Loc: before Punta Márquez
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: -5,80 km
Start: two attempts
April fool’s day??? We are sick of this f…… surf here! It looked like a better launching spot where Chipi has dropped us yesterday, but the really better one was where the fishermen were launching, just before Punta Marquéz. This is where we ended up finally.
When we looked out of the tent this morning at 5.30 am in first light, we were pleased to see no fog at all and it looked like there were good lulls in the middle of the nasty single breaker line. That was about one and a half hours before high tide, usually the time of the most powerful surf. While we packed, my stomach knotted tightly again in fear of what might be able to happen on launching…but we still saw lulls and Fylkir got ready to go.
We waited long enough to think the big ones were over, and I pushed him in. There was a soup zone, but it didn’t look all the time “well organized” in there to simply wait out. I also noticed a strong current to the right. For me, it looked like Fylkir didn’t stay perpendicular to the main breaker line as he was probably looking into avoiding the side current. On waiting out a few larger ones, he could not avoid a huge one which now came pretty seamless in and he got thrown over. He made at least two attempts to roll up, but didn’t manage and had to swim again.
I was at the watch for catching the kayak which drifted quickly to the right, just upfront a steeper edge of the sandy beach. I was able to catch the stern toggle after a moderate shore breaker threw the kayak high up the beach just upfront the sand wall – a bad position…but Fylkir emerged just also out of the water, pretty shaken and half drowned…but he threw his paddle high up and could finally help me to control the heavy kayak and to get it up the sandy edge. We were both shattered to see the conditions are basically getting now uncontrollable, the higher tide raised.
We decided to regain energy and to wait at least an hour or even two for another try, while we were watching the surf continuously. We were sitting in clouds of sand flies here, not very pleasant, and it was the first time on this trip. Fylkir with his short pants had more to suffer, and he also started to shiver from the wetness.
We were discussing the options while we were watching the surf. It seemed it went down again while we were waiting beyond the high tide time – as it should be. Still, we had now three options. To keep on waiting and to hope the surf will look like we can launch without help – both of us. Or to walk up to two caravans just 500 m north at Punta Marquéz to ask the (hopefully surfer) people there for launching help. With a good push at the right time, the initial speed might be good enough to reach the nasty breaker line on the right time. Or to walk up to the fisherman’s launching place north of Punta Marquéz in the hope the would drive us with a pickup to their launching place which is hopefully easier – or – very last option – to hope they might get our kayaks on their boats and get us over the surf and dump us in the calm water offshore.
We decided to walk up to the caravans and found two nice US-American couples who were willing to give us a push. I briefed the men for Fylkir’s launch to be at the stern holding him while we were waiting for a lull. I would hold the bow. We got him in the boat, and then a bit further down, but we had to wait quite long. A bunch of times, the bow got almost ripped off my hands, and the guys at the stern had to let go once completely and Fylkir was sitting sideways. We caught him back and straightened him out, and finally, I decided to let him go. But it seemed like Fylkir couldn’t launch his rudder, he paddled only left and finally in a circle back to shore, which was a good decision in this situation.
We all decided the surf is still too violent breaking now further out on the lower tide to give it another try. John was suggesting to get his truck to load our kayaks to drive us to the fishermen’s panga launching site, our second option. Now easier done with the help of our new friends! The ride was short beyond the point, and we were now 5,8 km further north than we had landed. But this beach was as expected shallow and the violence of the surf was rolling out in many low to moderate breaker lines, like in that other point beach where we had a day off. This will be doable! Thanks to our new friends to get us here!
But our plan now was looking like we preferred rather do an overnight paddle of 170 km just down to the Cape instead of bothering with more surf landings and launchings…if we don’t find similar flat beaches like here with reasonable surf. The indication would always be fishing boats…on the satellite image, we can’t see any within 13 hrs of daylight paddle reach of maximum 80 km. We should have landed here the week before we left for La Paz…but we might have been stuck somewhere else.
We will start tomorrow early morning, we felt it was too late today and we were too exhausted. The swell will be similar the next days of 1,30 m according to Karel, with low winds in the afternoon and likely none at night. If we don’t feel like landing we, just keep on going!