Dist: 0 km
I woke with no hurry, as 50 km in no to low wind are no problem, and the tide level on this beach seemed not to be a problem as well.
I packed and got my things down to the water’s edge as normal, but I should have better looked – or maybe rather listened? to the surf already while I was still warm and dry in my tent…
It has been raining over night, quietly with no wind, but somewhere else on this world must have been a horrible storm whipping up the sea to a swell this morning which created a dumper barrier I was really challenged to…
Karel’s forecast was yesterday for seas below 1 m which was a reasonable calm landing all along the way, today it said 1-2 m…I remember at this swell level forecast I had my trashy landing through the dumper into the fishermen’s camp, so I should have better read and been warned!
On my landing yesterday the beach looked friendly and harmless with the wave arriving on shore, it was even not a dumper at all. I could notice no difference on the falling tide, as the beach was sloping all the same.
This morning, the frequency of the waves crashing on the beach was the main problem – they were coming that fast and the highest ones were way over man’s height, really trashy! The surge of the highest laid the barrier where I could safely wait with my kayak for a small lull quite high on the beach – and when a small lull was there, and I tried to drag down my boat where I could get it afloat and jump on and quickly paddle off, the next horrible dumper was piling up already to trash me…
If I’d stayed down in the surge reach of the highest dumpers, me and my kayak got washed sideways and I had a hard time to hold on to it…
I tried any way…three times. The first time my cockpit eventually got fully flooded, i slipped on the attempt of holding my boat more than once, face in the gravel, got trashed by some waves, and had a very hard time to hold on to my boat and to get it emptied out and out of the surge’s reach.
Regaining my breath, I thought I needed to wait for lower tide…which usually was helpful on the steep beaches. I had already freezing feet, but my body was still warm with me wearing my PFD and helmet.
After about 45 min thought I could try it again, same procedure, and me and my kayak got even worse trashed an tumbled…
I sat again in my kayak high enough up and just watched and tried to learn the pattern, but it was clear that the frequency was the problem. On the receding tide, I thought I could see a mere improvement, but it may have been as well the general tendency by the time…but I tried again! I even walked to the water’s edge to have a realistic look – just a few meters higher up the dumper seemed smaller! From very high on the beach it seemed to easy!
It was eventually already 9.30 am, almost lowest tide. My first try was at 5.30 am…I was quite cold, but still hoped I could make it out on this low to no wind day! The sky was black on the horizon everywhere, but this could only be simple calm rain…
My last try was a horrifying washing machine for me and my kayak – I had to get rid of the kayak at some point, and couldn’t catch it again…we got side washed and tumbled and side washed and tumbled over each other on my try to catch the boat, that I was already scared for my dry suit and for sure about the kayak itself and it’s fragile repairs…and of my paddle which I this time decided to leave on the leash…but at least we covered 100 m along the coast 🙂
After what seemed to be a horrifying long time, I managed to catch the toggle and the lull was so much with no rough surge that I could empty the cockpit quickly and drag it out of the danger zone…that was it for me for today! If it wasn’t to be on lowest tide, then it was not to be at all for today!
My boots got full of gravel water, I got showered fully more than once, but besides a strained butt muscle I seemed to be ok, and my kayak as well.
I carried and dragged all stuff up again, put up my tent, and then the rain started…it was a quiet, but continuous rain until 2.30 pm.
I stayed in my dry suit for a while checking on the boat, but besides the water in the day hatch and back compartment, not more than yesterday, it seemed ok. If the water still comes through the bulkhead, it had chances enough today on the frequently fully flooded cockpit with gravel water…
I scratched out the gravel, and noticed my rudder was full stuck with tiny gravel everywhere, it didn’t move any more at all! I had to unscrew the pivoting stern piece, plus taking the fin out, shaking out all tiny gravel to get it working again… if I’d have made it out, I’d have had a problem there!
All good eventually, I stripped my dry suit inside my tent as it was raining, and worked on getting my feet and myself warm again…I fell asleep, woke at 2.30 pm with no rain any more, and couldn’t help but checking the water from the sea level again…maybe another 5% improvement, but as long there were over man high dumper in between and the frequency stayed the same, there was no chance.
Even if it may get better around very late afternoon, I don’t want to go out any more as my next safe landing would be at or around Point Dungeness, 47 km ahead.
Tomorrow the swell level is forecast 80-120 cm, this must be possible then to get out! It will be nicely following northerlies 10-15 knots, and if for Monday there won’t be a friendly weather window in the morning to cross the 32 km over the Magellan Strait, I may decide to put in an 80 km day tomorrow! But we’ll see…first I have to get out in time! I would HATE wasting another low wind day!!!