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After 7 hard days of paddling, the wind has stopped us in our tracks. Normally, strong winds wouldn’t stop us, but the next leg of paddling is a very exposed, seven mile open water crossing of Kolpos Kissamou, and the conditions have been building for the last five days. It is just too risky to attempt it until the weather changes to favor us.

The stretch of beach on which we’re camped is very exposed to the blasting offshore wind, and in turn the fine sand that makes this a popular beach for tourists, whips up in the wind and penetrates every bit of our bodies and boats.
William, Nayr and I took a bus into Kissamos on our first layover day to try to distract ourselves from the disappointment of our situation. Kissamos, also called Castillo, is a fantastic town with a genuine atmosphere, not yet dominated by the touristy feel that spans much of the North Coast. Rather than wait for the late bus back too our beach, William and I hitched a ride with a Greek naval officer named Stelios.

Each evening, we spend a good deal of time prowling the beach looking for a sleeping spot that is protected from the blowing sand. Unfortunately it’s more difficult that one might think to find a good sleeping spot that’s free from the intense wind as well as unpleasant human waste.

Luckily, Falassarna Beach has two markets and several tavernas that provide all the necessities: sandwich materials, yogurt, cheap beer, and cheap wine. If not for the gale-force winds, I’d be tempted to stay here for the rest of the trip. Instead, the constant wind blowing through the tree limbs and beach grass seems to point out the direction we should be going; back out to sea, and our ambitions agree.

Tomorrow, Sept. 28th, we plan to position ourselves at the far NW point of the island in preparation for the crux crossing on the morning of the 29th. After that, the forecast shows doldrums for a few days and then the West wind we’ve been waiting for. Just in time to push our expedition along the 150 mile length of the North coast.