Loc: Dry Bay
Dist: 36,5 km
Start: 05:20 End: 11:50
When I decided to land yesterday, I guessed already, it may be more calm closer to the small point before the glacier river outflow, a few kilometers down the coast? But I wanted to top up my water, and this small river here looked inviting. Landing was ok yesterday, but launching this morning took me a bit more effort. It looked all right, but I probably dragged my heavy kayak too early too close to the back surge line, and had to wait long and to fight hard to keep it from being sucked down or washed sideways.
I changed my grip position on the cockpit and front or back deck lines depending on the direction of the surge and wash up, stemmed my feet and partially my ass with all my body weight into the sand to keep control. And after seemingly endless waves and minutes avoiding to get rid of the kayak on one side, and to not get any water or worse – cobbles and sand – into the cockpit on the other side, I dared to push my kayak out and to jump on. Only on the final push, I caught a moderate wave into the cockpit. My electrical pump came to action, and it took a while until my heart rate and adrenalin level was back to normal.
It was already raining on packing, and it was raining continuously all day. I turned around the rocky small headland where the Grand Plateau glacier lake had an outflow as two waterfalls over rocks. I couldn’t spot the glacier, only forest with the two rivers. Especially before and also after the spot, the sea was breaking very low on the sandy beach and I could have easily landed as I was suspecting yesterday. A whale was playing around, wind and seas were low, all was ok.
The following wind picked up, the sea lifted accordingly, but I made good speed and was even pondering to go further than Dry Bay, to make the best out of the following wind. But It was so freezing fucking cold and wet I decided to stop at Dry Bay as planned. I had studied the satellite image carefully before, and had marked two lines of entrance into the bay. On approaching one hour before low tide, I could see a clean line of breakers offshore, and my marked side line seemed to be open. I sneaked upfront the breaker line into the bay with no problems, and even dared to cut right across the current to the other side, which almost made me washed back to the other line of low breakers…the current was still stronger than I thought. But with a bit of harder paddling, I ferry glided across into the large eddy behind a dry spit which is probably covered at higher tide.
I first tried to go fully into the bay to have a bit of wind shelter, paddled along the sand bar to the entrance, but the last corner was too heavy current to get around. I either would have to drag my kayak over a small sand spit, or I would have to stay on the outer entrance side. Ok, on low tide this is a wide eddy and the beach is shallow easy landing, what will be on higher tide? I might have to wait again until lower tide when the sand spit would be exposed again and provide shelter.
Now I just wanted to land, and to get dry and warm! The whole entry process and line reminded me very much to the many huge river mouths I was crossing in Brazil, and my experience “reading” those river mouths from South America came in very handy now. Only the temperature difference was quite something, and I wished myself back to warmer waters!
The top of the broad sand bar looked as if it would stay dry on high tide, but it had many massive huge trees and other trash washed on top. A reminder of a Tsunami wave, or just the regular winter high tides? It rather looked like I was on a different planet, as if a catastrophe has been hitting this sand spit. But it may be just the way it looks! I set my tent, and discovered a bunch of relatively fresh wheel tracks of probably quad bikes. Maybe on the sunny days yesterday a bunch of guys enjoyed their day? I think I have heard something about a fishing lodge out here? No bear track though as far as I could spot, just one wolf track.
Not really sure about tomorrow, as it is still southerly wind which is basically good, but the sea has lifted to 1,50 m which may be nasty. See how it looks tomorrow! I would have three rivers to chose from to land in, but I have no idea how they would look like. The first and smallest one would be the Akwe River in 35 km, the satellite image shows an open entrance with a small break. Not sure if it would work to get in there safely. The second one in about 50 km from here has a horrible name: “Dangerous River”, and I can’t figure out which the name was given. The third one, the Ahrnklin River, is about 70 km away, and looks best to go in. We’ll see!