It had seemed like a good campsite, it was just that we hadn’t factored in some of the strongest winds that any of us had ever camped in. Having a regularly updated weather forecast is taken for granted for the majority of sea kayakers, but without a forecast you just have to look out of the tent and make an assessment of the conditions.
As we set up camp the winds were light and the sky looked settled so didn’t pay to much attention to the way they faced or whether the physical landscape offered some shelter from winds. Possibly a school boy error.
Just after midnight the tents felt they had been hit by an express train, it was as if a wall of air was rushing out of the mountains and blasting out to sea. This wind blew for approximately 8 hours before it showed any sign of relenting. Sleep was virtually impossible, apart from a few snatched minutes. It was difficult to estimate the speed of the wind but we reckoned that it was at least Force 8 on the Beaufort Scale.
As daylight dawned it was a matter of assessing the damage and dropping the tents before any more damage was inflicted upon our temporary homes. Poles had been snapped and fabric torn in 3 out of 6 tents. Thankfully we had spinnaker tape and a few spare poles, so the tents we soon patched up and ready for further use.
As the wind dropped we prepared for departure and were underway by mid-morning. Despite having been subjected to seriously strong winds we were able to get around Punta Marcial in pretty pleasant conditions. This headland is recognized as the potential crux of the journey from Loreto to La Paz, so it was good to get passed it.
The run south was fairly uneventful and despite a late start we were still able to get another 15 nautical miles covered. The highlight though was a sighting of our first ever whale shark, swimming gently around the bay just before we landed for the evening. A memorable end to an eventful day.
The morning after the storm. Sheltering from the remnants of the wind and repairing the snapped tent poles.
The strong offshore winds allowed some time to explore the inland areas.
Once on the water the started to drop, we should have probably launched a bit sooner to take advantage of the following wind.
Just off Agua Verde, a small fishing community. There were a number of yachts moored in the bay, sadly we didn’t have time to explore the bay or the village.
All along the coast there is one distinct feature after another.
Punta Marcial is reputed to be one of the major hazards to kayakers between Loreto and La Paz, it was particularly peaceful as we round the point and headed south.
Arriving in Punta Ballena, some interesting geological formations.
Tracy preparing the evening tequila
The view south from Punta Ballena, our route for tomorrow.