Thu 10/11-2011 Day 73

Prefectura Puerto Deseado sending me off in the early morning

Pos: here
Loc: Punta Medanosa
Acc: tent
Dist: 51,7 km
Start: 6:40 End: 18:25

My Prefectura driver this morning had to get up early – 6 am was the schedule…sorry, and many thanks! The caretaker of the boat shed of the Club Nautico came from his nearby hut as well, many thanks for helping me keep my schedule…or they could have dropped me the night before at the beach. When I’m staying in civilization I need to start really early to get a full day’s paddle out of a good weather window…

As usual, I didn’t get enough sleep being in a house – too much distraction from chores and online work until late night. This means I had to nap on the water – which I did frequently on this very calm day…no problem.

About four Prefectura guys got me started this morning, plus one photographer. One guy was fully dressed in a diving wet suit including hood – handy to rescue me if I may fall into the water on launching from a dead calm beach  🙂

But he wanted to be nice and helpful and held my kayak while the old lady was entering the cockpit…just what I needed! And for sure I got an escort out of the river with a boat with two guys, mostly busy taking pictures – I’m honored to receive so much attention!

The stream out of the river was strong, and in no time I was on the open sea again. But the tide turned soon, and I was paddling along slowly, resting often, yawning, napping…having a hard time to get going again. My slight cold included a tough cough from  last day’s wet bum and cold feet inside the dry suit wasn’t really giving me more energy. But it seemed that at least I succesfully repaired my dry suit, some spots on the hips rubbing all day against the back rest needed to be fixed. I just used seam seal glue from the inside of the very dry dry suit, it dries over night, and works easy on the road. No patches.

Home of the sea gulls

Going around the first headland was a bit of a challenge: with the tide against me, I had to sprint hard through a couple of gaps. It was one hour before high tide, and the current was strong as hell! But the water was mostly flat, and tidal races low. At least on the second big headland I’d have the tide with me!

On more seal colony on a rock...

Punta Pozos was a great surprise – not only that another one of my favorite large seal colonies was stinking and making a lot of noise on two large rocks before the point, but turning around, I saw the largest rock theater I have ever seen – HUGE cliffs, broken into HUGE pieces! And all that for 3-4 km…impressive! You could fantasize about a lot of rocks what kind of shape you may see – animals, human figures, faces and body parts – very entertaining! And at the end were some beautiful sandy beaches…if it wouldn’t be that early, I’d stay!

These rocks were of gigantic size!

But I wanted to cross the last 17 km over the Bahia Nodales, as inside the deep bay was not that much to see after that impressive scenery.

...more gigantic rocks...

Around Punta Medanosa I had to give a wide berth, as it is littered with large cliffs, reefs and rocks, all nicely exposed on low tide. Unfortunately the tidal stream was not as strong as on the last big point – now going in my direction! I rather had to fight my way through wide kelp beds, not really a pleasure as you have to set each stroke into the gaps of the strong plants. But you can float your kayak easily over it, different to a motorboat, whose propeller would have muchos problemos!

...well, not as nice shape as the one I found in Australia...

I wanted to land on the first reasonable beach – but it was lowest of the lowest tides…the beach I picked looked accessible, it was one of the usual steep gravel beaches, but located in a deep bay with a wide kelp bed upfront, plus an about 30 meter wide belt with the flat sea bed exposed before the steep beach rises up. This sea bed was rocky with lots of weeds. I had to unload my kayak in the very shallow water, then I could drag it to the bottom of the steep beach and eventually drag it up – quite some work!

Tomorrow morning it should be better, as the low tide is one hour later, plus this low tide is generally 50 cm higher. So I hope to slide just off the gravel beach, without dragging my kayak over the exposed sea bed again!

Tonight’s dinner is pasta with a sauce with fresh mushrooms – delicious! 🙂