IOPCC Trip Report

Saturday 13th October 2012


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 kayaks.

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 each other).

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!



Pictures of the paddle are on the
Galleries Page


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Report: Hugh de Iongh
Pics: Various



Paddling on the Jurassic Coast