I’m worn out, need a rest day…camped in an authentic fishing village
Loc: Ilha do Faustino
Dist: 48,1 km
Start: 6:30 End: 15:05
I packed my gear as usual every morning when my lonely fisherman showed up to say good bye. Not sure what had offended him when he eventually turned away to do his work and didn´t even wave good bye any more? Maybe I pushed his dog away too obviously from my gear bags, not wanting another dog to mark on them?
I gave the breakers on the headland a wide berth, all good. I stayed far out to avoid another breaker zone, and aimed directly to Salinopolis on Punta de Areleia, a big city on the next point. It was a lovely view of a touristic town on a small hill, but I had no reason to land there. I rather pushed on, to cross the next bay!
I had been wondering what ¨Descobre de baixa-mar¨ meant, as it written frequently on my chart on some green areas in the water, but now I thought I got it after Peter translated it. Those green sandy reef areas fall fully dry here on low tide! Four to five meters tidal difference is creating not only a heavy current, but also makes the bays between the headlands almost dry, at least what you see from my low sitting position. I wanted to turn into the bay after the Salinopolis headland to find the channel of Ilha do Inajas to avoid paddling another headland wide offshore, but no way I could see any unbroken entrance in the breaker zone!
It all looked just like one huge sand bank to me with heavy breakers. There may have been still some channels on low tide, but I couldn’t see them or they were so shallow, even smaller boats had to wait to get in through the breakers. No good feeling…ok, one more headland around Punta do Queiral, and in Baia de Pirabas I really would have to go in!
I paddled just along one huge sand bank, when eventually it looked like the surf was lower and I dared to go in to have at least a look out from a higher sand bank. I surfed in all right, and spotted a shallow channel just 100 m backwards, the entrance also guarded by the breakers. I was dragging my kayak along the shallows, until I could paddle up the channel to two fishermen, asking them if this was the entrance to the bay? Well, at least this was “one¨ entrance, just shallow now… I had to wait an hour until I could paddle to the next channel close to the inland headland where I also spotted a sail from a fishing boat passing along.
Now on the running up tide navigation was easier, though i was still not making fast progress. It was too early to stop, though this headland had a beautiful sandy white beach.It was somehow steep and not too wide on mid tide. But I spotted a village and beach on the other side of the bay, just another 10 km to paddle. It was a bit of hard work again against the wind, but as I had to go in slightly the tide was also somehow with me.
I could reach the white sandy beach with the many palm tree huts leaving an ugly wide breaker zone to my left. I was hoping the channel entrance for tomorrow would be on my right side? My chart messed up here once again, as according to it I was eventually camping offshore in the water.
The village was lovely, about 50 very simple houses on stilts made out of small round logs, all with roofs made out of palm fronds. There was one single satellite dish though at the communal house. Three men came up to me to help and to find a staying dry spot to camp between the houses. Unfortunately it proved not to stay dry on the upcoming tide, it was also around new moon. We had to move my tent twice until I was safe. The communal soccer field was meanwhile used for water polo by some youngsters…
I was invited to a house by a local woman, it was really basic but fully functional! On highest tide, the water was rushing underneath the high floor under the stilts, sounding quite scary to me. What a life! But the view was magnificent!
I felt a bit worn, my skin rash was itching, some sores were not really healing in the humid heat. My phone was not working despite having a signal, my mood was slightly down, and I decided to give it a rest day tomorrow. Maybe…