Sunday, July 28, 2019


The area north of Mikkelsörarna is pretty much mare incognita for me, so a trip there was to be expected. I even got a native friend to join me for a weekend trip.
The trip to the starting place was a bit tiresome. Loading up the car with the family for a week, as well as taking kayaking and camping gear means one can only hope that nothing important is forgotten. I started from Turku at ten, ate and left the family in Närpes, bought food for the weekend in Vasa and finally arrived at Ådön outside Jakobstad/Pietarsaari around five in the afternoon. I met some other acquintances there as well, but around half past five I was on my way with Alf, first heading a bit in the wrong direction.

After a slight detour we went to Mässkär, which has a wooden daymark and is on my list.

Mässkär is an island with an interesting culture, earlier hosting both pilots and coast guards and associating activities. The wooden daymark is 21.4 m high and was built in 1858.

Leaving Mässkär, the following goal was quite close.

The daymark at Kejsarkobben/Kejsargrund forms a range axis with the Mässkär daymark for a lane towards the inner archipelago.

Leaving Kejsarkobben, there was still a third point of interest, the Kallan lighthouse, to visit before starting to look for a camping spot. The headwind made for surprisingly cold paddling, with the hands getting a bit cold. The air temperature was probably close to 20°C, but the water was probably around 12°C, based on the water temperature forecast and how cold it actually felt.

Typical landing. 

The sector lighthouse is 22 m high and was built in 1956.

We continued towards something that looked a bit more like slick rock, in the midst of the stone chaos.

The camp site turned out to be excellent even by normal standards.

Dinner after a long day.

The area of cold water in this region caused a little mist.

A very nice evening.

The night was warm and the wind stopped completely at some point. The sun chased me out of the tent before seven, but the morning was nice.

Coffee and bread with cheese, the perfect breakfast.

It was now clear the the weather had changed. Three weeks with strong wind from north was over and the temperature now rose with almost no wind.

We decided to check out a place that looked great on the map, but it turned out to be too uneven to be a good tent site.

Continuing towards north.

We landed at Lilla Kallberget for lunch. I had an excellent mushroom risotto with lots of cheese, prepared during breakfast.

The middle part of the island was quite stony.

The north of the island has an open hut, built in 1867 for seal hunting purposes. This would be a perfect place to paddle to for a stormy fall weekend.

A look at the local archipelago wouldn't be complete without taking a look at the inner archipelago, even though both of us are into the outermost archipelago where land finally yields to water. We thus headed east into the Eugmo archipelago.

The local paddling map marked this little island, Stockö Sandgrundet, as a good place to rest. Based on the name I had higher expectations, but there was in fact a small sand beach there and it was hot enough to warrant landing there and taking a swim.

Continuing, we made across to the next island without being overrun by the now ridiculous amount of boats speeding across the water. The wreck is Virve af Panama, but I couldn't find any more information about it.

I made a route that would make certain no boats could pose a danger. More scratches on the kayak bottom was a certainty.

We had now had enough of the inner archipelago and headed outwards on the way to a tent spot.

We found an excellent place, a few hundred meters from a place marked suitable for boats on the map. 

Dinner commenced, while we watched the boats racing around.

At this point the amount of boats was absurd, and I don't really recommend the otherwise very nice area during a warm July weekend without reservations due to this. I've never seen even close to this amount of boats in my usual paddling waters in the Archipelago Sea. Allow me a little rant: Currently the government is trying to find ways reduce the CO2 emissions from cars, which per se is a good goal, even though the means are a bit unclear. At the same time other sources are forgotten like air planes and in this case a large amount of for the most part totally unnecessary boat driving. It is not a big part of the total CO2 emissions of the country, but for the people who drive the boats the emissions can easily correspond to a year of car driving. At one point there was a larger power boat driving around with the sole purpose of making waves for a jet ski, which in my opinion is totally crazy and a gross misuse of fuel and resulting CO2 emissions, in addition to the noise pollution. I'm not directly advocating restrictions (except for jet skis, they should be forbidden), but there is quite a bit of cognitive dissonance here.

Some time before sunset the boats disappeared and harmony was restored. The evening was nice.

The morning was warm.

We paddled to the south to make a little detour before returning to our starting point.

We had lunch at an island a few km south of Mässkär...

... after which we just paddled back to the cars.

The new hard thermal bag or box was a lot better than previous soft ones.

That's it. An excellent trip of about 72 km in good company.

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