Fri 06/03-2020 Day 496

Pos: 28.5835,-111.7622

Loc: long beach
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 37,9 km
Start: 7:05 End: 16:00
The first day paddling with Marg! We had ideal conditions for someone in a new kayak, calm water low winds, sunshine, warm water, not too hot, not too chilly…
Marg felt pretty comfortable in my kayak, and we started with cutting 7 km over the Bahia Kino bay. This coast just wasn’t exciting enough, and the bay was deep. Marg developed a good feeling for the boat and new for her wing paddle pretty soon and could keep a reasonable speed as much as Elizabeth had.
We were positively surprised about the next stretch of beaches mixed with granite rocks, white and clean, just nice! We discovered some red fenced areas, and found out this was the big trash dump on each beach! Nice effort, it almost works. These beaches seem to be very popular in the high season in Bahia Kino, and it seems like there are tourist boat shuttles going back and forth instead of having easy road access. On driving, one would need to give the bay inlet a wide berth and drive through these fields one sees on the satellite image about which we were not sure if they are pure salt pans, or if they are also doing agriculture. There were a bunch of greenhouses to see, but more wide-open fields with seawater irrigation access through artificial channels.
We had two stops on the white beaches and found two dried out turtles. The bottom shell was still on the top shell. At least I learned now that that strange white piece of bone in “antler shape” I found a few days earlier was half a bottom bone of a turtle. Those other pieces one sees frequently on the beaches looking like a small white flat and curved log with a tip looking like a petrified Aloe Vera plant piece are dried and bleached top shell turtle mosaic pieces.
The next stop was on a huge white double layer sand dune! The only tourist boat of the day was anchoring upfront the really huge barren white dune. We had to climb up there…and up we went on a decent sloped path on the side. On the top, we felt we were in a skiing area…more white dune tops everywhere, and on top of the highest one, we saw a group of youngsters likely dumped by the tourist boat practicing more or less successful sandboarding. We had a magnificent view over the sunny calm sea area, and surely were tempted to run down this high steep sandy dune…
We did, and it was so nice! The sand was loose, and running down was a mixture of trampoline and moonwalk. The loose sand braced our steps on the steep sloping dune nicely. Then the shit almost happened…the last quarter of the dune in the same steepness had a harder surface, my front velcro closed straps of one of my sandals opened while the ankle strap stayed on, my left sandal flipped backward, I couldn’t brace my steps as good anymore on the harder sand surface, I almost stumbled over my backflipped sandal, and my speed on running downhill increased…I had to concentrate and set my steps in highspeed and long-distance not to fall over…thank goodness I did not, as the harder sand area ran out in a flat sandy-rocky area…
That could have ended badly! Anybody in less control of the body movements would have…ok, I survived.
We were waiting for the group of youngsters would be sandboarding downhill on this steep slope, but it didn’t look like anyone was able or allowed to even walk down here…
We paddled up and into the first irrigation canal, which had breakwaters to each side. It was interesting to watch two cranes working on making the canal deeper and wider. We climbed another dune to have a better overview of the area, but couldn’t really figure out the system and what they were doing or rather growing here.
Next came some fishing shacks insight, and we decided to stop for lunch there. I was wondering already for a longer time about a man-shaped figure standing motionless on a smaller dune a bit away from the shacks, but as the shape didn’t move at all for maybe fifteen minutes or such, we guessed it must be some tarp rest wrapped around a pole or such. I was joking the shape is looking like Darth Vader…and suddenly Darth Vader was moving after so long being petrified! We were giggling in being frightened of this weird figure suddenly coming alive in an area with some shacks, but no boat was to be seen…the shacks turned out to be a small desalination plant, and the figure was obviously the maintenance person. He probably was watching us in the same way – could that be that I see two kayaks coming up the coast? As we were still living up to our “Darth Vader coming alive” vision, we quickly paddled on, although I finally waved to the man who came down to the beach and was probably just very keen to talk to us…but we still decided to paddle down the coast to have lunch in a secure distance to “Darth Vader”
We had eggs with some spicy sauce, cheese, avocado, kiwi and earlier on pineapple…life on a trip could be worse! Another curious dune climb to see the hinterland made us spotting the lonely “Darth Vader” again…and we quickly paddled on LOL!
The dunes showed some more or less old irrigation openings, but only one was as accessible as our fist one. Another one had breakwaters, but they had blocked with a sand wall the ditch behind they were working on. Quite a fancy house was towering over this entrance. Strange place to live…
Our final campsite was located under some construction high on top of the dunes we had to check out also after our dip in the warm water. It was a fancy concrete base and well-tile-covered long dinner table, under a framework of solid poles connected with a solid wire rope. It looked like an old party tent area of the workers of the salt fields. Marg abused it as a yoga table, and I looked around with my binoculars. Those strange salt pans or greenhouse area was huge. One fishing boat operated just upfront in our camp, and I saw two others further up the beach at a fishing camp. Did they see us skinny dipping?