Loc: Caleta Atala
Dist: 53 km
Start: 7:25 End: 18:05
Estimated landing: Topocilla
Estimated starting time: Right after sunrise
Estimated landing time: Well before sunset
We had to launch this morning through that one fat dumper, but as we could get afloat in the shallows and wait for the right time, it was no problem. Well, apart from Peter jumping over quite a wave crest and I got a bit of a morning face wash…
Punta Guasilla, one more of those offshore islands we had to give a wide berth, was occupied by a large seal colony. It is always a pleasure to watch these guys and to listen to their wide range of noises. My English is not good enough to describe those noises, but I’d say it sounded like a cow, a wolf, a dog, a deer, a sheep, a pig, a horse, there were farting, roaring, burping, grunting and whatever else noises! Always amazing…
The next amazing animal was a huge about 1 m jellyfish I have never seen the like before. They were actually two of them, one floating much deeper. We took nice pictures! It was actually quite beautiful, but no way I’d want to touch it or hit it while swimming!
Our first landing attempt was actually behind Punta Copaca, on Google Earth it looked like a nice small sheltered beach. The beach was there, but on today’s three meter swell, the waves were rolling fat around the corner and closed it out fully. No way…
Next plan, some bit of a wider bay behind the next headland at Punta Atala, was looking more promising. This headland was steep, and though the waves were breaking, they were not rolling around the corner. We found a sheltered bay with about 6 floating fishing boats, a good sign! Still the beach was steep and rocky, and the swell went up and down. Possible…but there was the old “official” launching place to the right of the beach, narrow, also with swell up and down and rocky, but it looked a bit better.
I landed first on a moderate swell wave, jumped to the waist into the water, and just let my boat have a controlled wash up the rocky beach on the next wave. One more of that, and I was safe with my boat. I dragged it a bit higher on the rocks, and waited for Peter to do the same. I grabbed his bow as he jumped out in time, but on the back surge where I just got ready to lead the boat on the following bigger swell wave higher up, he got almost sucked back, and had to crawl on all fours up the beach before the swell wave caught him…
This bay seemed to be an old landing spot, decorated with a canon and a bigger boat on a concrete pedestal serving as…yes, as what? A tourist attraction? This may have been the plan… but we couldn’t really say it was in good shape or the surrounding area was clean…why do people just dump their trash anywhere? It would be so easy with a huge trash can occasionally getting emptied or just burnt… The big house at the head of the bay was looking newly renovated as if it was planned to be a restaurant or such…but all plans seem to have stopped at some point. A pity!