Sunday, March 22, 2020

Escape


A short escape from the Covid-19 pandemic.


Currently Finland is closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, like a number of other countries in the world. The government declared a state of emergency, using laws the have not been used since the war years 1939-1944, when Finland defended itself against an attacking Sovjet Union. While there still are no limitations in domestic travel (yet), people are encouraged to keep away from other people and not travel far from home. The schools are closed and everyone is encouraged to do distance work if possible. For me, being an introvert, this isn't particularly difficult. We have a big archipelago here, with very few people, and during a kayaking trip at this time of the year there is no risk to see other people, and thus I went out for a small kayaking overnighter.

I've actually tried to go since the end of January, but the weather has generally been poor, with a new storm for almost every weekend. Two weeks ago I actually went, but had to turn back after a few kilometers: I crashed into an underwater rock with such speed that I capsized. At the moment I was taking a picture and couldn't brace with the paddle. I got up without problems, but had water in my ears, which was absolutely forbidden for me at the time, due to continuing ear problems, which still are ongoing. I had to turn back and go to a pharmacy immediately.

Now, however, the weather forecast was excellent. Just before I started the forecast changed to include a little snow, but the night and morning were still supposed to be excellent. I got started a little over four in the afternoon, and had almost three hours before sunset.


The weather changed, with a strong tailwind and soon a little snow.

The first snow passed and it again looked a bit clearer.

After a while the wind increased again and it started snowing.




The light changed and the snow passed after a while.



Clouds loosing snow.

Where I was the sun returned and the weather stayed very nice for the rest of the trip.



Arriving a little before sunset. The temperature was now below freezing, since the kayak had started to ice up.

And the sun set.


Then it was time to erect the tent and have dinner.

Good night!

I had my winter sleeping bag, and thus stayed warm and comfy. When the morning came, I was eager to hear the birds. A bit of a surprise that they weren't that many. The large numbers of the sea birds were still missing and I couldn't see or hear a single eider for instance. I did hear the years first common chaffinch, though. I got up at half past six, a little after sunrise.


It was a beautiful morning.



A long and nice breakfast.

I started packing everything again. The gloves were totally frozen.

Starting again. There were occasional patches of new thin ice.

Very peaceful.



More ice.

Some snacks.

The landing site visible straight ahead, around 20 minutes away.

That's it. It was so nice to be back on the sea.



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