Loc: Airport Beach
Acc: Hilleberg Allak 2 tent
Dist: 24,4 km
Start: 09:05 End: 15:30
Back to work! We agreed last night Robert and Jorge would give me a hand to get my kayak to the beach early morning, as Robert likes to be in the gym at seven. I am up and ready like a good German way before Robert’s gym date, but he changed his mind to better wait for Mario with his truck. The short walk to the beach with the kayak and gear would be easy done with three people, but oh well…let’s be patient and wait for the boss and his truck!
Finally, I am on the water by nine o’clock, Mario and Robert wave me off like they have received me three days ago. Thanks to Mario and his crew to give me a very special space to camp and to recover in the middle of old town Acapulco, with a perfect view over the bay!
I am happy to be back on the water, three days of recovery after such a long paddle is more than enough. The sea is much lower and calmer than when I arrived, and my hopes for an easy landing through some surf are up. I don not give the skyscraper skyline of Acapulco city more than a brief look, and continue on to pass the cliffs of the next headland while I continue listening to the audio book I left when my phone battery dies in the long paddling night.
I did not expect to see more skyscraper hotels on the start of the long sandy beach area after the cliff line, but ‘Airport Beach’ seems also to be a popular holiday destination. And it is relatively busy, compared to the small holiday villages on the beaches before Acapulco. No wonder, this beach is shallow, and the breakers run in multiple mellow lines, where people can safely play – at least today! It became quite windy with onshore-following direction, basically just right, but it also whips the sea more up than it is already on shallow low tide. I am curious how the surf feels here, after this single trashy horrible big dumper on the beaches before Acapulco prevented me to land safely. Rolling surf on lower seas cannot be too bad! I find a gap in the hotel line and decide to go in to have a look. It feels also not too comfortable out there anymore with finally fifteen konts or more wind whipping the calm sea up. I have packed my audio book away already since a while, the waves are too noisys. I surf in elegantly and without problems into a confused but mellow soup zone. I stop and sit on my kayak for a while, contemplating how and if at all to continue today? I am just glad I do not have to stay out again. This beach profile is fully different.
But it is only elevn thirty, I started late and have covered only mere fifteen kilometers up to now, that is not enough paddling for today. But the water looks not inviting behind the surf zone anymore. My best bet is now to stay inside the main surf, and to paddle in the running out low soft waves with wet splashes and braces. This is actually fun when the water and air are warm like here, and a fully different style of paddling. It would teach any beginner how to deal with surf waves in the safety of the closeness to the shore. The deal is to move forward in decent speed without getting stranded, flipped over or running into people. Five mean fishing nets strapped between poles close to shore are another chllengeI pass inside not to get caught or poked on the metal spikes.
Sometimes, I have to shout: ”Permiso!” to some people standing in the water in my way, as I cannot control my kayak that perfectly in the sometimes confused rolling low surf waves to avoid hitting them. Thankfully, there are not too many persons to slalom around. On tall man with a fat belly stands with wide spread out legs solidly in my way in the shallows, and I am briefly contemplating to aim my kayak straight through the arch gap which his legs are forming? I smile in the vision of a limbo dance stunt… Sometimes people are standing on a sandbank I can pass to the left on a wash or in a small deep water channel. Reading the water counts here not to get stranded, to see the tiny deep water channels or estimate when a wash over a bank gives enough water depth to pass without getting stuck. My good bracing skills are in high demand. I have to low brace with all my power into some a bit large breakers I take fully sideways, and sometimes I get thrown around in zig zag when the water is getting too confused or forms clapotis. Only once I hang in a high brace on my side and get washed quite a way to shore. But it is real fun! I have another longer break after I get once stranded, while two people, a man and a teenage boy on horses ride past. I quickly take a picture of the encounter, horses and kayak!
Amazingly, a handful of Mexican youngsters making holiday come up to me while I snack sitting on my kayak: “Are you the famous Freya Hoffmeister who paddled around Australia?” Freya who? It must be me…I pose for pictures, and wonder how those teenies have heard about me and my trips.
I decide to keep on going for another hour or such until I run out of energy. Things are getting meanwhile quite violent on higher tide, and suddenly my left rudder line breaks…thank goodness now and not on my long paddle to Acapulco! But surely, here my rudder pressure is much stronger and more often used than on the calm offshore paddle. But I am only to blame myself I gave my kayak hull a loving treatment during my break in Acapulco, but was too lazy to check the rudder lines which I wanted to do since I started this section…! But my godparents keep an eye over me and let the line break NOW when it is not too much of a problem to get them fixed. It also happens on a spot just without hotels on the shore, perfect to camp.
I unload, and an old thrownet-fisherman helps me to drag my kayak higher up. Thanks! My tent is quickly up and my bags disappear out of sight of the many quadbikes holidaymakers here can drive up and down the beach. My repair kit contains new rudder lines and a solid wire roll which is essential to get the new lines through the tube when one end has already disappeared inside. This wire is stiff enough to slide through the tube with no problem, thank goodness! I hook the wire into the new line, and fold it over as thin and flat as possible, but the connection is still a tad bot too thick to slide nicely int othe tube. I would need another hand to help! Just now, my tw horse rider ass by again, and the man is happy to pull on the wire while I feed the thicker connection as slim as possible into the tube. It works! Thank goodness.
I think I better aso change the other line which shows also some shavings, but as this one is still active, I only need to sew the old and new line evry slim together and with a few tries, I manage to pull the connection into the tube myself and the new line through. Yahoo! These changes went smooth! Well, I have done this job already many times…the stiff but not too thick wire is essential. I adjust the ends to the right length, job done.
As I have my repair kit out, I also have to sew a broken belt on my PFD and on my back pack plus a small ripped spot on my seam of my shorts. I like to keep my kit in order and functional, and usually I replace things BEFORE they break. But sometimes not, and I was lucky the line broke close to shore!