel down the beach hoping to see him along the way, said we haven’t sighted him either, why don’t you drive down the hill and check out if you missed him coming in the bar. I crossed paths with the boys as I drove down and they drove up, but still no sign of Steve. We headed back up to the lookout and as we looked towards the bar there he was already through it.

Relieved we met him at the boat ramp and he SAID ‘did you get some shots as I came through the bar it was pretty hairy and they could be the shots of the trip? WHAT CAN I SAY…

DAY 2     Early start 6am from Evans Head. Steve headed out and I was in position this time to get some great shots as he went out the bar. Greg Mace a local and friend of mine turned up hoping to see him cross the bar, which is always a bit tricky at Evans. I had the good camera and gave Greg my IPad and said can you also get some shots. Well at this point I should add that Greg is a professional photographer. Thank goodness for Greg as once again the support crew didn’t quite get the action.

Steve was due at Yamba at 5pm to be greeted by a council representative, local climate supporters as well as some of the Australian Traditional Longboarders.

Well he had a speedy trip down the coast with the help of the northerly wind and made it in way ahead of time.  We waited it out at the infamous Sedges Reef pub at Iluka gathering signatures for the petition while waiting for the designated time to arrive at Yamba. Well Steve did wait and when he finally set off for Yamba the southerly hit. I must say a big thank you to the small but enthusiastic group who turned up to meet Steve in the pouring rain(see the photos on our Instagram site).

DAY 3   The southerly winds were too strong to paddle against yesterday so we had a lay day.

DAY 4               I’m sitting on a log under a pandanus tree on Spooky Beach Angourie, just south of Yamba. I can see Steve just beyond the wave zone heading this way. Shortly he will take a sharp right and come into Spooky. I have checked out the access very tricky as all the pathways are very steep and long, however I have found a 4 wheel drive access, which does say authorised vehicles only but I don’t think that will worry Steve.

I was all ready to help load the kayak but a hunky guy named Darren from Wooloweyah offered to help, so I will  save my muscles for tomorrow.

Today was a good day for the support crew, I don’t think I did anything wrong.

However there was a major problem.

Might I add here that I am not an experienced camper. We arrived at Wooli to set up camp for the next three days. We put up the Gazebo unloaded the truck lifted everything off the mattress where we were sleeping and it was wet, wet, wet. Steve had assured me that he had worked on the problems of the truck leaking and all was a ok.

He added some super adhesive that he had Brought along JUST in case. Let it dry and then poured a bucket of water over it and said “Its not leaking now.” Mmm not quite sure about this.

At this time the sky was darkening with the ominous impending promise of rain.

Before we left my son lent me a mini sleeping tent of his Just in case there was a problem. I set it up and Steve said where’s is the cover?

“What cover?”

It turned out to be just a mosquito dome. “That’s ok I said I will put it under the gazebo.”

It’s now approaching 10pm and the stars are out, so as I sign off Steve has retired to the now WATERPROOF truck. I will let you know tomorrow if he has mastered the waterproofing….