Loc: reef landing Playa Acosaco
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 43,0 km
Start: 6:45 End: 15:10
How much I would have liked a peaceful first night’s rest! I might had finally some sleep, but I am also awake early due to still jetlag. I used the time to write my update.
I pack, and once almost done, two navy guys show up to check on me. Yes, I am still alive, thanks. It is raining, and they barely help me moving my heavy loaded kayak closer to the water’s edge before walking back to Masachapa city.
Two young lads in a nutshell of a small fiberglass boat are dancing offshore on the waves, using a single blade paddle each. I cannot see any other purpose for their trip than skill building. They start the landing procedure just where I am, and do pretty well surfing the bathtub on the beach close to my waiting kayak. I am already on my legs, interrupted by eating breakfast, as I worry they might surf into my kayak, but all is good. The two maybe forte-year old lads hop out with a big grin, and I give them my thumb up.
They walk up the beach, but soon, a wave catches the nutshell and one is running after it. They decide to better launch again, which gives me a lot of laughter. I help pushing in. The second guy jumps on in the breakers with headfirst and legs sticking out for a long time before he can organza is limbs just to have to jump out again before the tub almost capsizes. They both have to stand in the shallow breakers, straighten the boat out and jump back on in the same head-diving style. Finally, they make it over the mellow outer break, and I start launching myself with the tub in a safe place.
Another Navy guy shows up out of nothing, and gives me a hand for the final water push, thanks! I can easily wait the mellow confused breakers out to have a safe launch. The boys in their nutshell take it as an invitation for a race, but they soon have to realize a sea kayak has some advantage over a bathtub with two single blades. I head straight out to give the extensive point reef break a wide berth.
My ambitious goal is another fifty kilometers to El Astillero. My body hurts everywhere, but the muscle cramps are thankfully gone. The sky feels like lead and connects seamless with the horizon, when the wind which came with the morning rain calms out. Despite no sun, it feels hot this morning without breeze. It makes paddling with my sore body even more tough. I use my sponge to dunk it frequently into the water and put it on my head to have a constant somewhat cooling shower dripping down my body. But besides filling the cockpit, it does not cool me down much. I finally do what I usually scare to do – jumping into the water for a bath. A captain should never abandon a floating ship offshore, but I do and get a slight but of refreshing feeling. Water temperatures are about the same as the air, maybe twenty-five to twenty-seven degrees Celsius and feel like a bathtub.
I successfully climb back in, and have to sponge my kayak out once more. At the horizon, I see a boat following me in a far distance all morning, and realize this must be my today’s escort boat. These guys prefer to stay far away from me, likely to fish in peace. At some point, they come closer for a wave, but speed off far ahead of me for more fishing – I assume. Not sure when or if they would realize if I might be in trouble. But as I am always self-dependent, I feel fine and do not count on any support. They would not be able to protect me from that one and only high-speed fishing boat passing my way, but almost running me over, I HATE it when they are so fast that the raised bow blocks the view of the driver! I have waved with my paddle for attention, but still I cannot avoid being passed high-speed only a few meters to my side. I accordingly send them the middle finger and a loud “F…You”
I fight tiredness, aching muscles, heat, and boredom as the straight beach has not much to offer to see. I am also quite offshore to avoid any unexpected outer reef break. I try an audio book, but my choice is so boring I switch back to music. It keeps me going today, but not digging in deep like yesterday. Maybe I overdid it the first day. I occasionally sing to stay awake, and know this is the second and last day of a boring long straight coast. When I survive today, it becomes much more interesting wit cliffs and small sheltered beaches for easy landing, thank goodness.
At some point, I realize my envisioned landing at El Astillero might be tough to reach before sunset, and I also yearn to shorten the day. I keep a constant eye on the shore surf, but around high tide, I do not dare to go in anywhere. But I spot some boats on shore in the distance, and some extensive reef rocks. Will there be a sheltered landing? I need to check this out, and my hopes are up to go in safely, but a bit premature. On the satellite images, I have not seen this option. I get ready with the usual procedure to don the PFD and helmet, unhook my bow line from my spray deck and the leash from my paddle, and stow all items away from y deck like speaker, phone and GPS. I slowly but surely near the landing inside the reefs, and see there is no break until shore. I wave at some people at the beach, and hope to get their attention for a hand on my final landing. It seems to work, a man guides me to the best reef gap, and after carefully checking the incoming waves, with some strong paddle strokes, wash up the steep beach. It amazingly has no breaker, but quite some waterpower. Thankfully, two men catch my bow and hold my kayak to jump out without getting sucked back. Thanks, guys!
I successfully landed at a typical fishing camp with ten boats and shacks, and the locals greet and treat me well. After introducing myself and explaining my mission, I get a shady campsite under a tree between the boast and shacks. The women even rake the sandy spot free of leaves and trash, very friendly. I have a bucket shower in privacy to rinse off the saltwater, very much appreciated. They even put up a chair for me. Communications in Spanglish work all right, especially when a young local man with a surfboard shows up, speaking well English. I point out the Navy boat offshore, but as we cannot communicate with the soldiers, I am not sure what they now plan to do.
I am already laying down in my tent for my well-needed rest, when I hear an engine on the beach. I briefly peep out with half an open eye under the boat parked next to my tent to see the Navy boat on the beach, held by the locals under control in the surf. No, I am already asleep – I will not get up and out again. I am safe and need my rest. They see reason and my closed eyes and leave me in peace.
The free-running pigs and chicken in camp also stay away from me, thank goodness, as a friendly face of a fat old boar sticking his nose into my tent would be new to me. I am more used to polar bears recently.
The night falls early at five-thirty, and has twelve long hours which is good for my recovery. I will split the last distance to San Juan del Sur, where Susanna and John will be waiting for me, in two days. There are a choice of magnificent bays with beaches on my way, and I will pick one for going snorkeling and enjoying my afternoon after maybe thirty kilometers. I deserve it!