Loc: Puerto Escondido
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 46,7 km
Start: 6:10 End: 16:20
Thursday, 15.12.2022 continued
But maybe I should also talk a bit about the paddling day. Last night, I felt safe and put in earplugs against the ever-threatening surf noise, until some drumming sounds came through the ear protection. People started to sing to the drums, and I wonder if this concert was for me or if they do it here all evenings. It seems like this little settlement has no electricity and internet, maybe entertainment still comes natural.
My launch is lucky timing, as in between, quite some nasty trashers come down the shallow beach. The whole peninsula’s left and south side is exposed to the south westerly swell, and seas are accordingly nasty compared to what I had so far in Panama. All day, I fight some countercurrent around many small points. Paddling is tough and slow, though the scenery is beautiful. No easy landing possible in between.
Two fishing boats come to each side, but these do not feel like a threat to me. They are just curious where I come from and where I like to go. I need to round the last headland of Punta Morro de Puercos of the southern coast, a steep impressive cliff headland with many separate points. Accordingly, the reflective seas demand all my concentration to pass this unfriendly though impressive area. My landing bay should be fine, it is away from the last swell in a very shallow bay. Thank goodness, here are calm peaceful seas again. It should be quite the last larger seas on this section until Panama City – I hope. I run on the shallows on low tide, and have to carry my stuff quite a distance up the beach for a dry spot. Three horse riders pass my tent, and a single beach walker to whom I talk and pass my card. I also feel safe here and put in earplugs again. It is a sign my body needs more quality rest, as usually, I do not use those while camping in the wild. The concert of the monkeys in the bush is amazing, and at ten o’clock at night, the first few raindrops in Panama make me close my tent ceiling – for exactly five minutes. Then it is dry again, and I fancy better ventilation and reopen the roof.
The swell is gone while I paddle today, crossing a wide bay. It is easy, but boring. But what is that? I big lump catches my eye. Ahhh, those mating turtles again. I have seen many times two turtles clinging together front to back doing their reproduction business, but I have never seen a merry threesome. THREE turtles are here making a double whopper, a freefloting stack of three! What the heck! I assume the clinging to the back of another turtle also goes if another strong male likes to rip a competing male away from the slightly smaller female turtle on the bottom. But all three float besides me without much movements, but roll upside down as the small waves move. Amazing…I wonder if the middle (male) also gets somehow penetrated…what do I know about the love life of sea turtles? Not sure if there are many pictures of a turtle-threesome exist, but I have a few!
I have another amazing animal encounter today while crossing the twenty kilometers wide Ensenada Benao. I have occasionally seen sea snakes here and there the last weeks, always those black and yellow ones. But only single animals. Here, over maybe fifteen kilometrs, I count FORTY EIGHT sea snakes! It keeps me entertained, and I can snap a few pictures, which is not easy. It must be for some reason a breeding habitat here, as I am sure the whole bay contains hundreds of them. Earlier, I saw two boast with two guys each speer fishing, not sure if they also encounter those snakes on their business. I am careful not to flip tem on my deck with my paddle, you never know if they like to be aggressive…
My landing bay is dead calm, and I can finally go online to check the wind forecast for the next ten days. My hopes of an easy homerun to Panama City are gone, I will have a daily northerly headwind around fifteen knots. Nobody said it is going to be easy. It might take me a few more days to finish this section, but hopefully, I can be home before New Year. At least the swell stays low in the big bay.