Loc: El Zapote
Acc: Hilleberg Allak 2 tent
Dist: 43,1 km
Start: 06:20 End: 14:15
The expected strong gusty wind up to forty knots last evening were shaking my tent to the roots, but as always, my trustworthy Hilleberg Allak tent stands it all. My sand pegs were acting as solid anchors, so I had no worries. But someone else was worried and shone with a flashlight around my tent around eight thirty. Not sure if it was the restaurant owner neighbor, or my private Tourist police guy who might have been still there. I kept on sleeping under the full moon.
For the last meters of my launch this morning, I wave one of the curious onlooker from the fishing shed to please help me pushing. Thanks! Once afloat, I ripped with my launching line the tiny loop which pulls out the rudder fin, shit! But I have pulled the fin out enough to be able to steer, and I decide to let it be for now and paddle out. In this short moment of distraction, a nasty criss cross wave decides to break sideways on me, and really throws me briefly over to the side, but I am a good girl and roll quickly up again. No swimming with all those beach onlookers! Strange, I reckon most of my landing or launching failures happen when there are people watching me.
My roll up goes fine, I wait two more smaller breakers but can head straight out soon. One safe, I notice my rudder fin launching line, now hanging lose without being attached to the rudder fin, has wrapped itself somehow around everything on my unexpected half roll. When shit happens, it keeps on going! This time not much happened than some light easy to fix entanglement, but it could have, especially on a swim…not good. I pull the line in, and paddle quickly up to a fishing boat and ask the guy to check if my rudder fin is fully down. All good, it saves me a swim for checking.
It is worth mentioning, for me as a “Japanese glass net float collector”, that the guys here use small kiddy plastic balls as net floats, likely available cheap. Some skillful person knits a lose tiny net around them like they do around the glass balls, and they seem to work well – at least for a few seasons. Many fishing boats are out this morning to set nets.
My watchdogs are nowhere to be seen, but around eight o’clock, they are present again, likely arriving from Acajutla after the day off. Well, this time, they stay out of sight, smell, hearing and almost out of my mind and do not bother me much.
The surface of the sea is calm in the morning, my kayak likes to run, and I play music as I am full of energy after a day off. Despite some nasty headwind, my morning speed is well over six kilometers in average, very pleasant. But around eleven, the wind turns and the sea chops up, and my speed drops. Not my energy, though! I have not played music for weeks as I always listened to my audio books, but music is simply and energy boost. Also, I heard the fishing guys in their nearby shed playing some music I liked, my “Sound Hound” program told me it was the Spanish Celtic Metal rock group “Mäge de OZ” with Fiesta Pagana, a perfect new discovery matching my taste for my power-playlist.
But even the most powerful music hits the wall when the peak of the daily headwind wind and sea around noon is becoming nasty on the long run, my GPS shows already well over the due forty kilometers and the surf looks doable despite almost high tide. As I am to cross a canal opening with unknown lumpy conditions, I feel I leave that for the calm tomorrow morning, and call it a day! There was some wishful thinking to fulfill my “float plan” and to reach the Rio Lempa which is hopefully easy to enter, but not sure. It is not important; I have enough headwind and lumpy seas for today! Sure, once landed, I am asked on a text message if I am ok as I did not reach Rio Lempa as “planned”? Sure I am. I am always ok. Just the wind and sea is not always following float plans.
My campsite is on a shallow beach the landing goes well and upright through a few moderate breaker lines. I general, the surf today is easier than the other days, so no big worries for tomorrow’s launch and likely two more landings on unprotected beaches before I can turn into the calmer Golf. But never underestimate the surf!
I fix my rudder fin loop, and do some other check ups on rudder and back rest. Also, it is time to add my second seat pad, my back side is getting less and less padded! 🙂