Updated: May 15
This morning at 4:30am before launching I had to deal with an urgent problem. The beach bathrooms were locked. Given how packed the beach was yesterday afternoon, I was a bit concerned about doing my urgent business somewhere an unfortunate individual may have a bad experience. I concluded that the best place for me to take care of the urgent business would be to under the lifeguard tower which is roped off and no one would be walking there. Unfortunately, just as I had finished digging the hole and was getting ready, some young couple decided here was going to be the place they would sit and wait for the sunrise. It was still pitch dark, and they didn’t seem to notice my presence some twenty feet away. I tried to be super quiet and not spoil their mood.
I could not have picked a better day for the final run to San Juan. The wind was a strong breeze from the East and as soon as I had cleared the bay’s headland and pointed west, I raised the sail and was propelled like a rocket. This was my fastest paddle ever with or without gear in the kayak. I covered 30 miles averaging 5.86mph!
I reached the town of Loizia much sooner than expected and didn’t see the two paddlers who would be doing the run down to San Juan Bay, it was still too early in the morning. The entire day, I only saw one boat, far out on the horizon which must have been a container ship. The ocean wasn’t going to let me finish the journey without a last challenge. As I came in to land I had to make past several submerged rocks where the waves were again breaking. It was a strange breaking zone. When the water depth got shallow the waves changed direction and sometimes ran into each other. I lowered the sail to make the final approach and put on my helmet before snaking through a gap in the rocks. After that it was just a matter of finding an uncrowned sliver of sand where I could beach the kayak and call the expedition completed (and also make sure that I was past my initial launch, I wouldn’t want to be a few meters short from complete circumnavigation). I landed in front of a dude sunbathing on a beach chair wearing sunglasses and headphones bobbing his head to some beat. He seemed completely oblivious to me showing up in front of him. Not a minute after landing I got a call from mom who’d been following my progress every day on the GPS.
“Hey, you’re finally done. I don’t have to worry about you now.”
Soon after that dad called as well to congratulate me. This journey was a success. The logistics to get everything to Puerto Rico went smoothly, the kayak paddled well in all conditions, no mechanical failures, no damage to the boat, and no accidents. Now it’s time to get things ready to head back home.
Sea Kayak Puerto Rico Circumnavigation