Monday, July 3, 2017

Isokari lighthouse island

A month since the latest blog post. Since then I've done some bike riding and kayaking, but there has been very much to do at work as well. Being a little sick didn't help either. This weekend, however, was reserved for paddling, at first for a visit to the Säppi lighthouse with the kayaking club, but due to the lack of participants it was cancelled. The reservation in the calendar still remained, however, and I got Jukka to join me for a weekend trip, with the goal of reaching the Isokari/Enskär lighthouse.

We started from Pleikilä sometime around eight in the evening. The south coast of Finland saw some hard weather during the day and evening, but on the west coast we had shelter from it and most of the trip to the tent island was paddled in quite calm wind and water.





The island with the best view turned out to be a bit uneven...

... so we returned to a spot we had seen just a little earlier.


Dinner commenced and afterwards we had a little look at the island. A characteristic feature of the islands here is the slick rock.

A lot of chives in the archipelago.

The sunset was nice.

Tomorrow's goal, should the weather be good enough.

An arctic tern at its favourite rock.

The view from the tent. I prefer to sleep with the vestibule tucked away for the views in my tent if there is no risk for rain.

We decided to sleep well, and I didn't get up until eight in the morning. I had been very tired in the evening.

The morning was nice and after breakfast it was time for a little stroll on the island.

A nice view with Åland on the other side.

The tern and its rock again.

We started paddling a bit after ten and decided to check the conditions north of Katanpää before making a final decision on the route.

The conditions were easy, so the decision was made.

The leg was to the Pleikongi/Blekungen daymark.

We were in no hurry and took a look at the island.



Isokari lighthouse.


Sea mayweed.

Our next leg was to the Flatu daymark, where we planned to have lunch.

Leaving Blekungen.

Flatu coming up.

The southeast part of the island was occupied by birds.

We paddled around and found a good and bird free spot at the other side of the island.



After a lunch in the now very warm weather we continued towards Isokari.


We landed next to the guest harbour, which was a poor choice. The beach southwards from that would have provided numerous better landing places. First thing was to buy a coffee and icecream. Unfortunately there was no ice cream there yet. We also asked for a guide to the lighthouse, since you aren't allowed in it by yourselves. The walk to the lighthouse showed that the island was interesting.

The old pilot house.

Unsurprisingly, the military have had presence the strategically placed island.

Lesser butterfly-orchid.

Heath spotted-orchid.

Coming up on the lighthouse.

The lighthouse was a built after Sweden lost Finland to Russia. The shipping lanes were all on the Swedish side then, and Sweden increased the fees enough that the new shipping lanes on the Finnish side were opened, which naturally meant that new navigational aids were needed, among them the Isokari lighthouse.

The inside.

View to the north.

Jukka.

The current lens system was made in Paris in 1872 and was transferred to Isokari from the Marjaniemi lighthouse in 1952.

Turning mechanism.

The buildings for the lighthouse keepers and families are from the same era.


A stroll back to the kayaks showed more interesting nature, in this case common sundew.

We decided to paddle around the island until we would find a suitable tent spot.

The lighthouse from the south.

Some potential for playing.

We found a nice spot to land on.

I started with coffee, since I wasn't that hungry.

A rather nice spot.

It soon became time for dinner anyway. This is how to prepare dried soya nuggets into something that is edible, at least if you are hungry: Start with boiling them in water and stock, until they are soft and spongy. Don't eat them at this point, they are really bad.

The second step is to fry them in oil and spices until they are crispy. The spices mask the soya taste.

With salsa and beans they make an aceptable burrito.

After dinner we took a stroll along the west side of the island.





A plant I have yet to identify.


The lighthouse from yet another direction.

Fireweed

The rest of the evening went enjoying the sunset. It was a good one.


The sun wasn't very round this time.


And then it was time to sleep.

The following morning had some clouds.


After breakfast we packed the kayaks.

Start a little before nine.


Not much to the left of Jukka. A few small skerries and then the Swedish coast 200 km to the west.


The harbour and the new pilot house.

Does anyone make paddle britches in any other colours? The blue colour really upsets the color coding.

At this point it rained slightly.

A short break at Pleikongi/Blekungen.


There was no longer any wind.

Soon back at the kayaks.

A splendid little weekend trip again in excellent conditions and interesting places was behind us. We didn't paddle that much, only around 50 km, but had time to look at other things again.


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