Loc: Punta Huentalauquen
Dist: 41,4 km
Start: 8:20 End: 16:15
We are not paddling tomorrow due to high swell and some necessary repairs on the boat
We slept well on our coarse rocky ledge up a steep gravel beach! The highway noise was limited in our corner, and we were tired enough anyway.
The night was a bit warmer than the other clear days and nights, but it also meant it was overcast and misty in the morning with very limited visibility. But it got a bit better over the day.
No Navy visit this morning! Thanks, guys! Not that we don’t like to see you, but for what? …our estimated plan for today was published.
The launch sliding downhill the steep rocky beach went easy, BUT…I noticed later tonight I had some water in my usually bone dry bow hatch – and noticed I must have damaged the gel coat of my bow on this launch somehow! No idea how…but a 100 kg boat on the rocks has it’s own uncontrolled life…
Sure we were so clever to refill all our water bags before heading into the desert, but the boats were really bloody heavy this way! There was an easy refill up the hill in an open bathroom building at a small pool area.A local came out of his holiday house to have a chat, and to check we didn’t need anything. Thanks!
We were crossing two small bays, and then paddled the last 10 km along a bumpy backwash of a steep rugged coastline. The sky was turning dark in between, but as there was no rain forecast, it was just a bit eerie to see!
We noticed the swell was slowly lifting as forecast, plus a bit of wind and the backwash made us feel on the last 10 km like turning in as soon as possible! There were a bunch of small, but probably very steep and not fully sheltered beaches between the cliffs, but we withstood the temptation to go in there already. Punta Huentalauquen was the plan and the right choice, looking at Google Earth!
Coming from the south, it was lookingreally scary from offshore in these conditions! We better geared with the helmet, and prepared for everything…There were cliffs and rocks all over guarding the bay, but I also saw fishermen’s houses. which means there must be an entrance through this long jutting reef! Just take your time, and plan a wide dog leg paddle back into the bay. The plan was working, and the scary breaker soon opened up into a quite calm bay. the wide sandy beach predicted some shallow landing with a small breaker running out in the shallows. No problem, still: Keep your watch up!
But we both landed easy, and could drag with joint forces our kayaks up the surge zone off the sucking sticky sand. We made camp on a wide, low dune belt, in reasonable distance to the fishermen’s houses, which seemed to be inhabited, as I saw some guy working something out there on the landing.
On carrying my empty boat eventually to the dunes, I saw the bow damage…SHIT! But as we were planning tomorrow off anyway, the repair will be no big deal tomorrow.
We even had the luxury of a tiny cold shower, as we were good on freshly filled water bags!
Soon the usual expected Navy car came down the sandy dune road, but it was heading to the fisherman’s house first. Ok, some other “client” to talk to…but then came the SURPRISE OF THE DAY! The Navy car drove away without bothering us! UNBELIEVABLE! From eight Navy encounters yesterday down to nothing today, though close…thanks, guys! When you are reading this, take our compliments on reacting so fast to our privacy wishes…though we don’t mind a visit every other day or such…I would miss you guys otherwise!
We are looking quite forward to sleeping in tomorrow, but then some gear work will have to be done!