Loc: Isla Damas Caleta Lynch
Dist: 32,4 km
Start: 9:45 End: 16:10
Estimated landing:halfway between Isla Damas and Huasco
Estimated starting time: right after sunrise
Estimated landing time: Well before sunset
The fat smashing surf made my brief wake ups in the night a bit exciting, as I was always listening carefully if it is already a bit less…and it got less. The fat ones in the morning were still a bit scary, but it had enough of an almost lull in between.
But first we had again to fiddle with some gear issues – how I love to be a test pilot! Therefore the late start. In between we felt like we better get a new allen key, as the old one and only one was worn out, and Peter went uphill to the Navy’s house where the guy last night came from to ask if they had one. But either they didn’t feel like helping on a Monday morning, or whatever they were thinking of not even bothering to come to the fence where Peter couldn’t climb over. But we made our repair without a new allen key. There is nothing but a fancy multi tool!
Eventually, all was back in order on the gear, and we could set out to get through the fat breaker. It was surely already a bit less than on yesterday’s landing, but still… we put our helmets on, and I helped Peter to launch again first. He just carries the heavier boat!
We had to wait for some high washing up waves, and had to hold both hard to keep Peter’s boat straight. But the next ones were lower, and we pushed further down. When it was time to push in fully, Peter still got stuck with the stern a bit, and I had to grab again the boat and gave it a bit more of a push – and fell in the water myself! But Peter was quickly paddling off now with the legs still out and with an open deck, and he only caught the foam of a low wave breaking just in front of him. No big deal, and he was safe!
I waited for my low set of waves, and pushed also in quickly, straddled my kayak with the legs still out and made it in calm waters with just a few splashes in the kayak in on my face. Thank goodness!
We opted for a direct crossing over to Isla Damas, as a paddle along the now only sandy beach wouldn’t be exciting also. We made a bearing, and via GPS and Peter’s old fashioned compass we soon saw the large islands besides Isla Damas coming up.
“Our” island had a beautiful sandy landing beach, where we were heading to, full of anticipation of a beautiful remote campsite on a natural island without any people, barking dogs or visiting officials.
The landing after a turn around a small rocky headland was through a moderate low dumper with good timing pretty easy, and we admired the clearness of the water, which color had already turned from dark gray to light turquoise! All sandy ground around here…the only thing which could improve this beautiful paddling day would have been a bit of sunshine! It was actually pretty chilly today! Still we opted for an even soapy shower, as we had enough fresh water, and the skin needs a good cleaning every now and then when paddling wet all day! A large rock offered a bit of wind shelter, and a spot where to put the clothes without getting all sandy.
We already decided early we’d take the chance of this reasonable short paddling day (despite the late launch…) for a long walk on this probably beautiful natural island! And so we did. We found so many pretty spots and places and sea shells and cactus and rock formations and wild beaches and birds and vultures…and at the other end a landing jetty for the daily tourist boast plus a hut, including a “nature path” for the regular tourist masses. But today, luckily we only just saw a small boat heading off, and we seemed to be alone on the island!
It was a really nice impressive walk, but not being used to walking, we are both now dead tired in our tent! Some quick mashed potatoes with tuna filled the stomach, and good night!