Sun 20/11-2011 Day 83

The beach in front of the cliffs disappeares on high tide

Pos: here
Loc: 3 km before Cabo Faro San Francisco de Paula
Acc: tent
Dist: 4,9 km
Start: 15:05 End: 16:30

Yeah! Last night 56 starting tries, no succes, this morning three tries…there are still signs and wonders with my laptop…

I woke, as I was suspecting already last night, with a very sniffy, stuffed nose and a bursting headache, which I am not used to having at all. But the last day’s all day cold feet again did their job…

Forecast was strong west north westerly, turning west, which means basically headwind again to not get blown out to sea.

I was hesitating at my wake up time 4.30 am for an hour to go or not to go – my not great condition told me to stay in, which looked allright most day.

The sky on the horizon out to sea was all day black, though no rain or thunder stom came on land.

What I was sensing already yesterday at some point, about three hours before high tide, by paddling over the reef break into the shallow reef, was that since Puerto San Julian the coast is widely reef fringed, and that the about 500 m wide reef falls dry on low tide! Means you can’t go out about two to two and a half hours before and after low tide.

Once out with the tide, you need to stay out, as dragging the kayak over that wide dry reef is stupid to impossible. The wide reef area here displayed on low tide is mixed, simple wet sand or solid flat rock, neither is not great to drag a kayak over.

Fortunately the rest of the beach, once the reef is flooded, has an about 30 degrees steep gravel beach, where dragging the boat up is no problem. So landing and starting has a bit of a time window, 7-8 hours a day around high tide. I’m hoping it will stay like that until Rio Gallegos, where the tidal range comes to the peak. After Rio Gallegos, the tidal range is dropping luckily again!

In the afternoon, the wind went down a bit, and the sky even became a bit blue! As my forecast had said something like that, I decided to have a go, once the reef was flooded and the water level reached the gravel beach.

I was a bit out of energy due to my cold, but once in the boat I could paddle easily – for about 4 km…

Just before Cabo San Francisco de Paula, the sky darkened again, and the headwind picked up from easy 10-15 knots to tough 20-25 knots, with gusts even higher. Not fun paddling any more, not even on the flat water inside the reef!

Luckily I was just then at another river mouth opening in the steep cliffs, and after hesitating for about 10 min, floating on the spot, I decided to go in and to wait what would be happening with that new dark stormy headwind…

I waited for about 40 min, but then decided to call it again a day…though for sure once my camp was set again, the weather brightened up for the last hours of the day…but as I was not full of energy anyway, I didn’t mind too much.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the same strong wind, even more south westerly, means a direct head wind. But as well, it is supposed to calm down in late afternoon, just when the water will be back for another try, we’ll see! But Tuesday will be moderate easterly all day, to make hopefully the remaining distance to Puerto Santa Cruz, or better still to the small port at the entrance at the river mouth – Puerto Punta Quilla!

One hopeful request to the Prefectura or other people meeting me at Puerto Punta Quilla: I’d please need an electric drilling machine, with a drill bit about 1,5 – 2,5 mm diameter thick, to drill a few holes in my foot rest to repair it, it is barely holding up any more. Plus a good screw driver with a cross at the end, as mine on my multi tool is not the best one. I’m hoping someone may read this and is happy to help me out with this, probably on Tuesday night! Thanks!

1 comment on “Sun 20/11-2011 Day 83


Your details really bring the journey to life. Take good care. Feel better soon. Vaya con dios Freya.

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