Sunday, September 26, 2010

614 km

Text on the street at Helsinki

614 km paddling in the universe during this year. I loved every km. Including the last paddling trip today, Saarikylät in Kangasala.

Paddling at Saarikylät, Kangasala

Friday, September 24, 2010

Kaikoura & G1

Kaikoura is a lovely city in New Zealand southern island's east coast. It's one of the best places to watch sperm whales and dolphins and even swim with them. I have had the privilege to swim with the dolphins at the surroundings of Kaikoura in the Pacific Ocean.

One of the most comprehensive PFD (Personal Flotation Device) made for the paddlers for expedition level touring is called Kaikoura (made by Palm). After having my first PFD in active use for a 5 years on multiple kayaking trips, it has started to broke down. The metal zippers are not working anymore, seams are unravelling and the whole PFD has suffered from direct sunshine and harsh ultraviolet light. Accordingly I decided to buy a new one for the coming years. Palm Kaikoura is packed with features and storage space, like extensive amount of pockets of different sizes, it has possibility to have drinking system (water bladder) at the back of the vest. Kaikoura has been praised in the reviews and definitely is worth of buying.

G1 or Gasherbrum 1 is a 8-thousand meter peak in Pakistan. It was the last one for Veikka Gustafsson when he completed the quest for climbing all 14 peaks over 8000m without supplementary oxygen. The story and the photos from this trip were told and showed by Veikka at the event I was participating.

Antsa & Veikka

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My 13th lighthouse this year : Gustavsvärn

Gustavsvärn lighthouse and the house behind the walls

This week I have used for making a multimedia presentation about Märket's summer 2010, which I manged to complete on Friday. Early Satruday I started to drive towards Hanko, a city on the southern coast of Finland. From the east harbour of Hanko I paddled with my kayak a short distance to Gustavsvärn lighthouse island, where we had a Finnish Lighthouse Society's event for the crew members of Märket lighthouse this year. My multimedia presentation was presented at this event.

Lighthouse at night

The president of Finnish Lighthouse Society, Mr. Pekka Väisänen took us a tour around the island and the lighthouse and told us the history of this remarkable island. At the evening we had a delicious dinner with grilled meat and followed by an athmospheric sauna experience.

The house and the light of the Russarö lighthouse background

When I returned back home on Sunday, I decided not to paddle anymore on this fall. The weather has been already windy and rainy and now it's time to give to my kayak a well deserved rest before next summer...

Gustavsvärn was my 13th lighthouse visited by seakayak this year. The others were Strömmingsbådan, Märket, Sälskär, Söderskär, Tiiskeri, Suomenlinna, Harmaja, Tankar, Kallan, Sälgrund, Merikarvia and Yttergrund. Alltogether it was my 22nd. There are still 17 left for coming years...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to the school

I started my studies at Santasport institute in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland. During next 1,5 years I will be regularly driving from Tampere to Rovaniemi for 4 days short periods every month. The first 4 days period was held on 9.-12.9 at Santasport.

We are 10 active, open minded and willing to learn students trying to build an excellent team spirit and work as a team together our common goal: To become as a Nature Experience Instructors (Luontoelämysohjaaja in Finnish).

We started with team building excercises, continued with swimming tests and basic course of paddling. Altogether it seems to become an interesting and active 1,5 years with full of new things to learn. I'm looking forward to it!!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Half marathon finished at record time

At start

Wow! I haven't been running or jogging too much lately and I was feeling not too confident today, when I started my second half marathon this year. Ruskamaraton in Levi in Lapland is a famous event, which I haven't been participating before. There were 1300 runners on half marathon and weather was perfect +12-15 degrees and partly cloudy. The profile of the race was a bit hilly, but I managed to finish at my record time ever 1:47:04. What a surprise!

On a way

Recently opened Levi spa (one week ago) was a pleasent experience after the race. Just a wonderful day again!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hiking in UKK-national park

Reindeers at national park

I left Märket island on sunday at noon and arrived back at home at 10PM. After one hour furious unpacking and packing I was ready to head on a 12 hour drive to Lapland and UKK-national park. From Monday to Wednesday I have been hiking from Kiilopää mountain centre to the summit of Sokosti - mountain and back. Alltogether 84 kms in just over 2 days.

On top of Sokosti (717 m)

The fall colors were wonderful and the weather was extremely sunny and warm at this time of the year. This was my very first time to do hiking in Lapland at this time of the year (fall colors, ruskaretki).

Fall colors on trees, Sokosti background

Friday, September 3, 2010

Autumn storm at Märket!

Waves coming over the northern wavebreaker

It has been blowing two days from north up to 23 m/s in gusts and 17-18 m/s on average. The waves are now over 3 meters and they hit over the islet and even the wavebreaker, which have been built to protect lighthouse from the northern winds and waves. The island, which is normally at 100 m x 300 m at size, is nearly under the water. Only approx. 75 m x 25 m is visible, but constantly washed out by waves. Lighthouse and warehouses are standing on that area. Incredible views and feeling to spend one week on the Märket lighthouse and have the chance to feel real autumn storm!

Waves around the showercabin "Lilla Märket"

Originally we would have the transportation from the Märket tomorrow morning, but strong winds and big waves are not allowing anybody to get on shore tomorrow. Therefore the planned transportation has been postponed by one day and we are hoping to get from the island on Sunday at noon.