Dry tent camp in mangrove forest
Loc: mangrove forest
Dist: 35 km
Start: 2:30 End: 14:20
Oh, how I hate getting up that early to paddle! I could have left this beach later, maybe about one hour after high tide at 2.35 am, but I was awake anyway, heard the wind howling with solid 15 -18 knots around my tent, and thought just “SHIT!” This will be a useless dark night. But if I’d not get out in darkness at the next tidal chance,it would get too late. I am prepared to stay the night either on the mud or in the mangrove forest in a hammock anyway, but once is enough! So I need to make reasonable distance, and I was hoping the wind would decrease with the falling tide as usual.
It was almost pitch dark in my direction, only the light halo from Paramaribo was still behind me. The lights of three fishing boat way out there made me feel not so alone… four hours paddling in darkness and 15-18 knots headwind! I hate it! The sea is at least relatively calm, and air and water are warm. Still the constant breeze on your wet clothing makes you sick. I am at least feeling a bit sick, somewhere in Paramaribo I may have collected some cold germs 🙁
But I have to go, fresh water resources are limited. I can fill up again just after the border in a beach village. My pace at night in this wind is a ridiculous 2 km/h, but I am out and moving. At some point I thought I really need a rest and thought of my new anchor – just trying it first time in darkness? Well… yes. The first attempt was disappointing, it didn’t hold in the mud. But then I remembered to keep the ends spread out by turning the ring and then it worked! Yahoo! I just wasn’t fully set up with the attachment to the boat and just tied a knot to my bow line. The line needs to go to the bow, or the wind pressure is too strong sideways to hold the boat. There is a special set up with a ring and double “laundry” line with a pulley to let the anchor slide to the bow and to pull it in again easy. Hauling it up went also well, I just need to practice stowing the line quickly. What if it hooks behind a log or branch or rock? That is exactly what happened at the end of the day, and I hauled an old fat heavy branch up with the anchor. This time I could untangle it from the branch, I am hoping not to lose it in such a stupid way! I had about 5 or 6 short anchor breaks, very nice!
High tide was at 3 pm, around 2 pm I started to look for a camp site in the mangrove forest. The water here is relatively deep in front of the forest, you can see the waves lapping more or less strongly through mostly thick barrier of branches on to a solid muddy edge. I had to pick a spot with few branches blocking the way and the forest being light with strong trees. For a while the waves were crashing too strong on the mud edge, even if there was a branch and gap in the trees. Soon the water calmed down, the first try was unsuccessful, my boat didn’t fit between the logs and trees. I caught only a yucky spider on my spray deck and boat 🙁
The next spot was better, and I was standing on relatively dry forest ground which may be is only flooded once or twice a month on the highest tide.But not today, and high tide is in 40 min, it looked good enough to even put up my tent! Yahoo! Maximum comfort is best for recovering well. The wind was strong again now with even some rain, good for no bugs. The water came up just 10 m in front of my expected tent spot, great!. I can have dry bug free relaxing night! Thank goodness. Beach again hopefully tomorrow! This may be the only mangrove camp until Cayenne, but after that…???