Sunday, July 27, 2014

Another day on Karpathos

There is no need for too many words... See the gallery on Soulwindsurf Facebook Page, and find out how it looks (16 photos) in the kingdom of the wind!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The taste of Naxos

My God, I love to explore Greek islands! They are all so magical, each in its own way. This year I visited Naxos, the largest island in the Cyclades island group in the Aegean. The area of Naxos is 428 km2, the island is round, with mountains in the middle, rocky and somewhat unaccessible eastern side, and much more likable western shore with long sandy beaches.

The connection with the mainland is good. You can reach the island by ferry in 4 to 5 hours. Of, course, there is an airport there, in case you like to travel faster. Accommodation is good and prices are reasonable - you can find a studio for 35 Euros per night. The people are nice and you will for sure have a warm welcome wherever you go.

And the food... Ok, about the food - later. :-)

First things first - the wind. Sadly, I was not lucky with the wind. Only 2 days out of 6, it was possible to windsurf with 7,8 and 114 lit board. Barely. However, I got the taste of how it is there when the wind is stronger.

It seems to me that the eastern side of the island gets more wind than the western side. That is unfortunate, because, eastern side is rather wild. If you could find a way to windsurf there, when meltemi (Greek summer wind) is strong, you would probably face the waves up to 3 meters.

Windsurfing spots are where the tourists are - on the western side. The first one is few kilometers south of Naxos Chora, the biggest, and actually the only city on the island (the rest are more like villages). It is a lagoon, 1 km long and some 500 m wide. Shallow, mostly 1,2 -1,5 m deep. The long reef is separating the lagoon from the sea, pacifying the waves and making it very friendly to beginners,  but also to those who like more flat conditions. However, it can be crowded there - I would prefer more space.

This lagoon is however ideal for learning anything related to windsurfing: from first steps to jibes or freestyle moves. There are two Centers in the lagoon - smaller with JP boards and North Sails, and much bigger RRD/NeilPryde center. If you rent your equipment, you will find what you need in the freeride-freestyle-wave category.

If your taste is like mine and you want more space, go some 10 km south of Chora to the place called Mikro Vigla. It is probably one of the most beautiful bays I have seen in a while. I didn't see any windsurfing center there, but I may be mistaken - it is a big place and I didn't have a chance to walk all around the shore. When wind picks up, you can expect choppy conditions and small waves there.

All in all, Naxos is a place to visit if you like moderate wind conditions, chop and small waves. And, it is ideal for beginners. It is not a place you will come only to windsurf, but more to enjoy all kinds of summer pleasures in one package, including windsurfing.

And this brings me again to the food... :-)

My infatuation with Greek cuisine is probably known to my readers. When I travel, I travel also to discover some new tastes. Or the variations of the old ones. Two restaurants on Naxos made to the list of my top 5 favorites! That is a success, and a surprise!

Since it is a windsurfing web site, I will be short in my recommendations: visit Labyrinth Wine Restaurant in the Old Town Naxos. Better make a reservation - it is packed every evening, and for a good reason! The prices are little higher, but you will not regret whatever you spend there!

And the second one is Rotonda Restaurant, some 20 kilometers inside the island, on the way to Apirathis. Beside the amazing view, you will be amazed with the rhapsody of tastes!

Well, what can I say - Naxos is a place to enjoy!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Packing for Greece

Finally, it is this time in a year! It is time for a trip to the places where wind never sleeps. I am specially excited, because lately my attention was on some other life issues. But, now, the van is packed and ready for a ferry to Greece.

This year, I will shortly visit island Naxos (and, of course, report to you what you can except there windsurfing wise). After that, my usual destination: the kingdom of the wind  - Karpathos! Stay tuned for soulwindsurfing news!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Nice bora in Karin, Croatia

After a long time it was a bora (NE wind) of your dreams!

Like in old days, some 10 years ago, before climate change became palpable in the wind, making it more changeable and hellishly gusty in Karin, it was everything you could wish for a perfect windsurfing session!

Constant 20 kt, +/- not more than 2 kt, warm, crispy air, blue turquoise Sea... Ahh!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Don't throw plastic bags in the sea! Please.

Tourist season brings a lot of people to the Adriatic Coast. Nice, if you like overcrowded beaches and a lot of fun. However, where there are a lot of people, there is a lot of garbage, too.

I want to warn you about one special kind of windsurfer-dangerous garbage: plastic bags in the sea!

Before you let something like that fall in the sea - maybe because you are innocently careless and the wind just picked it up from the beach, or maybe you are shamelessly careless and just threw it from your rented boat or a shiny yacht you own - think about the consequences. It is not only that you have polluted the nature - it may be that you just harmed some innocent windsurfer very badly.

Namely, plastic bags don't sink, but they also don't float on the surface. Usually, they have very dangerous characteristic of floating just below the surface, some 20-30 cm in the sea. That means, if you are windsurfing, YOU DON'T SEE IT until it is too late!

If you hit the plastic bag with your fin, that means catapult. The board stops abruptly, and windsurfer’s body continues to move with high speed. Anything can happen - from just a couple of bruises and broken mast to destroyed life due to broken neck.

And all that because someone was careless.

Few days ago, I had a windsurfing session in Zablaće, near Šibenik, Croatia. I had to make slalom between at least 5-6 plastic bags floating in the sea and waiting for its victims. It was not a relaxed feeling at all.

So, I can just repeat and ask everyone: don't throw plastic bags in the sea! Please.