Kayaking in the winter – circumnavigation of Elafonissi

February 29th. There is some oddity in the air, it’s the carnival weekend in Greece but official celebrations have been cancelled over epidemic fears.

It’s a sunny day, so we head South with some friends to spend the day in Elafonissi.

When we get there, it’s windier than expected, but we launch anyway. We launch from the West side of the peninsula to circumnavigate anti-clockwise. First we ferry the non-kayaking crew across one of the channels that open in the winter and cut off the peninsula, making it technically an island.

Then we paddle into the East breeze. It’s cool, even wearing some gear. We can’t avoid splashing ourselves. We ride some waves and we get to the passage between the shallow rocks on the South-West tip. We navigate perilously with the waves picking us up and then coming from the side, but we manage to reach safety unscathed.

From the sheltered side, it’s easy going. The sea is flat now and we can just enjoy the scenery. We pass all the little beaches and we join the girls on one of them. We land on a sheltered spot, then we go for a swim.

The best part is around the corner though, there’s another channel with unbelievable colours, from gold to pink on land and from emerald to turquoise in the shallow water. We navigate into the channel, in very shallow water and strong current.

In the end we get back, ferry the group 2-3 at a time across again, and go for a picnic behind a sand dune. A day to appreciate the colours of nature.

Total distance: 5.54 km
Average speed: 4.90 km/h
Total time: 02:37:19
Download file: Kayak-Elafonissi-Short01032020.gpx

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