The big blue

Sunday 2011/04/24

I was laughing at my friend and rowing coach Dragec when he was telling me about how he once got so deep in his thoughts he didn't notice he had been rowing for hours towards some buoy in the sea which he nearly smashed into. I've just passed by the island of Skarde and I really don't remember how I got here. Rowing for hours really is the most perfect meditation.

Veliko plavetnilo

Since Cedo went off very early in the morning to do his thing, I was very relaxed about the start of the day and allowed myself to be two whole hours late. My send-off from Novalja, accompanied by few interested tourists and passers by, saw me heading to my longest kayaking route, to Veli Rat on the island of Dugi Otok. Even though the weather seemed ideal for a day of rowing, with no wind, not too hot, with calm sea, I wasn't completely carefree. Nebojsa from meteo-info told me there might be some strong wind, and if I'm going to be constantly getting hit on my chest by wind and waves this will make for one Sisyphean labor. Then I remembered reading about that whale shark that was caught somewhere around here, and I wasn't relaxed about it all, to say the least. As usual, Marko and Luka were accompanying me in the boat, with captain Tomislav, but as they hurried up I was left on my own. As Dragec always says, kayaking is always beautiful.

Whether you're sliding quietly down karrens of some island, jumping on waves struggling with the wind or trying to catch a wave and harness it, being in such a direct, natural contact with the sea is just indescribable. I didn't even realize it took me more than three hours to get to Olib until I checked it out on Garmin. I can't quite find the words to describe it, but it seemed as if time and space just didn't exist, it was very surreal. The sea was calm and smooth like oil, the clouds came and everything around became covered in gray tones. The sea, the islands and the air became one. I had a feeling as if I was floating in empty space. If there wasn't for splashes of water sobering me up every other moment, I would have completely lost my orientation. This utterly serene peace and quiet was only mildly getting disturbed by these splashes from my Looksha. I don't know of a better mantra than this. I was completely gone in some different dimension of the deep blue. If I had come across of a buoy, like Dragec, I would have probably also smashed right into it. I am so pleased that Nebojsa's weather forecast didn't come true. I did have it at the back of my mind though, that it might get frightfully windy and gray, so I pressed on. I reached the highest Adriatic lighthouse, Veli Rat, in little less than seven hours. This was just the icing on the cake of this amazingly beautiful rowing day. Luckily, I came back to reality somewhere after Olib, so I could enjoy all the scenery fully awake and conscious of its beauty.

Going through the passage at Zapuntel, between islands Ist and Molat, rowing by the island where a whale shark was caught the day before (sorry to repeat myself, but some things really leave a deep impression on a man), playing around an old, rusty ship wreck stranded on the beach next to the lighthouse, enjoying the amazing scenery of the surroundings, made for an absolutely amazing day. In the end, as if I haven't seen enough magic today, another surprise. On top of Dugi Otok, reciting a very appropriate epic ode and jumping out in front of me, were Ines, Irena and Dejo, my dear friends Velebitaši who are coming along tomorrow for a cycling route and the last stage of the letter „L“. Luka's better half Masa has decided to join us as well, so I have a feeling this will be a truly great Easter celebration in Sali. Happy Easter, everyone!