Low surf on many shallows
Loc: Before Barra do Perical
Dist: 31,2 km
Start: 5:55 End: 11:45
The launch was easier than the landing yesterday, as it was almost full high tide. The surf is wide, but really low and nothing serious. Fortunately the tide was retreating, as there were so many strange movements on the points and over the shallows, that I really thought I’d not like to be here on higher seas and running up tide. It was all rather funny, but somehow weird to paddle through uncontrolled waters, not knowing why and where it was running in which direction.
But all easy, until I came to cross the Barra de Bacanga one hour before low tide. I saw some larger fishing boats going far out, but I thought I could make it across… wrong thought. Sure I got stuck about 500 m before reaching the position of an obviously still afloat fishing boat. I dragged the kayak for a while in very shallow water, then this stupid motion was also finished.
So close! I knew where I had to turn off, way earlier, a big detour. Now even the way back was dry… and to make me feel fully ridiculous, I even spotted a smaller boat driving *inside* the sand bank in an obviously deep channel… I missed both of these right ways . I had two options – either to sit here for at least three hours until the water was raising again enough to continue paddling or even dragging the boat, or unloading and walking to the outer edge of the bank, just where the larger fishing boat was now anchoring.
I opted for the latter, and started to walk with two heavy gear bags to a dry spot close to the edge, about 500 m. The now dry hard sand had those sea ripples and hurt the soles of feet in socks a lot, but with shoes, it would have been even worse as the sandals had rubbed already many sores here and there.
When I almost was reaching my target position, I saw that two guys from the smaller boat parked now on the inland channel and were walking also just to my spot, obviously to check a net now laying dry. My chance… I charmingly asked if they’d be happy to help to get also my kayak here…the two young smart men didn’t first look too interested, and pointed me to the harbour between the islnds. This is where I should better be in their opinion… But when I eventually said ok, I’ll do it alone then, they agreed to help and joined me.
On the way back to my kayak I tried to tell them about my trip, I think they already guessed I was mad and were laughing about the list of countries I had already paddled, but when at the kayak they started to believe me and to get impressed…my card then completed the job fully. They simply now loaded the kayak onto their strong shoulders, and were walking faster back to my bags than I could go with my sore feet. Finally all there and back loaded, two big hugs and a big smile made them happy for the day, and me for sure also having overcome those dry 500m in only 1/2 hr… thanks very much!
I paddled on through shallow surf, eventually parallel to high dunes, until I thought the sand bar upfront was widening to the next dry bar before the first big 20 km bay and I should better land now. Another 300 m to overcome now… and another single old fisherman just came by! But this time this man was friendly, but didn’t want to understand my signs for help to drag up the kayak… ok, one can’t always be lucky!
I had plenty of time, took it slow, made camp first and put solid shoes on my now dry feet to haul up the kayak also. I was a little short of water, I should have asked the larger fishing boat anchoring at the spot where I put back in after the sand bank, but now I found in a wild stretch between my dry beach camp and before the high dunes some relatively clear large puddles of water – rain water! My shower for today and the next days was salvaged, even for cooking pasta I could use it and save my precious mineral water for drinking only. This should get me over the next two days to Sao Luis!
I climbed one of the higher dunes for an overview, saw only shallow surf to both ends on mid tide. It should be again easy to overcome the jutting out bar to the wide bay on high tide tomorrow morning!
If all goes well I should be in Sao Luis in two days!