Loc: behind Los Dolores
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 35,8 km
Start: 06:20 End: 15:50
El Norte was supposed to be still blowing with 20-25 knots in gusts, and we got up very early to make the best of the day. We planned to refill water at the small village of San Evaristo, but wondered if someone would be still around to help us that early?
One small boat was leaving the bay, but many more were still at the beach. Plus six sailboats anchoring in the bay. The village has dirt road access, and a desalination plant and is still rather a fishing village than serving tourists. Still, one building said “restaurant”, and a small shop was also supposed to be there.
We waved at the first soul we spotted at 7.20 am, Augustino was already up and happy to fill our water bags out of his freshwater barrel for a few pesos. This job went quickly and smoothly, and we decided to push on for a bit until the strong wind would kick in like yesterday.
We were hopping around small windy headlands into the next sheltered bay, and actually had not much to suffer. Some headlands were it bit more breezy, lightly lumpy and required some more work, others were tiny and easy. We made slow to moderate progress and were watching the open water for developing white caps. But it happened nothing any more like yesterday, it was maybe just about 15-17 knots maximum. Enough to work a bit, not enough to stop for us. We had a few beach breaks but always decided to push on. The wind got rather less than stronger, and even a long stretch of exposed very high cliffs didn’t bother us too much. Elizabeth paddles happy in headwinds with her good stroke sits safely in some waves, and I barely have to wait for her. All good!
When it came to picking a landing beach, we were just out of the channel between Isla San José, and some small swell became noticeable on the more westerly coast and created some baby surf upfront the tiny settlement of Los Dolores. Despite our decision that the next sandy beach after the exposed cliff section would be ours, Elizabeth felt like rather avoiding any surf and we aimed for a beach pointing more northwards. But the one looking good from the distance seemed to have also a house on it, and I pointed out an area with sand to our left WITH some surf – but really low and absolutely doable. Elizabeth saw it as a good chance to learn how my kayak handles in some surf waves, and we decided to go in. I landed first with some light side broach, then cam Elizabeth and just did fine.
But we realized the camping up the beach might demand a bit of rock moving and landscaping, so we guessed we give it another training run out and 100 m down the coast in again to a smooth looking spot? Elizabeth was all game and paddled out again fine. The surf landing a bit further down was also easy and good training. But the camping here was also requiring some rock moving…no big deal. We had fun!
A pelican kept us close company, maybe spoiled by some fishermen gutting their fish after landing. We rather had the guts to jump into the low surf for a longer swim. So nice! The next days will be low wind, and just a pleasure to paddle. Life is good!