Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Who Ever he is, It's Too Late.

Day 5:

Last night was my first night camping with Pigeon. It was cold and rainy all night, and there was nothing nice about the place we made camp. The good news is that we made it through the entire night without being asked to move. She seems to have a strong character so hopefully it did not mark the end of our team effort to see the Mediterranean coast.

Today I set out to paddle north from Blanes. The sea was rough. Large, fast-moving swells rushed towards me, popped me up over them only to drop me down on the other side a moment later. And then again.

I paddled away from the cliffs just north of the city where I could hear the crash of the surf from hundreds of yards away. And all the waves, and all the wind, was moving against me. Knowing that I would be fighting the sea today, I had hoped to make it only a short 12 miles to the next marina. After about 50 minutes (41.675284,2.813015) it became clear to me that I wasn't going to make it even that short distance. I turned around and began heading back to safe harbor at a fantastic speed. I was also heading towards the cliffs. I began paddling harder on my right side and leaning into an attempted turn before I got any closer to them. The current would have none of that though and I was pushed on. I gripped my paddle near the end and began paddling only on my right side. I put my all into changing course as I was was tossed up and down, rushed towards the cliffs by the giant waves.

Finally timing my stroke with the peak of a wave I found myself suddenly perpendicular to the direction that had been controlling me only a moment before. I leaned into the swells that were now heaving against the full port side and did my best to retreat from the deadly danger of the cliffs, now about 150 meters away.

Gradually I turned back with the waves to point again towards the harbor.   I struggled in the fast current back to Blanes for another 15 minutes before arriving.

I spent the rest of the day walking around Blanes. I looked for a cobbler to fix my broken shoe, and found one, but he wouldn't do it. He explained why in Spanish.


I also found a nice spot to dry out my sleeping bag and bivi sack, which had become extremely wet with condensation. Tomorrow the weather looks good.

Maybe I'll actually get somewhere.


[caption id="attachment_421" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Blanes"][/caption]


  1. don't forget the old saying - "Red skies in morning, sailors take warning. Red skies before night, sailors delight" (or something like that).

    anyways, sounds like fun and i wish i could be there, but i am enjoying your blog...

  2. again neat! how fast is fast? and what are currents like in the Med Sea? Wind driven or tidal? Are the tides parallel with the coast?

  3. you might be interested in:


    surfers reports.

    how is the Icom doing ? can you receive and understand the local weather reports?

  4. If my ICOM wasn't stolen then there are scheduled weather updates on, I forget which channel, 3 or 4 times a day. It might be channel 72, but I'm not sure.

  5. There are almost no tides in the med sea. There is a 1 knot current (my best guess) against me right now. On top of that, wind makes a BIG difference. So far the the wind has always been a north wind.

  6. He told me several times, but I speak almost no Spanish, so I nodded and smiled and thanked him anyways.