I haven't seen that much of it, but I am amazed by what I find, and at times, amused by my amazement.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Croatia Kayaking

On the 26th of June, 2011, Joann and I had a chance to take a trip from Montenegro to neighboring Croatia for six days of sea-kayaking. Lodging, equipment and guides were provided by Adria Adventure, http://www.adriaadventure.hr/dubrovnik_croatia.

Joann and Marko at the Montenegro/Bosnia border

I really only had three days off work, but by working extra days before and after, we managed to squeeze in the trip with minimal disruption to the work schedule. Marko, our driver picked us up after work and drove the 2 ½ hour trip up through Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina to Dubrovnik. We boarded the ferry and set out for Lopud Island as the sun set.

We met our guides, Radovan and Filip when we got off the ferry. Their first job was to guide us to Janja’s Guesthouse where we spent the night. The other members of our group we met at dinner that night. Andy and Deirdre were a retired couple from New Zealand; Katja and Mari from Finland.

Kayakers Joann, myself, Deirdre, Katja, Mari and Andy

John & Filip getting ready

 Everyone had some kayaking experience and all spoke English, so we had little difficulty after breakfast the next morning getting fitted out with kayaks, paddles, lifejackets, spray skirts and dry bags. heading out for the other side of the island for lunch and a bit of kayak technical training.

Another good day of kayaking

The next four days were filled with tours of all three of the Elaphite Islands: Lopud, Kolocep and Sipan. 

It was a fun group. Radovan and Filip were excellent guides and over the next few days became good friends. There was no shortage of things to see and great food to sample on each leg of the trip.  We kayaked for two hours the first day, progressing to longer trips on subsequent days.  Often the weather was perfect, but just as often the wind picked up, piling up the waves and making for a more energetic and exciting excursion.  The daily trips were planned to arrive at a beach at lunchtime, stop for a prearranged meal of whatever seafood was the catch of the day.  After a wonderful meal and a short rest, we would climb back in the kayaks to finish the trip.

Another island restaurant, another wonderful seafood lunch

The first days we returned to our rooms on Lopud for the night.  By the third day we had paddled to Sipan Island.  While we paddled, our luggage was transferred to our new lodgings on Sipan.

 We packed our own lunches for this stop on Sipan Island.  The deserted seaside restaurant hasn't been in business for many years


Joann and I inspect the coastline of Kolocep

Our last day in the kayaks we completed our circumnavigation of Sipan and, entering the bay at Sudjarej, took time at the end of the day for an eskimo roll class.  Generally, this is part of the instruction given at the start of the class, but due to the weather patterns, we waited until the end of the class and were rewarded with calmer seas.  Even so, no one mastered the technique.  I came close, and actually completed a couple of rolls, but only with a bit of assistance from Filip.  Left to my own devices, I couldn't get far enough around to balance myself.  When it comes to flipping a kayak, I will keep the "wet exit" technique on the top of my repertoire.

Filip teaches the finer points of executing an Eskimo roll.
I got the Eski- I just needed a little -mo.

Eskimo roll school. That's me in the back.
I seem to be a bit sideways at the moment

Waiting for the bus back to the other side of Sipan - the largest of 
the Elephite Islands.
L to R: Andy, Deirdre, Joann, Katja, Mari, Filip, Radovan

Sudjarej - on Sipan Island