Camp on a sandy bank with a lonely old fisherman
Loc: Ilha do Marco
Dist: 40,9 km
Start: 6:30 End: 14:45
I think on the next fish or meat invitation I will be a vegetarian again…I am just too picky, I’m simply not used to a small fish cooked with head, toes, hair, bones and skin just cut in large pieces. Not much white meat for me to pick. Oh, I am spoiled by the large fillets out of the supermarket… Kiko, my host, noticed my hesitation and emphasized he is eating fish and rice in soup every day, like probably most locals. And especially as he is running two large modern fly fishing boats, I assume also for pleasure… but so sorry.
I was back on the channel going north, this morning conveniently with the running out tide. Since two days I was back on saltwater, even with a few rocks on some headlands! And now, heading first time around a point, Punta den Camara in the sea, I really enjoyed the view of crystal clear salt water in front of sandy white dunes! No more muddy water in rivers or shallow shores! Even my channel ride the last days was not as pleasant than being back on the real sea again!
But going offshore has alsso it’s challenges here, the channels were easier to paddle, just some current and a bit of wind. Here, I had to negotiate sand banks, strong currents and more wind creating some waves. But this is the sea! You kind of have get used to it again after easy calm river paddling! As long as the sea went down, all was easy until 11 am. I pleased my eye on some holiday houses and bars at Punta Algodoal, but besides a few fishermen just one tourist couple to spot. Two horse drawn carriages though, not sure if loaded with tourists or fishing nets.
The crossing of Baia de Maracana was already much slower, via a breaking sand bank. And approaching eventually the northern point of the headland was hard work against tide and wind and some current creating ugly cross water. I just about made it to the sheltered corner where I spotted some fishing huts. This will tell me that going against wind AND current may be a pain in the ass in this area, and plus approaching a tricky corner gave me the rest for the day.
But there was once more a river channel marked on my map, not on my chart though…I tried to ask an old fisherman living in one of the huts, and I understood the channel may be ok on highest water. As I didn’t like to go outside any more, but it was still early at 1.3p pm and it was 2,5 hrs before high tide, I decided to give it a try already. I paddled about 2 km into a wide looking channel, but unfortunately the inviting place became narrower and shallower and eventually I had to turn around or to wait maybe for high water.
I rather decided to head back to the sandy point with the fishing huts and the old man to spend the night and to go round this rough point tomorrow with outgoing tide and lower wind. Meanwhile a fishing boat has anchored in front of one of the huts, and three men were having their deserved rest from the night’s fishing job. They came across later for a curious chat, as well as the single old man. I don’t like stopping this early already, but if the wind and tide are running both against me with rough seas, I will better have to instead of wasting my energy crawling along with 2-3 km/h or less.
See how it goes tomorrow, if I find accessible channels to short cut the headlands on running up tide or if I can even paddle around them with reasonable speed. At least all beaches here on the headlands have easy landing on outgoing tide everywhere (I think), on running up tide you better go on the western sheltered side somewhere (I think)…
My feet are mostly ok, my backside is rather the old painful sciatic nerve. It is worse paddling on easy flat water in the channels, in rough sea there is no time to feel the sore butt…just my skin in general is mostly wet from sweat and still itching in the camp from the constantly humid heat. How I hate this feeling…