Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day 87


This morning I launched from the beach. Luigi and a friend of his were watching so I took the time to do it right. I studied the waves. The big waves were coming in groups of three or four. When there was a lull, I put my boat down in the near the water. My shoes were covered in sand, but I wanted to get my launch right so I shoved them into my cockpit as they were. With all speed, I attached my spray skirt. Without a moment to spare, a wave came in and picked me up.

I was waterborn. Before the next wave could push me back into the sand I sprinted towards the open water. I crashed through three breaking waves before I was free of the surf zone.

I waved to Luigi, proud that when I set my mind to it, I can make a perfect beach launch.

With my dry top on for the cold dark rainy day my skirt didn't chafe. It did still push me a touch farther back in my seat than I'm comfortable with. I kept the skirt on until the early afternoon when I paddled into flat waters.

The wind and waves blew in from the northeast, and mainland to the north and a peninsula to the east sheltered me.

The peninsula itself was walled by the first sea cliffs I'd seen in a few days. Streams, no doubt a result of the morning's rain, cascaded down the valleys. Rocks rose out of the sea near the cliffs and I paddled in between them to be in the position for best admiration.

At the end of the peninsula rose an enormous castle on an island. In addition to a huge tower and crenelations, I could see into smaller rooms through the collapsing walls.

Past the castle the wind and waves picked up. But I was full of energy and charged into two meter swells, one after another, exhilarated by the challenge and the excitement of the booming surf around me. It helped that it was the last 100 meters before the port. I sang loudly as I surfed a wave into the flat calm, safe harbor here in Le Castella.

When I finished unpacking I turned my boat upside down to keep the rain out. I inspected the hull. It was pock marked as though it had been hit by shrapnel. These were not kayaking wounds from today. Kayaking wounds are scratches that result from something sharp sliding against the hull. Theses were the results of some trauma that happened to the boat while it was stolen.

The holes were deeper than the gel coating and pierced the carbon fiber, though not all the way through. I'll have to try to find epoxy to fix it.


Nautical miles paddled:  11

Total since Naples: 353.5

Current location:  38.911397,17.027113


Sorry, no pictures.  The reason will be in the next post so stay tuned.


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