….and breathe! I realise now its been about 2 months since our last blog post. It’s been 2 months of being super busy as the peak season of summer hit us with a bang, seemingly out of nowhere, and 2 months of running cruises and realising that one, our business works and people genuinely enjoy cruising with us, and two, WE LOVE OUR WORK!! This is something Josh and I have striven for since we met, living somewhere we love, doing jobs we love, and we think we’ve finally nailed it! It’s been hard, at times a little stressful (who knew how much cabbage to chop for lunch could cause such a debate?!), absolutely exhausting but the reward of seeing a boat full of happy people at the end of a cruise, telling us how much fun they’ve had, makes it all a million times worth it. We’ve become more and more confident with our product, even though there are a dozen other cruise boats along the harbour, we absolutely do offer something different and the paddleboarding has been the highlight for most people. The best part for us has been the people that say ‘Oh, my partner probably won’t try the paddleboarding’, but with a little encouragement and a not to be missed chance to try something new, to date we have had almost EVERYBODY, of all ages, at least sat on a paddleboard giving it a go.
It’s been an unexpected but brilliant turn up for the books that the majority of our cruises are coming from people private chartering our boat. We had hoped that some business would come our way from groups in villas, but we’ve also had small families who have walked by us, seen the boat and what we offer, and booked a day exclusively for themselves. The private cruises are really fun. The whole day is so relaxed, there’s no pressure for people to finish up on the beach as it’s time to move on to somewhere else, and we’ve found that stopping in beautiful Vathy, on Meganisi, for the lunch, or even dinner stop, has proved a massive hit for people. It gives them the chance to have a leisurely meal in a stunning setting, at a place they would have probably never visited if they hadn’t cruised with us. Particularly when groups have booked us all day and into the evening, cruising back from Meganisi at sunset has been an incredible way to end the day. We’ve also visited the famous Cave of Papanikolis a few times on our private charters, and our boat is small enough that we can go right inside. This is actually an incredible feeling, the entrance to the cave looks quite small, but once inside it opens up to this huge amazing cave with looming, over hanging walls.
There’s also been hen parties, wedding anniversaries and birthday groups celebrating with us. Just the other day we had a group from Switzerland who celebrated one member of the groups 60th birthday on board with us. The boat trip was a surprise, and a few of the group came early to decorate the boat. We departed Nidri to the entire group singing Happy Birthday at the tops of their voices, even the birthday boy himself…we knew at this point it was going to be a great day. Although they had mainly booked us because they loved the boat, after a tour of Skorpios, at our first beach they were all keen to have a go at the paddleboarding. I’m not sure if it was the beers on the way over, as there were some spectacular crashes, but eventually they were able to get it in some form or another. They all seemed to have such a great day, and we were so happy and proud they had decided to celebrate this special day with us.
Finally, just because, some pictures of the dolphins we’ve seen. This is something I think will never get old, no matter how many years (hopefully) we will be doing this. We’ve had them chasing the boat, swimming under the boat and leaping out in front of us. There’s an incredible emotion stirred up when you see dolphins, especially so close, and we are now working with the Ionian Dolphin Project, reporting all our sightings to help them with the research and conservation of these beautiful animals. Check out how close they were, we could almost touch them… so cooooool!
I’ll try not to leave it so long until the next post…There’s also some very exciting future plans for Lefkada Paddleboard Cruises, but we’ll tell you more about that next time 😉