The goal: to circumnavigate the island of Menorca in sea kayaks, a team of six friends and acquaintances.
29 May – 7 June 2021
The plan was, roughly, 8 days at 25km a day. We were full self-sufficient, carrying food, water and camping gear in the kayaks. We stayed in a hotel for one night, at the edge of Cuitadella, just because it is so hard to find pleasant wild camping near the town.
We set off from the village of Es Grau, having hired kayaks from the very helpful team at Menorca En Kayak. The plan was to get round in seven days. Based on the wind and weather forecast, we chose to go anti-clockwise and complete the tricky north coast while the good forecast held. The first night we camped on Illa d’en Colom, across the bay from ES Grau, at Playa S’Arenal d’en Moro.
DAY 1 29km of paddling.
DAY 2 Another 29km, past the northernmost point.
DAY 3 Another 29km day. We were now halfway down the west coast and that was our last low wind day. We had been very lucky and had done the treacherous north coast with glass-like water.
DAY 4 A 19km day. We passed the halfway point and turned onto the south coast, to start paddling into the teeth of a south-east wind. We eventually decided the wind and chop was beyond our skill levels and fled into the nearest bay.
DAY 5 A 25km day, not bad in the end. A short hop, dived into a bay to escape the wind, a spot of lunch. And a lucky break with a few hours of lower winds for the second shift.
DAY 6 Only 18km but it got us round the south-eastern point and onto the east coast, despite the ceaseless winds.
DAY 7 7km. And then we bailed. With only 15km to go. The conditions had become too rough for us.
Most of the team had to go home at that point but Julia and I were able to wait on the island, sitting out two days of storms, and then return to finish the job.
DAY 8 15km to complete the circumnavigation. 177km of paddling in total.