Sat 29/03-2014 Day 639

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My camp on a non-inhabited house

 

Sitting dry for 4,5 hrs…
Pos: here
Loc: Ilha do Tabuleiro eastside
Acc: tent on veranda of a local house
Dist: 34,1 km
Start: 6:30 End: 16:45

This morning I didn’t feel anymore like resting a whole day, I needed to go… I got the idea to ask the locals about the channel entrance, did I really have to paddle through the breaker zone on my arrival on the left? Yes, what I was sensing, there was another entrance to the right, past calm water. I just had to find it which was not too hard. I paddled first north, past the other small village to the left of the breaker zone, which was probably not as easy to take as this calm one! A noisy boat came just out and confirmed me being on the right way through the channel to the other bay.

It is such a relief those channels exist in most places to avoid to negotiate the (mostly) rough and dangerous headlands! You just have to find them on low tide, and they need to have water…

This one was easy, and I luckily spotted soon the other bay on the other side of the headland. It was still highish tide, and the bay looked calm, easy to hop across to find the next channel. But a big 4 m tide empties any bay very soon, this one had many green reef spots on my chart, despite the missing markers they’d fall dry on low tide. Just where I wanted to go and guessed there would still be some channel left there was quite soon no water any more. I didn’t want to go more left and out, as the way to the next channel entrance looked like I just had to negotiate a sand bank with a channel left close to the shore. But no way, 3,5 km before the entrance I was dry, no way to go back…

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I was climbing this high stilt house for a better overview over the low tide bay
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This stilt house I was climbing was over 6 m high!

 

I was close to five fishing rescue huts on high stilts, and I could have camped in one of those. But it was so early! Also I noticed close to my falling dry spot was still some deep water, and I dragged my kayak back in to explore the deep water leading into a river where I had some hope it may also lead across or maybe even be the one I was looking for…

I paddled in for 2 km against heavy current running out, it was still wide and relatively deep, but eventually the dreaded poles marking a dead end channel here were showing up, it was muddy and the water was gone. Well, it was a chance! Better than sitting all the time on dry waiting for water which I still did then for two hours once back to the spot…

Out of one of the huts came at lowest tide a single fisher man to put out his net across the now shallow river channel water. His small canoe was tied to one of the houses, so I was guessing some one was in there. He really looked like he was living there all the time, surviving on the daily small catch he gained with his long net. Today it was about ten small fish and five crabs. Before taking the crabs out of the net, he broke off the two scissor hands of the alive animals. Well…soon they will land in the cookpot and the crabs grow another set…

I spared a few crackers for the friendly basic living man, and he invited me for a meal of fish in his hut on stilts. But sorry, I am a vegetarian…and the water will come back soon!

It did, slowly but then surely it was flooding my sand bank that I could reach the channel to paddle easily across. Again a boat just came out to confirm to me I was at the right entrance, as I paddled on land again, according to my chart…

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These well fed cows are regular village inhabitants

 

No idea if there’d be another beach or more fishing rescue huts on the other side. It was too late to cross the next bay, going against the current in the channel, so I had to find something on this side! Once out, I soon spotted another similar white sandy beach with palm tree huts in about 2 km distance to the north. Thank goodness!

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The village of those part time fishermen

 

I got again welcomed by the locals, helped to a camp site on the vearanda of an empty house, and invited for coffee and fish. Thanks for both, but I have my own food and drink…

This village looked still basic with no sat dishes, but was occupied by “part time” fishermen, living in the next city for a good time of the year. They clearly looked more city like than the fishermen in the other village, had a chain saw, larger boats, better clothing and were well fed and styled. Their cow herd running across the houses looked similar, even had clean brand marks on the backsides.

I felt safe and sound here, and went to sleep soon.

 

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