F$%^&*! Damaged my kayak with a fat hole in the hull
Loc: village on east side Baia do Quatipuru
Acc: tent in a local’s garden
Dist: 11 km
Start: 6:15 End: 8:25
My tent position on the wooden veranda of the house was high off the possibly wet sand, but just perfect for the many free running cows to stick their nose into my tent. After chasing a few away they seemed to have learned and I could sleep well. Or earplugs and sleeping mask prevented me hearing any cows kisses on my inner tent door. I could leave the outer ones open for ventilation, as I was under a roof and didn’t fear any rain.
I could leave early to cross the bay, for one hour the tide was running up and pushed me in heavily. But this was ok, as I had to negotiate a shallow spot almost in the middle of the bay with a tiny stripe of island with two houses visible even on high tide. Left and right of the narrow strip it was breaking heavily, but in case of no gap I’d have gone in.
I could find a shallow gap where I could just about cross the island stripe, paddled a few low breakers on the other side, and in front of me was only deep unbroken water until the shore of the next headland – I thought.
I spotted a village, as I guessed to the right side of the entrance of the safe headland channel I needed to find. The possible entrance was clear with some lower trees, I thought, and my GPS also showed this direction. The chart is not 100% precise here, but not that bad to decide to go right or left of the long village.
But coming closer, I saw fat breakers in front of the village beach. The current eventually set left on the now outgoing tide, right into this ugly breaker zone! I decided not to go there, but had to paddle very hard to escape the breaker zone and to make headway upfront the beach to the right, into the bay against the outgoing current. Also I spotted a friendly river entrance to the right of the village, may it be what I was searching for?
I paddled my ass off for about 30 min to get to the right of the beach to the calm area where the small boats were parked. I noticed eventually I could not really make it, the surf did not look that bad ahead of me and a group of locals were watching me already for a while, I could also measure on the position of this group that I barely made headway towards where I wanted to go!
I decided to land and to ask them about the channel. In either way, I’d have tried to drag my kayak along the beach, either to avoid the fat breakers to the left or to be able to go against the current to the right. I surfed the waves in nicely, noticed a net in front of the group, managed to get around it and was already touching sand when there was an old net pole sticking out of the sand for just about 10 cm.
Unfortunately it was a solid one, not rotten to crash itself or thin enough to bend on me side surfing in with high speed. What crashed now was my hull, just in front of the group of locals which I just thought I had impresses with my elegant surf in…
Instead of greeting and smiling, I was cussing loudly in German, before I managed to apologize and to try a smile. But these cussing words in German needed no translation, the locals saw what happened. Eventually we talked nicely, they understood I needed to go to the village and to repair the damage over night. The beach had an about 200 m marsh gap to the real village, and all people helped carry my boat and gear to one of the local’s house. Obrigada!
It was a more developed village than the last two, still the house where I eventually was welcomed to camp in the backyard was very basic. Almost the whole village came together to watch me and my kayak, I had a hard time to get space for me and my tent and gear. Noisy excited chatting everywhere, noise and missing privacy I am not used to. But all so friendly!
Fortunately there was eventually Fabrizio, the local teacher speaking good English who helped to translate and to get a little organization into the crowd. Bucket shower, tent setting, pictures, cleaning my boat, all under the curious eyes, hands and chatter of the many locals. I don’t mind to “perform” in such case, but I’d have loved to draw a “ban circle” around me, my tent and my kayak…
Dozens of curious hands poked into the freshly cleaned hole of the kayak hull drying in the sun. I will repair it tonight. Fortunately I was able to remove the not too badly stuck seat to be able to patch from inside and outside. It will work.
Eventually Fabrizio could tell them it was siesta time for me now, and “my” backyard eventually emptied out slowly …