Mon 18/02-2013 Day 398

The Navy infanterie at Charambira


Pos: here
Loc: Charambira
Acc: Navy boat
Dist: 53,5 km
Start: 8:25 End: 17:05

Tomorrow’s estimated landing: 60 km north

I was invited to stay longer in Buenaventura – thanks for the invitation, but sorry, I have to go…or I’ll take five years around South America! 🙁 I always can only touch the surface of many places, but the impressions I am getting on this loooooong trip are so many it is simply enough to stay one day in a friendly place. Thanks again to the Colombian Navy/ Coastguard for taking such nice care of me everywhere!

We loaded my kayak and gear again on the same boat with the same crew, waved Capitán Delgado and his crew good bye, and drove at high speed back to my spot where I stopped on Saturday. High speed means with this boat 70 km/h, a speed where the water becomes concrete if you have a crash or fall over board.

Actually, the main danger for this boat I saw, it could simply fall apart on landing hard on the waves in this speed… the metal tubes holding the roof and the four high seats were already broken in many places, simply cracked from those high speed rides bumping hard over the waves. But I assume most rides were not really done for pleasure, but chasing some illegal boats. For that reason it is probably good that the guys are great kamikaze drivers… 🙂

Today at least they could entertain themselves with checking on many boats passing by as we were much closer to the coast than the last two paddling days. They did a good job to also keep the boats away from me so I could make progress, thanks!

A huge rive mouth came with it’s muddy water coloring the sea water brown, and Jonathan was warning me already earlier that there are “olas grandes”, and I need to turn out to sea! Sure I could see the waves much later in my low position than the guys from their high boat. But paddling across a river mouth is nothing new or special for me, the breaking waves are always reaching out more or less far, and it barely wakes me up out of my half sleeping dead calm water paddle.

At some point the water became a bit bumpy with current against tide, the boat came close and Jonathan asked me to please come on board – dangerous water!!! Hähhh????? This water barely reached level one one my wave scale from one to ten possibly to paddle, and barely made me close my spray deck…:-)) But thanks for the offer! If I’d have to get off the water in those conditions with my kayak I’d never make it around any island, not to talk about a continent!

The coast line between those frequent river mouths was always the same beach with dense green bush behind it – the beach mostly disappearing on high tide. Easy to land with no breakers, but camping may not be that easy. But I haven’t even been to shore… 🙁

When they took me on board at 5 pm, just across a light house, we drove about 10 km into the next river mouth for a calm anchoring place across the village of Charambira. There were about eleven Navy infantry guys on the island, greeting us from the shore, all well armed. We stayed on board, and the guys waved a just incoming fishing boat if they could buy some fresh fish! I understand the guys are sick of their army ration sachet food, which they used as a currency to pay for the fish! One big fish – one day’s sachet pack. Surely they bought the fish “cooked”, as they have unlike me no stove or fire here on board. Means half an hour later they got a pot each with grilled fish pieces (not “fillets”, but basically the whole fish in pieces with skin and bones…), and rice. The basic food of all fishermen people here! Probably better than the cold army rations!

15 comments on “Mon 18/02-2013 Day 398

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Jörg Hofferbert

Now you are paddling in an area, which is less documented with photograph pics in google earth. That makes curios.
But more interisting for me is your report. No doubt !

Randall Lackey

Funny that the guys worried of you paddling the rough seas that you thought nothing of.As always enjoyed reading todays post.Safe paddling.


Hello Freya, Sounds and looks like Capitan Delgedo has done a fantastic job in making your trip through Colombian waters safe and enjoyable. Hats off to him. Wow you got a Navy hat! RIGHT ON. The food that was prepared sounded delightful. Remember what is the one? Nutriment. Hey Barb, thank you for your comment:) Thanks for indentifying the birds that adds another element to Freya’s blog. In the sweet exploration of compassion and wisdom, Karen

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