Thu 01/09-2011 Day 3

An old bouy flooded up high the shore

Pos: here
Loc: Estancia San Gilberto
Acc: tent
Dist: 55 km
Start: 7:15 End: 17:45

What a day! Started after a quiet night with looooong sleep from 8.30 pm to 5.30 am well rested. No motorbikes with crazy kids coming down the dirt road, no noisy cars with secret lovers seeking a calm place for a quickie (I don’t know how they would do it in a small car anyway :-))….). Good. I like my peaceful rest in my stealth campsites!

Could again slidewith the heavy boat into the water with dry feet from wet grass, though the wind had changed during the night and an onshore wind made the water a bit bumpy against the mostly high grassy, but solid shore. But in this way the high land edge got occasionally flooded by a wave, and I had just to time it right. Learning some new techniques here on BIG river sides launching! No sand yet…just grass and earth.

First hour was calm, but soon at 8.30 the predicted dreaded headwind came up, right out of the east onto my left cheek. First only with 10 kn, but it breezed up after lunch to 15 kn, and the last hours were probably even more.
It created a constant low surf onshore, consisting of several rows of liquid brown whitecaps – yes, there is something like that…

I insisted for myself to paddle inside the river reef for most of the time, which created a more or less wide (mostly less than 20 meter) channel with relative calm water – but usually just as deep that I could barely be afloat! It was way more beautiful to paddle close along the now just wild coast than being far out offshore! It was so shallow, that I would have found reasonable deep water probably only a few km out.

But I got stuck in the shallows for about ten times, had to jump out, drag the boat along into deeper water, and each time told myself “Now you’re paddling OUT!” But it was so nice in there…and I enjoyed the challenge of not getting stuck by reading the water’s surface precisely. The occasionally walks were quite nice for the chande, though my high boots with neo socks eventually got soaked. I was wondering if a dry suit wouldn’t already have been the better choice…
But he water in the sunshine was warmish, maybe 20 degrees, and the sunny day felt like a nice spring day with the sun mostly shining on my black jacket back. All not too bad…

And I enjoyed watching the animals! I could watch literally hundreds of storks, fish eagles (or such big birds of prey), herons and other birds fishing in the shallows for fish, probably very successfully!

Most shore line belonged to one or another estancia (farm), and their meadows for the cattle were fenced occasionally about 100 m into the water with solid wires. Give those ones a wide berth…

Easy shore landing on the rivermouth area

I’m camping on a meadow this night obviously used by some cattle…hope they are not nosy tonight!

I saw more horses than cattle on the wild rugged shoreline – my most beautiful encounter were 10 wild looking horses, running scared about the strange UFO (Unknown Floating Object) INTO the knee deep shallow water, in a beautiful formation line, right in front of my bow! Then they were stopping to my left, and looked curious what I was doing…strange they felt more safe in the water! I was so good to be able to catch this one on video… not that you can see “Seepferdchen” all the time… see how the quality is. I’m still learning to operate my bow camera!

Right behind Atalaya I saw a car wit the familiar grey-brown uniforms on the shore, and a guy trying to operate his jetski in the shallows…the Prefectura Naval Argentina, probably on a practice run to search for Freya :-).
The jetski guy waved at me and walked up to me in the shallows, trying to talk to me…means I could not really understand what he wanted.
But eventually I found out he just wanted to know how long I still plan to paddle today and that he smiled at me all the time…what does he think, that I’m already stopping at 1.30 pm in (almost) best conditions? Then I’d not make it around SA in 10 years…
He tried to follow me on his jetski, but soon got stuck in the shallows…practice run over…but if he’d ask me, I’d have accepted a brief free tow by his ski – never had done that! 🙂

Another old buoy stranded

Other guys rather walking instead of stupidly paddling in the shallow water were fishermen, looking after their nets some hundreds meter out. Strange way of fishing…but actually so easy! They all looked quite healthy, so the still like liquid mud looking water must eventually contain good fish. And a lot!

Eventually I got fed up side surfing the headwind waves, the last hours crashing quite wet into my boat.I was about 5 km shorto of my day goal of 60 km, but I needed the last sunshine rays to set up my soaking wet tent from last morning, and to more or less dry my wet pants and boots.

Putting up camp was a windy and cols job, but there is nothing better than a eventually a windproof tent after the cold shower to rinse off the liquid mud! Dinner was polenta with cheese and sausages…not too bad!

Good night!

13 comments on “Thu 01/09-2011 Day 3


Hey Freya, I live in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. I?m a Kayakist. I hope you arrive in Ushuaia, maybe can wait for you. Good luck.

Jorge Poletilo

Ich übersetze dir was Andres Koch (permiso Andres, me tomo la llibertad de traducir) geschrieben hat:
Wasser ist braun nicht wegen dem Schmutz. Es kommt braun von dem Iguazú runter. Es sind Sedimente.
Und Andres meint in Samborombon mit der Ebbe tauchen riesige Kolonien von Flusskrebse auf. Da wird es schwer zu laufen. Er schlägt vor 4-5 km offshore zu paddlen. Danach einige Vorschläge zu Plätze wo du gut aussteigen kannst.
Denke hast du schon studiert.

Meine eigente Kommentare
zu den Schmutz:Ja klar ist auch etwas Schmutz aber das meiste hast du hinter dir. Noch sind wir nicht so schlimm wie es in Europa in den 70er oder 80er Jahre damals war und arbeiten damit es nur besser wird.

Para Laura Jager.
Más allá del vertido de la ciudad de Buenos Aires al Río de La Plata, el color marrón del mismo se debe al arastre de limo desde el norte del pais del Río Paraná, el cual finalmente vierte su gran caudal (es el cuarto rio más grande del mundo) en el Río de La Plata.
Andrés Koch

Laura Jager

I can’t find the horse video. Please post it if you get a chance. Sounds beautiful.

Too bad about the “brown” water. I read the post from the local man who said the brown comes from the sewage dumping in the river. GROSS! You are very brave. Don’t get sick.


Mind out where there is cattle! Even domestic cows in the UK have killed walkers through their field. Particularly when they are minding calves, can a lovely muhmuh turn into a vicious dragon.

Nice to see you enjoying yourself. How is your Spanish coming along?


Paddled with you in Miami. I too “bowl” my kayak in the flats but once I didn’t see a deep channel in front of me and had to swin to catch my boat! Love your long posts but will understand when you’re too tired some nights. SEEYA

Meike Michalik

Deine Berichte sind sehr interessant, ich erkenne die südamerikanische Kultur 🙂
Wie ich sehe kommst Du gut vorran. Wünsche Dir weiterhin gutes Gelingen, super Wetter und viel Spass.
Liebe Grüsse aus dem herbstlichen DK Meike


Nice to read your story today! When we found with our kayaks in the same situation (very shallow waters) we use to have fun playing throwing our kayaks (like if we were playing bowling) and see which one of us makes a longer distance…….just if get bored. Keep paddling safe.


Sounds like a beautiful shore you’re paddling along Freya, may it stay this pleasant as you travel south…but perhaps a little deeper!

Lisandro Ferraresi

It´s a pleasure read your day to day trip. I will follow your journey with attention. Thanks for share your experiences with us.
Good luck.

Lara Byrns

Saw you speak in Charleston, SC, USA. Enjoy reading your updates and intend to follow as much as possible. How do I link to your bow video?? Safe and happy thoughts to you…

Freya,en la bahía de Samborombón, la pequeña amplitud de marea deja expuestas en la bajamar extensas zonas de cangrejales, muy dificiles de caminar.
Navegar a 4-5 km de la costa es lo recomendable.
Encontrarás buenas zonas de acampe en las desembocaduras de los Ríos Salado, Canal 9, Canal 1, Ria de Ajo, siempre intentando el aproach con pleamar…
Andrés Koch

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