Dist: 38,6 km
Start: 8:25 End: 16:30
All went perfect this morning – Jeimy drove me through easy morning traffic – but later through quite some fog – back to the beach, where we had a date with the Navy at 8 am to get my boat and my permit! I was not expecting they’d be there *before* us when we arrived at 7.45 am…but they were there and had already unloaded my kayak. It seems like it had survived the two nights and the transport out of my reach all right. Thanks, Navy! These guys were using the same zodiac trailer for my kayak like they did in Lebu, but this time they had the whole zodiac as a padding – quite reasonable! I was just hoping they didn’t launch it as well for another escort…but I could paddle by myself again today! Thanks! So peaceful…
The officer handed me the paperwork, same stuff I already had in Puerto Williams, Punta Arenas and Puerto Montt. All good. Pictures, signing cards, and off I was!
Another beautiful sunny day with easy following winds and moderate to low swell. I really can’t complain about the conditions these days! The forecast for the next weak is even less wind and lower swell…thanks goodness, as most landings will be not very well protected beaches.
I paddled happily up to the headland to Punta Tumbes, and decided to pass about 2 km before Sugarpot Island inside…well, if in doubt, stay out! There was suddenly one ugly unexpected breaker crashing a bit besides in front of me and scared me a little bit, but I dared to go through the gap where I spotted three small fishing boats busy with diving. They probably know exactly where to anchor and to dive and where not, so just in the lee of the rocks. Still not really a place I’d like to be longer!
I crossed Bahia Conception directly to Punta Cullin with no problem. The headland was quite beautiful, and I spotted a group of climbers on boulders. Nice past time!
I was originally planning to paddle as well around Punta Linguera where I saw a very protected beach on Google Earth. But it had hundreds of fishing boats in the bay, all off on Saturday, and was fully inhabited. A small row boat, occupied with a guide and three clients from “Nuevo Adventura” (painted in BIG letters on the side…a creative small business!) who were exploring the headland rocks, were waving frantically at me and pulled out their cameras. I must be famous… :-))
But it also told me I’d not have a quiet night on that very sheltered, but also very populated beach after yesterday’s publicity with the four TV channels and the major paper “El SUR” de Conception. Later I saw on my cell phone Jeimy was posting a link about I was on the cover and had a longer story on page 13.
I spotted a very nice white beach at a big river mouth with no houses and no people just two km across the big bay, and as the whole bay was very calm with barely noticeable swell, I dared to paddle and land on that basically unsheltered side. I needed a bit of peace and freedom! The houses to the right of this beach looked quite fancy.
I paddled closer, and the wet line high up the beach told me the dumper would be something to take care of. But the sandy beach was wide enough off the rocky sides, I timed it well, landed easy and pulled my now again heavy boat with all the new food in the next big washes up higher and higher. But I noticed the beach was quite steep and the dumper can be quite ugly here, and I needed to hold well onto my kayak…but the lulls are also long enough. Tomorrow morning will be lower tide, and even less swell, so I should be able to get out all right.
It took me a while to decide where to camp in this beautiful lagoon, and I decided to go even a bit further down on the other side toward the river. The river won’t swell up in a dry night, and I’d be a bit off the dumper noise. The Tsunami possibility is always on my mind, but for escape I’d run up the rocks close by…
A guy was calling at me from down the rocks where I saw on paddling in a bunch of fancy apartment houses – no entiendo! He came down, introduced himself, and made me friendly understanding this is a guarded private housing area, and camping on the beach would not be allowed. Ahh, this is why I was sensing the houses here are looking so fancy! First time I saw such an area in Chile! I was politely asking for permission to camp for only one night, but the guard had to call some other guards to ask. I gave him my card, and he walked away for a while.
I was just about to put up my tent, but stopped and waited in the nice sun shine for him to be back. Soon now even four guards came, and they had already read the paper and seen the TV news with me…good to be “famous”! I was allowed to stay for the one night, we took pictures and I handed out my “magic” signature cards…thanks a lot for the permission to camp here! I’ll behave nicely…it’s really beautiful place!