Saturday, July 12, 2014

Day 149


I slept on one of the cushioned beach chairs belonging to the restaurant owner that I befriended last night. In the morning he brought me vegetables, dry bulgur, and small packets of spreads for slices of bread.

The sea was glassy calm. On the northeast corner of the bay I found a cave that was bigger on the inside than it looked from without. I continued along the mountain wilderness coast.

Gaia was the all mother, the first. She gave birth to Uranus, the sky god, and then they lay down together. Uranus and Gaia parented the Titans, and that messy story I've already told. But Gaia's troubles were not over.

Her (grand)children were imprisoned in Tartarus deep beneath the earth. Uranus was castrated and lame.

She went to Tartarus. How it happened, I can not say. Perhaps she hoped the act would free her offspring. Perhaps she was drawn to the dark power, so different from her own. Maybe the saga of her life had driven her mad, but whatever her motives were, she lay with him.

The dark seed grew. Gaia begot Typhon. Legend has it that Typhon was so vast that if he were to stretch he would cover the entire earth with the dragons, vipers, man flesh, and fire that was his body. Typhon begot many monsters, and all are said to be descended from him, but his final crowning achievement was his daughter Chimera. She was a fire breathing lion; a goat head protruded from her back and a venomous snake from her tail. She laired in the fire pits of the mountains above me, where to this day nighttime visitors can see the rocks burn.

The sky above me was clear, but the tallest of those mountains was covered in dark clouds. Thunder boomed.

Two fishing boats were coming from behind me chugging along at around six knots. If I could catch their wake - use the force of the water displacing their boat from behind - I would fly.
I angled in towards the closer of the two and managed to drop right into the climbing foam just behind the propeller. The boat stopped. The fisherman at the rudder wanted to know how he could help me. I told him to just go, but he didn't speak a word of English or understand my hand waiving. He offered repeatedly to throw me a rope.

The other fishing boat pulled over to translate. The fisherman only spoke five words of English, but one of them was "sport." And so we were on our way.

As long as I could keep up, I would be in the wake and go fast. If I fell behind there would be no second chance.

Keeping up was hard. I had to keep the first wake wave behind me. I could not slow down, rest, or snack. Without breaking into a sprint, except when I dropped back some, I paddled as fast as I knew how.

Sweat poured down my brow; I could not roll to cool off. I was shooting past the wilderness at great cost. The fisherman gave me a thumbs up after half an hour. I didn’t know how much longer I could keep it up, but I intended to remain with the fisherman until he arrived at his destination.

My boat shifted left and right in the wake. I turned hard to keep from being thrown out. I struggled through for over an hour. Without realizing that I slowed, the first wake wave slipped under me.

I tried to hold onto the second, but the pulling force of the wake was diminished and I soon lost the second wave as well. I called goodbye to the fisherman. After a couple hundred meters he stopped and began releasing his nets. I hadn't made it all the way, but I was close. I shaved about an hour off my day, and felt like I needed to rest two.

Except that the storm over the mountains seemed to be getting bigger and louder. After some brief spelunking and a set of pine crowned cliffs I found a resort beach. Hotels and beach chairs lined the shore. Motorboats zoomed along blasting discotec and trailing water skiers or paragliders. Jet skis roared and swimmers ignored the Chimera storm that threatened to overrun and electrocute us all at any moment.

A covered dock jutted out from the beach and a platform above was covered with water sports equipment.

A man called out to me hello and asked where I was from.

"Hi, I'm American, but I kayaked here from Spain." I told him.

"Wow! How many days?" he asked.

"About 149."

"What do you eat?"

I started to take out my chia maca gogo juice when I realized I had leverage. "I'd love to show you, may I leave my boat here until the weather passes,maybe for the night?"

"I'm sorry," he told me, "but this a private club. You can use the beach over there."

Of course. Well, what I eat while I paddle is none of your business.

I decided not to use the beach. I was heading to the Kemer marina where I would undoubtedly find a hot shower and friendly sailors.

I stuck close to the beach and hoped the higher ground would protect me from lightning. I didn’t run over any of the occasional swimmers who were mostly fat and slow.

Lifeguards would yell at me to get out of the swimming area. I ignored them. Even the hotels with wide swaths of beach were behind me in a few moments. They called to other lifeguards and a manager. But I left the angry soulless minions of sea fencing jet skiing super wealth behind me and once again found myself paddling along wilderness.

The Chimera storm remained in the mountains behind me.

I rested in a sea cavern with my head on my back deck and studied the ceiling. A boom box motor boat roared in and I left.

At the marina I was told I couldn't stay.

"Do you understand what I'm telling you? I kayaked 2,000 kilometers to get here!" Usually when people are mean to me it's because they don't understand or believe me.

The man at the desk said "Yes, I understand, and I'm telling you no."

I moved on.

I passed more hotel beaches and tried another water sports center where the Ukrainian proprietors fell in love with me and treated me like a king for the night.

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Nautical miles paddled: 23
Current location: 36.614322,30.558804

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