Unable to go on the
Rough Water training in Cornwall because of a family holiday
in Venice, I still felt the need to go sea kayaking.
Surprisingly, it is possible to go sea kayaking in Venice,
so that's what I did!
A small group of me and 3 others met up with our Italian
guide, Lorretta, on a little island (Certosa) just off the
main Venice island, where we got kitted up and got our
First part of the journey was crossing some open water which
had lots of fast moving boat traffic, a sort of Venice
orbital. Then into the narrow labyrinth of canals that are
the roads of Venice. With front doors facing onto the
canals (some decaying grand, some very homely), and with
motor boats moored alongside just as we park our cars
outside our houses, some of the canals were very narrow.
Sharp right angle bends tested my edging and bow rudder
strokes. No caves, but some very low arches to go under.
We then crossed another piece of open water, waiting for a
pause in the water traffic, then dashing across in a tight
group to another island (San Giorgio Maggiore), then back
into Venice proper. More paddling through the back canals,
and then a gentle landing on a perfect quayside alongside an
open air restaurant. Whilst kayaking lunches are normally
sandwiches and a Thermos on a windy beach somewhere, this
was pizza, beer and proper coffee; just brilliant!
We then did a stretch along the Grand Canal itself,
including shooting the Rialto Bridge, where the boat and
gondola traffic is heavy and chaotic, a water version of
Italian driving (though none of the boats ever seem to hit
Finally, we worked our way back to the edge of Venice, and
the crossing back to the island.
A very different sea kayaking trip, but a great way to see
Venice, where the best way to get around is by boat, and
kayaks mean you can really get into the backwaters, and see
a different side to Venice. And to be able to have lunch at
an Italian cafe was luxury indeed!