Tue 06/11-2012 Day 321

Our tent at the small headland at the wide beach at Puerto Caballas

Pos: here
Loc: Caleta Nazca Puerto Caballas
Acc: tent
Dist: 62,3 km
Start: 5:15 End: 16:00

Probably off due to high swell and an unsafe landing at Punta Lomas

We really had a tiny surf in our bay this morning – still Peter managed to get the highest tiny one right into his face – good morning! 🙂 But he’ll be doing it better this night…

The paddle was easy going with moderate following wind which gave us a nice push. We already had dolphins yesterday, and also today they enjoyed playing around even among a bunch of seals Do they like each other, or are they rather competing about the available fish food? Birds are the third party in the game of eating and stealing each other’s catch!

I love to peel my carrots I'm eating for lunch on the water!

We enjoyed today on the water a for me new kind of pineapple, it was rather long than thick, but was as yummy as it can be! No fruit acid, no strings between the teeth after eating – great! I love pineapples…with the new kind of bananas I was shopping also in Puerto Lomas in a tiny shop I could rather only please Peter – the flesh was slightly orange, and not as sweet. But it was a huge caliber! 🙂 Another time earlier on we bought obviously bananas meant for cooking, they had a small narrow end, and were not really edible raw… different countries, different fruit! Even if it looked almost the same…

View over the bay of Puerto Caballas

Our landing tonight made me worrying a bit, as it was not as protected as the other spots. Still it was going nicely around the corner in relation to our south western swell direction and should have a bit of shelter. But I had my doubts…the Google Earth picture was just split in that end. And if we’d had read Karel’s forecast update this morning…different to last night’s forecast and all the other days which had a swell of 2 m to 2,70 m, he wrote just this morning 2,50 m to 3,30 m…

Going around the headland showed heavily crashing swell breaking on all cliffs, but we still had one corner to turn in…but as i was assuming, it was rolling in almost unbroken. Still there were lulls…

We were fully armed, and I nervously went in closer, also fighting a strong headwind! I was watching not to get caught too early, but then spotted an about 20 m wide gap with a sandy beach between two rocky areas which looked in the inner corner the most sheltered to me. I just had to go sideways through the swell which I already did sometimes on such nasty corners. Still it was a rather daring landing, but with good timing, it looked safe. Rather than going in in this long shallow wide sandy beach where I probably couldn’t escape the multiple lines of rollers in the strong headwind landing! Plus the breakers looked more nasty with the spray getting blown off the crest top.

I timed it nicely, and went in quickly in this side beach…almost perfect…until on the last second a breaker on the corner caught me with moderate force and I had to side broach a bit – right on to the flat rocks on the other side of the gap – which were fortunately padded with sea weed! Still I found myself high and dry on an about 50 cm wide large rock, jumped out quickly, dragged the boat off the rock and up the beach.

But now the next unfortunately quite nasty breaker rolled in, and washed the boat out of my hand, and it got pushed with moderate force sliding over the sand in the shallow wash water against another long rock, just with the cockpit facing to the rock and it was scooping a load of sand water…but thank goodness, it was nothing broken!!! I eventually managed to get it out of the wash zone, but had to use my electrical pump to get the water out in addition to putting it on the edge. Later I’d need a shovel for the sand… 🙁

Ok, this was not the best option for a landing spot for Peter, who probably was nervously watching and waiting out there…I decided to walk further into the middle of the wide beach, and to wave him in there…also a nasty place…

The breakers went in long and wide, and on the biggest sets it had up to three breaker lines, plus this nasty side current I already experienced myself, plus the strong offshore wind which made me worrying *if* Peter gets trashed in the surf and may have to bail out, if he’d be able to hold onto the boat without the thing is getting blown out and away…

I eventually waved him to go in about 200 m off the last rocks, but I didn’t made any signals…he had to decide the timing himself. There were lulls, but the surf zone and the wash was soooo wide…would he be fast enough once getting going into the danger zone? And then the lucky bastard paddled in without a drop in his face…catching the tiniest breakers on launching the other days, and on this one he managed to be good! Thank goodness also…the goddess of love to the seas is with us!

We then had to carry Peter’s boat and gear to my corner in front of the rocks, where we found a dry and sheltered camp spot. The night’s high tide would flood up very high in the wide open beach, and already the last three nights we were quite close to the high tide line on the wash!

Locals were busy collecting sea weed along the wide beach. They brought the stuff in on motorbikes, which I assume was more fun for the guys than driving the pickup they also had! Despite the name of this landing was “Puerto” and “Caleta”, there were no other boats here, but a few houses. Who can blame a fisherman not wanting to land here…

We’ll see about tomorrow, as I assume the landing spot is similar at Punta Lomas 45 km north. We may have to wait a day for the swell gets a bit down. the next very safe landing is in a Caleta with an island, but this is another 65 km away! And I’m really not keen on paddling 110 km in a row and to land at night…

11 comments on “Tue 06/11-2012 Day 321

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Randall Lackey

It sounds as though you two have had quite a rough day, with a rougher landing to top it off. Rest well. Hope the winds will blow away and I know you’ll decide best on Paddling tommorow.If you must stay put for a day,Rest up and stay safe.Fair winds and Safe paddling.I’d rather ride my bike than drive an old truck as well,Ha.

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