Highlights: Beautiful P0nta Negra
Lowlights: Bad landing and too much headwind
Launch: Low surf
Landing: Moderate dumper on steep beach
Loc: Lago do Padre
Dist: 32,2 km
Start: 6:00 End: 13:20
I slept deep and undisturbed,ready to tackle the last day to Rio. 70 km were just on the limit to be able to make it in day light, but if I could maintain an average of 5 km/h, it would just work. But I had my doubts…
It has been HOT the last hours yesterday on the beach, no wind at all. Similar all night, I am so much looking forward to sleep again in an air conditioned room! My body is not made for those temperatures here. All morning paddling went quick on dead calm sea and with no wind,but some thunder grumbling in my back. I was passing the church of Saquarema they had built on a mountain just besides the river mouth, lit green during the night. I was quite all right I did not cam close to the river mouth on the jutting out beach, it may have been also calm, but the breakwater and a white wall to the river did not look nice. And the small beach between the two mountains was ugly also.
I had briefly to stop again as I forgot to swap batteries in my camera, they last so long I did not keep one inside my cockpit reach. The corner right behind the second mountain was calm enough to do the job without dealing with a fat dumper. Not a friendly looking campsite either. What would be approaching Rio without working camera?
Many fisher men were on the beach this morning, either with a throw net, or with a rod. Some pointed at me hectically to go more out because of their fishing lines reaching “so far out”, but guys, no worries, they are always shorter than you think! I never touched or even saw one. A small boat was fishing with a strong light holding it right into the water during the night and dawn, obviously the fish were attracted by the light. The water is still so crystal clear you can see all fish underwater, especially the large swarms or if they are living around some rocks. Also, if a net has some caught fish, or if some trash is sitting on the ground. Amazing! Huge swarms were jumping around me in the dawn. Not really sure why they were doing it?
Ponta Negra is a long jutting out head land, with beautiful high cliffs. This morning the water around the fat rocks was so calm even two SUP guys dared to paddle around. But not so close to the rocks and light swell as I am doing…:-) A small natural harbor with a bunch of snorkelers was inviting to paddle through at the top of the headland, so did a small open cave to paddle inside. Beautiful sites! An big wooden ship wreck was amazingly stranded upside down just besides the narrow river entrance on the western side. If the swells are right, it obviously turns such a big ship missing the entrance of the river. They were just now working to cut it into pieces, as it is all wood and disturbs the clear beach view.
Around 11.30, just after I left the beautiful head land, a light head wind started as fore casted, getting stronger an hour later. I was fighting for a while, knowing already at noon I would not make it in last light to Rio today. But I would have to land some where on this ugly steep beach with the ugly dumper developing probably to the worse as the sea is going up again soon. When I could make only 3-4 km/h any more, I decided at exactly 40 km left to land and to just paddle tomorrow the rest. For what is it worth, my physical condition is worn anyway after so many days in a row again without city stop. The beach looked all the same, spacious wide to camp, but the houses here are not looking too attractive like yesterday. I had to go in anyway, and no beach people or fisher men around for quite some distance.
I timed the landing not good, too impatient as usual, got stupidly caught by the worst wave and a cockpit full of water. It took a while until I got control of myself and the boat washed up and down the steep beach. Quite dangerous, as the wash can throw the boat on top of you and break your bones. The wash here is going high, but the force is still moderate in the back surge. Still, not pleasant. Launching is much easier! Camp is better today with the wind, which swung back to the following direction later in the afternoon. But once I am landed I rarely go out again.I actually slept a bit in the after noon, I still need more rest!
40 km left tomorrow to the small beach south of Morro da Urca.