Konstantin was still not interested in a camping trip by kayak, and I was running low on time. I planned a short overnight trip for myself without him. I would paddle overnight to an area called Corales two villages farther southwest on the coastline. I would find a secluded beach to camp on and then paddle back the next day. I was nervous about the remoteness of the area and going solo. I think I could easily have been talked out of this. But Konstantin came down in the morning to see me off and promised to come looking for me in a panga if I was not back by 4:00 PM the next day.
I headed back out past the coastline I had already seen the day before, past a place I had been told that mantas and sting rays jumped, the point at the entrance to Yelapa. As a panga passed me in the morning there was a large slapping splash next to me. I looked suspiciously at the people in the panga. Had they thrown something at me? They looked completely innocent and uninterested. Then another sting ray jumped near me and explained the mystery. I figured this was what Konstantin had told me about, but then I saw an ENORMOUS manta ray, perhaps two meters across, porpoise out of the water ahead of me! An animal that size would crush me in my kayak if it accidentally landed on me! I turned closer to shore and hugged the rocks. But I never even saw another one of these monsters. On this whole trip I also saw an occasional squarish looking head out of the water. Sometimes accompanied by a short explosive breath. I think these were sea turtles, but they were too shy for me to ever get a good look at one.
Once past the point where the mantas were supposed to hang out I paddled from point-to-point to shave some time off my trip and get past the shoreline I had already seen. Far from shore I found another strange animal. A snake calmly swimming just under the surface. It was brown with a yellow belly. The yellow color turned into indistinct vertical stripes on the side of the tail. This tail was taller and thinner near the end, making it an excellent swimming fin. This was obviously a sea snake. I tried to position myself to take a picture of it without catching glare from the sky. The water was choppy and I felt unstable in this kayak with my hands off the paddle. I had heard that sea snakes are very poisonous but they rarely bite divers. This snake might make an exception if I fell over on it, exited from my kayak, and flailed around trying to get back in. I decided to skip taking the snake’s picture and let it continue unmolested. I saw several more before I got to the next point.
I passed the town of Chimo and found that at low tide there is an angry row of rocks ran in front of the entire beach. I waited for a sandy beach a kilometer farther southwest before I stopped for lunch. After a short rest I launched and rounded Punta la Iglesia next, which had a beautiful offshore rock with two arches. Perhaps these are passable at higher tide but I was unable to consider going through them.
As I paddled towards the next point I saw a pod of at least five humpback whales diving in the water. Two of them humped up less than 50 meters from me and dove raising their flukes up out of the water! I was unable to get my camera organized in time to catch any of this action. Once they dove with flukes up, I didn't see them the rest of the day.
Just before Punta Taito I landed on a nice little beach who's only fault was a shack on the bluff. I knocked on the door of the shack and when there was no answer I considered camping on this beach. But while I was down unpacking my kayak a man stepped out of the shack to whack open a coconut with a machete, then go back inside. He refused to acknowledge my existence, which weirded me out and got me to move on looking for my own private beach.
Around the next point I found a HUGE sandy beach. It was not completely uninhabited, I saw two boys herding cattle. But I got much better vibes from them and actually never saw them again. I landed far away from their shack at the opposite end of the beach. Climbing up from the water I discovered a lagoon behind the beach. I put my boat into the fresh water and drifted a kilometer to the end of the lagoon and back just to see what was there. I set up camp on the spit between sea and lagoon.
It was a very windy evening and although I waited for the air to calm down it never did. I failed the survival test by being unable to get a fire going despite having paper, matches, and a butane lighter. Even huddling behind my tent the wind would gust around and blow out every flame I tried to nurse into a fire. I was forced to eat my MRE entree cold, which was still very tasty after a long day paddling.