Nov. 20 - 22: I head out across the channel from “Agios Georgios” to mainland Athens. Wow. Major traffic - huge container vessels, tankers, tug and pilot boats. I think clearance was a must for this route. It’s heavy with ocean transport. The wind picks up. I stick close to the islands and then choose to cross when I feel the wind is calmer.
By the time I cross it is really blowing. I spot a small rocky beach. It’s around seven meters wide and I head for it. Good move. The winds increase as well as the waves, the whitecaps and swells. I stay in this little cove for six hours, eventually making a little fire in a small cave-like space. I wedge my way in and find a comfortable position on my life jacket to avoid the wind.
I arrived at 09:00 and left at 15:30. A wise choice.
I paddle towards the entrance to the Piraeus ferry port. I am astounded at how fast the vessels approach. I see a ferry coming on my left. I wait, it passes. I meet the one meter wake head on. The mouth of this busy entrance is around 50 meters. I paddle hard but fail to look to my right. I should have. A rapidly approaching Navy vessel - that I didnt even see - was on my tail. Fortunately I was a just about over and made it. Hah Was a bit shaken by that.
Nov. 21 - I paddle to Marina Seas and take a last picture of the small cove where I spent the night.
I meet the press and conduct a number of interviews. I meet world champion kayaker Tassos who has kindly offered to store the kayak In the club. I wash the kayak and put it on a rack. The journey is over. I will sell the kayak and donate it to charity - most likely an orphanage called Smile of a Child.
I am have achieved a major milestone, of which I heard, is a powerful motivator. What now? Did I feel a super sensation when reaching the goal? Not really but I felt proud. Some classify achievement as securing a long saught after material object. But for me this will not be the case.
The heartfelt meeting places, those unique intersects with people truly brought pure joy to my heart. This is already embedded in my mind. Somehow, I feel that these will last a lifetime. No oil changes on a Porsche. No major maintenance on a mansion. Just a simple joy of knowing that I have played a small role to encourage people to think small. Small acts of kindness. And, I believe many will remember this silent person who - from out of the blue - intersected their life.
I know my journey may be insignificant in this colossal universe, but I am just one of thousands of people who want to make their commmunities a better place. Together we are signicant. Oh yes, my journey is small, very small. But together we are better. I believe that.
I believe that every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together. The moment we choose not to reach out and help those who come our way, is the moment of division.
Peace is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together. I have experienced hundreds of hidden pockets of kindness through the 15 countries that I have travelled through. People reaching out to the isolated. People reaching out to the homeless and needy.
Henry Ford said: Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.
Let us be a family. Peace begins first and foremost to see humanity as a family. Not refugees. Not the homeless. Not the poor. But as a family.