Failed landing at the Pagaia Symposium 07

Future plans and wishes

Venice Kayak

Naturally, my future plans mostly revolve around Venice Kayak, which is after all a ‘strategic’ choice I have made.

Currently I work closely with a camp site on the Lido di Venezia, where I have all gear and equipment, and I have to follow their season. They open on April 24 and close at the end of September, so these points in time are fixed for me.

I much prefer having people in Venice for several paddling days, so we can explore more of the city and the lagoon, but I also do single day paddles ‘on-demand’ for people who are already there.

Venice Kayak is at

Voga alla veneta

When I return to Venice in April I want to become a member of a local rowing club there, the Circolo Canottieri Diadora, where I had a few Venetian rowing lessons last autumn.

Venetian rowing, or Voga alla veneta, as it is called locally, is the art of rowing standing up in the boat, facing forward, pushing the oar with the arms and body weight. The rowing style has become famous because gondolas are rowed like that, but the Venetians have a plethora of boats rowed Venetian style, from small racing boats to huge cargo freight boats weighing several tons.

Somehow a Venetian paddling experience is not complete without at least having tried to row in the local way, and I want to learn that and be good at it.

Symposium in Catalonia

During Easter the Catalan paddling association Pagaia organised the third international sea kayak symposium in Llança/Port de la Selva, on April 4-6 with the possibility of remaining until April 12 for further paddles and talks.

We participated in 2007 and it was a great experience. The setting was fantastic. A rocky coastline with lots of Mediterranean ‘macchia’ as its called in Italy, provided for good varied paddling waters. The symposium was held on a very good camp site with its own beach, and add to that a well organised gathering and great food too 🙂 It was very nice, and I want to go back.

I hope to be able to make a presentation on paddling in Venice during the week after the symposium weekend.

The Pagaia symposium web site is at


The 35th Vogalonga is a must when one work in Venice. The Vogalonga is an annual rowing celebration. It is a 30km non-competitive ‘race’ through Venice and the lagoon, open for all kinds of paddled or rowed boats. In 2008 for the 34th Vogalonga, there were over 1600 boats registered, and an unknown number of unregistered boats.

It is quite a sight with that many human powered boats in one place, and I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

This year the Vogalonga is on May 31.

The Vogalonga is held on the Sunday following Ascension, which is an important religious holiday in Venice, called the Sensa.

The celebrations of the Sensa includes a magnificent procession at sea, with parade boats from all the rowing associations in Venice, and a ceremony where Venice, represented by the mayor and the patriarch, throws a golden ring into the sea to celebrate a symbolic marriage between the city and the sea.

The Vogalonga web site is at

Symposium in Bibione in Italy

Bibione Kayak organises a kayak symposium in Bibione Pineda, circa 70km north of Venice, in the week following the Vogalonga.

This is the second Bibione Kayak symposium. The first was last year, with participation of Nigel Foster, Kristin Nelson, Jen Kleck and many others, and they will be back this year, where they will teach and instruct.

There’s no registration fee for Bibione Kayak, in fact there’s no requirement to register at all. There will be a lot of activities during the symposium week. It will be possible to participate in the Vogalonga, take classes with the international guests present, and probably also daytrips for paddling in Venice.

Its a fun event and a great way of getting to know Italian seakayakers.

The Bibione Kayaks web site is at

Commercial trips to other parts of Italy

It is my hope that it will be possible to organise kayaking trips to other parts of Italy, to places I know and where I have contacts, such as Sardinia, Elba, Sicily and maybe elsewhere. This is very much at a preliminary stage, but something I’m thinking about. I love Italy and I love kayaking, so I want to kayak as much in Italy as I can get away with.

Circumnavigation of Sicily

The paddling journey that went pear shaped in Sardinia in 2007 was supposed to include the circumnavigation of Sicily as well. That never happened, which still bothers me because the circumnavigation of Sicily was what I originally wanted to do.

I have travelled in Sicily since 1992, my wife is from Palermo, I wrote my MA thesis in History about Sicily, and I never get tired of the jewel of the Mediterranean, which has nature, history, culture, food and wonderful people in such abundance.

I’m not sure that this will be possible at all, as the project would take at least one month. The journey is about 1000km and I’m not a racer. I usually want to see things and meet people along the way, which also takes some time.


3 responses to “Future plans and wishes”

  1. Jörgen avatar

    Hello rene,

    Well we are planning to come over to the Bibione kayak gathering….must be nice to have a look around in that Area.

    i take my kayak, you take the good weather??

    regards jörgen

    1. René Seindal avatar
      René Seindal

      Hi Jörgen,
      Will you be talking about your trip to Moldova? I’d love to hear more about it and see some photos.

  2. Jörgen avatar

    Hello Rene,

    Well I saw the website is still not up to date with the programme this year, so maybe i can be on the stand-by list if they don’t have enough speakers…

    We will first go with a few kayakers to Istria then we join the VogaLonga. After that only my sister and I will continue alone and visit the Bibionegathering, after that we want to paddle another 5-6 weeks in the Adriatic.

    so we will meet each other at the gathering. Well the trip to Moldova was most inland, still enough to tell about adventures along the way. But it’s a seakayaksymposium. So don’t know what the organisation wants…..


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