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Sardinia 2007/8

In October 2007 and May/June 2008 I circumnavigated the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, a journey of almost 900km.

In October 2007 I did two thirds of the circumnavigation of Sardinia. Together with the Canadian paddler Wendy Killoran, we started in Cagliari and we paddled about 600 km together until the beach of Porto Ferro on the NW coast of Sardinia. Our friendship didn’t survive the ordeal, however, we went our separate ways and I decided to suspend the journey shortly after.

I returned to Sardinia in late May 2008 to finish the circumnavigation of Sardinia, which I completed on June 9th. I did this part of the journey alone.

The project had a separate blog at www.kayakislandquest.com, which has since been discontinued. All relevant material from that blog has been moved here.

There are photos from the first part of the journey and from the second part on Flickr.

Posts from the journey in chronological order:

  • Sicily and Sardinia 2007

    Sicily and Sardinia 2007

    Wendy Killoran and René Seindal will circumnavigate the Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily in the autumn of 2007. Canadian school teacher Wendy Killoran, who has circumnavigated the Canadian islands of Manitoulin Island, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, will join paddler René Seindal who speaks Italian fluently and is an avid sea kayaker, historian and […]

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  • Change of plans

    Change of plans

    Any adventure involves coping with the unexpected and the unforeseen. Unfortunately, I have had a solid dose of unexpected and unforeseen even before the start of our journey, as I lost all my personal and vehicle documents on the way to Italy two weeks ago. I left Denmark early to guide a group of Danish […]

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  • Sponsor day

    Sponsor day

    Most of the stuff from our North American sponsors have been shipped to Wendy in Canada, so only now when Wendy has arrived here in Venice to save me from all my problems have I had the possibility to actually see the things we have received. There was way too much in Wendy’s massive duffel […]

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  • Kayak transportation in Italy

    Kayak transportation in Italy

    Thinking about driving in Italy with a kayak? Better rethink. Don’t even consider doing it in a rented vehicle. This is the story of a very long and quite expensive journey from Venice to Civitavecchia, a distance of about 550 km of which over 400 km on highways. It shouldn’t be more than half a […]

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  • Paddling in Sardinia

    Paddling in Sardinia

    So, we’re finally on the water in Sardinia. We started at 16 o’clock and paddled for two hours. We’re still quite close to Cagliari, but we’ve started and it feels almost like an achievement after all the problems we’ve had in the last weeks. We’re camping on a small beach just besides Cagliari Yacht Club.

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  • Sardinia at last

    Sardinia at last

    We’re in Sardinia now. Everything went surprisingly well with the ferry and boarding with both kayaks and a motorcycle. We did have a few scares of continued back luck. Just as we were to board my camera died. Just woundn’t turn on, not even with a battery that worked in Wendy’s camera. Bummer! I managed. […]

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  • Spiaggia San Giovanni

    Spiaggia San Giovanni

    Right now we’re sitting in a bar at the harbour of Porto Corallo near the village of Villaputzu. We spend the night on a beach called Spiaggia San Giovanni, just behind a fish-farm. We had a brilliant dinner in a local restaurant where we ate pizza. According to Wendy her seafood pizza was “orgasmic” 🙂 […]

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  • Pizza to Pizza Paddling

    Pizza to Pizza Paddling

    We had a nice day on the water today. We started in great style with an hours break after an hours paddling, but after that we paddled for five and a half hours almost without break. Initially we had it easy. Tailing swells of 1-2m and a pleasant tailwind gave us good speed, but in […]

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  • Find Wendy

    Find Wendy

    Can you find the hidden paddler in the picture?

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  • Golfo di Orosei

    Golfo di Orosei

    We have had two spectacular days in the Golfo di Orosei. Most of time we have paddled in the Natural Reserve of Golfo di Orosei and Gennargentu. Tuesday we started on a calm and sunny morning from Torre di Bari, and paddled quietly to Arbatax and Santa Maria Navarrese, where the natural reserve begins. The […]

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  • Pathetic Pizza Day

    Pathetic Pizza Day

    We’re having lunch at Peppes Bar on the beach near the Marina of Orosei. The pizzas were of quite dubious quality, so we won’t stay longer that it takes the GPS to recharge. We’ll be off in a minute.

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  • Around the eastern corner

    Around the eastern corner

    I guess we’ve only been pizza blogging recently, so today we had sandwiches 🙂 Thursday morning we woke up in Cala Gonone to a dark sky. We were ready to go but up north it was thundering, just where we were supposed to go. We made everything ready and went for a cappuccino. It started […]

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  • Tavolara

    Tavolara

    We passed the Isola di Tavolara yesterday. Tavolara has a quite extraordinary history. It is not that often you get to eat in a royal restaurant. The waitress was pretty too 🙂 We’re just a couple of day from the northern tip of Sardinia now.

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  • Weird waves

    Weird waves

    If there is on theme to today it must be the many types of weird waves we’ve met. We started from Cala Morescoe near Golfo Aranci and headed straight into some extremely choppy waters off Capo Figaro. Waves apparently came in from two different directions and bounced off the vertical rocks, giving us quite a […]

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  • Isola Caprera and Isola della Maddalena

    Isola Caprera and Isola della Maddalena

    We in Città della Maddalena now. We’ve had a nice day paddling up the east coast of Isola Caprera and back down between that and the Isola della Maddalena. We expect to find a camp site somewhere to the west of here on the mainland. The Isola Caprera has a magnificent rocky coast, sculpted into […]

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  • Around the northern tip

    Around the northern tip

    From Cala di Trana (Palau) to Santa Maria di Gallura.

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  • A toast to Marco

    A toast to Marco

    Our good Venetian friend Marco Ballarin has been awarded the title of ‘Maestro di Canoa da Mare’. We know that Marco has worked hard for a long time to achieve this level of certification, so here’s a toast to Maestro Ballarin.

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  • Around Capo Testa

    Around Capo Testa

    From Santa Maria di Gallura via Capo Testa to Vignole Mare

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  • Landbound

    Landbound

    Stuck on a beach with a nuraghe – only in Sardinia

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  • Different times, different technologies

    Different times, different technologies

    Blogging from the top of a neolithic nuraghe

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  • Beach Blogging

    Beach Blogging

    Wendy and I have been blogging quite actively during our time in Sardinia. We’ve been blogging on the beaches, we’ve been blogging in the streets, we’ve been blogging just about anywhere. There are few internet cafés in Sardinia, home internet diffusion isn’t very high and in any case, we haven’t been invited in anywhere. I […]

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  • Windbound again

    Windbound again

    We’ve had a very short but active day on the water. We started from Vignola Mare at about nine, in moderate weather conditions. We had a good NE wind, around F4, and some following waves of 1-1½m. We had a fun ride down the coast, with tailwind and following waves, but after an hour and […]

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  • Back-paddling

    Back-paddling

    I have a history of back problems. It is a growth problem from my childhood, my vertebrae are slightly deformed and therefore more at risk of dislocation. When that happens it is pain beyond words. The whole back locks up in a spasm making just about any movement difficult and very painful. My back has […]

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  • Suffering and Hardship

    Suffering and Hardship

    Paddling is not just aching muscles. It can also be waking up to a beach full of sand looking at derelict old edifices: or being forced to have your morning cappuccino in the wrong kind of cup, eating Sardinian cakes from the previous day: or discovering that the copious amount of excess belly tissue it […]

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  • Hardship continues

    Hardship continues

    We’ve had a hard day on the beach today. The sun was relentless, but we did manage to send several text messages, shave various body parts (apparently Wendy and I have different predilections there), do some laundry and cook an edible meal of italian noodles, which they seem to call ‘pasta’ down here. Only at […]

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  • Team split

    Team split

    Wendy and I have for some time had disagreements, mostly on questions of time and speed. Our disagreements has proven irreconcilable, and yesterday at Porto Ferro we decided to go on separately. Wendy left before me this morning. I have no information on her whereabouts. I’m currently at Fertilia just north of Alghero. Tomorrow I […]

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  • My Sardinian journey ends here

    My Sardinian journey ends here

    I have decided stop my journey around Sardinia here in Fertilia. My primary reason for embarking on this trip was to recover from a depression I had after a marital crisis last year. I wanted to get away from everything, try something new, have fresh impulses in my life and hopefully come back a fitter […]

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  • Leaving Sardinia

    Leaving Sardinia

    I’m in Palermo now. I spent a couple of days in Fertilia, first to make up my mind, then to figure out what to do with all the gear I had there. The first night I slept in the open near the harbour where I had the kayak in sight. At that point I hadn’t […]

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  • Team paddling experiences

    Team paddling experiences

    The four weeks I paddled in Sardinia is the longest kayak journey I have been on so far, and the first time I have travelled for so long with somebody I knew so little. Things went very wrong between Wendy and I, and I have quite naturally given it quite a bit of thought as […]

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  • Skim Kayaks

    Skim Kayaks

    In spite of the journey being put on hold until April or May, Skim Kayaks has generously offered to continue to sponsor me for the remainder of the journey. I’ve paddled the Skim Distance in Sardinia for four weeks in different conditions, and it is a brilliant expedition kayak. It is stable, fast and spacious. […]

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  • A Parcel’s Odyssey

    A Parcel’s Odyssey

    I sent a parcel from Sardinia last October. I sent it to Palermo where it arrived after two weeks. Unfortunately, it wasn’t picked up by the recipient, so it was returned, but returned to where? I’ve been hunting this parcel for over three months now, and I’m still none the wiser. The kayak journey in […]

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  • Parcel update

    Parcel update

    I have finally received an answer from the Poste Italiane (the usual word document attached to an empty email): In riferimento alla sua e-mail del “07/01/2008” con Oggetto: «pacco estero», Le comunichiamo che per richieste di informazioni sull’esito di spedizioni inviate e/o in attesa, riguardanti il prodotto dei pacchi internazionali, si dovrà  recare esclusivamente presso […]

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  • Going back to Sardinia

    Going back to Sardinia

    I’m heading back to Sardinia soon. My wife Valentina and I will spend the Easter holiday with my in-laws in Palermo, and immediately afterwards we’ll be on the ferry to Sardinia. We’ll spend almost a week with my good friend Francesco Muntoni in the Ogliastra region on the east coast of Sardinia. Valentina then returns […]

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  • April in Sardinia

    April in Sardinia

    I’m preparing the last leg of my circumnavigation of Sardinia, which I plan to do in April. The route is about 320km (circa 200 miles) from Fertilia down the western coast of Sardinia to Cagliari. I still don’t know if I’ll do this trip in early April or late April, as I have other affairs […]

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  • Photo from Sardinia in Kokata Ad

    Photo from Sardinia in Kokata Ad

    Kokatat will be using a photograph I took in Sardinia last year in an ad in the May issues of Paddler Magazine and Wavelength Magazine. The photograph is taken in the morning as we were rounding the granite formations of Capo Testa. Kokatat sponsored us with Knapsters, Storm Cags, Anoraks, life vest, Seawesters, and hydration […]

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  • Returning to Sardinia

    Returning to Sardinia

    I have now booked the ferry to Sardinia for the last leg of my circumnavigation of the island. In a few days time I will push the Skim Distance back in the water exactly where I pulled it up last year, and finish what I set out to do last year. On Friday I’m off […]

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  • Sometimes you have to go back to go forth

    Sometimes you have to go back to go forth

    I’m back in Fertilia today, almost ready to continue the journey around Sardinia. Francesco drove me and my gear from Cardedu to Fertilia this afternoon, and I am now well installed in a camping a few hundred metres from where I stopped last year. The local weather forecast promises a thunderstorm tonight or in the […]

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  • Deluge

    Deluge

    The forecast said thunderstorms in the night and morning, and thunderstorms we got. The first came at 4 in the morning, and gave me a good idea about why some people find thunder scary. It was just overhead, lightning almost continually while a constant thunder rolled back and forth over the sky. After the thunder […]

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  • Finally

    Finally

    (Entry written yesterday evening but not posted due to lack of mobile connectivity) Today I finally got started. I’ve made it a short day, for various reasons, so I’ve just paddled 15.5km from Fertilia to Cala della Speranza. Tomorrow I will try to get to Bosa Marina. This morning couldn’t have been more different from […]

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  • Bosa

    Bosa

    Today has been a calm and hot day and I have made good progress for a second day. I’ve paddled from Cala della Speranze to Porto Alabe (5km S of Bosa) with a short detour up the river to Bosa, about 39km in all. I launched early (for my standards at least) at 8.30 to […]

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  • Is Arenas

    Is Arenas

    Porto Alabe, just south of Bosa, to the beach Is Arenas, between S. Caterina Pittinuri and Capo Mannu, 23km

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  • San Giovanni di Sinis

    San Giovanni di Sinis

    From Is Arenas beach around Capo Mannu first to Putzu Idu, and then on to San Giovanni di Sinis at the entrance to the Gulf of Oristano.

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  • Marina di Arbus

    Marina di Arbus

    From San Giovanni di Sinis across the mouth of the Golfo di Oristano to Capo Frasca.

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  • Marina di Arbus, day two

    Marina di Arbus, day two

    No paddling due to large surf – base in Marina di Arbus

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  • Buggerru

    Buggerru

    From Marina di Arbus to Buggerru today, rounding Capo Pecora, 25km

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  • Sant’Antioco

    Sant’Antioco

    From Buggerru to Sant’Antioco

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  • Sant’Antioco day two

    Sant’Antioco day two

    Rest day in Sant’Antioco

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  • Chia

    Chia

    From Sant’Antioco around Capo Teulado to Chia, 53km.

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  • Cagliari

    Cagliari

    From Chia to Cagliari

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  • Photos from Sardinia

    Photos from Sardinia

    All the photos from the entire journey in Sardinia

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  • Parcel update II

    Parcel update II

    During the first leg of the Sardinia circumnavigation I sent a parcel with excess equipment from Bari Sardo in Sardinia to a friend in Palermo. The parcel wasn’t picked up in time at the post office in Palermo, and while everybody assured me it would be returned to my address in Denmark, it wasn’t. It […]

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  • Parcel update III

    Parcel update III

    So, the miracle has happened. The parcel sent from Barisardo in Sardinia in October last year has finally been delivered to my in-laws in Palermo, after over eight months in postal limbo. From what I hear, the content was rather smelly, so the washing machine has been working in overdrive since the parcel’s arrival. It’ll […]

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  • Adventure Kayak editorial

    Adventure Kayak editorial

    Tim Shuff has an editorial titled “Apologies to Everyone I’ve Ever Left in my Wake” in the summer 2008 issue of Adventure Kayak magazine, where he discusses the problem of mock waiting when paddling, based in part on my account of the things that went wrong in Sardinia in October last year between Wendy Killoran […]

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  • Ocean Paddler article on Sardinia

    Ocean Paddler article on Sardinia

    Ocean Paddler Magazine, issue 16, has an article on paddling in Sardinia by yours truly.

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