Fri 02/09-2011 Day 4

No crocodile - just an old wreck...

Pos: here
Loc: Punta Indio
Acc: tent
Dist: 10km
Start: 8:45 End: 12:30

This day was as stupis as it can be…woke in the morning not feeling well rested again after the tough headwind paddle yesterday, and told myself I’ll paddle only 30 km to Punta Piedras, and then call it a day already before heading into the big Bay of Samborombon, which provides few resonable landing spots.

The night the wind was howling around my tent, as it breezed up last night quite a bit. I was quite unsure if I should go, having 25 solid knots right onshore from the side…but the water looked allright and calm, it was shallow, and I sensed the wind was a tad bit from behind, so what’s the problem?

The problem was that I delayed my start due to the planned short day, and somehow didn’t realize that eventually the tide plays up quite a bit!Where I could easily land last night with just dragging the boast a bit through shallow water, there was already a stretch of dry sand exposed, which I thought was easy to drag the boat over. Thought, and done, boat sat on the last sand bank (what I thought), I picked my heavy gear bags and started loading on the sandbank’s edge.

This alone took already longer due to the howling 25kn winds and my lack of my ususal energie. So the remaining water still looked “wet” enough to at least easily drag the boat half afloat out, even fully loaded…but it was not. I had to drag the heavy boat in my usual “crab walk” style (dragging the baot on the cockpit forward, boat between my legs) across about 300 m of way too load water to get it at least half afloat…so another wast of the small energy of today, for about 45 min. And all in quite chilly 25 kn onshore winds blowing right on my ass under the spray skirt :-)…

Eventually I was free afloat, but my feet were frozen. Where was the warmish water from yesterday gone? I jumped in the boat, ass and feet wet and cold, and was happy to cover my lower body part with the spray skirt to get at least the ass back to warmth again.

Then the paddling…either shallowest water, barely afloat, but reasonable calm, or constantly rolling low surf, every three seconds getting a full wash from the side. The further out, the deeper, the higher the breakers. I preferred a mix of very low water and small breakers. Had to get out (and cold) again about four times to drag the boat free.

But at least the 25 kn winds proved what I sensed – it was rather pushing than breaking me down. But paddling in such shallow water “sucks” the boat to the ground, that I barels made 5,5 km/h, which was allright for that effort.

But at 12.30 I was fed up again with shoveling liquid mud, it felt like with each flat paddle stroke I was stirring a cup of milk coffee. I spotted some civilisation to the right, and thought maybe I better may refill some water there in case I’d stay longer…
But as it was basically low tide, I was happy to see in front of Punta Indioo some area which seemed deep enough to get at least dragging the boat half afloat to shore. It looked like an old harbor site, which it was. So harbor – deeper water, I sensed, which was basically right.

But it was not deep enough…got stuck about 300m before the shore. Ok, unloading, and a quick walk through the shallow leftover water, maybe twice, then the boat is light enough to drag it even over sand.

I started walking, one heavy gear bag on each side of the shoulders as usual to stay in balance. I sesed I’d be back in a few minutes and was so stupid to leave the hatches opn, the lids tied “securely” to a string to the boat, I thought…

After about 100 m I stepped first time not into solid sandy ground, as I was used to the last kilometers, but the leftover water covered ankle deep mud on top of the sand. Not that I don’t know such stuff from home…

But I wanted to be done, and thought “This can’t be that bad!” until the ankle deep mud on top of the sand turned into knee deep mud. All with ehavy gearbags on each shoulder, it was just a matter of time until I lost balance and fell into the shallow water. Plus my sandals and over boots liked to be stuck in the mud, so I had to peel them off and out, and continued with my thick neoprene socks to have at least soem feet protection. they stayed in place, thanks goodness!

But my gear bags are not water proof, thought most of my gear was securely covered in brand new Seal Line dry bags. Most of the gear…besides the “last minute filling the corners stuffings”…

I had to brace myself on each side onto the gear bags, to be able with lots of effort to make my way step by step through the mud towards the shore. Gear bags soaked, all dry bags covered with mud, plus the odd piece of gear soaked as well – like my pile of promo cards… 🙁

But eventually, after maybe an hour or such, I was high and dry on sand again, and fully knackered. But after a while I started to at least spread out the most important pieces to dry, like my jacket packed lose, but luckily was not really soaked.

I was watching a person walking on the soon all dry sandbank towards the water’s edge, searching for something which may be exposed by the newly low tide. He was walking towards my left behind boat, and I thought it was time to show back presence at my kayak property.

And yes, I was so clever to take a detour on almost solid sand towards my boat…when we eventually met up almost at my kayak, my lack of Spanish knowledge proved again to be a problem. But the young man eventually understood I was about to head in and not out, and offered to help to drag my boat to the shore. Thanks goodness, I thought, soon we are done!

Arriving at the kayak, my heart sank to the bottom of my body – the “securely tied to the kayak” back hatch cover was GONE! Gone by the 25 kn onshore wind and rest of the river water…quite a shock. The young man and I started to search immediately in different directions for about 30 min, but we couldn’t find it…FUCK! SHIT! It must be somewhere!

But now we rather started to rescue the now very high and dry sitting kayak, I unloaded my second set of bags, shouldered them and the friendly young man dragged my now light boat over the sand towards the shore.
He was probably wondering why I made quite a detour with the gear bags…as I managed to almost not sink in, following my more clever path back to the boat.

The young man made his way in a direct line, better than my first time, but still dragging and shoveling heavily. Muchas gracias!

I was eventually back to the shore, and saw him waving with something white – my back hatch!!!! It was not that far away, and in a different direction than we were searching. I shouted a loud “Yippeah!” or such, and helped him th erest of the way dragging.

Now it was laundry time…washing all dry bags and gear bags in a leftover shallow mud puddle…better than no water, and it became reasonable clean. What an effort…but still not done. Gear spread out on some concrete ruins, leftovers of the old harbor site, and the kayak needed to be dragged to the old launching ramp another 300m to the side. At least over dry sand…

Eventually the baot was there, I collected my almost dry and almost clean gear, carried all to the launch ramp, put up the tent, and fell back full knackered now for at least 10 min.

But I was curious about the internet connection I found on my cell phone, and stared my laptop with the sim card. Well, it took about 10 min to get my emails on my computer, too long, as I had to be outside higher up to get at least some reception.
For the icing of the cake I dropped my remote controlled mouse into a water puddle…

Zappenduster für heute, I stared to drawl into my tent to get soem warm feet and ate an apple.

I had to wake again out of my brief nap to write this update…taking time away from my rest, but it’s quite a pleasure to be able to write longer emails at night – provided you have batterie power on bot laptop and sat phone to send it off!

Good night! See what tomorrow brings…at least it should be hight tide around 6am.

26 comments on “Fri 02/09-2011 Day 4

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Paul Fretter

Glad I stumbled across your adventure. I along with many i am sure intend to be with you in spirit at the end of each day (at least those days you will have the energy/desire to blog). I look forward to briefly being taken away from my land locked state to your strip of the coast before I turn the lights out 🙂

Good luck


Mauricio (Uruguay)

Go Freya go, thanks for your email, what a day!! See Andres Coment for Bahia de samborombon, go carefully! Have a nice day tomorrow!

Andre M

I just “discovered” you two weeks ago or so, but I see you have an Icom VHF. Apparently, the third terminal corrodes like hell in those things, even if one is using an Aquapac.

It’s a well-known problem on Icoms on various kayak forums, so make sure to check the third (middle) terminal often as it can leave you without a functioning VHF when you most need it.

I hope someone will forward this to you:

Here’s an example:

Good luck and may the winds be on your back

claudio coto

Hi Freya. Nice story, thanks for the details, you’re really lucky of finding the hatch again. I’m glad the people helps you.
Please, take into account the comments of Andres Koch. Bahia Samborombon, is very tricky, I was there, and if you don’t go to the coast with water it’s impossible, you have knee mud at least..for a hundred meters. So, look at the tide carefully.
Just not to waste so much energy in this..

GOOD LUCK, and enjoy…we are enjoying with you too.


so ein pech! aber solche tage gibts, gbt auch bald wieder positivere anlandungen, die nicht mehr energie verzehren als der ganze paddeltag.dann heisst es wieder : vamoz a la playa !war maln musikhit, oder so !

Jorge Poletilo

Hallo Freya! Übersetze mit dem Google die Vorschläge von Andres Koch. Er ist ein Kenner von San Borombón. Wenn du diese Vorschläge nicht nachfolgst kannst du bis zur Taille im Match stecken bleiben. Es wird schlimmer.
Andres war der erste in Argentinien der uns, vor einigen Monaten, von deinem Trip erzaehlte.
Gruss und viel Spass mit dem Match. Es ist gesund für die Haut!!


Make you dream of a nice day in the office! 😉

By the way: if comments need translating: just copy that section, go to an explore page and type translate into the addressbar, select the languages involved and paste into the big window, and bingo.

Por cierto: si los comentarios necesidad de traducir: sólo tienes que copiar esa sección, ir a explorar una página y el tipo se traducen en la addressbar, seleccione los idiomas involucrados y pegarlo en la ventana grande, y bingo.

Und fuer’s Deutsche: kopiere den Kommentar, geh zum Explorer und schreibe translate in die Adressenleiste, waehle die betreffenden Sprachen aus und: bingo.

Meike Michalik

Was für ein Tag, aber mir scheint, Du hast ihn gut überstanden.
Für morgen alles Gute,hoffe auf eine hohe Flut damit du gut raus und rein kommst 🙂
Bewundere Deine Energie
Gruss Meike

Lamentablemente mi ingles es muy malo, necesito traductor para comprenderlo.
La Bahía de Samborombon es mi zona, la he navegado varias veces, es bastante complicada.


hell of a day! but you`re a tough woman! keep going and good luck tomorrow.

(Seems that Andrés advice is a good one, let us know if you need any help with translations)

Desde este punto hasta Punta Rasa te encontrarás con este mismo problema en toda la Bahía de Samborombón, pero con fondo MUUUUCHO más blando, pudiendote quedar enterrada hasta la cintura si no sigues algunos consejos.
Solo se puede ingresar a aguas abiertas con marea alta, y volver a tierra en linea perpendicular a la costa en los puntos que anteriormente te indiqué como buenos puntos de acampada, siempre calculando la salida CON marea alta.
Segun los pescadores de la zona, debes calcular ese momento sumandoles entre 2 y 3 horas sobre pleamar de la tabla de marea de San Clemente del Tuyu (Muelle). Intentar desembarcar en la Bahía en otro momento es IMPOSIBLE.
La amplitud de marea para el sábado y domingo es bastante grande, el viento rotará al E-SSE, lo que puede incrementar esta amplitud, permitiendote desembarcar sin problemas, pero pudiendo dificultarse la zona de acampada por agua crecida.
No pretendo ser pesimista, sino orientarte en la ayuda que precisarás para superar la Bahía. Consulta tambien a los pescadores embarcados de la zona.
En la bahía perderás señal del teléfono móvil local, cuida las baterias.
Andrés Koch

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