Sunday, July 14, 2019


In the beginning of July it was time for a kayaking trip in the outermost archipelago in southwest, which I've had in mind for several years now.

During the Storklyndan trip we pretty much agreed to do a trip to the Kökar-Utö area. The group and a plan were formed and on a Saturday we took two cars with a total of five kayaks to Pärnäs in Nagu, where we started paddling. The first 8 km leg was to Galtby in Korpo, where we would go on the ferry to Kökar.

It soon turned out the the headwind slowed our progress and I was forced to keep a fairly fast speed in order for us to make it. We arrived at Galtby about 15 minutes before the ferry was to leave, but there was no good place to land on. Muscling the kayaks up some sharp rocks, we managed to get everything onto the ferry three minutes before it left. A bit tight, and we should have left the icecream break in Nagu for another time.

The ferry took almost three hours to Kökar, and we had time to eat, drink coffee and look at the nautical charts. Approaching Kökar the weather was excellent.

Starting from the harbour at Kökar, we had a little audience and Jukka decided to show off with entering the kayak in British style.

We paddled south straight between the two main islands of Kökar to get to the southern archipelago.

The archipelago opens up in the south.

Entering an unsurveyed area. What dangers could lie ahead?

There were some darker clouds behind us, but the weather remained fine.

The first attempt at finding a tent spot failed due to surprise cabin, but the second one was met with success. The island I checked out was suboptimal, but just south of it was another island, which Jukka checked out and accepted.

We landed and set up our tents.

Our neighbour next to the kayaks, a water snake (natrix natrix) digesting a large meal.

I had eaten on the ferry, and thus only had a small meal at this point.

A nice evening.

Before I fell asleep a little before midnight, I reflected on how silent it was. An hour or so later that changed completely. A duck (I believe) sounded like it was calling for company and the terns had a lot of noise next to us.

I got up around half past six. The morning was a bit cloudy.


The Angelica archangelica is considered a good edible plant in the mountains, but I've never heard that it would have had any significance along the Finnish coast, except for maybe medical purposes. They are different subspecies, though.

Freshly baked croissants with brie cheese felt like an acceptable breakfast.

We had originally planned to continue eastward immediately, but now decided to spend the whole day in the Kökar archipelago and to find a tent spot on Västra Mörskär. We started by going to Källskär.

Källskär is basically a fairly barren island...

... but the Swedish baron Göran Åkerhielm, who lived there 1958-1983 from early spring to late fall, decided to change a part of the island to suit himself and his guests a little better. Through hard manual labor he had a garden made there.

We had lunch at Källskär before we continued paddling.

A few spots had enough waves to be fun to play in.

Continuing southwards.

A short break before continuing to Kökarsören.

Coming up on Kökarsören.

The Kökarsören lighthouse itself isn't particularly impressive, but because it's there, as well as on my own list, it had to be visited.

Now we had 8 km left to Västra Mörskär, in some amount of side wind.

We first landed at the fishing village and looked around a little.

For the final tent spot we paddled to the other side of the island to get some shelter from the wind.

It started to rain in time for dinner, so we rigged up a few tarps...

... and had good shelter underneath.

A stroll along the island after dinner. The fishing village in the picture.

It did rain during the night, but I woke up to sunshine on the tent.

The morning started with a stroll to wait for the others to wake up.

The purple loosestrife looks great being wet...

... the cottongrass less so.

Our camp site.

Tent drying.

Coffee and freshly baked buns with Emmenthal cheese for breakfast.

The next leg was a 12 km exposed crossing to Utö...

... first passing Östra Mörskär.

At one point we heard seals singing and decided to check it out.

 At first the seals didn't now what to make of us, coming closer and trying to get our scent. I assume they don't see well above water if the eyes are to see clearly beneath the surface.

After a while they decided that we didn't belong there and started to warn us / chase us away with water splashes, like the one ahead and to the left of my kayak.

We didn't get any closer then and just drifted along.

We continued towards and arrive at Utö, where we had a break and bought Coke from the store. This was the second time I arrived at Utö by kayak.

The next leg was from Utö to Jurmo, starting with the channels west of Ormskär.

A short detour to the Lill Gråharu daymark, which happened to be there as well as on my own list.

Continuing passed Örskärsören, a fascinated sand island off limits to the beginning of August.

The beach rose, Rosa rugosa, was finally classified as an invasive species in the beginning of this summer and should be eradicated. It is taking over islands in the outer archipelago and is very difficult to get rid of. Here is one on Örskärsören.

Coming up on Jurmo, another bigger sand and gravel island, part of the 500 km long Salpausselkä III terminal moraine from the latest ice age running across Finland.

A short break on Jurmo to plan what to do next.

The alternative was to continue north towards Björkö, 12-13 km, and try to find a tent spot in an area with some restrictions or just stay in the area. We decided to go to Sandvik Harun and stay there. The sea kale is for the pizza.

Fried sea kale.

A traditional archipelago pizza with fried sea kale, shrimps and green pepper.

I chose a tent spot with a view.

The night was a bit windy, but I don't think it rained.

Morning walk.

Looking back at Utö.

The last breakfast of the trip.

The plan was now to check out a few islands east of Jurmo and then take the ferry from Jurmo to Pärnäs in the afternoon.

Passing Grundvik Harun.

Sanden is another fascinating sand island.

The last stretch.

We landed at Jurmo around noon. I took a bath and the refreshing sea before putting on clean and dry clothes and then just waited for the ferry to arrive.

We got on the ferry, which served an excellent late lunch. Back home in Turku around eight in the evening.

This was an excellent trip of around 100 km in excellent company, thanks to eveyone for that.

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