The 35th Vogalonga was held on May 31st, on the Sunday following Ascension as tradition dictates. The Vogalonga is a 30km non-competitive “race” through the city of Venice and the lagoon. It starts a 9 from St. Mark’s with a cannon shot, and proceeds around […]
Franceso and i had planned to paddle to Cala Goloritzé in the Golfo di Orosei yesterday, and we got up early and set off fetching kayaks at a local camping where Francesco keeps par of his gear, and then on the road to Santa Maria Navarrese.
We launched in calm weather, a force 2 scirocco (SE) and some following waves and swells, but with a forecast of up to force 4 during the afternoon.
The paddle northwards went easy enough, and we passed Pedra Longa and the Grotta della Columba without problems, but as we approached Capo Monte Santu the going got a bit rougher. The Capo Monte Santu is cape with a 200m vertical rock wall that drops straight into the sea for some 2-3km, and there are almost always difficult winds and waves there.
We had a bit of a fight with waves and winds around the cape. Personally I find following swells and waves quite difficult to navigate, as I have no visual forewarning of what is in arrival, but I think both of us found it a bit difficult there, as Francesco headed directly for the entrance to Porto Quao, which is a completely sheltered natural harbour on an otherwise not very welcoming coast.
We landed in Porto Quao and laid our gear out to dry in the sun. After a while we decided to abandon the attempt to reach Cala Goloritzé and instead enjoy the sun in our little sheltered corner, until the afternoon when there was a good chance the wind would wane a bit.
The little bay was as enchanted in the sun, so we made a little photo session. We took turns to climb the rocky cliffs around the bay to take photos of the other fooling around the sheltered area in kayak. It was hot and sunny, the rocks were steep and razor sharp with dense mediterranean vegetation, which for a nordic type like me translates to sunburn and totally scratched legs, but it was fun and we got some nice photos of our kayaks in the crystal clear waters of the Golfo di Orosei.
At about three thirty we got ready to return. As soon as we rounded the corner, we discovered that the wind was still a nice force 4, with swells of 1-2m but modest waves of less than 1m. It still took an effort to round Capo Monte Santu, and as we moved well away from the coast to avoid the choppy rebounding waves, we got separated and lost visual contact for extended periods.
Francesco knows his waters and was both much more confident and a lot faster than me, so he was well ahead of me most of the time and probably closer to the rock wall than I wanted to be. In any case I lost him for quite some time, and at the same time didn’t feel I had the resources to actively look for him, as the wind and waves gave me plenty to work with.
I wouldn’t say I was in trouble there, but it wasn’t easy going. The first hour took all my effort and concentration, but I did handle it in a controlled and steady way. My own feeling is that I was quite close to the limits of my abilities in a kayak, but not outside.
In the end all went well, and as soon as we were around the cape we found each other again, and we paddled together for the next couple of hours back to Santa Maria Navarrese. I was quite tired in the end, more mental tiredness than physical.
We had a coffee at Santa Maria Navarres and drove home to yet another dinner thet couldn’t be beat, and then off to bed. I slept well.
Tomorrow is Vogalonga day, and we’re on our way to bed so we can get up in time for the start at 9 in the St. Mark’s basin.
Today we’ve had a group of Vogalonga participants on a tour on Venice in kayak. We were three Sardinians, three from Puglia, one from Bologna, four Frenchmen and a lone Englishman, plus a Dane and a Venetian.
We had no specific plan, other than paddling around the city enjoying the scenery.
This time we managed to paddle all the way through the Arsenal. Its still a closed military area, though it is full of non military activities, so you can get in legally on foot, but not in a boat. We took the chance, and only at the very exit were we told to leave.
We then had a close encounter with a vaporetto in the St. Mark’s basin, which almost ended a couple of participants in the water, but we got by safely all of us.
We then spend several hours paddling around in the area of St. Mark’s, San Polo, Dorsoduro and Cannaregio. We had lunch near Piazza San Barnabá.
The city is full of weird boats, from kayaks to huge canoes to polynesian canoes and many other water crafts I don’t know the name of.
On our way back we paddled north of the city back to the Arsenale, around Certosa and back to the camping on the Lido.
I have many photos but I’m too tired to upload them now.
More photos on Flickr.
Each year Kajakhotellet.dk organises a Santa Lucia procession in kayak to collect funds for Amnesty International. Besides having a charitable purpose—each paddler paid €15 to AI to participate—its also a good excuse to get to paddle a bit off season. We were around 100 paddlers […]
Today I went paddling in the lagoon with my Venetian friend Marco and his friend Damien from Padova. We didn’t have any particular plans, just paddle and have fun.
Here’s Damien in his rusty old kayak
And here’s Marco in the Current Design Solstice that Wendy is going to paddle around Sardinia (Marco has a weakness for playing with lagoon mud 🙂
Here Marco is having a lot of fun throwing mud at Damiens kayak
Its some thick yucky stuff and Damien isn’t amused but cannot retaliate because Marco is paddling a borrowed kayak. Dirty tricks in the lagoon, literally.
I just got stuck in the sticky stuff
The tide in the lagoon was exceptionally low today
Marco and Damian had a romantic moment in front of Burano
Then some lagoon pirates came along, playing loud music
Marco chased them off with his paddle, but the mood was ruined anyway
At the end, just at the entrance to the lagoon, we met this really cool guy
in an incredible good looking boat
Any good day in the lagoon will end with a sunset and so did this