Fri 13/09-2013 Day 504

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Red mangrove roots in crystal clear water

 

Snorkeled my lungs off!

Pos: here
Loc: Cayo del Sur
Acc: tent
Dist: 30,7 km
Start: 6:10 End: 14:00

Ashley and Dayana unloaded their boats this morning – an imported Tiderace and a self made copy – and escorted me for about an hour out of Chichirevice. This early almost no boats were out doing the taxi job – what a relief! And a safety issue… we paddled relaxed almost to Cayo Sombrero together, until they had to turn around to feed the baby. It was a great stay with all the people in the holiday house, I learned a lot about Venezuela, thanks! You are always welcome in Germany!

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Ashley and Dayana escorting me out of Chichirevice. Thanks!

 

The distance to Puerto Cabello where my next hosts Christian and Cesar are waiting for me, is about 70 km, so I split it in two days. The distance to my night spot on Cayon del Sur was not too great, the sea and wind calm, and I paddled through the beautiful National Park! Islands with beaches and mangrove channels allover, in these early morning hours fortunately nowhere very busy. Around 9 am, I got an idea again about what it can be like when I turned into the main inner channel to have a look…but I turned after the next gap quickly outside again. Mangrove channels are not very interesting anyway, and floating over a colorful outer reef is much nicer. I watched the populated beaches getting crowded, but didn’t stop on any of those. I rather checked a lonely offshore beach and thought I might go snorkeling already, but better delayed it to the probably more pretty reefs and maybe cleaner beaches around those two outer Cays where I planned to spend the night. I have no problem with wet clothes in these temperatures, but I hate wet hair!

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No lack of white sandy beaches with crystal clear water in the Morrocay National park!

 

The paddle across was easy, I actually couldn’t paddle that slow not to arrive too early to maybe run into people or sweat too long in my tent.
Getting closer, Cayo del Medio looked like it had a pretty reef and beach in a circle, but it is a flooded trash bay with a very narrow beach without campsite. No way I snorkel here! What a shame for such a pretty place… I decided to snorkel on the offshore reef which had floating buoys for mooring boats, probably a good place. It was not too bad! Many fish, but not many pretty corals. But good to have a look! From the kayak you see the reefs, but barely fish, even when it’s calm and clear.

Cayo del Sur had a white shiny beach, but also a three boats anchoring and a bunch of beach people enjoying their day. I decided to snorkel with the fresh breeze now to the small beach on the small Cayo del “Sur Sur”, dragging my kayak on the bow line tied around my waist behind me, ok, rather I got dragged by the kayak blown along in the breeze. But no camping possible on the sandy narrow beach, so paddling back to the Cayo del Sur,

I found one free spot in the bushes, a bit hidden and shady and a bit off the main tip where the big boats can anchor and with all the beach people, and decided to snorkel until everyone was gone…well, my snorkel stamina was shorter than their beach life stamina, and I put up my tent already, but without anyone coming up to me. I just need my peace and privacy at night and simply don’t like to be watched and to answer the same questions all day. Probably contrary to the local habits as people obviously love crowded beach life and are talking a lot!

Around 5 pm all boats and people went home, but I didn’t check if the sandy spit was really empty as once in my tent, I don’t go out any more. Why? Moskitos en masse…this morning Ashley still wanted to tell me the mosquitoes have a “schedule” only biting in early morning and early night, but the ones being after German blood are having a feast on me all day once I hit the beaches. I already put on my long pants and neoprene socks additionally to my hooded shirt on my first snorkel, against the bugs on shore and also against the sun. The local beach people probably thought this was a very strange person, as they were all in bikinis and shorts. Are the bugs fed up with local blood? These guys also were sitting in the shade of the bushes, and me? I just went into the obvious campsite in the bush, and got stung multiple into my face, the only bare spot on my body besides the hands.

So full masquerade until the tent was up, the necessary shower done as quickly and in the wind as possible. No way I’d deal here with living only with a hammock…rather sweating a bit than being a continuous mosquito victim.

7 comments on “Fri 13/09-2013 Day 504

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Frances Price

As Karen says, there are hammocks that completely surround you in roomy comfort, protecting you from critters the same way as a tent. Having one along for this leg of your adventure certainly could make your life ashore easier. Happy paddling!

Glenn Wilkes

Plan for the times when your present options a) mangrove b) offshore island won’t exist. Also when the “beach” is not sand but mud. While you may be able to set up a tent on the “beach”, there won’t be any means of washing it before stowing it in the kayak.

Glenn Wilkes

Your penchant for black is part of your “mosquito attraction”. Mosquito traps are always wrapped in black. Bear in mind that the hammock option is not only to have a cooler camp but also for where there simply is no place to pitch a tent, but plenty trees to hang a hammock i.e mangrove. If you’re going with the alternative of sleeping in the kayak, you’ll still need a plan for mosquito protection of whatever is exposed, assuming there isn’t enough room to slouch down into the kayak and use it like a tent. A broad-rimmed hat with a mosquito-netting bag could work, but bear in mind they’ll be able to suck you through the mesh if it’s in contact with your skin.

Karen

Sounds like fun snorkeling.
There are tents that hang like Hammocks now. The “Sea Kayaker” did a review of some; Alpha by Treez Tree Tents; and Deep Jungle Asym Zip by Hennessy Hammock.
Sleep well.

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