Loc: before Faro San Francisco de Paula
Dist: 58,1 km
Start: 5:35 End: 16:20
I felt like giving it a very early start – I slept enough the last two days!
I was packing my kayak to the limit with food, as I didn’t plan to shop again in Puerto Santa Cruz and to lose another day…but I will have to fill up with water in the entrance of the river mouth.
Crossing the wide bay was no problem, but a long jutting reef wanted a wide berth. I stayed out for a long while, as more reefs on the sandy shallow beach were breaking far out.
But soon the beach with accessible cliffs changed to a beach which disappears on high tide with inaccessible vertical cliffs and few landing spots. I checked earlier on Google Earth, and marked the first three river mouth entrances to land. About 50 km the first, and about each three or four km later comes a next one. No problem to reach them with today’s weather!
I got a dolphin escort again today, almost all morning, from about 9 am to noon! This time it were not the fast “Zackie and Glatty” type, but the smaller, slower black and white ones with a round dorsal fin. And they were 4-6 of them! Every second there was one coming up somewhere, and occasionally even four or six together! Really beautiful and entertaining!
The water didn’t give much challenge, calm and moderate following wind.
At some point the long reef break outside the steep cliffs started, first I stayed out, as I was mistrusting it not to reach the shore on low tide, but around 2pm it looked like behind the reef break was enough water, and I found a gap to go inside.
Plenty of weeds were growing here, no breakers any more, and then I noticed the water was warm, almost like in a tub! I wished it would stay like that to have a swim tonight…at least I could warm my frozen hands and feet.
But as soon as the unbroken high cliffs stopped, the reef stopped as well, as the water went back to normal temperatures. I could have landed, but not for the night!
The first big river mouth with a nice beach came, but I felt it was too early to land! I passed another one, and another…almost! I didn’t feel I wanted to let go of this nice small one, it was so inviting! And I had paddled already almost 60 km, enough for today!
After putting up camp, I bothered to climb the steep cliff ahead, to get an overview, but the top had the same level as further south, and no view was possible. Down again, and back to camp routine…means starting my laptop for about an hour…but a good talking to it was doing the job this time! 🙂 Not that it stays offended as it knows now its time is up and getting (hopefullly) replaced in Rio Gallegos!