Tue 01/05-2012 Day 246

My hosts Loreta, Rodrigo and Mercedes, the great cook, with many family members for lunch at the round table.

Pos: here
Loc: Algarrobo
Acc: Lloreta’s house
Dist: 38,8 km
Start: 7:00 End: 12:45

I didn’t sleep long enough nor well enough, as we had set the time to leave the house at 6 am, to be on the water at first light at 7 am. The one and only day on the trip I was paddling with an almost empty boat, as I would be picked up by Rodrigo in Algarrobo again, to be back to Lloreta’s house for one more night. Thanks for the effort of driving me!

It was the first launch in weeks, I think, without the Navy being present! 🙂 But instead, there were about 25-30 of those huge fat seals I spotted already yesterday, occupying the empty city beach for the night. They look to me like all are males – can that be? I’m wondering if during the day the tourists are spreading their towels and running bare foot in the same sand…

I paddled out of the quiet port in first light, but there were already a bunch of pilot boats getting a loaded freighter out into the sea. No pilot boat for me though this morning! And I really don’t need one…

The sea was calm on the very low wind in moderate to big swell. But as the wind stayed low all day, paddling was no problem at all. No breaking waves out there! I just didn’t want to land on one of the open beaches! Big spray fountains were crashing on the shore everywhere.

I was crossing  to Punta Talca with not much view of the shore in the morning sun, but as the distance was not even 40 km to Algarrobo, I was already at home with my thoughts!

Soon I was nearing the headland, and the Navy deployed their toys – a small zodiac with two guys enjoying their ride out, but after asking me a quick “ok”, they stayed wherever away. Good. A helicopter came out to use me as an exercise target, glad they were not practicing shooting UFO’s (unknown floating objects…) – ok, I was probably well known, as they gave me a loud honk once and buzzed over my head twice!

I turned into the Rada El Algarrobo, and noticed why this corner is supposed to be *the* water sport center of Chile! It could have also been any other modern holiday beach and bay, with a small port for sail boats, a huge beach resort with probably one of the biggest pools I’ve ever seen (on Google Earth…), but with the most ugly concrete apartment houses around. It had also a natural sheltered harbor behind a small reef, where I was supposed to land to to be picked up by Rodrigo and his family again. The Navy was also present, and this time we took them up on the offer to take care of my boat. Thank you!  Driving it around in San Antonio’s traffic back and forth would be more dangerous for my baby… thanks to the Navy in Algarrobo!

Mercedes and her stylish table with great food!

I also quickly changed there, and on a maut highway, we drove back to Lloreta’s house to enjoy a long lunch with 10 family members until 3.15 pm. Mercedes was cooking again, fish in all variations – steamed, and raw and smoked in two salads, plus friend rosmary potatoes. Yummy! I ate more than I needed again…I was actually today throwing a few pieces of older and eaten too often food out of my kayak into the sea…sea birds – enjoy!

For tomorrow, Rodrigo showed me on the map a secret very sheltered tiny landing bay in Quintay, only 20 km away. Easy going! Better than Laguna Verde…Then I have 30 km left to arrive relaxed in Valapraiso on Thursday around 1 am! This is better than paddling these two half days in one rush, as the swell is huge tomrrow, and it breezes up in the afternoon. The mornings are all right, with no to low wind on the big swell. Plus, I am not as tired as after a 50 km day, and may be more happily smiling into the many expected cameras…

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