Loc: Playa Manzanillo
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 44,4 km
Start: 6:35 End: 16:00
The night on my island is so far the coolest one, no sweat is running, and I have to cover myself with my thin blanket. It is a relief. In the morning, I realize I had a neighbor. A large turtle came to the island, thankfully passing my tent and kayak in a wide berth. Back in Venezuela, I was not so lucky and the monster turtle wegdeged herself into the corner of my kayak and tent, and she ripped my vestibule. The track looks like a small tractor. Another track is from a small furry critter, no idea what it might have been. And I thought I heard some noises!
The waves are mild on the right side on the island spit, with the sound of ded corals washing up the beach. The left side, where I landed, is funny cris cross wash. I launch on the right side. The passage through the islang gap is not without pounding heart, but I can avoid the rare breakers. Soon I am on the open sea, and all is easy going again.
I play once more ‘turtle petting.’ It is a tough game, as the large sea turtles are shy and disappear quickly under the surface when I approach either noise or on their head side. But when I let my kayak glide the last few meters, and approach from her back, I am usually lucky the be able to give her shell a light touch with my hand or paddle. Not the they need it or feel disturbed, I think they do not even notice in this way. For me it is some entertainment. When I see a mating couple, I leave them to their reproduction business.
After another rough headland and beach, I finally can paddle a bit closer to the reefs. But there are no roc gaps inviting for squeezing through. Long beaches in between offer moderate entertainment, and I am once more happy for my audio book.
I marked a landing on my chart in a reef corner, and thought I could paddle inside some larer offshore reefs to find the sheltered landing. But on low tide, it does not look safe enough, and I give the area a wide berth. In between two breaking areas, I see a wide sandy calm beach with green grass in the background, a perfect spot for me. It is two kilometers short of the sheltered corner, but even better as the sand is not as narrow. I approach with the necessary care between breaking reefs, but the path is free and unbroken. The landing on a very flat low tide beach with tiny rolling breakers is no problem. The only issue is the larger distance to the dry campiste, but I had it worse. I patiently unload and carry bag by bag up the beach, and finally drag my kayak. I still feel this is the better spot than the very corner.
Motorbikes and even a car have passed the beach before my landing, but when my tent is up, only two pedestrians and a group of horseback riders pass my camp. All calm otherwise here on my spot, wich is littered with a lot of natural and few artificial trash. The night brings some rain, and bright flashes, but no thunder or wind. The sweat is pouring down again, and a towel suuffices as a duvet. At four thirty in the morning, the first group of five motorbikes runs along the beach in darkness, likely to work. I am up anyway to get going for the new day.