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Our first checkpoint was on the right side of the lake so although competitors were fanned out that's where the paddlers headed. We were lucky that the lake was calm but with another six hours of paddling to clear it, anything could happen.
We seemed to paddle for hours before sighting the checkpoint. It gave me some reference to how far the leaders were ahead. As the front runners closed formation the British pair in the double kayak stopped on shore, so we were happy to pick up a place. Race marshals at the checkpoint were sat high on a cliff, we shouted our number and they replied "Yea got you".
There was nothing of interest ahead but the scenery along the shores was absolutely beautiful. It reminded me of Yosemite National Park in California, lots of rocky hills with open treeless patches. I was now wishing we had more time to take it all in.
Ed was starting to tire and was also being chaffed by his PFD, he was wearing a sleeveless T shirt underneath it. "I'm going to take it off and paddle without it" he said, "You can't it's not allowed" I replied. "I'm going to have to stop somewhere then" he responded.
I didn't really want to stop and go to shore but as Ed’s clothes were packed away under the spray deck we had no choice, if he didn’t change the chaffing would affect his overall performance. The lake shores were far away, I steered the canoe to a point several kilometres ahead so we didn't have to divert too far. When we finally touched the rocky shore I took the opportunity to have a pee whilst Ed changed.