Loc: Caleta Bolfin
Dist: 46,2 km
Start: 7:25 End: 16:00
Estimated landing: Yacht Club Antofagasta
Estimated starting time: Right after sunrise
Estimated landing time: Well before sunset
Did I say there were chicken yesterday with those huts? Sure, where chicken are, is also a rooster…2.45 am he called for the first time, 10 times…4.15 am another ten times, then the intervals became shorter, and it sounded he was almost calling continuously eventually…no wonder we were on the water at 7.25 am already, the earliest time so far. No local showed up that early. I wonder if I’d prefer to have eggs over rooster noise in the early morning? Maybe there is not so much a choice for those guys…
It was a warm, calm morning, and yeah!!! The sun came out fully! The mountain tops were free, and our tops also (well, almost…). The sea was calm, it was almost no wind. Lovely paddling, close to steep desert mountains!
Ok, Karel had forecast some stronger winds with more than 20 knots today…The weather pattern followed the other days – in the morning a bit of wind, until at noon it was dead calm, then it was breezing up a bit in the afternoon. As there was almost for the first time in several days some sun out, we assumed it will be getting close to Karel’s forecast soon… breezing up a *very* bit! The sea had still low swell, and we were looking forward to get a strong push along.
The push started nicely, we were back to putting our jackets on. We were passing in the morning a bigger fishing boat, anchored in one bay, which now overtook us heading north with a smaller boat in tow. He was using an old rubber inner tube from a car wheel as a buffer, which seem to work well. My tow line has a meter bungee in there also!
The push became faster, and accordingly the wind waves on top of the low swell a bit rougher…and rougher…and rougher…eventually quite unpleasant, that we were happy to be eventually able to turn slowly into Caleta Bolfin, with the escort of some dolphins…well, they were earlier.
We had some hope, as our map didn’t show a road and houses any more for the last 30 km, that this Caleta had also *no* huts and people, but as soon as we could spot the nice sandy beach, there were also three cars with some families making a barbecue…and a big hut in the gravel beach corner. We opted for landing on the sandy beach, as the surf looked low and the gravel beach had no real landing.
Sure, you *always* underestimate the surf! I landed first, all good, just before a few larger breakers came and were actually helping me then nicely to drag the boat higher up. I was thought Peter would wait, that I could help him after my boat was out of the water, but he rather opted to paddle in a bit to the side, also just before the bigger breakers came, but got the first big one washing him up before he could get out. There he was now, lying nicely with his boat on his side in the sand…I couldn’t help but laughing! He was looking like a helpless turtle…
The beach was very windy, and we were happy to be off the water! Even a small sandy cave didn’t bring any wind shelter for changing. Inside the tent, it was blowing like hell eventually! There is nothing like great sand pegs! I was digging in the side skirts of the tent, and we could use only one entrance. See how it goes tomorrow on our short 25 km paddle to Antofagasta!