Just able to round rough point, then 2 hrs rudder repair
Loc: Punta do Borges
Dist: 28,5 km
Start: 6:00 End: 12.40
My beach mates went out around 5pm and midnight for fishing, I could stay put and rest. But it’s hot, my skin rash is not healing, nor the sores. But I slept well with friendly people present. Meanwhile I rather seek people for camping than full remote privacy, it feels more safe here somehow.
I had enough water in this small rivermouth to launch at almost low tide, all easy. There was no one who could tell me about a channel on this headland, neither chart nor map showed one. So I had to aim to round the point… I was just across the bay and spotted on fishing boat I could ask, but this was one of my beachmates from last night whom I surely asked already and he didn’t know. I noticed two boats in tow were overtaking me in some distance, showing me nicely the rough shallows to avoid, but that those were “my” fishermen? I must have looked a bit stupid when recognizing the guys.
I gave it one try to paddle into a small channel opening behind the last sandbank, it went to the sand bar’s inside and I could haul over with some effort and launch through some noisy surf and tree stumps. I decided to have another look from the top of the sand bank where I spotted an old hut, judged the distance round the headland’s sandbank on almost high tide reasonable, and the surf break going out also. So it was, but once out, sure it was full headwind with 15 knots and the current against me, all in rough seas. But I mostly could avoid the shore break.
I crawled along with 3-4 km/h, paddling as hard as I could to round the point with not too much into low tide displaying more sandbanks on the other side. To find a calm unbroken entrance would be the problem anyway. Eventually I turned in a bit and saw three huts on some sandbank, my energy was low after the hard paddle and I still had to break through the surf bar into hopefully some calm water. It looked like I was heading into a dead end, but still paddled fortunately safe through the surf into some calm bay.
I stopped on the left sand bank at the huts, one was occupied. But the guy was so nicely sleeping in his hammock I guessed I could see myself that this calm bay must have an exit somewhere. How else did the fisherman with his rowboat get there? He would NOT break through the surf…and if I could exit only on full high tide, by no way I’d be going back and outside in the rough surfy water again! I’d rather haul over somewhere if necessary…
But it was not necessary, the calm bay opened up after a while where I spotted a larger boat anchoring, and I could paddle on. But I also noticed my rudder was reacting only to one side, I could not keep direction any more in this side wind. SHIT! There must be something broken on the rough wave jumping offshore, fortunately I noticed it AFTER I broke through the surf into the calm bay. I spotted a house at a point, and decided again to rather join people camping. They may also be able to help, just in case!
The large beach hut was occupied by a whole family, two men and a woman with a kid, plus grandparents. Very friendly people! I pitched my tent close to the house, unfortunately no shade again, I used my tarp again additionally. But for working on the rudder there was a shady spot, thank goodness! I took it apart as usual, and saw that three of four screws holding the important pole turning the whole stern piece were gone! Strange…last time I checked the rudder they were all still there…
Now I do have a large collection of spare screws in my repair kit, but as it comes, the ones I needed were not among them. The small rudder lid had three of the same ones, and I took two to replace two of the missing three. it holds up fine, basically since I got the kayak in Caracas there was no problem with those screws! But I only spotted them on their place, never checked their tightness like I do regularly with almost all others… bad mistake!
For the small rudder lid I used two thinner but sharp ones finding new flesh on tightening. Hope it sucks no water… And as I was just so nicely working, I again replaced the rudder lines at the foot bar which I did last time in Cayenne. It was also time to replace them BEFORE they break!
The locals were assisting nicely, thanks! But they were probably also fascinated about my repair kit and -skills… Two small monkeys were playing around the house, and were fed by the family. Hope they don’t steal my things!
The good news for tomorrow were at least information about an existing channel on the next very long headland, which I could again not see anywhere on my maps. This one to round would have been probably even worse! So basically my stop was useful here…and my instinct good to find this calm bay outside from the surf belt!