Wed 07/12-2022 Day 773

Pos: 08.2710,-82.8587
Loc: Puerto Armuelles
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 43,8 km
Start: 4:45 End: 14:00 (13:00 old time)

Yesterday evening, it was almost full moon. The low tide went out so far that people were walking at night with torches amost to the reef point. Not sure why they did that, but it was exciting to see their light points on walking in the dry bay from my cliff top camp.The night was all lit wit the moon. I have the gut feeling I better get up VERY early this morning to avoid dragging my kayak out too much, as tides are also extreme around full moon. I discovered an easier access to the beach from my clifftop just to my right, but have to watch not to slip in the mud. The black puppy which was greeting and following me yesterday evening slept outside my tent just at my head side. But he was so full of flees he was scratching him all the time and I did not dare to touch him.
When I am packed, I have to drag my loaded kayak only fifteen meters to the shallow water, but it is so stuck to the mud I have a hard time to move it at all. As it is not fully loaded any more, it just about works with effort. Once happily floating, I take my time in the bay to wait for proper light, as I have to round the extensive reef which is lightly breaking offshore. On my arrival, it was fully high tide, but I noticed the very warm water here over the shallows. All goes well, and I aim for Isla Burica before the sun starts blinding me too much to judge if I can pass the gap between the island safely or not on the extreme low tide. I finally decide to better round the island, which also keeps me away from the next shallow reef corner.
I see a person on Isla Burica, he almost walks on the reef with me around the offshore side of the island. A fishing boat with three not too friendly looking guys is passing me very slowly with a weak engine. I wave friendly as usual, and they wave back, but with no enthusiasm. I do not like when they finally decide to turn and drive a circle around me. I wave again, smile friendly and talk briefly so they can confirm this was really a woman who does not speak Spanish. I always take precautions and clean my deck. Those three guys in a fishing boat could as well be busy with something else out here. They finally drive off without bothering me more. I had a bad feeling.
Later closer to Puerto Armuelles, another fishing boat with two guys did the same, and I acted the same. I did not like those guys either. Maybe I met too many boating people.
When I come close to Puerto Armuelles, my decision to land to the right of the old sea bridge is correct. I easily glide on a calm-ish beach on high tide, right under the eyes of the harbor master who is curiously expecting me. He has not heard about me, but when I explain my case and he guides me to the immigration office next door, I hear my German embassy has announced my arrival as I was hoping for. Still, both authorities are both excited and honored to serve me with my necessary paperwork. It takes ninety minutes in both offices until they finally issued all stamps on all papers, while I am still uncomfortable in my wet paddling gear.
But after all is done, the friendly officers are happy to help me with giving me a campsite just next door to the capitania, right at the entrance of the broken rusty old landing bridge which is fenced. Not too bad, thanks! There is a night guard at the capitania, and I feel safe. It is much better than the offer to sleep on the same floor of my shower site, which actually still contains also an office. I get a hand with my kayak from the beach, and all is good.
I get a bucket shower offered at the second floor of the immigration office house. Nothing is wrong with a bucket shower, I am thankful for any freshwater rinse, but the second floor of the building is so rotten that the floor is open on many spots, also in the bathroom and on the stair case. I barely dare to put a step into the shower box as I am afraid to fall with the whole box through the floor. I just about dare to strip and throw some fresh water over my body, and am reliefed the floor is not breaking through and I am back to the street in one piece. Omg! I prefer to rinse my clothes ad to wash my hair at a water tap just next to my camp. It is drinkable water, so I also can refill my water bags. I still have enough food, and some apples. I only do a brief walk through the well-lit village promenade, which is full of people who have a holiday tomorrow. They all watch the full moon rising over the dead calm sea. My campsite is noisy, but the music is distant and I will dare to use earlpugs as the guard is sitting right upfront my fence door.
Tomorrow, I will start my paddle via the next islands, this looks more exciting than all those estuaries though the distance to the first island is fifty five kilometers. No problems on calm waters.