Loc: Caleta Lomitas Muro
Dist: 50,5 km
Start: 6:00 End: 15:35
Estimated landing: Bahia Indepencia
Estimated starting time: Right after sunrise
Estimated landing time: Well before sunset
This morning was time to leave this friendly place – the surf looked all right. I picked rather the last gap between the rocks for launching, as the distance to the breaker was much shorter – but it had some current on paddling out.
Peter got launched first with mutual effort to hold the boat in the surge until there was a lull. It had a small corner break to paddle past, once behind this, you were free. But the corner break was almost all the time there, even on a general lull…
Peter just hit one the last end, and then simply paddled out in unbroken water.
I was by myself, and actually the most tricky situation was to hold the kayak in the surge with the bit of side current. I was too far in too early, and was struggling a bit to keep the kayak where I wanted it. When I thought it was good to go, I jumped on, but caught the small corner break and got slightly side broached toward the last rocks…I just about not scratched along the wall, got free, and paddled out.
But my timing was less perfect than Peter’s launch, I had to let a moderate wave breaking in front of me, and once over it, I saw a HUGE one piling up – oh shit! I had my spray deck still open, and was half full of water already from the small unwanted side broach… 🙁
Quickly closing the deck was too late, so I opted to punch forward and possibly through, knowing if it would throw me, I’d very likely have to bail out, the open deck not giving me enough hold in the kayak – but luckily I just made it over the crest with a lot of water spray in my face from the just starting to break wave. Just about…but I was out of the danger zone now!
I was sitting in a cockpit half full of water, and this is when my electrical pump comes in handy 🙂 I paddled up to Peter, who was waiting out in the safe area for me, and we cleared our boats and equipment before we started the day.
It was muggy and no wind in the morning, only between 8 and 9 am it was breezing up a bit. Then it was low to no wind again, and the sea calmed down even more by the hour.
As we knew the landing at Caleta Lomitas wouldn’t be a sheltered one, we were really hoping the surf goes down and down…when we arrived and made a huge dogleg around the rocks, it was at least obvious it was not as flat a beach we had in Puerto Caballas. It looked actually not too bad, but the fat dumper you see only being quite close…
So I saw a bunch of huge breakers coming in, breaking with a big spray in the now since 2 pm strong wind, which we had in our face, having turned into the Caleta. The wind is definitively hindering on landing on such a surfy beach, as you can’t sprint that fast, and the spray off the crest makes it also look uglier than it might be…
But it *was* ugly…still I saw the big ones coming in, paddled faster, let a few moderate ones break in front of me, and eventually sprinted in even faster on the back of a low one, still with lots of spray in my face. But I got in with not much problem apart from a pounding heart on the adrenalin rush..
I dragged my kayak up, out of the wide surge zone and was watching Peter. But he also was timing it great, and paddled in with just a small high brace. All well!!!!! Thank goodness…
Caleta Lomitas is actually a small holiday village with a bunch of reasonable looking new wooden houses for about 4-6 persons each. A few dead seals were unfortunately littering the beach, poor guys…but we found a good place to camp in front of an empty holiday house.
Now we just have to launch through that stuff tomorrow morning, and ugly surf landings may be finished for a while… let’s hope it’s a bit down tomorrow! I’m quite worn tonight from the stressful launch and landing, plus a roughish sea with bad visibility made me close to sea sick…