Vulcanoa Marathon Sea Kayak Symposium, Italy – Part 3

After the symposium the tour of the islands began. There were about 40 participants and up to 16 nautical miles of paddling each day. Gravita’ Zero lent me a Tahe Marine Reval Mini, and despite being just over 15 feet long, it was easy to load four days worth of gear and food into it. The kayak proved to be extremely maneuverable, and was perfect for the extensive rock gardens, tunnels, caves and archways that encompass the Aeolian Islands. The storms of the past few days had cleared up, leaving both the sky and the water a rich blue color. Fluffy white clouds lingered above each of the islands that dotted the Mediterranean Sea. Everyone’s spirits were high as we left Vulcano, the location of the symposium, and began our journey to three of the other islands.

A view of the islands.

Salina's sunset.

Over the next four days we paddled along the islands Vulcano, Lipari, Salina and Panarea. Each island has its own special features, and we encountered stunning cliffs, sea caves, tunnels and arches. During the crossing from Lipari to Panarea we stopped halfway to swim and eat melon in the warm afternoon sun. Dolphins entertained us with a playful show of leaps and tricks, and a large sea turtle meandered past, lifting his head to look at the group of kayakers before diving into the depths of the sea.

Salina.

A place to explore.

A melon break.

At night we cooked together, laughing under the moonlight and enjoying the company of new friends. Plates were passed from one person to the next, as everyone wanted to sample the dishes of their neighbors. People slept in either bungalows or tents. During the day we stopped to rest and swim on beaches or at the small towns on the islands. Each island seemed to be famous for a different yummy treat, and I tried many of them, talking to the people that lived there and becoming mesmerized by the beautiful scenery, traditional Italian houses and charming verandas and alleys.

Bubbles.

During my visit to Italy I realized that there is something special about this group of islands that sits at the very bottom of a country the other side of the world from my home. Magic lingers there amongst the warm air, the volcanos, the dark blue water and the wonderful people. As my plane flew away, I took one last look at the islands, trying to lock it all into my memory. When the last of them disappeared from my view, I smiled, closed my eyes and drifted off into a deep sleep.

(more pictures can be found in the gallery)

3 Responses to “Vulcanoa Marathon Sea Kayak Symposium, Italy – Part 3”

  • gianfranco liotta says:

    My dearest Helen! I really appreciate your wonderful words. Thank you for being with us, your presence at the Symposium was marvellous. I hope you will be our guest again during the next editions of Vulcanoa, or that you just spend a bit of time in Sicily again. Thanks again and ciao!

  • Luisella says:

    Dear Helen,
    I really hope you will come back next year to Italy and I dream to paddle with you, It’s a pure joy!
    and hope to learn more about beautiful Greenland rolling!
    A big hug from luisella

  • Wow, those photos look amazing. Italy is a long way from Australia but I’d love to paddle in these parts one day! Cheers – FP

Leave a Reply

Newsletter Sign Up

Sponsors
Kokata Kayak Clothing Accessories Apparel Gath Sports Helmets Sea Kayaker Magazine P&H Custom Sea Kayaks Kayak Paddles by OBlenis Paddles Thule Sweden Fat Paddler - Live. Laugh. Paddle!