“The sea and mountains floated in the steady evening sunshine. It was all peace, elements and void, golden air and mute blue distances…” John Fowles, The Magus
These words from Fowles’s fantastic novel resonate, make absolute sense in this place. The joy of nature here is also a joy in the elements, and especially water and air: the light that drenches the land, the Meltemi that blows, the plumbago-blue sea.
Apart from rest, regeneration and hopefully even rejuvenation, we are also in Sigri to do some windsurfing. This sport has been my challenge over the past five summers or so: at times arduous, often frustrating and then, occasionally – just to ensure I don’t give up – exhilarating and uplifting.
Every time I go out on the water the experience is different – from day to day, from hour to hour. When the wind is strong but constant, everything I’m trying to learn (planing, footstraps – going fast!) starts to come together and I surf until my legs shake. Two hours later, fired up for another attempt, the conditions have changed: now it’s gusty, moments where the sail jerks and pulls and tries to launch you into the dreaded catapult, then moments when all is calm and the sail grows heavy on your arms as you drift upwind back to the beach. The emotions change with each attempt, and in a day can range from fearful to content, then childishly excited followed by furious, resigned and sometimes very much at peace with the world.
And this is the attraction of a sport that relies on the elements, on Nature and all her caprices. It teases you, goads you on, gives you a reward and then smacks you round the back of the head once again. Like any activity worth doing, it’s not easy and there is always the next step, the next objective, like climbing one mountain only to see a vista of larger peaks stretching out to the horizon. But for now, I’ll keep trying.
The experts show how it should be done: