Loc: between Pilot Point and Egegik
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 41,1 km
Start: 08:00 End: 15:15
Yesterday, I tried to pick a beach which was halfway steep but sheltered, as I was sensing the water might disappear quite a bit here. And tomorrow morning would be lowest water wen I like to launch. I will catch the full running up tide though…if I could get out on lowest tide!
It didn’t look too bad when I got up. I dragged my kayak to the water’s edge on all sand, only the last ten meter were ankle deep mud. The almost empty kayak was sliding nicely on the mud, only my boots were really stuck with huge mud lumps when I walked back to the old camp to pick my gear bags. The water went out meanwhile for displaying another 5 meter of mud, no big deal, I thought, my kayak will slide nicely out…
I thought yesterday evening, I was copying my creek and river way points on both of my GPS to make sure today to find water, but when I switched both of them on, I found none…so I had to open my laptop on my kayak on the mud bank and to copy them properly. Strange situation…lumps of muddy boots on m feet, and highly sensitive technology open on top of my kayak…at least it was not raining.
And when I was ready to slide my kayak now about ten meters to the deeper water, the heavy loaded beast did not move an inch! Sucked to the mud…totally…so I had to let the nature do the job and to wait about half an hour with the water running back up fast. On getting afloat, I had to first wash my boots from layers of thick sticky black mud before I could stuff my feet into the cockpit!
Crossing Ugashik Bay on raising tide was no big deal, one just about submerged sand bar created some funny water, and the spit on the northern side was as expected rather an eddy into Ugashik Bay than into big Bristol Bay. But when I was free of sand banks and going north, the current pulled me nicely along with 2 km/h extra.
I saw a small settlement of maybe 10 houses before the steep long mud cliffs of Cape Graig. I was tempted to land here to ask for water, but what if no one was there? The landing didn’t really look inviting either. I will land only once today, ad that should be close to a river or creek! I let two or three more options of small rivers and one big one pass, the surf was to nasty, and I still have about three liters of fresh water. The way point for a larger river I was aiming for at last was still 13 km away, but I had paddled already 40 km when I decided the rest of my water, about 2 1/2 liters, need to be enough for tonight and tomorrow. This landing here looks at the state of the tide all right, I just have to surf over the outer sand bar to reach the calm belt of water with an easy landing close to the steep beach.
My surf was rather a bumpy side broach with a high brace, I got some wet hair, but stayed upright. In the shallow belt, I could have paddled on for a while until I ran out of water to stay afloat also here, but I decided to land and to call it a day, just in the middle of Pilot Point and Egegik Bay. I was curious about the hinterland, and spotted some pool of water, but sure that was brackish. No big deal, I have just about enough fort tonight and breakfast tomorrow!
The rest of the day was business as usual, not much to see or to discover here either. I rather looked into maps, charts and weather, and decided I will take three more paddling days to reach Naknek. I might have Sunday off though if the forecast stays like it looks like now. So likely, I will reach Naknek on Tuesday and finish this year’s season of my nrthern leg at Trident Seafood in Naknek.
I am actually quite done by now after six months on the trip, I am a bit homesick, especially sick of the food I have, and tired of making and breaking camp all day. On paddling, I have not much to suffer in those conditions, it still goes well, though the seas and surf is occasionally too high to be all comfortable. I have to watch the tides and the shallows on low tide not to get too much stuck again! The weather is actually a late summer gift for me! I am so glad I did not stop in Port Moller already!!!