First solid “beaches” in sight!
Loc: well behind Cabo Cassiporé
Dist: 50,4 km
Start: 6:50 End: 16:55
When I liked to paddle conveniently out of my flooded mangrove forest, the bungee holding my stern toggle was trapped in a small branch. Well, jumping in the water to free it is one of my favourite jobs in the morning… Ok, temperatures are all good, and I am wet all day anyway.
I crossed the huge river mouth of Rio Cassiporé with no problem, the usual choppy water in the main current. On the southern end, a wide area of tiny surf indicated firm, but shallow ground on low tide. Will there be also more solid shores to find at night? The first solid looking “beach” came in sight, I landed and tried the ground. Walkable, but sticky and soapy clay mud. It was piled up in most strange formations, with ditches and pools and tiny hills. Getting a kayak across to the high water line level may be a problem. Ok, just in case I had to land on such place at night, it would do somehow…But it was too early to call it a day yet!
I paddled further along, spotting that the solid “beach” would stop soon in favour for some soaked forest again. The wind became more breezy and the surf quite choppy, I made a quick decision, and landed on such a clay mud land spit just before the forest area started. I should better have not done so, if I’d known before…
I put up my hammock right on the windy spit, thinking this would do for the night. I had already secured my kayak, and was ready to move in in the rain, as I noticed I may have underestimated the rising tide and surf break on my land spit. I need to urgently get away here! There is at least 1,5 hrs time left until high tide!
With lots of effort, I pulled my kayak off the spit to ground at the end of the two gulleys besides my spit, which was not firm at all. Just well more soaking mud, bugs en masse and traces of some smaller hoofed animal. Water buffaloes already? Then it was time to carry the gear across also. The problem is encountering this slippery soapy firm clay mud first time, that I can kind of solidly walk on it, best in neoprene socks, as my sandals were too sticky on the ground and I was correctly worried to damage them by delaminating the layers of the sole. It had already started…
But when I walked on this stuff with heavy loaded gear bags, I was sinking in deeply, partially to the knees and each step is a pain in the ass. Or I loaded only half of the still almost full load since Cayenne, which I had to do for balance reasons anyway, and I was still sinking in… a horrible walk and work to shift the gear further off the watery ground, which was not even more dry! When I was eventually done, I decided to put up the hammock on another windy spot, got sick of the job in the now strong wind and rain and luckily found a spot behind some low mangrove bushes which really had four square meters of almost solid sandy ground, an island in the knee deep mud. It was just space enough for my tent!
It was eventually turning dark, and pitching the tent in rain, darkness and swarms of the tiny mosquitoes was not a pleasure either. Finally all gear was in and my kayak was close, I could not even strip outside any more for my well deserved shower due to the bug cloud. I only stripped the muddy dirty wind breaker layer, and then had to jump inside like I was. But believe me, I had my tiny shower inside the tent, sacrificed a towel to mop the water off, and was still instantly sweating again like hell as this spot was fully wind sheltered. What a shitty camp site! I damaged my neoprene socks walking in this shitty mud, and also the soles of the sandals. I had no more energy and appetite to cook or update for the day. I just wanted to sleep. I had no cooked dinner since Cayenne now! The slight thought about resting a full day on this first tent site I put aside again, as I had no peaceful mind here. I was already worried about the launch for the next day probably out of one of the gullies as I was not really keen on another gear shift through that knee deep mud distance….hopefully the surf is less tomorrow morning. And no water buffaloes visiting at night…