Thu 06/02-2014 Day 588

I stayed a day to recover from my night paddle


Made it to another sea kayaking world

Pos: here
Loc: The perfect wild beach
Acc: tent
Dist: 81,8 km
Start: 0:00 End: 09:50

My prayers were heard again, after what was maybe an hour of most scary full concentrated high breaking swell paddling in dark night, I was climbing the last huge black wall with a cry of being highly scared and thinking now comes the ultimate wall, crashed down on the other side with even a louder cry, and that was mostly it then. Thank goodness, I was out of that zone. I listened for a long while to the sound of the breaking waves behind me and closer to the shore, but ahead it seemed there were none or just very very few breakers. Now I was starting to fight sleep, and started to sing a monotonous song with the mayor text line: “Don’t let your guard down…don’t let your guard down…!”

The swell became even higher, but it was not breaking any more. Still, never trust the waves… I kept on singing almost for all hours after now maybe 11 pm to dawn, the only way to keep myself awake. I didn’t care to paddle hard, just hoping the calm but big swell water would stay like that if I’d stay out enough. Approaching the coast came later in daylight , that can’t be that bad then…

I tried to eat this and that without much appetite, washed things down with water, fumbled here and there just to keep me awake and to have an excuse to put the paddle away. Still not full away though, just across my lap… Fortunately the wind was low and it was not raining. Still, it was almost pitch dark, thank goodness for my light halo guiding me to my direction. That is so much worth at dark night! It gave me a visual horizon, as in the big now 3-4m swell I would become sea sick more quicker. So, only after some hard coughing I started to try to throw up for a while, but nothing real came out. Then that was also it. I had worse nights being sea sick…

I counted the minutes down, and even made some distance. Just surviving the darkness was my goal…eventually, finally, after a large fish was hitting scary my bow, it became light, and I could start to see the huge massive swell raising me up and down. Big mountains of water, but not dangerous. Where the hell does that come from after all those days in muddy shallow water? I could feel the wind draft when paddling down a swell mountain, and some backwash from the coast though it was actually quite a distance away. The swell direction was eventually from my back left shoulder, so not too bad. The water was almost clear! Yahoo! But for how long and to what price?

Can't believe my eyes - no beach, but a solid granite rock! It would have been possible to camp on it.


I read a coast change on my GPS chart, the area with some rocks around Cayenne would start now. I was aiming to that corner, still doing well to rather now trust my eyes than my chart. And really, really! I was seeing some kind of small rocky reef breaking at the end of the long line of green forest, also some more reefs further east. I spotted the wide gap between to rocky reefs, which led me into a new world. Not that the swell also went down here fully, I found also as hoped a way along the coast in calm water, fringed by rocks and forest. The entrance had two huge flat granite rocks where I was tempted to pull up on the calm side to camp on them as I have done many times out of need in Patagonia. I also got spotted just before entering through the reef gap! A helicopter had just started from the obvious airport behind the forest as i saw some antennas and a tower. He turned a few low circles over me, and I was wondering if he was out to find me? I waved all right, and he headed off. Good…

I also had already spotted a nice yellow beach in the distance, and I calmly, slowly, happily paddled there, knowing I didn’t had to land in huge surf. This was a great, pretty sea kayaking area! I still sang the same song, now with a new text: “My calm sandy beach, I am coming!”

My body was aching and burning every where, still after landing easily I made camp and washed in the almost clear water and dried my gear as I should do. It was sunny and low wind now, but there were also dark clouds in the horizon indicting some rain soon. Eventually I laid down, and thanked once more the sea gods for me keeping me alive through this horror night, leading me into paradise now!

Wild beach
Nice beach vegetation
Enough of a pile of firewood!


Paradise? Two more helicopters flew again along the coast, without a sign of spotting me. And it was now raining since 3 pm, no problem besides I forgot my laundry outside. Then, at 5.30 pm, I heard it, being woken out of my well deserved rest: The launch of a rocket!!! Wasn’t it supposed to be on another day only according to some comment on my blog? Sure the helicopters may have been out clearing the area for this event. A deep, deep grumble you have never heard anywhere else was vibrating the air and the beach around me, there was no doubt about what it was. I was not really scared, just prayed this launch would not end up in a stop and fall down right in front of my coastal camp…I curiously stuck my nose out of my tent, but all I saw was gray sky and rain and I caught a bunch of bugs inside. This was a most impressive event for me! I was actually camped only about 13 km away from the launching site! Amazing, how close undisturbed nature and highest human achievements can be…


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Hi Freya,
du meine Güte, du warst nur 4 km Luftlinie vom Soyuz Launch Pad entfernt. Die Rakete ist aber zum Glück vom Ariane Launch Pad abgehoben, 13 km entfernt. Das Security Team in den Helikoptern war wohl kurzsichtig. Die Küste ist weiträumig abgesperrt, kurz vor einem Start. Vielleicht wollten dich die Fischer warnen.
Gruß Tom

Randall Lackey

Sounds like you’ve had a hellofa night gal. glad to read you’re still so strong and maid it through it well. your award awaited you with a nice camp beach and getting to hear the rocket launching. That would be cool knowing such high tech events were going on so close, but so far away. Hope you’re enjoying your much needed rest and will have more nice camp nights ahead. Just for your knowledge on world events,the Winter olympics began last night in Socci,Russia, with the opening ceremony tonight.
Safe Paddling.

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