Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Winter in Sardinia - by Sarah & Anita

The Blog below is from Sarah and Anita, who are part of the team attempting to paddle around the 'Roof of Britain', from mid April-mid May.  A journey of 400nm and part of Coastal Spirit's Rapid Development eXpeditions - RDX 2015.  Sarah runs a sea kayaking company from one of the lakes in Switzerland, have a look here.

Anita and Sarah made use of the free time around New Year to get some sea time in Sardinia. They were joined by Peter, Sarah’s husband.

5 hours’ drive in the car and an overnight ferry is the straightforward journey for Swiss paddlers to get to Sardinia – right into the middle of a paradise for sea kayaking! We had rented a little bungalow right on beach of La Cinta – on the East coast, about 30 kms south of Olbia – the perfect base for winter paddling.
Water temperatures in the mediterranian sea are around 15 degrees Celcius in the winter, and air temperatures usually around 10-15 degrees in December.

The weather forecast which had been very stable the week before our arrival, started dancing around on our arrival. It produced variety in wind force and direction, the first often getting stronger than expected – mostly around 4-5 BF. This was great practice for our trip planning in a region we didn’t yet know – we had to make many short notice decisions and stay flexible on where we could paddle. This year was “special” in that a Sibirian storm front came across Sardinia 2 days into our holiday, providing air temperatures of 6 degrees for about 3 days and snow on the hills, along with force 6-8 winds.

The NE swell brought us surf on the beautiful sandy beach right outside our back door – the water coming (very) close to our veranda in the peak of the storm.  This surf zone in “our garden” gave some good rolling, surf-landing as well as swimming practice.  We were grateful for the warm shower close by!
One day we drove across to Alghero, for a trip out to Capo Caccia in the North West to paddle – in the relativ shelter of the strong NE Wind.
The swell remained on the East coast after the wind had turned to W towards the end of our stay – providing us with some beautiful big swell on our trips around the island of Tavolara and in the Golf of Orosei.

All in all: We got plenty of time on the water, good opportunities to practice paddle skills, rolls and rescues in rough and windy conditions as well as in swell. Inbetween  all that we drank lots of cappuccinos – one of the few things the Sards do not close up for the winter season is their coffee shops!

Sarah and Anita - Switzerland

More information on the 'Roof of Britain' can be found here

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