trip days left: 17
straight distance left: 228,5 km
Highlights: Challenging nice paddle in strong following onshore winds
Lowlights: Very strong wind too early
Loc: behind Arroyo Pando
Acc: Peter’s apartment in Montevideo
Dist: 35,0 km
Start: 6:55 End: 13:20
I launched already into an about 15 knots SE wind, whipping the sea up slowly but surely.It was a pleasant fast paddle from small headland to small headland, changing all the time from a calmer sheltered bay to an open beach paddle with bumpy water. Nothing really serious, until I had to cross the open river mouth of Arroyo Pando…
I assume it was just after noon the wind really breezed up to well over 20 knots, and when I was just offshore to give the breakers at the river mouth a good berth. You usually have two choices to cross a larger river mouth – either breaking through the mostly lower but wider shore break into the calm water inside, cross in calm water and breaking out through the shore break again. Or trying to give the breakers a wide berth what I decided to do this time. It was basically successful, but dangerous to get caught by a big breaker quite offshore. And I did get caught twice, but could throw myself into the breaking wave to stay upright with bracing heavily. No roll needed, but nothing for the faint hearted…I should have not crossed this river offshore in this breezing up wind, and may have also already stopped simply just before the river mouth.
But I was hoping to find some more quiet water behind the river mouth,which did not happen…it rather started to break every where offshore, and the wind was not really nice to handle any more. I had to go in, now and here, not able to reach the larger shore street I was aiming for. I picked a spot where I saw the roofs of some houses, and landed through confused shore break with some pumping heart but safely.
I unloaded, and e-mailed my friends in Montevideo for the expected pick up, but they wrote they were probably only able to arrive by 6 pm.I was hoping all the time for an earlier pick up and did not put up my tent for wind shelter, rather sitting behind a halfway protecting fence and waited while reading a book. It did take eventually until 8 pm before they found me, obviously having my position but not having a GPS…For cell phone e-mail communication I had always to climb for reception a dune in the sand storm, running soon out of battery and stressing my eyes in the flying sand and wind. It also got dark and quite chilly, not really a pleasant waiting time…but finally the guys arrived and drove me to the kayak club to store my kayak. Thank s very much!
I was also to meet my partner Peter after six month again, he came over from Buenos Aires where he was working online already since a few weeks. Sure we had lots to talk and little time to write the latest updates in time…:-)