Paddle Day 3 and 4

Paddle day 3:

Tuesday 23rd October 2012 we made the 42km from Alexander Bay to Holgat River.  So how did I feel after a 5hr paddle. Well a lack of on the water training, lack of time spent setting up my new Fenn Swordfish, lumpy sea, very cold water and an increasing head wind left me a little frustrated when I eventually washed up the beach just before midday.

That night we were allowed to camp at the secret Holgat camp site which is a few km up the river gorge without security baby sitting us. They actually put an old lock onto the main gate and gave us a spare key and asked us to just throw the key away when we leave! Unheard of!! So we have to give the Alexkor security a massive thumbs up for everything they have done for us especially Liuwelyn and Frans Ruiters. Oh yes, we were also told not to drive around or we might get shot! ?

What a fabulous place to camp. A night out under the stars.

Paddle day 4:

It was up a 5am to be on the water by 6am, a few minutes before sunrise. The sea had calmed down a lot. Not knowing exactly what the days wind forecast was I tried to take a closer conservative line to shore. Around 8am the wind suddenly switched to a hot but strong offshore wind. At this time I was going outside one of the many reefs and had to dig deep to get back inshore to avoid being blow out to sea. It stayed this way till about the last hour when it faded to nothing.

Close to Port Nolloth I passed a few diamond boats doing their stuff. I came along side one just to say hello. They asked the obvious question, “where did you come from?”. After telling them the one chap just shook his head and said “jy’s f@$%ng mal” turned around and carried on working. Go to love it.

Got the 38km covered in just over 4hrs. I tried a 1mm wetsuit top that The Paddling Centre had given me, to try and combat the cold water. WOW! What a difference it made. Can’t understand why we don’t wear them more in the Cape. Especially on the late evening downwind paddles.

So as I sit here writing this the wind has switched to the North I wish I could get a few more hours in today to make some use of this wind but the next point South that I can get out at is Kleinsee which is still 56km away.Yesterday we are in the comfort of the Bedrock Lodge overlooking the harbour courtesy of Freddie.

Today I hope their will be some of this North wind left. The plan right now is to paddle off around 05h30 mist permitting and see what happens.

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