Left Cayenne with mixed emotions…
Loc: Pointe Behague
Acc: on my kayak on the mud
Dist: 48 km
Start: 6:35 End: 17:15
Emmanuelle was so nice to drive me from Eric and Christina’s house in darkness to the clubhouse. She was no real early bird, but better than my hosts who were out dancing the carnival last night…thanks a lot to all of them looking so nicely after me!
My kayak was dried out from glueing the cockpit rim back in, but I had to sand a few sharp edges quickly before loading. My gear bags were filled to the maximum, food for maybe 4 weeks and 44 l of water for 11+ days. What a heavy barge! But it really fits all in there, plus tent and hammock. No fat sleeping bag or shoes though necessary here.
Crossing the river behind Cayenne already worried me a bit, but as the tide went down, it was not to bad actually, just a bit choppy in the main current. A big huge mud flat was then to negotiate, going wide out with the running out tide. No time to get stuck here! I noticed when the tide was running in now, I made better speed than before, and took that advantage in the afternoon to even cross the big river Approuage. There was no real beach on this end, and on the other end? Surely nothing also, so I’ll see where I’ll end up tonight! Two fishing boats were probably wondering what I was up to, but I left them in good distance.
I spotted a small river mouth on the other side with a nice green bank, should that be accessible grass? I came nearer, paddled on high tide across some low mangrove fields, and realized this was whatever green, but not walkable, just probably also mangroves in a young dense state. But in there inside the river, just one hundred meter further, there was some higher forest? Just paddle deeper in, and find at least some hammock trees? Well, basically I was thinking right, but at what cost? Millions of bugs all around, and the forest flooded in whatever depths, I didn’t even try. It just sounded so eerie already, the low surf inside the forest, and it was soon getting dark…not a good place here!
I rather decided to stay in the entrance on a soon drying muddy open mangrove bank in the fresh wind with few bugs, just on top of my kayak. I floated around, tied to a pole, in the main current for a while, until I felt it was more than an hour after high tide and I could just paddle up an almost dry mangrove bank now. Not that I’d not be able to get off again tomorrow morning…horrible thought! I showered briefly and changed into dry clothing, covered with my wind breaker. This was already a good start! I rolled out my sleeping pad on top of the cockpit cover, reinforced with the spray deck, and had a pretty comfortable platform to sleep. I wrapped myself into my rescue blanket, got my bug net on my head, and my head on a water bag as a pillow, and tried to catch some sleep.
Physically I could rest well, but mentally? What was lying ahead? How many nights in such way I had to endure? Could I get off the mud bank tomorrow again? I should have better kept a rope to the near by pole in the current…at some point my water bag pillow rolled on the mud, yuck! Grabbed another one…unwrapping again, unwrapping again for a pee…and one or the other naughty bug found it’s way under my net and on my sprayed hands… so sleep was really moderate. But better than no sleep and no stretched out rest!