I broke my usual routine yesterday of getting prepared the night before and leaving early to give myself plenty of time in the day.
The late night, which was out of my control, made for a late start and to be honest I didn’t think I would be sailing today with sea urchin spines in my foot.
It ended up being a “must kite” day because if I stayed in Recifie I would be stuck there with no wind for at least 4 days according to the forecasts. So I had to suck it up, ignore the pain in my foot and kite until the wind died.
Uri the local Neal pride distributor was adamant that sharks were not a problem providing you were up and sailing. I spoke to other kiters too who were of the same opinion. When I pressed on of them they told me that I had tried a few years ago but were stopped by a policeman.
So my major concern today was not the sharks anymore but how not to get stopped by the policemen who are able to confiscate gear.
I quietly pumped up my kite and laid lines in the local windsurf club hoping that I would not attract any attention.
The windsurf club has the biggest selection of course racing and windsurf gear I have seen in one place, and made my “big board” look like an undersized lightweight.
I made a quick dash out to the beach connected up the lines and off I went.
For the next 2 hours I kited with great care and made it through without falling once. I saw a black floating object in the distance which caused my heart rate to increase, but as I got closer I saw that it was less shark-like and more floating rubbish-like. There were several more elevated heart pumps as I passed more and more rubbish, but I was grateful that this was the worst of my encounters.
After passing the port in Recife I saw what looked like a small 1 foot fin that disappeared quickly, and I wasn’t going to go back to see if it was actually a shark or not. I think my aggressive looking C3 Venom fins were a great shark deterrent and scared all the sharks away, well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Once I cleared the port I was greeted with flat water and kiting inside reef was pleasant and uneventful apart from walking a couple of sandbanks due to low tide.
The forecast was for winds to lighten as the day progressed and this ended up being true. I body dragged into the beach, for 20 minutes to end at my new destination Joao Pesosoa with all my limbs attached.