Thursday, June 11, 2009

optimists in milos again

I just got back a few days ago after paddling for 2 weeks around some of the most spectacular islands in the Aegean Sea and Steve asked me to write about our adventures in the Greek islands. With the first group from Tel-Aviv M.D. kayak club we set off for 7 days paddling around 5 of the Cyclades islands. We had some long days on the water, paddling along high cliffs and in to many sea caves and small hidden bays. We were lucky to have very good weather for our 2- 20 km. open crossings between the islands of Poliagos and Folegandros. The sun was shining, the ouzo was flowing and spirits were high. We stayed at a B&B at one of the small fishing villages , and stopped to check out every Taverna that we passed on the way. We climbed up to see the view from a light house on one of the small islands and then again up to a small chapel in the heat of mid day on one of the hotter days. Coming down from that walk we took the short cut by jumping into the water and swimming back to shore. I said good bye to the first group after failing to kidnap Nava, from the fist week to stay with me for the second as well. And then they arrived. 11 paddlers from Optimist Kayak Club, 3 doctors, 3 fishermen, one philosopher,2 chefs, 2 harmonica players …all ready for the adventure yet to come. So we kayaked, we snorkeled and saw some of the marine life beneath. We paddled in and out of numerous sea caves, and sat around the camp fire in the evenings. You can count on this group to make sure we had lots of Havana rum, whisky, red wine and of course, ouzo along with the fantastic camp meals. And then came the windy day… It was blowing strongly off shore around 30+ knots and our only option for paddling was with the following sea starting on Milos Island and going north east to the tip of Kimolos Island. That was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. Big breaking seas all around us, flying with the wind, a pod of colorful sea kayaks decorating the waves, smiling, shouting out for rolling swell, adrenaline rushing thru the veins until arriving safely in a small sheltered beautiful bay around the corner, where the guys put together a teepee tent from the kayaks as that afternoons social activity…??? Fantastic 2 weeks with great people to share it with. Thanks to all of you for making it so special for me. See you in the September trips. HF
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