Average speed: 6.20 km/h
Total time: 03:37:40
Today has a calm start, the night was hot and the morning slow. The air is very clear, but there is no freak wind in Souda bay. It’s just still a little early, I will realize later.
I smoothly paddle across the bay and see Kalypso resort. Then across the next small bay, with Ammoudi beach and water sports. The wind picks up and pushes me from behind. I’m fast. I watch the rocky coast to the side, but mostly focus on keeping the boat straight. Some rocky arches, then I turn around towards Preveli and it’s suddenly calm. The water is clear, the caves and the rock formations are interesting. I take a break in a little gem of a natural pool, eat a few biscuits, all is good.
It’s another 5 minutes through some strong side wind and I’m in Preveli. I moor to a buoy and take another short break. A few more biscuits, some pictures. The water is chilly, the beach has lots of people but it’s not overcrowded, the palm trees look good, there’s a constant flow of people descending to the beach from two sides. I decide against jumping in the water and paddle on.
I can see Agios Pavlos ahead and soon the three stones of Triopetra. I am keen to get there before it’s too hot, I feel like I have taken too much sun in the last few days. The wind keeps pushing, there are white horses now. I see many beaches all similar to each other. Agia Fotini with a small cafe, Ligres with some tents. I slalom among some rocks. More long, thin sandy beaches. A few persons scattered here and there.
Shortly before Triopetra it gets really wild. The wind is blowing strong and I struggle to control the kayak. I ride some really high waves between the shallow rocks at the North end of Triopetra and decide to land right there and then. I go for the ‘paddle straight on to the shore and jump out quickly’ type of landing. Unfortunately, the sand I see on the shore has a flat rock of the same colour underneath, which I hit almost at full speed. The kayak gets scratched but doesn’t break completely. There’s one couple on the beach, I strategically land next to them. The guy eventually helps me pull up the boat and declares that the rock is soft, it’s not so bad. Fiona and the girls are on the other end of the beach, too far to walk. I decide to go back in and paddle there to meet them. I can do it. The guy is reluctant to let me go back out in such wind, he even offers to drive me there or them here. I judge that it’s going to be alright close to shore, and it is. Even the landing, with Fiona’s help, is all right.
We have lunch under a tamerisk tree at the back of the beach. The wind blows really hot, dry air. I figure maybe I can paddle a bit further at least to Agios Pavlos later. I can’t. In the afternoon the wind doesn’t drop at all. No breaks in the evening either. We put up the tent in a big cave on the Southern end. Maybe it will calm down during the night. Quite the opposite, it only gets worse. The wind is now blowing sand storms, picking up the coarse beach sand, and forcefully hitting the tent. We stupidly pitched it near the cave entrance for more air, but it’s too exposed and some corners come undone during the night. At first light we get up. We had left the kayak on the beach. We had filled it with many kilos of sand, a saving idea because when we remove them it starts blowing away. We see a couple of mini tornadoes in the sea. The water spray makes a rainbow effect. Tired of being sandblasted, we load the car and drive straight home.