Fri 15/03-2019 Day 352

Pos: 25.8979,-112.1623
Loc: somewhere on the beach
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 26,8 km
Start: 6:45 End: 12:05

Yesterday evening, after our walk we found a crab hole in our main vestibule. Ok, this sub-tenant was allowed to live there…but the second subtenant who was hiding in one of our gear bags was kicked out of his new home!

We were hoping this morning’s surf would be as mellow as last evening on high tide, but it was somehow occasionally quite nasty. I launched Fylkir afloat, and he could luckily almost run through easy with only one high jump over a steep wave and he was safe.

Now me…I got afloat all right in the soup zone, but I could launch my rudder only half. Good enough for steering, and I decided to go as it looked once more rather flat-ish. I had to do a double jump over a 1,5 m and a 1 m steep wave, quite a funny hop, but all good finally – before I pressed with my right foot into nothing. Fuck! My rudder line broke…where? I checked inside the cockpit, all looked fine there…maybe the f…… knot at the end of the rudder line slid once more through the hole of the steering unit? I had that issue on one kayak, and I guessed I made fat enough knots to prevent this? The last possibility was the line broke anywhere in between. Fylkir unscrewed the lid of the steering unit and saw the knot was slid through – only. Ok, we can fix that on the water…

Not by opening the knot on the kevlar line, this was a useless try without two pliers in each hand, and useless to try to thread the original line through the hole. I rather undid the connection of line and pedals inside my cockpit which is within my reach to give Fylkir a bit of line length to tie a knot to a short piece of spare thinner kevlar line which easily goes through the hole. I joint the line connection inside the cockpit again, and the pedal was fixed for now – with limited rudder angle, but good enough to paddle. Thank goodness I did not have to land here again with the unfunctional pedal!

We started paddling on calm seas with 1.20 m swell. The wind was, unfortunately, today quartering on both halves of the day, first offshore northeast up to 17 knots, then west up to 18 knots. we noticed slower progress and rather aimed to stay closer to shore in case things did not feel comfortable any more. we rounded the river mouth entry in a wide berth, nothing but breakers to see. There was another village after about 15 km on the way which had kind of reef protection to land, but when we came there, all that we saw were breakers…and the beach before and after looked rater landable. But we were not planning to land yet!

We paddled once though a turtle infested area, at some point we had four turtle heads simultaneously out on the surface, and they are so shy! The wind breezed up, and I was wondering when the water became unfriendly today, and the landing not as calm looking any more…? I reckoned this beach is rather breaking heavier on the lowest tide, which was in half an hour, it was so flat…a steeper beach is rather breaking worse on the higher tide. But it could be anything…after some point with breakers far out which we rounded in a respectful distance, I sensed an area with a break only close to shore. Should we already go in, before things became worse? My rudder was only fixed temporarily with limited steering possibilities, and I did not like to challenge it too much. We had 24 km left to the lagoon entrance, and we did not fancy another landing before tomorrow. But 24 km we could easily do on tomorrow morning’s lower wind, and who knows ow the shore break develops later in stronger onshore winds but higher tide?

I decided we go in here where it looks still rather ok. We just had to avoid the not always breaking outer line, and then go in behind a moderate breaker into the three lines to possibly have a clean run in. I did exactly that, few rudder actions necessary, and Fylkir followed a bit later on my signals. Good jobs!

It was just feeling like a bit early to call it a day already, but rather safe than doubtful. I fixed the rudder properly, and I went for a shorter walk up the dunes. Fylkir preferred to sleep inside the hot tent while I preferred later to sit outside with my Kindle. Next days I like to paddle a bit longer!

We have no idea yet how we might get into the lagoon entrance. swells are only 1 m tomorrow, but we are absolutely not sure if there is and if we find the unbroken deep water channel. if not, we just land through hopefully moderate surf on one of the corners and sneak in the soup zone along the sides. also, the tide runs up only from 13.15 h, and this is rather later for us to arrive and the wind might already higher by then. we’ll see! Once we are in, we have 5 or six days of sheltered paddling inside some mangrove channels. Nice!