The mountains rose from the sea. I explored caves and said hello to sea turtles. Past the hotels the water cleared and I watched fish swim among reefs beneath me. Monolithic islands and curling rocks slid past on either side. The mountain forests were decorated with pink flowered bushes. Terraced banana plantations spotted with shacks and bare walled unadorned houses rolled along the hills. Under a Roman castle I paddled through a tunnel into a mountain lagoon. Two damsels frolicked in the paradise, one on a small beach and the other in the water.
The swimmer saw me. Her face contorted into panic as I smiled and said hello. With speed that comes from practice bonding with terror she shrouded her head and face in a scarf and hunched over in the water, becoming no more visible than a distant turtle. The beach damsel smiled at me and was rebuked by the cowering sea damsel. The beach damsel had something harsh to say back and was rebuked more severely. Slowly she began to don her scarf as well.
I felt awkward, as though I had stumbled on these fully dressed women naked snorting coke. Maybe they were mermaids and having been discovered in their human form were under my power. I left.
A seagull hovered just in front of me and floated on the wind. It cawed again and again before it left. It came back, and insisted. I worried it would attack me. It hovered and cawed in front of my boat for longer than any mortal seagull could, then after a brief break on shore repeated the process a third time. In retrospect, I did not try sufficiently to help it break the language barrier. After a fourth and final attempt it parted for good. I can't help but wonder what secret message was meant for my ears, and lost because I've never been very good at listening.
Yakacik is a small village with a tiny natural harbor that is home to five fishing boats and, for one night, a kayak.
Nautical miles paddled: 18
Current location: Yakacik harbor