Sun 13/02-2022 Day 665

Pos: 13.4657,-89.2527
Loc: Playa San Diego
Acc: Hilleberg Allak 2 tent
Dist: 40,9 km
Start: 06:20 End: 16:00

I am up early in darkness, to be ready for the launch at first light. Thankfully, to push the kayak the last ten meters into the water, a strong male hand comes to my assistance. I am afloat on a random time of the sets, and have to wait. This time, it is tricky to keep the kayak straight on waiting, I assume the soup zone is shallow and the rudder fin hooks in somehow. But I manage the foamy washes on my bow, until my chance comes. Not an elegant launch, but a working, upright paddle out.
My two “watchdog” boats from the Navy catch up very soon, I think they stayed the night out upfront the coast. I have to direct them again and again to please stay far behind me, but as they change crews between the two boats every coupe of hours, it is again a fight to keep them far away from me. Sometimes, especially the smaller boat, buzzes around me in circles, bored to death on this job, and again and again I need to smell their exhaust, listen to the annoying engine sound and have no free view on the coast. Their escort is well-meant, but annoying for my freedom feeling on the water. Tonight, I will text the port captain which has the direct contact to the Navy guys about they should please stay FAR BEHIND me, if they feel they like to stay with me at all.
The coastline is beautiful today, cliffs and bays allover, but the first hours I have the sun straight in my face, and I also have to stay pretty far out on the points. Still, the scenery is more pleasant than the usual straight coastlines of the last weeks. Unfortunately, the noon winds whip up the sea with reflecting waves from the cliff lines, and additionally to the headwinds, I have to punch into quite some lumpy water. But I keep on fighting, eager to reach the boca of Rio San Diego, where I planned to land. The speed is low, but I make progress, and on most beaches, camping would be tough with few property on high tide. All beaches are almost unbroken covered with buildings.
I leave the jetty of La Libertad behind me, and see the free long beach coming up. But sure, when I like to land, the surf is rough and tough. But I want to land NOW! Upright, and in style…and I do, with a nasty side broch at the end, but no capsize. While standing with the bow toggle in my hand, hoping for a larger wave getting my loaded kayak high up off the wash, a guy with some kind of a life saver’s rescue cap comes to my help for dragging my boat out of the wash. Thanks!
The beach is here still busy on a late Sunday afternoon, but I put up my tent beside some fishing boat, and are left almost unnoticed. Only one neighbor form the nearby beach restaurant comes up for some chat. He confirms I will have a safe night here. All good!
I contact Robert Mendoza, the friendly Port Captain from Acajutla, to please let the Navy guys know I will have a day off tomorrow. My body feels like recovery from a hard day’s paddle into the wind and lumpy sea. I would feel sorry for the guys out there waiting for me tomorrow morning in vain!