Loc: Bahia Magdalena
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 45,0 km
Start: 6:35 End: 15:40
The surf this morning looked once more not really inviting – I reckon it is because it is the higher high tide of the day, though it was one hour after. Sure we still wanted to go out, Fylkir made it out well, and I was following also dry despite quite a high crashing jump over a wave crest. The outer breaks could be quite trashing…but like yesterday, the swell calmed down by the hour, and we felt quite confident about the inlet entrance.
The closer we came, the calmer was the sea. We saw literally no breaker zone for a long while, but at some point, it came…we had four options to get in:
The first was to land on the open beach before the inlet and to sneak in inside the soup zone – hoping the landing won’t be too bad.
The second option was to follow the wide berth around the breaker zone until we found an unbroken channel. If we would find one…one boat was just going in, but too far away to follow it up. And also, it was two hours before low tide…bad timing.
The third option would be to land behind the breaker zone on the open beach, and sneaking inside the soup zone from behind.
Option four: To land a bit further down on the open beach where the dunes are the narrowest and to carry over, about 150 m.
We decided on option one – rather a maybe rough landing, but then being safe in the soup zone, without the wide berth, without the option to maybe capsize in the wide opening, far away from shore…like on day three.
I went in first, and halfway, it started to break monsters just about 100 m beside me towards the inlet opening…I watched it for a while, slightly back paddled, but then decided to keep on paddling in, trusting here where I was it is less shallow and therefore not breaking far offshore. Wishful thinking…Ii was halfway in when I saw behind me rolling in some monsters…too late to paddle backward! I now sprinted in, hoping the trashers would break behind me, which they did, but the rushing in foam reached me and I had to high brace hard and long. Maybe too long on the 19 km/h sideways ride in (GPS!), as at some point I gave up bracing and just rolled in, half at least…means I preferred to bail out on the last meters close to shore. No big deal, just the soup zone had deep holes and was quite confused.
I was also a bit concerned about Fylkir waiting out there, but when I had control over my kayak and looked out, I already saw him actively paddling in on his own decision. Good man…he had a smooth ride in! Ok, our capsize numbers are balanced now…
We dragged our kayaks up a bit to check on our situation. This beach was quite more steep than our other open beach landings, but it had a deep wide soup zone where we could paddle around the corner into the calm inlet water. Still, when we climbed a dune to have a broad look, we saw the mangrove channel, not in far distance, and it looked like a flat meadow was leading to the water. we had a closer look, but the last maybe 10 meters were blocked with mangroves. So no portage here. Soup zone paddling was the way to get inside!
We launched again, and this time the ride was really fun, deep water, not too violent breakers washing us up, I had only to side-broach once. Some confused criss-cross waves everywhere, but allover no big deal! We had fun! And were soon inside the calm inlet water, though with current against us of about 2 km/h. I changed into a dry shirt, and we smiled at each other to have the surf behind us and can enjoy the calm water for the next few days!
Some fishing boats were passing us, none of them stopped to have a curious chat. No big deal, we were “talking” to three coyotes strolling along the muddy low tide coast. Some fishing nets were strung across a shallow sand flat, maybe the coyotes liked to check on the catch? A bunch of dolphins seemed to enjoy also the calm water here. We stopped for lunch at a muddy shell bank and had fun watching the many squirting mussels in their action. Plenty of small fountains everywhere!
It was not possible to land everywhere here in the mangrove channels, so I had previously made some waypoints where I was hoping to find sandy spots to camp. The first one was rather vertical sandy cliffs than horizontal beach spots but had some sand upfront. The next ones were all secluded small spots behind some little mangrove rows, they would have been nice to camp!
But then a broad sandy spot was lurking fro the other side of the channel, this was our place for the night! the tide was just high enough to land with not much mud under the feet, and a flat sandy spot was just waiting for us. Perfect!
We couldn’t help but have a walk across the flat to the dunes on the seaside to check the surf – quite nasty…is hat 1 meter swell? Never land across inlet sand bars and dunes…
We were happy to be safe inside here on calm water!