IONIAN ISLANDS, Greece - Bethany Mercer and Jay Haysey a West Sussex based couple, recently went on an epic holiday paddling their SUPs around the Ionian Islands in Greece. All they took with them were their Red Paddle Co. inflatables, a tent and the basic necessities on their two-week trip.
The couple explored the islands of Meganisi, Lefkada and Ithaca and enjoyed the laid-back lifestyle of paddling in the mornings followed by keeping cool in the shade enjoying fresh avocados, fruit, painting and taking photos of the beauty surrounding them. Red Paddle Co caught up with the couple following their return from the trip to ask them all about it. See a snippet from their interview below:
Only take what you can carry with you. | Photos: Jay Haysey
Red Paddle Co.: What inspired you to go on this adventure?
Jay & Beth: We had both paddle boarded quite a lot before and knew we really enjoyed spending time on the ocean. It was actually through work when we were filming for a yacht flotilla holiday in Greece that we thought ‘this would be an amazing trip to do on a SUP. Scrap the yacht let’s paddle board it!’ We saw the kinds of remote beaches the yachts were mooring up in and thought we could get to even more remote place on our boards. Jay was plotting the adventure a year in advance thinking of routes and what to take etc.
RPC: What’s your best memory from the trip?
J&B: It’s hard to select one best memory! I think seeing sunrise and sunset everyday makes you feel awesome. The overall sense of freedom and spontaneity was insane. You can’t beat being outside in the fresh air and swimming in the sea everyday for two weeks! Also, even though you have planned your route, you never really know whats around the next headland so every minute of the trip is a surprise. You never exactly know where you are going to pitching for the night!
Early morning paddles in Greece. | Photo: Jay Haysey
RPC: For aspiring adventurers, what would you say to them before embarking on a journey like this?
J&B: I would say to anyone who is keen to embark on a SUP adventure, definitely do some paddling before you go! Practice paddling with your boards loaded up with all your kit as it makes the boards feel a lot heavier and different to paddle. There’s definitely a max speed you can paddle with 20kg on your boards!! Plan your trip in terms of where you roughly want to stay each night. When planning, we realized we didn’t pass anywhere which we could stock up on supplies for a couple of days so ensured we had enough food and water to last us. You do not want to be out of drinking water on a remote beach or whilst paddling in the heat! It’s also really important to understand local winds, tides, ferry routes etc. We made sure we knew of everywhere we were traveling to, to not to be in certain channels when the wind kicked in or the huge cruiser ferry passed! You wouldn’t want to get caught in that wake!
To see the full interview and more photos from Jay and Bethany’s trip click HERE.
Check out a quick video from their trip below!
To see more SUP Journeys, click HERE.