Loc: Bahia Chileno
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 14,8 km
Start: 13:15 End: 16:05
We are so sick of this nasty surf here…it is not only nasty but violent, trashing and simply dangerous. And with 1,30 m to 1,50 m swell forecast, it looks like it is as good as it gets in this time of the year. But the wind and seas behind the barb wire fence of dangerous surf is calm-ish and lurking!
Yesterday evening, we were considering to tackle the last 150 km to Cabo San Lucas in an overnight paddle to save the landings and launching. But this night was so wet and humid again, different to last night where we woke with a dry tent, that we stopped fancying that idea. And although it was a clear sky with many stars, it was almost a new moon.
And – despite the swell forecast stayed the same for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with 1,30 m, the surf went much more violent and higher this night and morning than when we arrived at this fisherman’s launching site yesterday at around 10ish. Yesterday, we were confident and it looked all day doable and rather easy to launch from here, but we didn’t go out as we felt it was too late for paddling a reasonable distance around the salt pan headland to find the slightly bit more east trending coast which to my idea might offer not as nasty landing. But who knows…
This morning, when I looked out of the tent in first light, the highest breakers were higher than the stuff we had on the other beach The only difference here is a bit wider soup zone up front. When it crashes down, it sounds like an explosion…
We decided to wait an hour, then another one but it did change only marginal to the better. The fishermen with their small motorboats went out with risk, reasonable timing plus engine power which resulted in still a bunch of vertical jumps. We don’t have engine power and quite some heavy kayaks. When I saw their style of lunching, my idea of getting launched with their help by tying the kayaks on top of the three or four benches dies also quite instantly as our kayaks would be severely damaged on a jump. I recall I have been launched and landed like that three or four times in South America, but I can’t remember dangerous jumps but rather running fast upfront the waves on landing or diagonal cutting through the rollers forming gaps on launchings. In any way, this option is also out of question, especially as we don’t know about the next landing and launching site. To our knowledge, there is no sheltered landing anywhere in the reach of a day paddle. Around Todo Santos, there might be marginal shelter once, then again nothing…
We decided mutually our options are not safe enough to continue on this section now. We would not only need low winds but seas under a meter and swell best from northwest plus no full or new moon…like a win in the lottery? I remember on my weeks paddling with Lisa, we had exactly that for many days. Maybe we are lucky before we will continue our trip from La Paz next year…It was a hard decision to make for me, as I really like my trip to have no gaps, but we are two people who need to feel happy and safe, and it was a mutual decision to not risk life and kayaks here anymore.
We could have asked now again the fishermen for help, as also Chipo, our driver to La Paz last time, was among them. But we thought we better walk up to our new friends John, June, Andrew, and Sheila in the two caravans at Punta Marquéz who gave us a lift yesterday. Maybe John might be able to drive us out to Cabo San Lucas??? This might be more entertaining as we are able to communicate, and John has also interesting stories to tell from his sailing times. It is a long way, but who is not asking doesn’t get an answer…and John was keen and able to help us! Thanks so much, John, and to June to let him go!
I rode back to our beach with Andrew on his quad bike, while Fylkir jumped to John in his car. We quickly packed and tied our kayaks like yesterday to John’s truck. Fylkir stayed on the back watching the kayaks and gear bags, and I had some interesting chat with John while driving.
We had to pass once more La Paz before we could turn into the highway via Todos Santos to Cabo San Lucas. I caught a few glimpses of the beach south of Todos Santos, and I felt it didn’t look all that bad…but my agreement with Fylkir was to skip this unprotected coast fully and to ride down to Cabo San Lucas. Well…
Arriving at Cabo, it was kind of a culture shock and like arriving at Disneyland. Hotels everywhere, people everywhere, money smell everywhere…we drove to the tiny beach beside the marine exit, unloaded quickly on a disabled parking lot, said goodbye and MANY THANKS with hugs to John, and packed as quickly as possible to be gone from this tourist trap as quickly as possible. This beach looked like it charged entrance fees, and a cleaning guy ran around after every cigarette butt. But we were gone before someone could complain.
Now we still liked to see the famous arch of Cabo San Lucas but had to queue up with about 50-70 floating devices of any kind, all packed with tourists. Glass bottom boats, submarines!!, “pirate” ships, sailboats, motor catamarans, and party boats and water taxis of all sizes dumping people on the beaches along the jutting out cape. No kayaks here, way too dangerous traffic…we quickly got our glance, but at low tide and quite lumpy water, I could not paddle through the arch. I paddled at least through the group of stunning rock formations, while Fylkir took pictures from outside.
Just out of here…and away from this circus…we crossed over the small bay and left the main city behind. Still, the whole coast is lined up with more hotels and up and down running yachts and boats of all sizes and kinds, with more or less drunken party folks on them playing mostly loud music. Will we find a beach to land and to put up our tent?
We found one, just behind a headland there was a deserted looking narrow sheltered beach between a solid resort wall and the mountain road under construction. A perfectly private beach for us!!! A pavilion was on it, and it had a buoy line for the swimming area, but no sign of nothing and no one. We guessed this beach was simply closed due to the road construction work above. We camped in the shady place below the cliffs, went swimming and felt happy!
Sure, just when we had changed, a guard from the next door resort came and asked if we would be members? No, sure not…but we politely introduced ourselves with my card and guard Jaime spoke good English to listen interestedly to our story. He asked if I’d be famous? Sure…LOL! He allowed us to stay one night, but he also said beaches in Mexico are free to land and to use within a zone of 30 m to the water. If we would not walk up to the resort, we would be ok to stay. Thanks!
Half an hour later, we got another visit from three other guards from the resort, who tried to tell us he was from the government and could not allow us to stay under the road under construction…to dangerous…as there was no sign of falling rocks where we had our tent, we didn’t really believe him but suggested we just move the tent a few meters to the middle of the beach? No, he wanted us to move completely away…what??? The guard Jaime would be new and did not inform us correctly…aha…we told them it would be a lot of effort to move our camp now, and what for? One of those guys asked also if I’d be “famous”…sure! I think they were just after a signature card each, and I pulled them out, signed them and suddenly they came to the conclusion it would be ok for us to stay until tomorrow…aha…thanks for the disturbance and enjoy your “valuable” signature cards, maybe you can sell them on eBay for a good price…LOL!
Being online with fast 4G all evening, I checked weather and google maps again and again and came to the conclusion we could have made the paddle to Cabo if we would have dared to go out this morning and might have reached the salt pan corner in about 60 km…if…if none of us would have been trashed again…the beaches below the salt pan corner did not look black anymore with a nasty breaker in a far distance, but yellow and steep with probably a breaker close to the beach which should be easier to handle. But who knows without having been there…I still had to chew on this mutual decision and can only blame myself for having made it…but there will be another chance next year! For now, we will paddle up to La Paz and fly out on April 15th.