Loc: river mouth
Acc: Hilleberg Allak 2 tent
Dist: 43,8 km
Start: 06:30 End: 17:15
One of those days with fucking launch and landing…
In dawn, a guy with his dogs marches along the beach, but stops only briefly for a curious look. On packing, I see him coming back with a friend, but greeting me fully friendly, just curious. A third fishing guy joins them, and they watch my launch. Always bad…why? Not sure, maybe because I get afloat in the confused sup zone too early, with the thought I can wait it out to I can pass the fat breaker line?
Basically correct, but somehow I have the gut feeling, launching in the first hour of the day and landing before the last hour of the day, the sea is the worst, regardless of the tide. The first half an hour of light looks easy, and when I am finally ready to go – where is the lull to get out? I am afloat allright, but the soup zone wash is confused and quite strong rolling on the shallows. It is not easy to keep the heavy long kayak perpendicular to the waves, as it is shallow, my rudder fin disappears agan and again, and the wash runs out cris cross. And I have to wait likely twenty or more breakers which costs me a lot of enery to keep my baby straight and on position close enough but not too close to the outer break. But I manage with a lot of sweep strokes, rudder control and braces here and there. Finally, I see the lull and punch out successfully, not even a jump necessary, but my energy is at the limit. Why the heck did that take so long until the break opened up?
I do my regular slow paddle against light headwind and current, but average today even almost four and a half kilometers per hour – a wonderful speed…but that is how it goes again today.
I admire endless lines of pelican flying south, where are te flying to? It looks so beautiful! And also, a large school of dolphins plays around me at the end of the day. Dolphins are my lucky sign? I would have to do only this last surf landing today, as tomorrow I will paddle inland, and the last day on Saturday, I will land in Puerto Chipas which is a ‘real’ sheltered port. So those many dophins will make this last surf landing to be a lucky one! I have no ambition to even try to hit the river mouth unless it is not a wide deep open unbroken one, as my idea is when I get trashed in a lumpy shallwow wide river mouth, the shore might be far away. Usually, I try to land slightly before, usually lucky, and work my way in the zoup zone into the opening. This tactic has been working many times before!
Wishful thinking. Tonight, I get one of the worst washings of my career! The same thing as in Puerto Arista – I am too close and too long paddling in the danger zone which can be quite calm, but I realize my mistake when the big stuff comes in, maybe again all ten minutes. I paddle out again, can climb a big one, but the next goes straight down on my bow, no chance. And it is a HUGE HUGE HUGE one! As I face out, I think it first washed me with an enormous power on my back deck while lifting the bow in a full back flip. Upside down, I have never felt such a strong and long water power washing me along.
Oh my! It almost rips the paddle out of my hand, but only almost. When it finally calms out, I can even catch my breath as the foamy wash somehow lifts me to the side. But by no way I have any energy to set up for a roll, and bail out. I am already in the shallows, and unlike in Puerto Arista, the shallows are already relatively calm and there is no such strong back surge. But my ride felt about three times worse than last time. I can stand up, paddle in my hand, and I just catch my floating sponge. I should stow this guy also away, like anything else unteathered! I can catch aso my poor baby on the bow toggle. This time, the zipper of my deck bag is ripped open, and my water bag and my camera hangs out. I need to stow the hose inside and close the zipper full! Usually, not only my phone and speaker disappears in my day hatch, but also camera and GPS. Thank goodness, the latter are still attached to their clips and seem to be undamaged. Nothing else is lost, just again my pride to time suche a landing perfectly. This was the last surf landing on of this section, and then this shit happens!
I have not much energy left for a short soup zone paddle to the river mouth, I prefer to drag my kayak with a closed cockpit along which is not free of danger to my legs. But I have done this before, though I think a short rough paddle in the shallows might have been easier than a walk. Finally, I have enough and around the next tiny corner, it looks no good for dragging any more and he river mouth is close.
I unload, and work my way even more to the opening, and spend even more energy. Two fisherman of a group of four staning in the shallows with their rods help my a bit with dragging the kayak, until I decided this would be enough to launch into the shallows tomorrow and hit the river mouth entry. I can paddle over forty kilometers inland, but have to portage at the end via the small village Brisas de Huayate, just fivehundred meters. I hope to find helpful hands to camp at the sea coast again to start the final day of this section!