THIRD DAY OF PADDLING
It was Sunday, and we already spent three nights in Port Moller, it was time to move on. The weather for today was slightly better, the wind was definitely calmer then previous days. The sea height was still a bit elevated, up to 1.5 metres give of take few, but we were wanting to go. After long discussion we decided to go. I was still apprehensive about the size of the surf, but Freya was sure it would be doable.
We both got up quite early, and I went to look for Aaron or Randy to see if they can give us a ride in the cart to see the shore outside of the headland. We managed to do that, and the surf indeed looked very small. We were definitely going. So what followed was a period of high activity of packing, saying good byes and finally leaving. It felt god to be on the water again.
The wind was very low, the tide with us and we were making good progress along the coast. The shore line wasn’t exciting in a way one may imagine, no dramatic cliffs, no pretty views as it was still a bit foggy, no wild life, no anything that one often associates with sea kayaking.
The shoreline was formed by black sand with green grass on top, there and now it was broken by river mouth, which we could not see, but which announced itself by a change of water colour from grey to brown. Those two never mix.
It started to be quite warm and sunny, and soon we both took the tops of our dry suits off. Then I joked I was finally paddling like Freya, wearing a black top. She had a different opinion, as I still kept my buoyancy aid on. And why not, I like it, it’s orange, and kept my top dry.
At some point we reached Cape Kutuzov, it looked a bit like Seven Sisters on the south coast of England just made of mud rather than chalk. Because the current was in our direction, we decided to continue further towards Cape Siniavin. We heard that there were walruses, and Freya wanted to see them that evening. The wind was getting stronger and stronger making the waves bigger, and I was starting to get a bit cautious about where and in what we may land. But Freya was fine, saying that around the corners, we might get a bit sheltered landing. What can I do, just paddle forward.
We approached the cape Siniavin, which was a welcomed change in view, as it actually was a cliff raising up, with what looked as hundreds of walruses packed underneath on a narrow beach. We decided to come closer to shore to see them, but could not get really close because of the raising waves and breakers.
After that we started to look for places to land. It was either beach between two headlands or after the next headland. Suddenly Freya thought she saw a place where it was good to land. It had some waves and a dumper, nothing I get very pleased about, but also it looked doable.
We discussed what and how we will do, and Freya went in first. I was meant to wait for her signal to come in, once she gets her boat up. I have no chance to move heavy loaded boat out of waves. Freya went and after a while landed, then the struggle with the boat began. Somehow it was taking quite a time, so I had to paddle around, and mostly turn into the waves and paddle back out as not to be swept by wind and current around the next cliff. Then finally the wave of her arm came and I could go.
It actually wasn’t that bad, a bit confused, but fortunately not real big breakers that usually scare me to stand still. Then it was a matter of waiting for three bigger waves to pass underneath before trying to catch the back of the last one to get to the beach before the dumper forms. Freya was standing there, ready to grab my bow. Done! Landed. But the feeling of victory and excitement was very short lived. As Freya suddenly said, that this was the end of my paddling trip. She wrecked her boat. And there it was, the best boat in the world was lying there with a mouth open bent in two pieces.
No, this is beyond repair here and now. So yes, the trip as it is at the moment is over for both of us, but really once we get of here, Freya can paddle in her other boat.
Three days on paddling Alaska I have done. And just as I started to enjoy it and was getting into grips of getting most of Freya’s boat setting, it was over. Yes, fortunately no one was hurt, and no other equipment was lost. So that is definitely good, as for paddling, who cares, I might have to do that somewhere else.
After sorting the boats and equipment, we pitched tent on the beach. A brief peak over the top of the grass revealed a bear, but Freya managed to scare him away while I bravely covered behind her. This was really my first bear in the open with nowhere to hide, so I wasn’t the bravest of us. The bear run away up the hill and hopefully won’t come back.
We moved into the tent, I cooked dinner, while Freya started to exchange many messages with Tony from Port Moller of how we can get out of here. We have lots of food, fuel, and some water, so can stay for a while. The weather is meant to be better in few days, Thursday, so they can possibly come and rescue us. We will see.