Loc: before Middle Bluff
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 20,7 km
Start: 09:00 End: 14:00
Two stupid capsizes…
The onshore wind with guts up to 20 knots and seas still above a meter should have prevented me to go…but it looked so calm off my beach…sure I was still kind of inside the Egegik river in somehow shelter. I knew about the wide shallow area at the exit point, and was ready to give it a wide berth on lowest tide.
I launched an hour before low tide, to get the last run out of Egegik Bay and the following run into the wide Kichak Bay. So far the plan!
I dragged my kayak into the small Bishop Creek, this was easy to get it down on a small sand bank to the wide dry foreshore of the beach on low tide. I already had brought one bag down, when José came with his four wheeler to give me a hand with the last bag. Thanks!
One huge salmon sprung dry on his way up the creek, José could catch him (probably a “her”?) with his hands… not sure if the salmon made it’s way with his help back up the river to spawn or into his cook pot…?
I was able and happy to paddle all inside the wide low surf belt around the wide shallows. When I had to give a sand bank a more wide berth, it was just fun to lean into the low waves and to find a way back into the calm but very shallow flooded areas. When the tide came in, I sat occasionally just for a few minutes dry, before I could flood up and continue…or I simply got out and dragged my kayak with a few steps back afloat. My ambition was not to go through the wide roaring but low surf belt offshore, this was much more fun here inside (and actually also felt just safer, who knows how it looks like offshore…)
It worked all right, I could paddle on calm water until the shallow areas got less and the surf belt closed up to the shore. Sure, I knew this would happen sooner or later…but unfortunately, when it happened, the coast had only a steep cliff to show, not really inviting to camp…and the surf belt now closer to high tide was braking quite rough and high…high time for me to get off the water, cliffs or not!
I spotted a gap in the cliffs, at least an escape, just in case…sure it was a small river coming through the cliffs – and sure rivers always develop even more shallow foreshore and in this case and time of the tide even more rough and high breakers…I knew I should have gone n already a few hundred meters before, but I liked to hit the gap as close as possible…and as I just liked to turn in and land through the last shore breaker, my brace into it was not good enough and it threw me…no roll, I bailed out…my paddle leash was still on, bad mistake, it entangled with the paddle and I was scared to break the paddle with the heavy kayak landing on it…
My god, I am really lacking concentration, energy and skills those last days – and maybe luck…? I am simply worn out…
I think I have never written yet that when I broke my kayak, also a tiny paddle blade of my lucky necklace pendant broke off when I kept it in my pocket of my jacket in one of the next nights…i always take it off at night…so my lucky necklace also got some beating in those days…but I still keep it on me and will fix and renew it when I am back home! I could find the tiny broken off paddle blade and keep it safe.
When I bailed out, sure a bunch of my glass balls flooded out of the upside down cockpit, especially as I also had to unclip my under deck bag (two more patches came off…) this morning which would have kept them kind of in place at the space behind my footrest…so one thing comes to another…but I caught them ALL back into my now upright, but flooded cockpit No way my lucky Bering Sea Pearls flood away now…
I pumped out my cockpit, and saw I was landing on a sand bank with a flooded channel not far away at the shore…I just had to wait now the tide would rise enough I could get washed into the channel and either land easy or keep on paddling for a while. I had to wait about 20 minutes until the water was high enough to flood my heavy kayak over the sand bank. No way I would have launched again in the heavy offshore breakers…and to unload and to drag it over, I was too lazy and not sure if I liked to keep on paddling?
To check out the channel and the outlook, I could climb the cliffs via the small river mouth gap and saw a calm channel as far I could see along the cliffs. I also saw the end of the cliffs, and this is where I liked to get now for a safer camp!
I rearranged my glass balls behind the footrest, dried my cockpit completely and launched again in calm water. At least, i now had put on already helmet and PFD and undid my paddle leash…As it goes, also this channel behind the outer sand bank closed up at some point and the surf rolled rather unbroken in…lower now, but still nasty…come on, girl, you don’t want to land upfront the cliffs, it is just another 300 m…another 200 m…another 100 m…and then the same game, just when I wanted to land and turned in, I was either unlucky or impatient or stupid and lacked skills or energy or all of that…it threw me again, no roll, I was sick of this game and just bailed out…my hair was wet anyway. FUCK it!
I rescued my kayak from the rocks on shore – no breaking of the hull now! Another careful draining of the cockpit without losing a glass ball…and I landed now for good for today. Just at the end f the cliffs…some dry space for my tent, left, decorated with fresh bear paws in both directions. Sorry, bear, I have to block your highway now…but I’ll be gone tomorrow. And STAY AWAY!!!
I should better not have paddled today in 20 knots onshore wind and still over a meter seas…tomorrow is easy wind and only 50 cm seas…the same as Tuesday…but I wanted to be back home as soon as possible now!
At the end, all was good, I gained some wet hair and more experience, but lost one of my Buff’s in the first capsize and even more energy…maybe it’s also the food I am now eating only…I am really sick of everything and am craving FRESH stuff!
50 km left for tomorrow, finl destination Trident Seafood in Naknek for this season…I should be able to do that in one tide flooding me in! UPRIGHT…!