Sun 05/05-2013 Day 474

Just another shipwreck in the Gulf...


Pos: here
Loc: Punta Médanos
Acc: tent
Dist: 51 km
Start: 5:00 End: 14:20

The second last day of this section of my trip! Maybe I should have paddled a bit longer last afternoon, as the rest in my tent was rather a sauna trip than good rest. Not a single breeze. Or should I have rather accepted the invitation of the police station? I had to go for a short walk to dry my silky beach dress from the sauna sweat before the sun went down. But did get it cooler? Only in the early morning, I felt I should use my silk “bed cloth” – aka dress.

I had to cover my eyes at night, as the regular flashes of the light house were a bit of a disturbance to my peaceful sleep. A big part for a successful expedition is the ability to gain good quality and quantity sleep in the most different conditions – noise of any kind like barking dogs, roosters, donkeys, music, talks, VHF radio noise , light such as moonlight, flash lights of unwanted visitors, light houses, car lights; wind breeze, air condition breeze or no breeze at all, temperature too hot or too cold or too humid, feeling safe or being upright on the slightest sound at night , inclined or declined sleeping pad, hardness of the “bed”, mosquitoes or sand flies or worst – crawling critters in room or tent, exciting or unexciting or no bed neighbours at all :-)…and so on…there is no such hard life as on an expedition! 🙂

But the wind today was at it’s lowest, and even the “surf” got down to nothing the more I reached around the corner going eventually due south and tomorrow even south west. Boring? Well…my mind is already home now…

I saw a big 20 cm pink and violet “Man of War” jelly fish, but I heard they can get up to 50 cm or more? Fortunately, these tentacles were not too long and unlikely to wrap around my paddle, different to much smaller, but way more frequent Blue Bottles in Australia which had awfully long tentacles wrapping around paddles and hand quickly. But besides this guy, the water seems to be sterile here. No mammal, not many birds, sometimes a sign of a fish swarm or a flying one. Really, the Caribbean is not really my favourite sea so far! I am thinking back of the many thousand seals, sea birds, whales and dolphins I saw further south…

I eventually decided to stop after 50 km in one of the many inviting sandy bays with no reef. I was already thinking about continuing paddling until the border, maybe an hour after darkness, as I was dreading the afternoon heat on the beach, but fortunately a bit of a breeze was blowing and the sun was not out all the time, so it was not too bad on my last camp out.

The boys made a camp fire later, but as communication is tough, I preferred to stay in my tent and write this and reading my e-book. I feel it’s too hot still for a fire anyway…

28 more km to the border tomorrow! We will drive back to Puerto Bolivar right after, and I only have to mourn I could have been paddling on for at least another easy 1  1/2 days of low wind forecast. But the advantages of the coast guard guys helping me with the logistics of storing the kayak and driving me to the airport are too good to turn down! Who knows what the weather will be like later in August when I continue…?

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Barbara Rufenacht

My dear Freya, I have been silently following you all the days of your paddling since you started in Buenos Aires. The photo I have with you when you were in Salt Lake City in August, 2010 graces my cellphone so I get to see it many times each day. You are a total inspiration both in paddling and in flexing with the vicissitudes of expeditionary life. Enjoy your home time as all of your admirers eagerly await your return. Meantime I go to paddle in Greece and solve problems by thinking “how would Freya handle this?”. Hugs

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