Thursday, July 24, 2014

Back in the kayak

Longtime readers might remember that I bought a kayak in 2012, in order to start kayaking again. For some reason, it didn't happen in 2013, but now, in 2014, I'm back on the sea. I started a little late, in June, but there is still a lot of kayaking season left.

I soon wanted to try rolling the kayak, a Prijon Kodiak. I took a video in order to properly document the miserable failure:

Much to my surprise, I made it on the first try, after not having done a single roll in eight years. It went more by brute force than finesse, but a little training should remedy that.

After the Kimito Island overnighter, which started my vacation, I've mainly kayaked instead of riding my bike. Mostly because I've been away from home with the family and when we returned home it was too hot for riding.

I tried the kayak in the very stony archipelago in Ostrobothnia, which was the main reason why I went with a bomb proof Prijon kayak. The family went with a boat to the island, while I took the kayak.

Even with a kayak it was necessary to stay in the marked lane in a few places. Generally you try to avoid that, since you don't want to be in the same places as power boats.

We spent four very nice days on the island, while I explored the rock labyrinths in the vicinity. I don't think I would have dared to go to all the places with a composite kayak.

Back in Turku, after having spent another four days in Stockholm, I continued paddling, since it was now too hot for riding a bike in the woods, with temperatures up to 30C. The closest waters are in my opinion rather boring to paddle on and in these cases a faster kayak might be nice. This would have to be a totally different type of kayak, though. With the Prijon Kodiak, the 20 km trip around Hirvensalo went with an average of 8 km/h (might be faster without wind) and I don't think any sea kayak capable of longer trips would be significantly faster for me.

In anticipation of some upcoming trips, I loaded the kayak down with 25 kg of water, to see if it would behave differently (since you need to bring the drinking water around 40 kg of extra weight isn't unrealistic at all).

I barely got through here, since a sand ridge connected the two small islands just under the water surface.

The paddling was a lot more interesting when I got out from the inner waters.

25 kg of extra weight didn't affect the kayak much.

For the upcoming weekend I have a short two-night kayaking trip planned, which should be really nice in the continuing hot weather.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Kimito Island

I thought an overnighter would be a good way to reset myself from the work life and start the summer vacation. A more traditional Finnish way to achieve this reset would be a bottle of vodka, but that's not really my style. Toni was also interested in an overnighter and he had scouted a good location on the Kimito Island earlier in the week. Everything was thus set and I took the car to Kimito to meet with Toni. Around 19:30 on Friday evening we started our ride.

We started with around 30 km of road riding.

Riding in front of Toni is a strange looking alien with long arms.

Looking for the final approach. This was the wrong trail, or rather not a trail at all.


The forest opens up to the sea.

Toni has his 907 fatbike with 4.7" tires on 100 mm rims.

A couple of riding photos of me by Toni.

The photo sessions could not be avoided.

Purple loosestrife.

I had my Krampluk, a Salsa Mukluk fatbike with 29+ wheels and tires.

A small pine has chosen a rather poor place to grow on.

Sailing would also be a perfectly acceptable activity on an evening like this one.

Beach pea.

Can you spot Toni?

Bladderwrack on land.

There he is.

I am but a shadow of myself.

Almost there.

First things first. After having found a suitable place for the night, we put our beer into the great refrigerator. The beer is a local beer from Rosala, hence the name.

My sleeping spot. A NeoAir Short sleeping pad on the Alpkit Hunka XL bivybag, a summer quilt and my wine bag pillow, all under a minimal bug net.

We had pancakes planned for dinner, but I had forgotten to bring a bowl for the pancake batter. In a situation like this, a lesser man would probably tear his hair in despair, but my hair is too short for that and I like to think outside the box. One of my drybags came to the rescue.

The most noble outdoor food.

Eating pancakes and watching the sunset.

Who can sail when the wind won't blow?

Eventually we ran out of pancakes, but the beer was now cold and the sunset colours continued.

Some final photography before going to sleep. Toni does a long exposure shot.

Our camp. There was now some moisture coming from the sea, so I actually slept inside the bivy bag in order to not get wet.

The next morning was foggy.

Toni still slept well, so I took a little morning stroll.

Sea aster.

Mossy stonecrop.

Toni is awake and ready for photography.

Morning coffee.

Wild thyme.

Gradually the fog was dispersed by the sun.

Sea cale, another perfectly edible plant. It tastes pretty much like cabbage.

Bladderwrack in water. This is also edible, but I haven't tasted it myself. It is supposed to taste a little like rucola.

Toni packs his bike.

On the move.

Red water, perhaps because of algae. There are also iron bacteria that can color water red, but those seem to occur mostly in boglike water.

A few more pictures by Toni.

The Swedish name of the mossy stonecrop translates roughly as yellow fatboy, which would enable a cunning caption, but not in English.

Leaving the trails for 30 km of roads.

The 30 km road section went quite rapidly and we finished off with some very nice trails near the Kimito village.

A great outing at a very nice place again. A perfect start to the vacation. Thanks to Toni for the company. Toni's report is here.

PS. The TahkoMTB 240 km took place a week before this one. It didn't go to well for me, though, but I might still write something about in in the blog.