Fri 23/09-2011 Day 25

Holiday house in an old rum barrel! 🙂

Pos: here
Loc: beach
Acc: tent
Dist: 37 km
Start: 11:45 End: 18:45

I was very thankful all locals of Mar i Sol took such good care of me, but I
was keen to go on such a great forecast…low and slightly following winds.

We agreed on a pickup early morning, and at 7.30 not the well known tractor
showed up, but the mayor with a car who wanted me to have a look at the

Clever local…I should have listened that in those conditions no local boat
would launch…but for me from the car it looked tough, but doable…

So I said “no problem”, and “I like to go”, and I saw myself already on the
calm water behind the surf, paddling nicely along…

He picked the well known tractor, and we loaded the boat, this time even on
a foam pad!

A handful of curious onlookers gathered at the beach, and I started packing
the boat, actually slightly a bit nervous…

I watched the surf for a long while, and admitted it will be tough, but I’ll
give it a try.

I donned my helmet and PFD, attached everything lose by my deck net with
bananas and apples, gave the five guys a hug, and if I’d were religious I’d
have made the cross sign on my chest…

Getting straight afloat was already problem, but a helpful guy suddenly
stripped his pants (the outer ones…) and kept my stern straight to get me
at least afloaft just before the first breaker.

There I struggled for a while to wait for a chance to pass the first line,
but timing was bad, and as I just speeded up over a broken big one the next
fat guy caught me and threw me…I rolled up nicely, kept the boat straight,
and waited for the next chance…

But the next chance proved to be only another trashing breaker for me… I
rolled again, and next got sideways washed up the beach.

Well…the whole fight may have taken ten min or less, but I had eventually
to accept that this was a bit too much…no real lull, and the whole breaker
zone was too wide and too trashy. At least the locals had their show…but I
was rather embarrassed to have to admit defeat – for now…

The mayor said at eleven or such it will be easier, the tide comes up, and
the swell goes down by the hour. We’ll have a look again then!

Well, we left the boat on the beach, and drove back to “my house”.
I was getting changed, and spent the hours seeking cell connection, and
chatting to Claudia who was working in the tourist office. She as well drove
me around town, joined by Michaela.
Eventually we stopped at the beach, and – as forecast – what a difference
three hours make!

Now the surf zone was much less wide, and the breakers less violent –
actually with some luck only the first one was dangerous – still tough, but
I wanted to gooooooo!

I picked my gear and changed again, this time escorted by half the village
waiting for another good show…

I tried to concentrate on preparing my kayak, hugged this time the mayor
only, and ignored all the cameras…

I got afloat easily, my skeg got out with my string as well, and I waited for
a lull…about 10 to 15 crashing breakers got down just befor me, but I
managed to stay straight in the foam.

Then there it was…the last big one with only a small one piling up
behind…that was the chance! I accelerated as much as possible, powered
myself on with shouting “jetzt (now)” – “jetzt” – “jetzt” on each second

I don’t know for how long, but my main problem was my rudder was not
responding fully.
Somehow my still attached slack skeg launching string must have bothered to
turn right…so I pulled hard with the right arm on this adrenalin launch.
Bad or just too hard…I felt later I damaged my elbow a bit.

But eventually I felt free of any more possible breakers – I was out!

Next was to release the skeg launching string, take off the helmet and
PFD, attaching my paddle leash, and switching on my GPS…and to calm down.

I waved to the people on the shore, and would have loved to listen to their
comments! Sorry, no more rolling shows!

I felt still a big smooth swell going out there, which created the big surf,
but I knew it would go down during the day as fore casted.

I enjoyed being free again, and made good progess for the remaining 7 hrs of

I ony regeretted later I din’t keep on paddling through the night, as I
kndew the next two days would be much tougher.

But I landed in last light, had to drag my boat up a long way, and made camp
as usual.

No laptop and no cell reception made for a short update via sat phone text
only, and this one I typed with some effort on my mobile phone…

2 comments on “Fri 23/09-2011 Day 25


Great report, made all the better by your taking the trouble to type it all on a little mobile phone keyboard! Hope your elbow is OK.

B. Frank

Great to hear that even legendary paddlers have surf they can’t handle. Keep battling! And good luck with the electronics, too.

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