Updated: May 15
It was my shortest day. I left the island around 5:30am and headed north to round the Northeast cape of Puerto Rico 9.5 miles north. The water was choppy and the waves were foaming on the headland rocks, so I gave them a wide distance. It also rained a bit which was good to wash off yesterday’s salt crust. I’ve been applying the rubbing cream on the rashes under my armpits and that has helped considerably. Immediately after the cape I entered a bay called Bahia de las Cabezas. The tide was low and there were several large coral heads just below the surface where the waves were breaking. I slowed down to try and find a gap through the labyrinth where the water might be a little deeper. I was keen to avoid a repeat of the experience with the reef just from a week ago, but everywhere I looked the path was blocked. I proceeded very slowly trying to time the waves so I would have enough depth, and fortunately I only just lightly scraped the rudder. After landing I noticed that the opposite side of the bay has deeper water so that will be my pathway back out into the ocean. The beach here is a proper campsite with showers and all. However, I got frustrated with the camping signs which are very vague. They say, “do not camp on the sand. Use the green areas unsuitable for other uses.” What the heck is that supposed mean? If there are people playing ball on the grass does that mean it’s suitable for other uses? What about the area just off the beach under the trees? I hate vague instructions. It would have been much better to have a sign that said, “Camp Here” and then there would be no misunderstanding. I hope nobody comes around and tells me to move. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a paddle so early. When I got off the kayak it wasn’t yet 8:30am. I was hoping to take a walk up to the lighthouse on the headland cape lookout over the section I’d just paddled but apparently that path is closed so instead I took a walk around a lagoon. The mangrove water had a filthy red tinge and smelled of rotten vegetation.
Lately I’ve been bothered by some sea water that is trapped inside my right ear. Today however, it has started to feel inflamed, and I am not enjoying it one bit. I tried washing it with clean water but it did not help. I thought about walking to the nearest pharmacy, but it is more than six miles away, and there are no cabs to take me there. I guess a visit to my primary care physician will be needed once I’m back in Miami. In addition to a folding chair, the next thing I’ll remember to bring with me in a future expedition are a pair of ear plugs.
In the afternoon the beach filled up with locals coming to enjoy the sun. There’s a street vendor that is annoying the hell out of me. She kept shouting through a megaphone that she has the best piraguas (shaved ice) in all of Puerto Rico and played a really annoying salsa jingle all day long. It’s a Thursday today. That means that even if I arrive in San Juan tomorrow, I will need to wait around until Monday when I can deliver the kayak to Crowley Marine and have it shipped back to Florida. I’ve decided therefore to spend two nights here.
Sea Kayak Puerto Rico Circumnavigation - Seven Seas Beach