Loc: Arica Club Nautico
Dist: 32,4 km
Start: 8:45 End: 14:50
Estimated landing: Vila Vila in Peru!
Estimated starting time: Right after sunrise
Estimated landing time: Well before sunset
We decided to afford to sleep in a bit after the last day’s long paddle! This still means I had to get up at 6 am as my digestion calls on time…
I’m really, really used to shaking all my bags and clothing which stayed outside over night! But I missed out the tent pole bag, and my tent pegs bags. In one of them, this small scorpion must have been hiding, suddenly sitting on the edge of my gear bag! Yeak!!! I could convince him to climb (back?) on my tent pole bag, which had a small hole on the bottom. Maybe he crawled out through that one? Where ever…this should be a warning for us! We expected to see them sooner or later, but that unexpectedly…
Two fisher men were holding their rods into the sea through the dumper, must be good fishing here? we saw one of them walking slowly with his line toward us, either curious or was it some kind of fishing technique? Any way, he was just right up to us when we decided to launch!
I first helped Peter to launch with his heavier boat, and despite the again horrible big dumpers, there was a lull we had to take – this one, or none! You have only one chance, if you time it wrong, you are trashed. I pushed him out all right, now it was my turn… fortunately the fisherman was happy to grab my stern handle! I was slowly getting closer to the wide surge line after the biggest ones, if you’re getting too close too early your kayak is washed sideways away and you’re lost. With a second person on the stern to hold, this is much easier and safer.
Now the moderate sets…ok! NOW! On a small surge up, I pushed in jumped on, and was gone with the legs still out at highest speed until I was off the breaker zone. Again all perfect timing! I was waving the fisherman good buy, shouted a “Muchas Gracias” backwards, and met Peter out on the calm sea to get set for the 30 km half day’s paddle to Arica.
Still there were for the next 20 km only 600-700 m high mountains around, no other landing in sight. If we couldn’t have landed yesterday in last light on this dumping beach, we would have had to continue to Arica’s yacht Club by night…
Some fresh breeze was picking up, and pushed us reasonable fast to Arica. What are 30 km compared to the last day’s 70 km!
We turned around almost four corners into the very sheltered Yacht Club harbor, and were easily landing on a tiny beach at the back of the club. No one around…we unloaded, found a reasonably warm outside shower, and put up our tent on the narrow artificial beach behind some kiddy’s playground. A great calm corner there!
When we were ready to find somebody to talk to, we met Abraham, the guard of the club, who was very helpful with everything. Peter had emailed the club previously, and they knew about us coming. Abraham also presented us the guest book of the club, where all foreign yachts were signed up with pictures and a few nice stories. Anyway, the last entry was from December 2011…and the whole about 2 cm thick book started in about 1980…so not really that many foreign yachts (or kayaks) are passing this city at the end of Chile!
There was only ONE single entry of a previous kayaker…we knew already of Ed Gillet in 1984, who was so far the one and only paddler until now who had *paddled* to Arica – from Punta Arenas up to Panama! I’m now the first one who has paddled from Cape Horn to Arica – all of the Chilean coast line! There was also an entry of Thor Heyerdal in this book! Please check on Google about this amazing Scandinavian adventurer.
I’ll write about our Navy visit from today tomorrow – not sure yet if they let us go tomorrow already! They said they’d be working on it and will get back to us tonight – when???