Acc: Cristian and Ignacia’s home
Dist: 53,8 km
Start: 8:45 End: 18:45
Ick bün all dor...
(Low German, from “Der Hase und der Igel” – meaning “Hehehe, I am already there…”)
Sorry, landing in Quintay as planned was impossible today…will write more tomorrow.
“Official” arrival as planned in Valparaiso Thursday around noon on the position above.
Now – how was that day? Forecast was massive 4 m+ swell, but low winds in the morning. In the afternoon, winds around 12 knots. I could paddle that! Conveniently in the morning, with a bit more chop on top of the big swell in the afternoon…
But I was actually not really planning to paddle also in the afternoon. I was supposed to paddle only 20 km to Quintay, where Rodrigo told me would be a “safe” old whaler’s village landing spot…but what is “safe” in 4 meters swell?
I saw already on Algarrobo’s beach this morning getting out is more tricky than yesterday’s easy getting in on 2,5 meters swell. I had to cut diagonal through a narrow gap of unbroken waves and had to obviously follow two red buoys, which were marking the channel, I assumed, where “most likely” were no breakers. On “normal” days…today, there was no one on the water!
I had to wait a bit until the heavy morning fog was lifting, and once I thought I could go the young local Navy officer in Algarrobo where my kayak was stored at the Capitania court didn’t want to let my kayak out of the fenced area! He had to make a bunch of phone calls to get his own personal “ok” to let me go. My god!!!! No action without a chain of officials to reinsure him…
I launched well through the channel, and once off the coast, the swell was BIG, but no problem to paddle. I was just wondering about the landing…
Coming around the headland into Rada Quintay, I realized already due to the breakers, the narrow beach open to the north may be not possible to land on today – but I had my Plan “B”. The breakers around the entrance were so scary and I guessed I thought I saw huge waves rolling into the beach also.
I quickly made my decision – no way to land here! And kept on paddling another 30 km toward Valparaiso. Daylight for this distance was enough! I notified on calling my boyfriend Peter about my changed plans, and he emailed the Navy to forward my new plan to the relevant places. But still some other Navy office started to miss me at some point! Too many men working on one women…
We were requesting no “official” reception, as the “official” arrival was scheduled for tomorrow around noon, with a bunch of press and other efforts. I’ll make an “official” arrival tomorrow!
I obviously had to paddle now into the afternoon’s wind, but once I was around the two long jutting out north western points and into the Bahia Laguna Verde, the water, which was on top of the big swell very choppy reflecting back from the steep cliffs, became a little calmer. Thank goodness…But I had now the wind and swell directly from behind, and occasionally got surfed down with more than 20 km/hr! But it was not really breaking, and got more and more calmer approaching Punta Angeles.
I called Peter again about two hours before my estimated arrival at 4.30 pm, to get in touch with my host Cristian Araneda, if he’d be already available tonight to pick me up. Yes, he was! I was planning to either land on the small beach before the harbor, or to paddle into the harbor.
No beach in any Caleta was a landing option today. I turned around the headland into the Bahia de Valparaiso, and the water became calm, just a swell rest was moving up and down.
Cristian was calling me on my cell phone just after Punta Angeles, and told me he was on a safe beach past the harbor, where I could easily land. Ok……I wanted to be polite and to see where he was. As he had no GPS position, but only sent me a link to his position, I first couldn’t read it on my phone, and he was calling me frequently 12-15 times to guide me to his spot. Time was proceeding on all those calls, and once I was paddling past a huge Navy boat anchoring outside the harbor, the Navy harbor authorities started to also call me three times about my whereabouts…I tried to make them understand a friend was waiting for me on some beach, but I didn’t know where yet…
I should not have my phone on on the water, as I can’t make progress in this way and paddle safely! But water was calm in the bay, just it got later and later…
Eventually, I was reaching the beach where Cristian was waiting for me all across the bay of Valparaiso, and soon realized surely this one was a very steep dumping beach! The wash up was about ten meters – too dangerous to land!
He guided me to a staircase on a metal jetty where he guessed I could land, but sorry, I have a heavy loaded carbon fiberboat, and no empty plastic boat to drag it up here on the swell moving up and down the sharp edged staircase!
I told Cristian, sorry, I need to paddle the 2 km back into the harbor! See you there! Cristian eventually got in touch with the harbor authorities, and I saw they eventually sent out a fast zodiac patrol boat to findme and to guide me in. But the driver was powering in high speed from his spot out to the false beach, close to the shore, and surely I was cutting directly across the 2 km to the port entrance…! I let them go, if he is rather speeding along than *looking* out for me – well…he came also back at highest speed, and even more close to the shore.
It eventually turned dark, and this magnificent red sky sunset including the beautifully to watch increasing city lights of Valparaiso rewarded me for all the hazard about getting guided to a beach not possible to land on!
At the harbor entrance lighthouse, I called the Navy on channel 16, and the patrol boat eventually found me and guided me in. Thanks!
The landing was a concrete harbor wall staircase…in today’s condition still the water was moving up and down about a meter! Nothing for me and my kayak, sorry!
I decided to do a detour via the big zodiac rubber boat – I was landing on it, we pulled up the boat, and the zodiac pulled up to the harbor wall where we could push the kayak over to helpful Navy officer hands! This was eventually working all right.
No big arrival buzz, and I was quite happy about it after this stressful last paddling day in biggest seas!
Cristian was taking me home to his fancy apartment in Vina del Mar, where his wife Ignacia was already having a nice dinner ready, and I could relax a bit. Thanks! A lot of press work is waiting for tomorrow!