Sunday, August 31, 2014

Taormina shoreline

Even if Taormina is very crowded in August, there's still place at sea to paddle a kayak. The secret is to be not too late at the parking lot: it could be a big difference!
There is nothing to say, the coast of Taormina is a very special place, although a little 'overlooked and crowded during the summer. The current of the Strait of Messina here is greatly felt, especially at Capo Taormina and Capo Sant'Andrea and this offers a flicker of adrenaline even in the days of flat calm. Even rocks are pretty interesting since here you can find in few miles igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic outcrops.
Add to this the ice cream and the Sicilian granita and the kayak trip turns into something magical ...





Friday, August 22, 2014

Paddling on the Tyrrhenian Sea: Cefalù.

Sometimes our customers lead us in faraway destinations from our base and our usual shores but this is usually interesting and adds a little pleasure, especially when it comes to a renowned and pleasant location.

This time the group was pretty large and we had to use almost all our equipment, but the weather was beautiful and helped a lot. Sixteen happy paddlers at the end of the day was a great satisfaction for us!



Monday, August 18, 2014

Learning sea kayak while visiting the coastline of Etna volcano.

A sea kayak course is not only learning the skills to control the boat and safely going out. It could be often the possibility to visit a new place from the sea, a break far from the chaos of the city, a way to explore a known place from another perspective.

 A nice couple from north Europe made this choice and we went out for two consecutive days for a base course. They where both easy learning gymnasts and for the coach it was an easy job!
Of course, after all that capsize the snorkeling was included in the package ...


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Myths & Mulberries

One of my favorite coastline on the Jonian sea of Sicily is just north of Catania. This stretch of coast is rich of wildlife, above all sea birds and fish, but it is also rich in myths from the Greek colonization, when people were trying to explain the natural events with gods, nymphs and stories of adventurers. Moreover the place is very interesting from the geological point of view.
But in summer, with the heat of the sun, the plants offer us wild fruits like figs, blackberries and especially sweet mulberries with which a very good "granita" is made.
A couple of weeks ago with Lynda, from UK, we tasted firstly the fruits from the trees along the coastline, landing on a boulders shore, and then we had our granita eventually with cream on top and a brioche. In all of this Etna was rumbling in the distance for the explosions at the summit craters.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pantelleria, a Black Pearl (English & Italiano)

Landed here for only one day in 1997, during a sailing cruise to Tunisia, for years I tried to return to the island to visit it more carefully.
Finally this year we found the right opportunity and we started promptly for our loved destination.
The island, which would require more than a week to be explored in all its charming corners, is wild and majestic, both along the coast and in the interior.
The circumnavigation by kayak, accomplished with Peppe and his kayak production, together with our Swedish friend Mikael, is challenging both for the constant presence of wind and because of the very few landing points where it is possible to pick-up the kayaks.
But its cliffs are worth the trip, not to mention the caves, rock arches, thermal springs, woods, craters, lava flows, obsidian, the vineyards and the famous sweet white wine of Pantelleria.
Also, living for a while in the cool traditional houses (the Dammusi), as we did in the La Barca Blu, adds an irresistible charm to the beauty of the "black pearl" of the Mediterranean.

Sbarcatovi per un giorno nel 1997 durante una crociera in barca a vela verso la Tunisia, era da anni che cercavo di tornare sull'isola per visitarla più attentamente.
Finalmente quest'anno si è creata l'occasione giusta e siamo partiti senza indugi per la meta tanto ambita.
L'isola, che richiederebbe più di una settimana per essere esplorata in tutti i suoi angoli incantevoli, si presenta selvaggia e maestosa, sia lungo la costa che al suo interno.
La circumnavigazione in kayak, compiuta con il buon Peppe ed i kayak di sua produzione, insieme al nostro amico svedese Mikael, è impegnativa, sia per la costante presenza di vento che per la scarsezza di punti di sbarco in cui è possibile recuperare i kayak.
Ma le sue scogliere meritano da sole il viaggio, per non parlare delle grotte, degli archi di roccia, delle sorgenti termali, dei boschi, dei crateri spenti, delle colate di ossidiana, dei vigneti e del famoso vino passito di Pantelleria.
Anche vivere per un po' nelle fresche case tradizionali (i Dammusi), come abbiamo fatto noi al La Barca Blu, aggiunge un fascino irresistibile alle bellezze della "perla nera" del Mediterraneo.