Dist: 29.8 km
Start: 6:50 End: 15:45
If someone will ask me later about the toughest part of this trip – it’s the Caribbean…why? Constant headwinds draining you fast and slowing you down 2/5, camping out in the heat makes for skin problems and sleeping badly.
When I stop early and don’t find a camp site in the shade (usually), and when it’s sunny (mostly) and the beach has sand flies (mostly), life after landing ist just not pleasant. Either you get bitten being outside in a bit of breeze, or you sweat your ass off inside the tent, even with just the double sided fly mesh doors.You are laying inside and the water just runs down, like in a sauna. You are praying the sun goes down and night comes for a little fresh air, but before 3 am, there is no noticeable temperature drop. And if there is a breeze, this also means tougher paddling.
I am crawling along with average 3,5 km/h, making maximum 30-35 km per day, instead of 5 km/h and 50 km. Reaching just Cartagena will probably take almost twice as long as estimated. I will need to look carefully into my food supplies and -resupplies. Water should be easier to get, as there are villages enough, and probably even sail boats may help out.
I wish I’d have some times dry skin. Either it’s soaked with salt water all day, or with sweat after my tiny fresh water shower at night. Not funny. I am even thinking to stop at a hotel with air condition in El Porvenir – if they have one and if it’s tempting on the way…maybe…
At least the next days is very low wind and seas, so no time for a hotel stop 🙂
The paddle today was with about 12 knots headwind, and high to moderate seas, but basically not very exciting. Landings are few safe ones, as the reefs make things dangerous to guess from outside of them. This morning I dared to stay inside the wide reef between the headland and a small mangrove island, as there will hopefully be an exit on the other side… well, yes, there was one, but with quite some messy water. Not sure if every one would have dared to go through it. I was finding the right path, and didn’t catch any wave, but this was not a good path to get out!
Tonight the only campsite within reasonable reach and with a safe landing was at a small village called Palmira, I am camped at the sheltered boat landing on the edge of a village with local people. I gained the respect of the local guys, and all treated me friendly, and even didn’t bother me too much. I got a bucket shower from a local woman to save my own drinking water, and am now loosing many litres of water (sweat) just lying here and writing…