Sat 15/09-2012 Day 269

This shark's head had seen better days...

Pos: here
Loc: Puerto Viejo
Acc: tent
Dist: 49 km
Start: 8:15 End: 18:30

Estimated landing: Caldera Yachtclub
Estimated starting time: Right after sunrise
Estimated landing time: Well before sunset

Our shallow sandy beach developed quite some fat surf during the windy night! But I can’t recall having seen such a difference between long dead calm lulls and heavy breakers! Amazing…the big ones would trash you easy, and the lulls are until far out for quite some way. Enough time to launch safely for both of us. Thank goodness…

We opted to rather paddle outside Isla Cima Cuadrada, as it looked like inside from both ends, mainland and island, the gap was closed up in the shallows with breakers on today’s 3,5 m swell! We got awarded for this effort with a school of about 10-15 dolphins swimming neatly up and down like dolphins do. 🙂

...just a basking seal!

Three basking seals did not take any notice of us in their continuous barrel rolls, flipping the fins, and simply enjoying themselves in their half sleep or such on the water.

We got a nice current which flushed us away from Punta Cachas into the big bay crossing, but it unfortunately stopped again…it was rather bumpy on most of the crossing, and the swell was up again to 3,5 m. But nothing serious! Just a bit boring, though we were at least able to spot the other headland after we started. The visibility was way better than the last days, and even the sun came out at around 3 pm.

Then came Punta Dallas with a large breaking reef offshore. The swell also created house high sprays on the headland itself, and the whole sea was, with the backwash of the cliffs of the headland, actually quite lumpy! We rather donned our PFD’s, hooked ourselves to the boats, and were quite alert while going reasonable close to the mainland, leaving the heavily breaking reef way out to the left. Not a really relaxing place there, but nothing was breaking. Good to be able to tell the white spots apart – either dangerous breakers or simply foam fields flooding way behind the last breaker…

The sea and ourselves were relaxing a bit having passed the main headland, and soon we could turn into Puerto Choro’s bay. It was wide, shallow, but not fully protected! So we had to land on the very inside corner where a few fishing boats were not at anchor, but all dragged up to shore. Bad…we stopped briefly behind the last rocks and donned our helmets, and I had a quick and luckily then calm paddle in after the main corner break was down. I was greeted by a smiling face in the surge zone – quite a big a shark head smiled at me, just cut off the body. A bunch of guts were widespread around…yummy! So there *are* sharks around here…

San Pedro monument at Puerto Viejo

Peter also came in nicely, just timed it right…although there was a nasty back eddy at one rocky corner and he already had pulled up his rudder…

Puerto Viejo is actually the first real holiday town we see here…well, what a real Chilean back country holiday town is supposed to look like- It is not Vina del Mar…

View at dawn from San Pedro in Puerto Viejo over our tent to the holiday huts

We are camping right in front of the beach front holiday houses – unthinkable in Europe…but nobody minds here, especially not out of season. Though I wonder if the few people present here would tolerate a bunch of hippie tents on the beach…
No Navy visit, no harbor master, just two locals being curious. Hopefully it will be a quiet night right in “town”!

2 comments on “Sat 15/09-2012 Day 269

Richard Mason

Sounds as though you had quite an interesting day.
According to google earth you are right on the southern border of the atacama desert –must be just amazing.
I hope the swell settles down for you.


hello there Freya and Peter, sounds like you had a day of rich experiences. Dolphins celebrating life, seals taking if easy and a shark no more. All seeing impermanance differently. Enjoy, Karen

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