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Milos, Greece - Summer 2006

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1. South Coast (Provatas to Kalamos and back)

Easy paddling in warm sunny conditions

Wind - just enough to keep cool, and provide interest

Distance 11km

Paddlers: Rod, Theresa, Catherine, Scott, Beth, Cooper, Travis, Paul

Mixed group of beginners and more experienced. Travis went from being a beginner in a boat with a stick, to cruising along with a kayak and paddle.

The traditional race to the beach showed that the staid plastic Rainbow Laser is faster than a Romany, even before reaching full speed.
During one break, Rod kindly spent ages teaching us to roll, using his foolproof method.

See Learning to roll for tutorial and sample videos

On another beach, we were entertained by what turned into an outdoor opera, as the 'fat lady' was helped by her friends down the somewhat precarious descent route.
Rod provided the usual good lunch

Visited the hot spring before the return trip, which was a nice gentle paddle in calm seas


2. Kleftico

West along the South coast to Kleftico

Wind N5 maybe 6 in gusts

Distance 15km

Paddlers: Rod and Julie, Julian and Theresa (assistant guides from Deganwy), Richard and Sarah (all doubles), Travis, Catherine, Mike, Jo, Paul

Some katabatic downdraught made for entertaining sections but mostly protected from the Northerly wind by the cliffs. Kleftico very quiet when we got there as the tour boats were not leaving Adamas due to the wind. Good lunch on the 'new' ledge with jumping, swimming, snorkelling and a fair amount of photography.
Bit of a long slog back particularly for Catherine, and as we learned later for Richard who (occupying the back seat of a double) had had enough salt water thrown in his face to last (what a way to spend your honeymoon). Travis toughed it out to the end with Mike & Jo cruising. Lots of Eleanora's Falcon hunting from the cliffs.


3. Kimolos

'Usual' crossing from Pollonia - waves probably not as big as 2 years ago, but the gusts were stronger, and it took Catherine and I a little time to really get the double working well. Julian claimed that he had towed someone all the way across, but we did not spot this.

Wind N6 Gusting 7 Later 5/6

Distance 15km

Paddlers: Rod & Julie, Catherine & Paul (in doubles), Scott, Martin, Julie, Mike, Jo, Julian

Still fairly hard work all the way up the coast to the port (Psathi), with a nasty little patch just as we turned in (32 knots on the wind meter). Cafe owner incredulous, particularly when he heard that we had come from Pollonia rather than just down the coast (we think Rod gets him to put on a little act just to make us feel better!). A banana and iced coffee saw us right for a quick headwind section (still going North ish) before a run down to the islands. Rafted up briefly before the ferry made an appearance
Plenty of time to make it to the lunch spot with some surf assisted travel.Lunch on Agh. Efstathios
Agh. Efstathios is a brilliant spot that really epitomises this sort of sea kayaking. The crossing back to the mainland of Kimolos was straightforward with everyone under their own steam, and it was a quick run down the coast before lining up with Hermit rock for the return crossing to Milos. Catherine and I cruising once we had the double pointing exactly right, with a slightly more exciting finish than intended as we had forgotten about the rock near the harbour entrance.


4. Sulphur Mines

Rolling practice on the way to the Sulphur Mines, with 3 rolls in a row to finish. Wind N5 gusting 6, later 6 gusting 7

Distance 12km Paddlers: Rob & Rachel, Carol & Steve, Keith & Ann (in doubles), Rod, Julian, Theresa, Catherine, Paul

Everyone made it to the Sulphur Mines... ...with most going on to the 'Grandfather Cave'
Waves ok, but some of the wind was quite fierce in gustsCatherine and some others jumped off the gantry
Lunch under the bridge on one of Rod's fine tables.
Should have been an easy return trip but the downdraught was quite strong at times including flipping one of the doubles.
Traditional headwind finish at Paliochori beach.


5. A quiet day with a sauna

A rolling and rescue practice day

Wind N6 forecast, but dropped a couple of notches pretty quickly.

Distance 10km

Paddlers: Rod, Julie, Derek, Ola, Catherine, Paul

A rolling/rescue practice day, although we still covered a few km. Catherine very close after her second lesson with most of mine working fairly well. Good beaches, good company, good fun.
Sauna cave to finish, and I still can't swim that far even if I was not going to drown wearing a PFD...


6. Akradia

North coast trip from Firopotamos to the Akradia islands...with Catherine and I making it only 2 years later than planned (very rough crossing two years ago)

Wind forecast N4 but actually only 2-3, dropping later to force 1-2

Distance 12km

Paddlers: Rod, Julie, Catherine, Paul, Ola, Derek, and the Italian opera singers (in a double)

Julie racing the ferry on the journey across open waterArriving on Akradia for lunch
Good lunch on Akradia in enlarged cave on marble table and wooden benchesClimbed up the hill to visit the church...
...and then further up to the lighthouse, which has a marble staircase leading to its crumbling top and the light enclosure. Saw dolphins from the top, but much as our opera singers tried they did not seem to understand Italian.Easy paddling all day with singing Italians (you always knew where they were), snorkelling (2 jelly fish stings, 1 sea urchin thorn), jumping and swimming.


7. North Coast - Mandrakia, Sarakaniko, Glaronisia

Sarakaniko, the wreck, caves etc, but with more swell than was expected and some refracted waves, making life a bit uncomfortable.

Wind N3-4 sometimes 4-5

Distance 11km

Paddlers: Rod, Derek, Ola, Fred, Linda, Isben, Marianne, Italian opera singers, Catherine, Paul

This trip would have been twitchy in a Capella. Got windier as we went along, and at the wreck most people were glad to shelter behind it. Stopped on the 'dirty' beach with Ola attempting to arrive on foot having been stranded by a wave on a rock ledge.
Pushed on to a beach in a large cave (Konstantinos), for lunch and practiced rescues and rolling. Wind up (4-5) and down (3-4) several times during lunch, but in the end it was a straightforward paddle out to Glaronisia with the Italians starting to sing again.
A bit lumpy around the NE corner of Glaronisia island but everyone soon safely through the arch and aiming for home. Very pleasant paddle back with wind and waves easing all the time

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