Loc: behind Cape Rodney
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 34,7 km
Start: 7:35 End: 15:30
It was a dead calm Sunday! The sea was like oil in the low swell, and when around 1 am, a light headwind came up, we had not really much to suffer either. Still, it was Ross’ second paddling day only, and we took it easy. He felt a bit better today in the kayak and held up ok. His wrist was still in the elastic bandage, he said to remind him to keep his wrist straight. It is not easy to swap to a different paddling style as he was used to, though he saw the necessity to do so to stay healthy on the long-distance with his heavy kayak. The other paddle he used now did better for him.
I helped Ross launching via a shallow soup zone through some tiny surf toward a glassy sea. We landed after two hours first time for shaking out our legs, a pee and some bites to eat. It was again some very low surf. On launching, Ross had to jump in quickly once the kayak was afloat, and without closing the spray skirt yet, I told him to paddle out of the tiny breaker zone. It worked fine, besides Ross didn’t notice he sat on the flipped over back band, and accordingly complained about an aching back soon…
I saw the Sinuk River coming up on my chart with a wide-open river mouth, and guessed we might be able to paddle in there and to land easy? I could not remember having seen it on my satellite images last evening, but there were also some winter pictures in the area which were hard to visualize. In the river, a cabin with a smoking chimney was lurking to explore. And as luck goes, I spotted a head moving along a grassy ledge, a man on a four-wheeler? Or is there where the river is running, and he is in a boat? It was a boat. I was waiting for him to come out to sea, to show us where the exit was, but all we could see were low breakers and confused sea. i might have gone closer and might have found an entrance, but with Ross by my side, I better stayed out.
We continued along some more a little bit confused sea and shallow breakers, and I realized the man in the boat must be in a channel behind a line of sandbanks. After watching us for a while, as much as we were watching HIM, he raised his engine to run back into the river inland. So sorry…later I found out, he was waiting behind one of the confused exits, and he might have spotted us approaching already earlier. If he’d been driving out to help us in, we might have dared it? But basically, besides Ross’ aching back, we had no urge to go into a doubtful river mouth entrance.
I finally decided to land right behind the last confusing breaking area in a calm corner and found myself inside another river exit in deeper calm water. A perfect sensed landing! I waved Ross in, and he also safely landed inside the river exit. We climbed a dune to overview the river mouth delta, saw the channel behind the sandbanks, and the other exit where the man in the boat might have been waiting for us.
We had a huge bucket of canned grapefruit for lunch, both our favorite canned fruit and juice. A funny animal we both could not name, a mixture of a fox, wolf, dog, and monkey, was happily hopping around higher on the beach. What the heck was that? Is that a wolverine? No idea…another similar guy came later.
We launched back into the river mouth and over a shallow sand bar, all fine. Ross took some Ibuprofen for his backache, and with a back band right way round, he felt happy again to continue for another two hours. When I saw a calmer looking beach spot behind another small river mouth which generated again some swell waves offshore, I decided it should be enough for Ross today, and we landed safely on a shallower beach through some lower surf. Perfect timing, as it soon started to rain after we had made our camp!
Ross fell asleep for the afternoon inside the cozy dripping rain, but not before he had paved his side of his sandy vestibule of the tent with some rocks in artwork-style! LOL! I enjoyed reading, as it was not really inviting for a walk-in rain…
Tomorrow will be another low-wind day, thank goodness, and Tuesday a low to a medium headwind. See how far we’ll get!