Mon 28/01-2013 Day 377

My mosquito-safe camp inside the office of the Reten Naval station in Matal

Pos: here
Loc: Capitania Matal
Acc: tent inside
Dist: 67,1 km
Start: 6:40 End: 18:45

Tomorrow’s estimated landing: Pedernales

It was *hot* in my own separate Navy house – despite I had opened all four windows to have a bit of a draft, I didn’t notice that one door slammed shut again, and my draft idea came to nothing. I camped inside one room inside my tent to fight the many bugs, and I slept well despite the heat.

The Navy car was broken down in the morning, so my “personal Navy escort guy” was waving down a taxi for the short hop to the Yacht Club jetty.

They escorted me out of the river mouth, where I had to do with quite a dogleg to avoid the many tidal races and breaker areas.
My chart was pretty precise on that!

Eventually I was free of breakers and escort boats, and even the rainy weather was starting to clear up. But honestly, rather paddling in warm rain than in HOT sunshine over lunchtime!

I saw a single one and only dolphin today! Better than nothing…and yes, a turtle. But I am not spoilt with wildlife here…

I was actually planning to have a shorter day today, and thought I could go in somewhere around Punta Venado. But first I paddled straight across, and when I spotted a maybe suitable beach line, even with a few houses, it was too far away for me to feel comfortable to paddle in. I spotted another nice beach a bit closer to the headland, and as I was really close, the surf looked to big and dangerously sideways…I made even an attempt to land, and almost got washed in. So I thought, the last bay behind Punta Venado may have some other remote beaches, but there were cliffs only…

I checked my GPS for the remaining distance to Matal, the next village behind Punta Ballena. The current and wind was good today, and I thought with some hard paddling I’d just make it before dusk. But now I had another day with long and hard paddling…at least I knew that there was a Capitania where I could stay conveniently. The landing I thought would be like in Machalilli – steep and ugly…but I *had* to go in!

So it was…I sat outside of Matal for a long while and waited out in safe distance some fat sets going in, scaring the living daylight out of me. But I knew with patience and being on the right spot on the right time I could make it in safely. Some locals were gathering to watch my landing, but when I was eventually sprinting in on the back of a moderate size wave and I could use a hand to grab my bow so as not to get washed back out, no one was moving. Well…if an UFO would be landing in your village, you may be petrified also? Unlike the last village landing, there were only about 8 people, not a hundred!

But I jumped out and made it ok, dropped my hood to show I was female, and soon I had some helpful hands… 🙂

My heart rate was pumping high after the effort of long and hard paddling, plus this scary landing…once I calmed down, the peopled called the Capitania guys, and all were helping to get my gear and boat across the street.

A nice Capitania house, but no separate room for sleeping. Either camping outside in heavy rain – or inside the office, just in front of the desk? Perfect! This is Ecuador! Thanks to my three hosting guys Alex, Javier and Ronny to make it all possible!

4 comments on “Mon 28/01-2013 Day 377


That had to be a very serious landing to get your heart pumping & scaring the daylights out of you given the amount of serious landings you would have done over the years. Well done!!

Jörg Hofferbert

I think, Freya is over the Aequator yet – Richard. On water you don´t feel it, but perhaps on the display of the GPS.

Anytime congratulation, Freya.

Randall Lackey

I hear youspeak more of the size and threat of the waves in this area. They must really be kicking to bother you.Hate that you had to stretch the day so long but thats exploring. Never know how our days will end or where.Funny how universally the guys will rush to help the lady.Me the same. Rest well. Safe Paddling. Randall

Richard Mason

I notice that tomorrows paddle should take you over the equator.

I can only imagine how interesting it all is –thank you for your posts.

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