Monday, May 31, 2021



Four days of kayaking in the Brunskär-Österskär archipelago.

A kayaking trip was long overdue, but now it happened. The problem with having a many modes of transportation to choose from is the limited time to do everything. I do, however, consider myself to be mainly a outdoor and nature guy and thus not bound to a specific discipline, but there are of course practical aspects like having sufficient gear and skillset to do the interesting things.

A total of five local sea kayakers took the cars to Korpoström, for a kayaking trip of three nights. We got started about seven in the evening and had an hour of uneventful paddling to Konungskär.

I've been to Konungskär a number of times. It is a nice place and there is an open cabin there, something really nice during the dark and wet time of the year, but not needed now.

It was a nice night, but not particularly warm on the sunset side of the island, with the wind and an air temperature of maybe a little under 10°C.

We had dinner in a slightly sheltered spot, but everyone seemingly was very tired and at around ten I found myself sitting out there alone. I went to sleep at around eleven and woke up a few minutes before seven, Exactly at seven it started to rain and I quickly packed down my tent before it got wet. Due to the rain we had breakfast in the cabin.

It rained when we started. We had a first section with fairly good wind protection from a number of islands.

A first stop at Äskören, which has a memorial over Salomon August Andrée, who landed / crashed on the island after having flown his balloon from Stockholm in 1893. The S.A. Andrée story, including the failed attempt to reach the North Pole by balloon and resulting death on Kvitøya in Spitsbergen is a story well worth reading.

After that we continued past Brunskär...

... to the 9 km crossing to the Österskär islands. The wind was mostly against us and it rained for most of the time.

About half way there were some small barren islands, and we took a lunch break on Kallharu.

The wild pansy cheers up the archipelago from April to September, probably for longer than anything else.

We continued the crossing to Österskär and landed on the main island. 

The village had seen better days.

Red campion.

We continued a bit with the aim of finding a tent spot with sufficient shelter from the wind, as well as a view towards the sunset. A somewhat futile idea, since the wind came from northwest, where the sun also sets. We did find an acceptable place, though.

Spring also in the archipelago.

The sun set behind clouds, but it wasn't still too bad.

The night was surprisingly silent and there were a lot less birds than I thought there would be. The morning was ok.

My closest neighbour moved quite slowly in the somewhat chilly morning.


We decided to paddle in the Österskär islands during the morning and return to the tents for lunch.

Lots of mute swans.

We had lunch and packed the kayaks to make the crossing to the Brunskär side. The weather did change a bit when we started.

We could for a moment see Kvigharun, our first waypoint,  a little under 4 km away and could confirm the compass course. The visibility was still not too bad.

After a while it became clear that the visibility was going down and we now went by compass only. Not ideal if there would be other boats out there, which was unlikely where we now were. The fog horns of larger ships could be heard in the distance, though. The forecasts hadn't mentioned fog as a possibility.

You actually can go very straight even in moderate waves by compass with a kayak. In this picture you can even see the point half way, when I decided to turn a notch to the north to maximize the likelihood that we would arrive at some sort of land.

The visibility was under 200 m, which really plays tricks with your eyes. Anything you see looks to be far away, until you suddenly notice that you are next to it.

We continued jumping from skerry to skerry by compass, but had now problems.

Well, maybe water in the kayak is a slight nuisance, if not a problem.

Back on the Brunskär side with Västerön in the picture.

The first tent island alternative wasn't as nice in real life as on the map, but there are many islands to choose from and we found an acceptable spot with a view towards sunset, though it seemed unlikely that we would see anything.

I made lasagne for dinner.

Camp Hilleberg.

I slept with one tent side open and during the night actually saw the moon, but in the morning the fog was there again.

A morning walk before the other got up.

The paddling back to the starting point went mostly in fog.

The closer we came to Korpoström, the less dense the fog got.

When we landed there was full visibility and the sun came out. It even started to get warmer.

A nice trip in good company. A little over 70 km of paddling, so we had had plenty of time.

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