All night the heavy surf was pounding like cannon fire. However, by the time when my alarm rang at 6:00am, the wind was gone and the surf looked manageable.
To save the time, I resorted to a cold breakfast of fish and rice leftovers, completed with coffee from the thermos filled in the night before. The camp was wet, most likely a drizzle had passed overnight, however the morning was dry and promising. With everything finally packed in the dry bags I had started preparing my kayak for the departure.
Similarly to landing in surf, I wanted to avoid dragging my kayak over ground when departing, and I could not employ the traditional approach of packing up the kayak and then pushing it toward the surf. Instead, I had developed another approach. If launching from a shore with the surf, I would only depart during the rising tide. I would select a launching site covered with sand or round pebbles – no sharp objects. I would then position the empty kayak some distance away from the surf and at a shallow angle to it, estimating that by the time I would finish loading the kayak, the surf should be almost reaching it. The distance could be adjusted while loading, if the kayak seemed to be too close or too far away from the surf. Once the kayak was ready for departure, I would wait for the surf to start lifting the kayak and would push it further and further into water with each lifting wave. Once it was floating, I would wait for the pause between the surf waves, and then jump inside while pushing the kayak beyond the surf zone. Overall, this approach has worked. The amount of water splashed inside was limited. The biggest downside was that I would always be wet on the outside, sometimes up to my waist. However, a combination of water-tight pants, thermal underwear and neoprene socks kept me reasonably dry, except my feet, and warm.
This first time departure was wetter than in the days
thereafter. Once I started paddling away from the shore, I had noticed that the
kayak was sitting low in water, with its shape slightly distorted. Explaining
this by too much water getting in during my departure and by a poor arrangement
of the items inside the kayak, I had pressed on, keeping a bit offshore to
paddle at an angle to the waves and to avoid strong turbulence close to
After returning to my kayak, paddling to the selected spot and unloading the my stuff I had found the reason for the deflated rim and the kayak sitting too low in water: the air valves of the rim and the inflatable floor were open. This was definitely a design or a manufacturing issue: the valves, of the twisting type, could open on their own, with virtually no effort. I had resolved the problem by wrapping a piece of an electrician tape around each valve, after closing it down. This had worked fine, and the same piece of tape would last for up to a week.
After setting up the camp and hanging and spreading my
things to dry, I had left to explore the shore between my camp and
There were two reasons for this walk. First, I lost my
scope a day before, and I suspected it was somewhere near
I did find my scope, resting next to a log that I sat on a day before, all wet and fogged up -- likely washed over by the tide. Unfortunately, despite soaking it thereafter in the fresh water and then drying completely, the prisms were still covered with some residue that I could not clean properly.
Upon returning to the camp, I spent almost an hour trying to get the fire going: all the driftwood wood was still wet after the morning drizzle and the fog. With the fire finally up, I had cooked my dinner in the fresh water that tasted sweet after the brackish water of the prior day, and went to bed.
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