Thu 21/02-2013 Day 401

I enjoyed paddling between small rocky islands


Pos: here
Loc: Arusi
Acc: Navy boat
Dist: 55,1 km
Start: 7:05 End: 17:00

Tomorrow’s estimated landing: 55 km further north

Carlos seemed to like to stay on the spot where he was stopping the engine last night, it was about 18 km further north east. He was driving about three times during the night back to it when we drifted even further north. The last drive didn’t stop, but went back to the spot where I stopped paddling, and I got up at my usual time around 5.30 am.

Some interesting rocky formations with arches


He was all these times driving very slowly during the night, not to wake his mates up, and I barely noticed also that we were moving. I don’t know what was so important about stopping exactly at that spot further north, as the most logical spot for me would be about 25 km further south south west, as the drift would have taken us about that distance and direction north north east and we may have arrived in the morning just back where I stopped!

A idyllic tiny headland with palm trees and a hut


But now we had to drive those 18 km back to my stopping spot, at slow pace, as the sea was quite choppy this morning. It got a bit better at some point, still the poor overtired guys were trying to wrap themselves in tarps and blankets to avoid the sea spray. They seemed to have all slept in the seats, as it was also raining at night. My sleep was reasonable good in my tiny sheltered bow cabin, and I was the one who had to physically work all next day! The guys would recover their sleep in shifts,I assumed.

Another headland with shady palm trees for the housing area underneath


It was noticeable that this night was not the best one, as the guys started to argue about something I didn’t understand.
I was happy to back in the water in my own boat’s solitude, and to feel also better regarding my upcoming seas sickness. As long as I was asleep horizontally, all was ok with the bumpy water on the slow drive, but as soon as I was getting up and and to pack my gear together in dawn inside my sleeping hole, I felt some upcoming seasickness. I hurried to finish my morning jobs, including throwing my secret bathroom jobs over board, and to get into the fresh air and some horizon fix. I didn’t mind the rain and sea spray in my face, it just cooled me down and improved my sea sickness, and I’d be all wet all day anyway. But I would have minded if I’d needed to throw up!

With Cabo Corriente, the coastal scenery changed from low river estuaries to rocky green mountains


A big solo rock off Cabo Corriente


I was happy to reach Cabo Corriente, which eventually marked the finish of my long and very boring offshore paddles, almost all the Colombian coast so far.

The shore at the Cape had low rocky mountains and hills, with lush tropical forest on top. I could smell a sweet scent allover! The forest was also very noisy with probably thousands of  cicadas, and the simple noise of the water lapping on shore made me feel good again. Offshore paddling cuts shorter, but is sooooo boring…I had to pay for the new view of the coast close up with the loss of the strong current going north, as close to the coast there was probably not even an eddy going. But rather real paddling with nice view, than falling asleep on getting drifted along!

One of the pretty 'forbidden' beaches for me...


I spotted a bunch of hidden small hosing sites, and the beaches were nice and wild and some even good campsites even on high tide! But the best spots in small river outlets were certainly inhabited, and unfortunately I was not supposed to camp yet again either… 🙁  I just enjoyed the view of this wild coast, and was wondering why my guys were not driving closer to also have a look…

An idyllic place for some local huts


When I was turning around the last headland into the new large bay, I decided this time not to cut across, but to paddle along the inner points with shore view. Nicer, but longer. But I was sick of offshore paddling. Also, I thought then we had to drive not that far for a calm anchorage, as the coast had a few suitable bays in my opinion.

This arch was nothing to go through with that wash!


When I was stopping for the day at 5 pm, mourning the many beautiful bays and beaches I could not simply go camping on by myself, I was at least hoping that deciding on an anchoring spot wouldn’t take long for the guys! Well, hoping…first Carlos wanted to go all the way to Nuqui – about 18 km. Then we were chasing a small boat to get local informations about good anchoring nearby, but it turned out it was a sit on top kayak with an old Englishman tourist paddling! Surely he couldn’t help…the next fishing boat said their bay would be fine, the guys tried to set the anchor, but were obviously not successful, although two other boats were anchoring here.

Then Carlos decided to drive back to the large wide sandy bay just behind the point, where we eventually set anchor on reasonably calm water. Thanks, guys! I am just tired, cold and wet after a long days paddling and driving around on the boat, and need my rest as soon as possible.

The feeling for the scenery and people also changed after Cabo Corriente – there are a few hotels around now with tourists, and the deep dark dangerous river mouths with all the bad guys coming out may be almost behind us now. Still all not 100% safe to let me go alone… 🙁 and I am happy to have the escort. Thanks to the Colombian Navy supporting me!

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Randall Lackey

Glad to hear you’re getting back into more enjoyable scenery and hopefully some safer as well.With the Navy boat drifting all night I was wondering why they did’nt have an anchor to keep them in one location until you mentioned them anchoring later in the post. Rest well.Safe paddling.

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