Loc: Isla Payana/ Ecuador
Dist: 54,5 km
Start: 6:30 End: 17:50
Estimated landing: Puerto Bolivar
Estimated starting time: Right after sunrise
Estimated landing time: in the afternoon
A quiet night – but two elderly beachcomber on the search for usable things washed ashore during the night were earlier up than me. We greeted friendly, but I think they rather wanted to warn me about this would be a dangerous area for a solo woman to camp…well, all relative…
I kept on hugging the shore, but the very light headwind from yesterday was turning today into an ugly 12-15 kn headwind with choppy seas. Quite a slog! I’m not used any more to paddle headwinds…
But sure I wanted to make some distance, and kept on fighting. All splashy waves were just wet and not even refreshing with water temperatures now around maybe 26 degrees or even more. My fleece shirt is wet but warm all day. My poor skin has a variation of red rashes at night here and there, but nothing serious yet.
Since my start, the coast was rather deserted, with a few lonely houses here or there. Holiday towns were over! And the coast turned lush green, with sandy beaches upfront. The outlet of Rio Tumbez was brown water, easy to spot the boarder of the river.
Puerto Pizarro, Peru’s last larger village, stayed well to the right as I was cutting across the bay. I was wondering if I should stop right at the border light house, but what for? The authorities knew I’d be crossing, my stamp is in my passport, and I waved Peru happily good bye from the distance. They were nice people, those Peruvians! Thanks to everybody who had helped us along, especially the Peruvian Navy and my sponsor THULE in Lima and Arequipa!
Ecuador greeted me with many, many waves at the outlet of the Canal de Capones – I had to give that area a wide berth. But it seemingly had no end, so eventually I just cut across. The waves were easy, though breaking lightly everywhere. I made a slalom race around them, or simply threw myself into the bath tub warm water of breaking waves. Just fun! But the headwind was no fun all day. I was really working hard, the chop turned larger by the hour, and eventually I was happy to turn around Punta Payana to find my island target I had figured out on Google Earth. My chart is worth nothing here, the sand banks probably change by the year.
Theoretically, there may be a path through the channels already at Canal Capones to hit Puerto Bolivar from the south, but I didn’t dare to go in as I didn’t know the tidal conditions in there. There is nothing like the open sea…I may try to give Isla Jambeli a shortcut tomorrow, this channel looks quite open on Google Earth. I hope this works!
I’m camping on a grassy island with just a small sandy spot under the grass, right at the water’s edge on high tide. The grass is growing in bundles on top of kind of strings, so I easily could pull them out to clear my campsite. Sorry, grass…
At least no gear carrying or boat dragging, and the water is here gently lapping on the shore only on this side. No dumping noisy surf! It almost feels like camping on a lake island…quite relaxing, actually. Chances are low some one will land here or walk up from behind… seems to be a relaxing night.