Loc: beach behind Jaramijo
Dist: 49,9 km
Start: 6:45 End: 17:45
Tomorrow’s estimated landing: Bahia Caraquez
I didn’t realise last night when going to bed that there was an inhabited beach hut just next to me, with a watchful dog. Well, as the fishermen were all very friendly, this just meant additional safety. If the lovely dog wouldn’t have been sooooooo watchful…
I was sleeping with open tent doors, just the fly screen closed, to catch every bit of a breeze to cool me down as usual. Just that the watchdog could watch every one of my movements in the moonlit night – I couldn’t lift a leg or turn to the other side without him noticing and barking – little bastard!!! I eventually lifted the inner screen a bit higher and rather sweated than be constantly disturbed by the noise.
Animals outside are a bother in most campsites in nature, but if you fall asleep with the sight of a small lizard on the wall and wake up with a cockroach in the corner and many tiny ants on the floor where you had spread your sleeping pad because the bed’s mattress is way too soft – that’s the tropics. Ah yes, I forgot the toad in the hallway…
The launch this morning looked horrible…I was envying the big local fishing boat getting out easily with the help of many hands, two fat rolling logs, and then in time the engine…
I didn’t need rolling logs, had also many helpful hands around, and the engine I was myself…would it be strong enough to punch through the surf which came in with almost no lull?
I got afloat, over the first breaker, waited out about four fat ones, and then saw my chance…I was out! No show for the locals, sorry…sometimes the dreaded ones work all right, and the easy looking ones are messed up.
It should be an easy paddling today to Mantas, as as soon I turn east, the dreaded north west wind is in my back! It was low today anyway, and a bit drizzly. I am missing my playful seals or dolphins! Not a single marine mammal here.
Eventually I turned around the long harbour wall of Manta, into a very different world…a busy huge port, many, many huge, big and smaller ships and boats, noisy, stinky.
I managed to find the Capitania jetty, but the building itself was about 500 m away. No boat in sight to expect me today…so I called the number from the Capitania in Manta who was called me yesterday to ask for my position, but the guy at the other end didn’t understand me at all I didn’t understand him. I was thinking they’d expect me like in the other Capitanias I was supposed to go to? I called a bit later again, but for some reason got Andrés from the Capitania in Salinas on the phone, who speaks a very good English and was also there very helpful.
He found the responsible guy and texted me the number. It was the same I was already calling once, but the only thing the guy was asking was where are you? What are your plans? Well, I think I was supposed to stop in Manta at the Capitania as I announced in Machalilli? He hung up soon, after he promised to call again in 5 min…no call came for 15 min, and I got sick of this game, the huge horrible port with the noisy city in the background. What am I actually doing here???If nobody knows anything here in Manta at the Capitania about hosting me like in the other places, I may have misunderstood something with my bad Spanish.
I had the option to go to the Yacht Club close by and ask them if they would have a place to stay for me. It was only 3 pm, but on a Saturday night in town I thought everything must be as noisy as it can be, and I decided it is early enough to paddle across the next two bays where I expected some quiet beach to camp. No wind, calm seas, I made quickly headway and left the buzz of the harbour and city behind me.
I soon spotted a suitable steep beach with a dumper to land, but I got in with no problem. I had to dig my camp a bit horizontal, but rather digging in the sand than being in a noisy city.
The sand flies were eating my legs while making camp, but so far it seems like here is really nobody. It is also a bit rainy and quite wild here, so chances on a quiet night are good. well, besides the noisy shore breaker…