Monday, July 6, 2009

Excursion with friends

The decision was taken. The meeting was moved from 6:30 to 10:00 (5th July 2009) to let Salvo driving back from the Catania airport. The aim was to check our paddling ability, after one year with very few training, to paddle 20 nautical miles in a short day.
From Bruca's beach we headed for Punta Secca, that was impossible to see in the distance due to the mistiness. We followed a direct route behind the GPS traking of Vincenzo.
Nuccio turned back at about 3 nautical miles from the start, leaving me, Vincenzo, Salvo, Gianni and Pino. A composite group of friends with strange hats under the burning sun.
The light head wind started to blow with increasing force, lifting waves over the bows. The paddling become to be wet and fresh. When I reached alone the harbour of Marina di Ragusa, after three hours of paddling, I had the time for a swimming to empty the bladder and climb back into the cockpit before seeing Pino and Salvo approaching with Vincenzo and Gianni in the distance. It jumps out that Gianni was using a self-made 2 kg heavy paddle and was going to leave for exaustion! Luckily Vincenzo has lent his spare one...
One hour more and we land near the famous (after the movie of Montalbano Commissioner) lighthouse of Punta Secca.
Under the shadow of a tent we ate our food. Some cold beer, salade, bread, cheese, ham, cold tomatoes, fruits... A good lunch. Somebody start to snore collapsed in the sand, others chatting quietly. Good time: 9.4 nautical mile, four hours and 10 knots wind. A coffe is needed in order to paddle back to Bruca!
With the backwind the paddling is faster. We slow down and follow the protected beach of the Irminio River mouth to have a closer watch of a beached vessel, probably used for a landing of illegal immigrants.
Than we land for one more coffe but the bar is still closed. Eat a bar and back to the sea, until our final destination. Four hours to go, three hours to paddle back. Nice friend, nice day!