Loc: Punta San Fernando
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 35,5 km
Start: 07:20 End: 14:00
At 4.30 am, our night was over. The restaurant owner from yesterday who gave us water warned us that around 5 am, the fishermen start to launch their boats, and they did. Abot twenty-five boats on two launching spots, many noisy trailers and trucks, many chatting men. Their fishing camp, their job. They can’t care about two exhausted kayakers camping just besides their main launching ramp.
As we wanted to launch anyway also, we started to slowly but surely to get alive again after yesterday’s long paddle and short night’s sleep. We decided to ask the restaurant owner for more water and to fill all of our containers. This time we paid 20 pesos for the contents of a 4-gallon jug. Now we might have water for ten and more days, but feel like paddling submarines. On the next remote stretch with likely upcoming bad weather latest Friday (for how long?), we liked to be on the safe side.
I had also found helpful hands to get our kayaks down the ramp, thanks for that! To see the fishermen launching their heavy large open boats from a trailer through low surf with three men is always a spectacle. They have he same issue as we have – get the boat afloat, keep the boat straight, don’t get hit by the boat if a wave washes it in sideways, climb on in time when the boat just afloat, and don’t get water into your short or long waders. The maneuvers of the truck driver with the trailer are adorable here, they go down forward instead of driving the very long tricky access ramp backwards, and then turn the trailer on the narrow beach.
The surf here in this corner is really low, still Lisa got a wake up face wash :-). We noticed both our bodies were crying for a rest day, and took on the first 25 km crossing very slow. We are a bit sick of open water, but still paddled straight across on this bay. Isla San Jeronimo was lurking to our right with lots of sand, but it was simply off or way and schedule. So nice to finally reach Punta San Antonio with some buildings, many arches and nice cliffs. We almost forgot the ocean has a coast after all this open water paddling!
The surf looked doable at most beaches, and we paddled along to a beach I marked inside a wide bay. The break before the last point looked endless, and we decided to go in on another beach just before. Rocky, but with a wide soup zone where the breakers ran out. Doable, we decided. I had to wait a long time for the right lull, and back paddled for two large scary outer breakers. I ran backwards just about over another scary one, and almost decided to turn back to where Lisa was waiting, when a lull was opening up and I sprinted in without getting caught.
I had to unload half of the kayak with all the heavy water bags, before I could get the boat out of the surge area. I waved Lisa a bit more to the right, as the wind would push her sideways on waiting for the right lull. She also had to back paddle to avoid some nasty ones, decided to sprint in, then high braced out very elegant (good job!) a high sneaking up from behind breaker where I already saw her swimming, and came in upright, but wet. Very good!
The beach was nice and clean to camp on the gravel and to shake off the dust of the previous campsite besides the launching ramp. I ad a walk on top of the cliffs, not much to see besides wheel tracks, dusty dry flat gravel ground with few bushes, few cactus, old campsites and many trash. And – once more – the odd left behind pairs of shoes. We had found so many by now! Strange…