Choppy headland and horse dragging kayak
Loc: Punta Fina
Dist: 25.3 km
Start: 6:45 End: 13:25
The launch into the river went easier than arriving yesterday, as the water was higher in the morning covering the flat muddy part and just leaving me to drag the boat down the solid sandy part. I knew I had to give the sand bank upfront a wide berth. Three fishing boats were sitting inside the river dry, waiting for the tide to run up again.
The outer side of the sand bank became soon very rough and choppy, It didn’t really help it was pouring down with rain again. I barely found some calmer water and hardly made headway against the current. At some point I climbed out and looked over the sandbank I was thinking I had to go around, and saw one of the larger fishing boats disappearing into what looked like a calm river. But I guessed I missed out a chance to paddle inside asmall island, once the river I was camped at was flooded enough! Dragging the kayak over the maybe 100 m wide sand bank was no pleasure either, and I opted to continue on the rough way outside.
I even rather dragged my kayak on the edge of the sand bank for a while as walking was faster than paddling. Going outside of the surf looked more and more wild and this was no option either. I guessed here was where the two
currents of the Amazon river and the Rio Para met, creating a wild wash of whatever waves running also in funny moves up the sand bank with the raising tide. Maybe I rather had continued yesterday on the falling tide?
I eventually decided it was ok to continue paddling, also the surf hit some bushes on shore and walking was bad. I was fighting my way through some really weird wave and surf breaker formations, but the violence of each crasher was moderate. Just watch and react and paddle hard…and have some luck. Eventually I rounded a point where I think the island channel must have come out, as I saw two fishing boats in front of me appearing from seemingly nowhere. Well, I made it around the outside, chicken! 🙂
The whole bay still had some minefield breakers, but all not too bad and it calmed down the more I was turning south. It must have been highest tide eventually also and the sea in general calmed down. Soon it was almost a millpond again, with pink dolphins around me and with low surf running on the sandy shallow shore. Thank goodness…
But I also had noticed that since the last two days there really were no deep river mouths any more or they are as shallow as they can be on lower tide, the sand bars across them were covering their entrances with some nice dunes, but still a noticeable current stirring up the water on passing. Which meant I couldn’t really paddle into a deeper river any more, the last two were already as shallow as they can be, but I had to land on any beach on low tide, walking some distance over the exposed flat.
I spotted some yellow dry sand between the forests, and the shore upfront looked steeper, and I wanted to have a look. But this spot had mud fields, and only some narrow all sandy gap, plus I wasn’t even able to reach the yellow sand.
I kept on paddling to a house I had spotted, the exposed sand flats upfront were already wide, but doable with maybe the help of some house inhabitants? I saw three guys moving quickly away from the house, I saw later on the tracks of their bicycles!
I decided to call it a day here anyway, on mid outgoing tide. The remaining distance to my meeting spot tomorrow was 33 km, and my landing, walking, dragging and carrying distance can only get much further later in the day.
I took my two heavy gear bags, and was walking once more on my sore feet up to the dry beach close to the house. I picked a spot 100 m under a large tree which seemed to stay dry at highest tide, dropped the bags and was walking up to the house.
No one there on calling, either siesta or they were out. Ok, then I will have to drag my kayak myself up the beach, maybe 400 m. I just started, when I spotted three men on horses approaching the house. They didn’t wave back, bad sign, but eventually came up to me, being too curious about what and who I was approaching obviously their house. They turned out to be very friendly and happy men, and soon the main guy had my bow line hooked to the saddle of his stallion and towed the kayak easy up the beach! Perfect! I was just about to ask to jump on the horses back also…
They admired my business, watched me make camp and I felt safe having them as neighbours. I heard them laughing for quite a while around the close by house. No women there… a men’s community what I obviously recognized on the first sight. If my feet weren’t so sore I’d have paid them a visit over there, but I am just happy again to fall into my tent and to let the sores dry out. It burns! Whichever of the three creams I have I put on…the rest of my body shows various rashes also here and there. I need urgently a rest again in hopefully an air conditioned room. Hope the men will show up again tomorrow morning to help… 🙂