Loc: before Tecojate
Acc: Hilleberg Allak 2 tent
Dist: 46,8 km
Start: 06:40 End: 14:40
According to Karel’s forecast, the sea today is about 50% higher than the other two days, and I am a bit worried to get out at all. But I give it a go anyway.
My main problem on the launch is where to pack the kayak – too high up the beach, and I will have a hard time to drag it to the water line. Too close to the water, and one of the treacherous washes will possibly wipe it away. Unfortunately, I chose a camp spot where there is no steep launching ground, but which was nice for landing. My position of the half loaded kayak is fine, until the BIG wash comes, and I have to hold it tight while two gear bags fall off sitting only on top of the boat. I quickly grab everything, but now have soaking gear bags and wet-sandy dry bags. Anyway, I stuff quickly all into the hatches, before the next wash comes.
But when I need it, the washes reach only until about five meters to my kayak, and I am desperate, as I cannot drag this heavy loaded kayak over the here soft wet sand! I try, and hurt one of my chest muscles…but I try again, and again, until another small wash helps me a little, and another small one after maybe five minutes, and now I am out of the soft sand and can drag it with the next small wash afloat. Pheww! That costs energy!
I quickly close my deck, pull the rudder and grab my paddle to stay straight for the first small roller. There is no timing to get afloat, I am happy to be afloat in the soup zone at all! So I have to wait, sneak up to the nasty line, and wait while powering into the just broken foam…and again, and again…BIG ones are now piling up, and I am lucky to stay just in a spot where it does not break ON me but just before. I see two dolphins behind the main break, and I talk to them “I am coming to you now!” while huffing in a small lull away from the danger zone.
One fishing boat was out all the time just upfront my camp, I assume those guys were alerted by the harbor master to keep an eye on me. They come up to me after my successful but stressful launch to ask if I am all right? Yes, thanks, I am just having breakfast now while gulping my soaked grains down without spoon which I unfortunately messed up somewhere yesterday. Not really stylish eating while the guys take pics and videos of me, but drive off soon. Thanks for keeping an eye on me! If I go swimming here, there is no one around to assist me, just in case. But I do not even think about it.
The sea is noticeable up, and I carefully watch the surf break developing, concerned already about the landing all the time. But what pleases me more is my good speed today, averaging six kilometers per hour with no problems. And I was expecting headwinds! But the swell is in my favor, and if I would not have been loaded so heavily, I might have enjoyed some good surf runs.
Another fishing boat comes by, also asking for pictures…here we go, guys! I am famous, LOL! My body feels good today, working already again like a well-oiled machinelike on the last section. Thank goodness this stressed chest muscle from dragging my heavy kayak does not make any problems, and I lose myself into the rhythm while listening to my exciting audio book. I am happy paddling is much easier today than expected, and I go in when the distance to the next harbor entrance at Juan Gaviota is about the same to what I paddled today. Then I would have a short day of twenty kilometers left to reach the main port in Puerto Queztal where the local Navy is waiting for me. But maybe I will paddle the whole leftover distance tomorrow, almost seventy kilometers, that suits me better, and then I have Monday fully off for official things.
I land through the BIG break wit a lot of back paddling, trying hard not to get trashed again like two times the last section in Mexico. I manage to land upright in style, with a pumping heart and while talking to the breakers to please let me in – phewww!
I chat with two suspicious looking young guys on a motorbike, they are only curious, and all is good. Another single person stops on his road trip, and he also gets a chat. I like better to act and to show myself once spotting people approaching. No good to stay hidden in the doggy hut like a pray in the trap.
The harbor master of Puerto Champerico just texts me the port of Juan Gaviota is private, but he will do his best to get me permission, if I need it. Interesting to know that there are private ports in Guatemala! But I feel like a long day tomorrow, and will only go in there when I have to, as I do not like to pack for less than twenty kilometers left.