Tuesday, April 30, 2019

A warm April kayaking weekend

The fourth spring kayaking trip of the Saaristomeren Melojat kayaking club took place in unusually warm April weather.

This was the fourth time I arranged a spring kayaking trip for the local paddling club in excellent weather. This time it took place three weeks earlier than the previous trips, so a little colder weather was to be expected. While the spring is usually quite dry and sunny, April is usually not very warm and there are always some days with snow, sleet and rain, which isn't necessarily that nice when sea kayaking.

We started with rescue training a few days before the trip, something which I've always insisted on. These trips are no beginner trips and everyone should now the basic pair rescues and the skills should be refreshed every year. There had been ice less than two weeks earlier outside the paddling club, so we expected cold water, but were surprised that it wasn't very cold, probably some 8°C or so.

The trip itself started with packing the kayaks on a trailer and driving from Turku to Pleikilä, about one and a half hour. We started paddling a little over seven in an incredible weather. with almost summer temperature.

The evening just became more and more beautiful and this did affect the paddling speed.

After around eight kilometer we arrived at a nice spot, with a view towards the setting sun, and landed, set camp and made dinner.

The sunset was incredible. For a few days we've now had an unusually red sun at sunset, allegedly due sand from Sahara high in the atmosphere.

The night was warm, but there were clearly less birds and birds sound than a week earlier when I was two nights out in South Ostrobothnia. I got up at seven.

Venni with Åland in the background.

The spring is exploding in green on land, but everything is a later in the archipelago. The alder is about to get leafs now, though.

Our camp.

The dinner preparations began already during breakfast. It was Jarkko's turn to make dinner and he made the pizza dough in good time.

Starting paddling at ten in the morning, first crossing Skiftet/Kihti, the border to Åland.

Lillklyndan. The cottage there looked quite abandoned.

A narrow passage.

A short break at Svartörarna, a small island I liked a lot.

I was not the only one taking photographs.

Viola tricolor.

Storklyndan, the northernmost point of Åland, about 7 km away. This was on the list of places to visit, but I deemed the risks unnecessarily high based on the weather forecast, which forecasted increasing wind of up to 10 m/s from the north, something that was not realized, based on measurement history afterwards. The cold water temperature of 4-5°C does affect the risk analysis.

We still continued in the outermost archipelago towards a lunch place.

Lunch at Rödskär.

Continuing a towards south and into the labyrinthic archipelago west and north of Jurmo.

We arrived at Greggoskär after 27 km of paddling. The place was somewhat of an educated guess for me, but turned out to be excellent. Good shelter from the wind, view over the sunset and enough tent spots.



Jarkko made an excellent pizza.

And another very nice evening with a thoroughly documented sunset followed.

The night was again quite warm, but also windy, though we had good shelter from the wind. The morning was again as nice as they come.

Another view to the camp.

A spot by the sea.

The rowan is also getting green.


And again on the move at ten. The headwind was a lot weaker than forecasted.

Having crossed Skiftet/Kihti again.

The lunch spot.

The final leg.

An excellent weekend trip in good company and fantastic weather. Thanks to everyone involved!

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