Surfy beach landing
Loc: Kaaimanshoofd point
Dist: 39 km
Start: 6:20 End: 16:30
I’m still a bit sick…being all day wet in the wind doesn’t really help to get much better. Sniffy stuffed nose, headache…but I can paddle, have to paddle at least until tomorrow across the border to the small village on the sandy spit of Les Hattes/ Aquara. I am hoping to find friendly people there helping me to refill my water bags easily until Cayenne. And then it happens nicely that Saturday is stronger wind anyway which makes the decision for a rest and recovery day easy.
Today was a relatively easy going day. I could afford to launch at dawn from my sandy beach, as the water upfront was deep. Just around the corner was a real gem of a steep but calm beach where the two fishermen boats were anchoring, but I was happy with my private spot in the sandy forest. I paddled almost all day only on calm but shallow water, no negotiating big mudflats or other stupid detour stuff. I threw my anchor a few times to relax, great thing on a calm mudflat paddling against the wind, especially when I was waiting out a stronger breeze before a rain squall. The second rain squall lasted almost all afternoon, so I couldn’t sit at anchor all the time! I crossed some water covered inlet in raising tide, where I amused myself trying to catch one of the many catfish with my new scoop net. They are stupid and blind with their eyes just above the muddy water and bumped into my kayak a few times. I caught one, but they are so big and strong the lucky guy escaped me again. It was also a pleasure to be able to paddle with some water so close to the wetland to watch the many birds: white, bright red and blue ones, the colours of both Holland and France…My “beach bird” swarms came also up again when I was nearing my beach, I am very sure they indicate a sandy area!
Winds were moderate today, until it came closer to high tide. I was happy again to be reaching “my” beach at perfect high tide to avoid mud crawling, but this one was a real surfy ugly one, with no calm place behind like yesterday (I guess…). Surely on high tide with stronger wind the surf was a bit nasty, but I had only the choice to either wait out or to paddle on and see if I’d find something calmer round the corner.
It looked like the beach was all sandy with not too many tree obstacles, not too steep but still with a high wash up over the ridge which first indicated high tide and second one fat breaker at the end. If I’d be lucky to avoid to catch the one fat breaker and sprint in just in time, I could make it…I took my chance on a calmer set, sprinted like hell, and saw and heard the breaker just a few meters far enough behind me to not hit me to trash me. Sure I side broached high up in the wash up, but all ok and no trees. I quickly jumped out of my kayak and grabbed the bow and pulled it out of the next strong side and back wash. Thank goodness! This could have been worse…I did a quick walk later to check if I’d chosen the perfect spot – yes, sure 🙂 I am camping on a perfect sandy higher “island”, where this high tide just doesn’t reach me.
Now 1,5 hrs after high tide the beach looks relatively calm, and getting out should be also good after high tide around maybe 7 am. Winds are easy tomorrow morning, and I have no hurry tomorrow to paddle across the maximum 17 km to French Guiana. I will have to paddle against the outgoing tide anyway, until it will turn around noon. I hope I can land better on the beach across the village on not fully high tide. And if it is a muddy beach, I simply have to sit and wait. And then it is a rest day!!! Water still to be found though…