Sunday, April 29, 2018

Another spring kayaking scouting trip

The weekend suddenly were free again, after we had decided to postpone the outing celebrating Toni's riding of the 1000 mile ITI. The weather seemed fine in the forecast, so the only option was to go on a scouting trip with kayak, to look for suitable tent sites for a paddling club trip at the end of May. Jukka joined me.

Starting from Kirjais at 15:30 on Saturday.

Jukka has a new Tiderace kayak in gorgeous looking patriotic blue and white colors. I considered that color scheme for my own kayak as well, but ended up with the orange color, due to photographic aspects.

I had only been in the northern part of this area before and we first went to check out my number one option, based on maps and satellite images.

The island was a lot more uneven than could be deduced from the maps. A poor option for ten tents.

We continued and the other islands I had checked out were also much too uneven and steep, as was almost all islands in this area.

Lots of birds now, here the common eider.

Finally we found a small island that looked much different from the other ones.

This was an island in my taste, with the exact barren landscape I most like. And there was room for tents.

It was too early for us to stop, however, and we continued towards another place I had looked at.

As we closed in on the target island, it started to look less appealing, but another place turned up that looked excellent. We landed there at eight in the evening after 20 km of paddling.

The place was excellent, with lots of different tent spots and hammock trees. Time to put up the tents...

... and start making food.

The sun went down at 21:20.

It has come to my attention that some people actually eat freeze dried food on kayaking trips. This is of course completely unacceptable, and I'm doing my part to combat this.

Eventually it became dark.

The night wasn't particularly cold, but the weather changed a bit. On Saturday noon clear and dry weather was forecasted for Sunday, but on Saturday evening that had changed to rain starting at eight in the morning. I got up a little before seven, and it was now mostly cloudy, though the rain hadn't yet started.


Nothing new green yet. The orpine is green the entire year.

It started to rain and there was no point in prolonging the breakfast. We packed everything and got going at 8:30.

A bit of a fog.


Jukka found a short cut.

At one point north of Knivskär we stopped for a while, just after having seen a seal, to listen to the birds. There was quite a concerto at that point, with a black grouse being the nicest surprise. It is mainly a bird of forest mires, but some are also found in the archipelago.

Back at Kirjais at noon after 19.5 km.

The trip was nice and I got the see a new part of the archipelago sea, with some really nice places. Thanks to Jukka for the company.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Spring kayaking

The beginning of the kayaking season 2018 was rather humble, but this weekend had more possibilites. The area I would need to scout still had too much ice, but closer to Kasnäs there was more open water. A total of nine of the local paddlers started from the Högsåra ferry port, in four different groups.

More protected places still had too much ice and the closest route out to more open waters was not feasible.

A fun little "iceberg". Why go to Greenland when you have the Gullkrona Bay?

We didn't go for distance this time and paddled only around 10 km before setting camp.

Mounting the beer refrigerator...

... before taking a stroll around the island.

Lots of survival food.

A cup of coffee and a sandwhich cured the worst hunger, so there was no hurry to make dinner. The last paddlers arrived during coffee time.

Starting the wood stove. My new kayak has lots of packing space and a bag of firewood fitted without problems.

An opportunist immediately took advantage of the fire.

Lots of cranes migrating.

I had meat and sweet potatoes. Quite delicious and in addition to the kayaking season, the barbecue season is also opened.

A fire can also be used to temperate wine.

And the sun went down a little before nine.

I had my winter sleeping bag and enjoyed a warm night. The temperature did probably not go below freezing this night. I managed to sleep until half past seven in the morning and then got up and took a stroll to the part of the island I hadn't yet checked out.

Whiches' broom, generally the consequence of a fungal infection.

The birds have started to arrive.

My tent and kayak.


Due to family obligations I had to leave at ten in the morning. The others were awake making breakfast.

Now that I was alone, there was no reason not to check out the "iceberg" a little closer.
Skim Beaufort


And since no one saw me I climbed to the top of the ice berg.

My new neoprene boots are nice. They are big enough (size 48) to allow thick wool socks in the drysuit and very comfortable with good soles and flexible waterproof canvas shafts. They also also high enough to keep the water out in most landing situations.

Continuing back towards the Högsåra ferry.

I was back a little before twelve after 11 km. It started to rain a little as I unpacked the kayak and started to rain a lot more when I tightened the kayak to the car roof. Good timing.

A nice litte trip and I was happy to test the Skim Beaufort on an overnighter. There really was plenty of packing space in the kayak, just as expected, and it still feels very comfortable.