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01 March 2007

Day 22 - 1/3/07

I expected Matt to wait at Wineglass Bay until winds became more favourable - maybe Saturday 3/3 for N winds - but he wanted to push on.

So at 7am he set off in atrocious conditions (SE wind, fog) around Freycinet Peninsula, through Schouten Passage and across, due W to Buxton Point. He apparently could not see where he was going due to rain & fog, relying on GPS & compass to navigate and only saw where he was in the last 5kms of this leg. He had just arrived when he phoned me at 12.45pm.

Buxton Point is very exposed and unpleasant in strong s/e wind. Hence, he does not expect to stay here for long - just enough to get some food and recover a bit - before pushing on to Little Swanport.

It seems that favourable winds are always 2 or 3 days away, changing as forecasts change.

He said his hands look as though they have been in a bath for a month. They certainly did not look good when I saw him at Bicheno, but he did not want any medical treatment for them.

Matt wanted me to say Hi to everyone who reads the blogs of his progress, and especially to the people who have made kind comments about what he is doing. I pass on the messages and I think they lift his spirits when things seem to be going against him. Thank you from Matt.

When I saw him at Bicheno he got rid of some gear that he hadn't used or needed & loaded up with more fresh water so the net effect was probably a weight increase. To give his fingers & wrists some different exercise (from gripping around the paddle shaft) he sometimes paddles using his hands and still manages to reach 6.5km/h.

Call at 3.55pm to say he was camped just inside Little Swanport estuary, on the south side, very comfortable and a nice site in a paddock next to an old shack.