Loc: behind Punta Segger
Dist: 57,5 km
Start: 9:45 End: 20:20
I had a visitor tonight! I heard a noise at my kayak at 1.30 am, and for sure was thinking about an animal, as there were simply no people here.
A cow licking the salt from my boat? A curious guanaco? No, it was the fox with the bushy tail I already saw yesterday strolling around the hut to the right! He had smelled my cream cheese I stupidly left under the front deck net, managed somehow to get the lid of, and licked the cheese out of the box! The box was still under the net!
I was looking out of my tent, but with words he was not really to chase away! Maybe he is too much used to the occasional people around here…I took my flash light and shone it out of the tent, this he didn’t like and disappeared. I now dared to jump out of my tent, and to check of any other damage, grabbed the cheese box and threw it after him! here! Have a nice meal! 🙂
I knew the swell forecast for today was under 2 m, so my hope was the Cabo San Diego was much easier today than it may have been yesterday! I was not keen on another huge tidal race like at Cabo San Vincente! Well, I was there mid-tide as well, it just happened.
Today I wanted to be more clever, and to be at the cape at high slack tide at noon. As it was north east wind all day, breezing up in the afternoon, I felt sorry for the missing hours on the new side of the island, getting nicely blown south west, but I still decided to round the cape at slack tide.
My chart usually shows tidal rips with wave signs, and if there are four or five marks like that, this cape really had more than 50 over a distance of 15 km north to south, and 12 km east to west!!! So what to think about this major corner of Tierra del Fuego?
I was actually thinking, as I need only a small channel of reasonable water close to the coast, and this was marked as “kelp area” on my chart, that it can’t be too bad for a kayak! The kelp calms the water down, doesn’t really keep the swell fully away, but at least there is no choppy or breaking water.
Still I was not sure about the point break, and kept my timing to be at noon at the cape. This means I could leave earliest 10 am for 8,8 km, giving it a bit of time for the incoming current, the headwind and staggering possibly in kelp beds. But actually I was too fast, the headwind was moderate, the current as well, and the kelp had water holes in between.
I noticed the swell was about 20 % less compared to yesterday, came closer, and saw what I had been silently anticipating: A point break, but around it was almost no movement in the water…thank goodness! I even could take a pic of the south eastern most light house of Tierra del Fuego!
The rest of the coast was fringed with kelp first, calm like a millpond and a piece of cake to paddle with the following wind. Landing was possible in quite some smaller and wider caletas with sandy beaches.
But I wanted to make most of the day with the great following wind after my late start, and kept on paddling until I was around Cabo Buen Suceso.
A seal colony and a lot of sea birds were living at the cape. The birds took off when I came closer, and started to circle in hundreds around me and my kayak! Nice to be in the center of attention, even if it is only from sea birds! 🙂
I forgot to mention yesterday in the dense fog, the same happened, not as many birds, but about 20-30 were constantly circling my kayak! This was actually quite horrible! You can’t see any land, barely make out the difference between sea and fog, and then that constant circling around your head! I’m surprised I didn’t get mad and sea sick!
Kelp areas changed with open sea with swell and choppy headlands. The cliffs were eventually gigantic compared to what I had seen the last weeks, maybe 300-500 m, and typical fjordland-like! Green trees all over! I felt like being back on my trip around New Zealand south! Especially around the bay Ensenada Patagones the cliffs were really stunningly beautiful! It was just not much success on taking pics, as it was quite a gray day. But one thing was just still missing: The water falls, and the sand flies. I can live without the latter…
I crossed the beautiful beach in Bahia Valentin, as I’m not keen on paddling into deep bays for the night. The 6 km going inside I rather crossed to a small beautiful sandy beach I knew it was there from looking at Google Earth. This was a perfect choice!
Well, besides it was steep, and the swell created quite a dumper…but I landed all right, and felt in paradise! Only it was late, and the day was quite gray allover, so no south sea feeling yet.
Camping on fine sand is actually quite tricky, if you don’t want to mess everything up with sand! I almost forgot after camping the last weeks mostly on gravel beaches! The beautiful the scenery is, if I’m having the choice next time between gravel and fine yellow sand,I’d chose the gravel…it’s just cleaner!
But no complaints 🙂 – the only complaint could be I had to put my wet dry suit in my gear bag still soaking, and my fleece underwear didn’t dry either that short wet night…happy dressing next morning!