Monday, July 23, 2018

Two more lighthouses

Another little trip on my list was to paddle from Merikarvia to Kristinestad/Kristiinankaupunki or Kaskö/Kaskinen. A one night trip with some daymarks and lighthouses on the route, and also a logistically easy one. During a visit to my wifes homeplace in Närpes with the family, I unloaded the kayak in Merikarvia and started paddling, while the rest of the family drove to Närpes, about one hour away.

I got started a little after two in the afternoon. The sun was mostly behind clouds, and in was only about 22°C in the air, a welcome respite from the current heatwave in Finland. I'm not exactly thrilled about the temperature being higher than 25°C, and we had a number of days with over thirty degrees (33.5° being the highest).

The Oura archipelago, while not being very big, was very nice and quite interesting. It was almost as stony as in Kvarken, but there were quite a bit more of slick rock places.

Wonder where the name for this one came from? Surmakivi (Kill stone).

Closing in on the Oura daymark.

The Oura daymark is white towards southwest, red in the other directions.

One reasonable place to land on.

Some more daymark pictures.

Very much like Kvarken.

The Oura pilot station on the neighbouring island, no longer in use for that purpose.

I paddled through the archipelago to the north...

... before starting the 9 km crossing to the Merikarvia lighthouse, barely visible in the first picture.

The lighthouse itself isn't particularly impressive, and has no real aesthetical appeal. The intention in was actually to build a more massive lighthouse there , but investigations in 1885 showed that the ground was not stable enough, and the massive lighthouse was built on Yttergrund instead, see below. In 1987 the Merikarvia lighthouse was built here instead.

The island is quite barren...

... but the birds like it, in this case dunlins.

The next goal, Yttergrund lighthouse, 5.5 km away.

Closing in. 

The landing place had a peculiar sound, probably some long underwater cracks where the waves went in.

The Yttergrund lighthouse is the second highest in Finland, with a height of 40.9 m and 43.6 m over sea level. It was actually built in Helsinki and then disassembled and assembled again on Yttergrund in 1892.

Buildings for the lightkeepers and families, no longer in use since 1963. 


I continued...

... and came upon Ljusgrund after a few kilometers, and decided to stay there for the night. There were even spots for only a few tents, at least in the places I checked out. There would have been a better spot on the island, but there were too many birds there. One should always try to leave the birds in peace.

I actually took the Tarptent Double Rainbow instead of the Hilleberg Niak tent, since the Double Rainbow can be opened to a very airy tent, something I deemed necessary in the heat. Erecting it on rock was a little frustrating, though.

Bumblebee on longleaf speedwell.

Being alone I got going a little before eight in the morning.

No wind yet and the sun was behind a thin cloud cover.

A short break.

I continued along the Sandskäret island chain.

A short break to make up my mind.

I had considered going to the Kristinestad/Kristiinanakaupunki lighthouse as well. It is a bit from the closest islands and is just a steel construction in the sea with no opportunity to rest. A crossing of 7.5 km there and a little longer back isn't too bad, but I decided against it for several reasons. While the water is unusually warm, around 18°C, I was still alone with no drysuit. Additionally, I thought it built up to thunder and finally I didn't want to be away all the time from the family. I decided to save this lighthouse for another occasion. And my right shoulder had a bit of pain from an unrelated accident.

Going towards Kristinestad/Kristiinankaupunki.

I arrived a little after noon, a few minutes before the thunderstorm began with very intensive rain, the kind that soaks you completely in just seconds.

A nice little trip, with a total of 63 km, two new lighthouses and one new daymark.

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