Fri 21/09-2012 Day 275

Our very narrow, tricky landing spot. But all safe!

Pos: here
Loc: Caleta Carizalilla
Acc: tent
Dist: 42,2 km
Start: 7:45 End: 17:30

Estimated landing: Caleta Cifuncho
Estimated starting time: Right after sunrise
Estimated landing time: Well before sunset

We ha an all right night’s sleep, the highway noise was not too bad and is much less disturbing than the music for me. Launching went easy also, and we just paddled along until we came to the gap of the Isla Pan d’Azucar. The bay before was aptly named “Caleta Playa Blanca”, the bay of the white beach, and looked very inviting! Not any houses there though…

Rocky beach mostly allover, our landing spot was a luck.

A bunch of holiday houses and sun umbrellas we found on the white sandy beaches of Puerto Pan d’Azucar – just wondering how busy this place may be in real summer weather? It would be great for landing though…

But we opted to round Punta Carazililla, and to find a landing spot in the bay. On Google Earth, it looked like a very wide sandy beach…just that the sand eventually went vertical up the mountains and the horizontal part was fringed with rocks…if I’d have had a closer look on my 1:500.000 topographical map, I would have seen it clearly.

Anyway, the quite low swell of the day, maybe around 2 m, made the bay reasonable sheltered to find a gap in the rocks. Nowhere here to look for a landing spot on high swell…high tide may be more helpful though. It was about half tide in a tidal range of 60 cm. Not much anyway.

Still, we were looking for a while to find a reasonably safe landing gap! I was sitting in front of about 4 other spots, watching, waiting, estimating if I could make it without damaging myself and my boat…the surf developing in the rocky coast was low, but big enough to make a narrow gap landing unsafe. And none of the spots seemed to have enough sand and less enough rocks.

We kept on paddling, in the hope to find a wider, more sandy gap, which eventually came – well, in my opinion. Peter hasn’t got that much experience of such landings, so I was to judge and to go in first. I sat and watched in front of me the low swell rolling into the narrow gap, and watched behind me the swell coming in higher or lower. A small breaker was always there…eventually I guessed I had a low set, took my heart and sprinted in, got surfed a bit right on to a fat rock edge, could turn off in last second to the right, and paddled the last 10 m into a kind of shallow rock pool two times one kayak wide with a sandy gap. Phhhhhhh!

I arranged with Peter to talk with him on the radio how it is and how to do it. Great to have the VHF for that! We had agreed on a few signals, and me standing on a higher rock watching the swell and signaling him in eventually made an even better landing for him than for me. But neither of us touched any rocks…thank goodness!

It took me a while to get down from my adrenalin rush – of both, my own and Peter’s landing…and from the hour’s unsuccessful search before.

On searching for a landing in the bay, we saw on the very far corner into the bay some kind of camp with a few men and horses. They took no notice and obviously also no action to signal us a reasonable landing spot. Then three huts came up, where we thought there may be a landing, but their so called beach was also full of rocks and the low surf too much for getting a heavily loaded composite kayak safely in.

Peter is "trying" a sea urchin...

We are camping on gravel, right before a nice flat sandy looking spot. But this was pure desert dust, and would have made a sticky mess! A pile of empty sea urchin shells proved some human activities in this area. Do they really taste well?? At some point, amazingly a lonely Indian looking young man came *walking* from the north to probably the men with horses in the southern end of the bay. Where he came from? No idea…

11 comments on “Fri 21/09-2012 Day 275

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Richard Mason

Following your progress with great interest.
Saturday September 22 is the spring equinox for the southern hemisphere. Get ready for longer days and better weather.
Good luck.

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