We are Yvonne and Pavlos, the owners of Sea Kayaking Kefalonia.
Below you can find some information about ourselves as well as the rest of the team.
I was born in Switzerland and I am swiss-greek. I was raised in Switzerland where I fnished my marketing studies. I came to Greece in 1994 and before starting 'Sea Kayaking Kefalonia' I worked as a german language teacher and as a tour guide in Kefalonia as well as outside Greece.
My outdoor activities qualifications include REC (Rescue Emergency Care) Level 2, Tour Leader for Explore company, Red Cross first aid, PADI Open Water Diver, motor boat license. I am also a founding member of the Greek Sea Kayak Club.
My passion is backpack travelling. I have visited countries like Peru, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, India, Nepal, China, Egypt, South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Yemen, Chile, Argentina... I like getting deep into the countries' culture and nature observing people and animals.
My hobbies include trekking, cycling, reading, etc. I speak Greek, German, English, Spanish and some Italian and French.
I was born in Greece. My studies include a bachelor in electrical engineering and a master in business administration. My working experience includes customer facing roles in big multinational companies like Nestlé, Compaq Computers, Hewlett Packard.
In the past I was a water-polo player in one of Greece's best teams. Since 1996, kayak (both sea and white water) is my passion. I am a member of the legendary TEAMadara, a group of white water kayakers with rich activity in the greek and not only, rivers.
I am sea kayak instructor certified by the BCU (British Canoe Union). My outdoor activities education and qualifications include: BCU 5 Star Sea Kayak, Level 3 UKCC Coach with Advanced Water Endorsement (a set of qualifications owned by a few top coaches in the world), Professional Lifeguard, REC (Rescue Emergency Care) Level 2, numerous white water courses in Greece and the Alps, Tour Leader for Explore company, PADI Advanced Diver, sailing license, motor boat license. I've also served for 21 months in a rescue boat in the military navy, which enhanced my seamanship.
My other hobbies include sailing, apnea, astronomy (founding member of the Astronomy Club of Thessaloniki), celestial navigation, scuba diving, backpacking, cycling, etc. My travels have taken me in parts of Asia, Africa, Central and South America. I am also a founding member of the Greek Sea Kayak Club. I speak Greek, English, Italian and some French and German.
George A. Gazetas
I was born in Arta and raised in Athens. As a teenager my passion used to be kart racing and I had a tendency towards discovering inner aspects of racing biomechanics and motorsport engineering thus I followed studies in mechanical engineering. I lived part of my life in Khalkis (Euboea) and Corinth and travelled a lot mainly around Greece and abroad as well.
With its minimalistic nature, expedition orientations and potential, sea kayaking became soon a fascinating big part of my life.
I enjoy playing guitar and ukulele, climbing, trekking, cycling, camping in the wilderness, traveling with the motorcycle while listening to loud good music from my earphones…. Plus many more…
I ‘ve been working for years as a white water rafting trip leader and corporate event coordinator and assistant for a variety of outdoor activities and companies and for the summer of 2012 it is more of my pleasure to join Pavlos’ and Yvonne’s team in Kefalonia.
Qualifications include BCU(UKCC) coach level 1, trained Level 2, BCU 4 star leader sea, Long Term Paddler Development (I) Cert., Foundation Safety and Rescue Training Cert., BCU 3 star open canoe, Rescue 3 international swift water rescue technician (I), IRF trip leader class 3, HRC First Aid certified, HFMC - UIAA rock climber and member, Greek Army Special Forces Nurse Cert.
I'm a guy from Sweden who once put my foot in the kayak and have serious problems getting out of the boat. Well, not like that's my goal! However, I have some passions in life and paddling must be one of the worst. Beside my studies in Geology I'm working with sea kayaking in Sweden and Greece. 2015 I'm gladly back for another season! :-)
I use to explain the atmosphere and beauty of seakayaking by the word ”variation”; an activity characterized of where it is done, as much as what the goal of the paddling is, the weather and the people involved. One day on the sea is never like the other, the paddling in Sweden is pretty much different to the paddling in Kefalonia, a daytrip along a shore is different to the one on the open water, in the archipelago or in carst systems as what we have in Kefalonia. Talking of my own experience in outdoor life this wide range of variation makes paddling in my eyes an unique way of exploring nature and mind.
After my graduate school in Sweden I did my military duty as some kind of wet, dirty and heavy loaded soldier, where I learned how to drive big vehicles in the middle of nowhere and to survive in the woods like a MacGyver-wannabe. A great experience however, but I didn't like it enough to get stucked there for the rest of my life. So on the day of freedom I moved north with my lovely girlfriend. North in Sweden where you can't see anything else than trees and where the snow lays stable each season. Unexperienced but ready to trade the flat for a tent we went there to start an education in mountain- and outdoor leadership, which later shown up to be niched into the passion of sea kayaking. After some experiences in the bransch I founded my own kayaking company, which is a special idea that aims to connect environmental work and research of littered marine areas with outdoor life. A project hosted by that was a 90 day long sea kayaking expedition along the coast of Sweden I did the year before my first season in Kefalonia. A trip that gave me lots of experience and philosophical moments. Living the life like that gave me perspectives and future interests of similar trips. I decided to learn more about the nature itself, to move to the west coast of Sweden and start study Earth Science and Geology at the University of Gothenburg. In the middle of all this I work summertime in Kefalonia for Pavlos and Yvonne. Something I am very glad of doing and find as developing as joyful. The energy and atmosphere here around is just that beautiful as my greatest kayaking experiences in mind.
My name is Ulrika and I am a kayak padldler from Sweden. My experience from kayaking and other outdoor activities streches from the age of practically newborn when I was put into my parents Canoe along with all the other gear. Squeezed in between the canoe wagon and the tent, I sad there, eating candies and sleeping while my parents where doing the hard work canoeing the full loaded boat forward. Good times :) Since then my interest in nature and leadership has just grown. After three challenging years at high school I went up north in Sweden to take a one-year course to become an outdoor guide. The education was very covering, teaching everything from skiing and kayak tecniques to first aid and leadership. Nowadays I live in Gothenburg, combining studies to become a high school teacher with outdoor life, guide work and expeditions. The summer of 2013 I kayaked the Swedish coastline, a great expedition covering 2334 km of paddling and a holy lot of experience. My merits are: BCU Three Star Certification, One year Outdoor Guide Education including around 80 nights outdoor, Education in first aid and CPR, very good knowledge in Swedish, English and German and some basic conversation skills in Spanish and (soon) Greek.
We are very enthusiastic about running 'Sea Kayaking Kefalonia'. We are passionate about customer satisfaction and we are expecting you to come and experience it...