Much as I’ve been enjoying the walking and running, I couldn’t spend the whole holiday doing that so I had arranged a half day kayak tour. The tour was along the same stretch of coast I’d walked the day before, from Santa Maria Navaresse to Pedra Longa, but since the trail didn’t go down to the sea anywhere, it was a completely new perspective to see it from the water.
I’d arranged the trip with Cardedu Kayaks, and I have to say, the kayaks were excellent and Francesco, the guide, was great. After a quick lesson on shore, we launched, and once he saw I was vaguely competent he left me to get on with it. He must have thought I was ok as he took me through several narrow gaps between the rocks where good control of the kayak was essential.
Francesco talked about the geology and wildlife as we paddled along in and out of the rocks. The views were fantastic, with Pedra Longa slowly getting closer, and the cliffs of Punta Giradili and Punta Argennas looming in front.
We stopped for a short break on a beach just before Pedra Longa, before taking a more direct route back to Santa Maria Navaresse. It was a brilliant trip, with stunning views, interesting conversation with Francesco, and the clearest blue sea I’ve seen anywhere. I’d thoroughly recommend a trip with Cardedu Kayaks to anyone visiting that part of Sardinia.
In the afternoon I spent some time snorkelling off the rocks below my hotel, then walked into town and along the beach. Plus, of course, a gelato in town.
Inspired by Pete and Tish’s recent sea kayaking adventure, we spent the day sea kayaking around the north-western coast of Abel Tasman National Park. Golden Bay Kayaks at Tata Beach, near Takaka, were great! They sorted us out with a two person kayak and all the kit, as well as telling us where to go and what to look out for. We set off around the Tata Islands and then kayaked eastwards around Abel Tasman Point and into Wainui Bay. We passed lots of shags on the way and a rare heron (according to the kayak shop owners), but these were nothing compared to the sting rays that we came upon further into the bay. In the shallow estuary entrance, these creatures could be seen at a distance of about 15 m from the kayak as huge black things. Richard steered us over to a huge one that was about 1 m across, but it got rather upset at our presence and put it’s stinging tail into an upright position and out of the water. It scared the life out of me, as I had no idea whether it was going to spit at me or whether it was just a warning! We saw lots of other sting rays, but nothing quite so large. The water in the shallows was amazingly warm. The next cool creature we saw was after we had beached the kayak near Taupo Point; this was a Gannet. It flew around the bay and then suddenly beak-dived into the water right in front of us to catch its unsuspecting prey! Amazing.
Once beached, we had our lunch, and then since the water was warm, went for a snorkel around Uarau Point and saw lots of mussels and chitons, a few fish and some starfish.
After our break we headed back, again exploring the shallows of Wainui Bay looking for sting rays, and then kayaking through an archway and spotting seals on the rocks. We had a second break at Little Tata Bay to enjoy the late afternoon sun, before finally heading back to return the kayak. A lovely day out!
Whilst climbing on the beautiful coast lines of Pembroke, Lundy, Holyhead and Lofoten, I have watched sea kayakers paddling below the crags and I’ve often thought how I would love to give that a go. More “Holyhead Sea Kayaking”
Yesterday I supported Zac on the first day of the Adidas Terrex Coast to Coast Race. This is Zac’s first Adventure Race, and he was using a borrowed kayak which felt like it was made of lead. Being used to discomfort though, Zac zipped up his man-suit and battled to 13th place overnight. At the end of day 2 he had gained a place to be 12th. 2 days to go and all the kayaking done, maybe he can pick off a few of the other competitors!!
Zac on day 1 of the adidas terrex C2C Adventure Race