Writing this blog at Pikku Leikosaari at Helsinki on midnight summer eve
I was feeling a bit nostalgic to return back to the area, from which I started the coastline paddling just 1,5 months ago. Actually on the course we were having the camp on the island (Koukkusaari) next to my third camping night spot on Svartbäck Krokö island.
One of the highlights of the trip, remote and not allowed to enter without permit, Porkkala lighthouse finally reached
It was windy again as last time, but now the wind was blowing from NE 5-8 m/s. During the 3 day course we visited Kaunissaari island and did some 5 km crossings on a moderate surf. Fortunately the wind was not that strong and waves were smaller than 1,5 months ago...
Paddling after 11PM at sunset
On Sunday evening I was back at home and realized I don't need to paddle for awhile anymore. On this week I'm just going to rest and try to gain weight back. I lost 6 kg during the paddling trip and so far I have got 2 kg already back. I went to massage yesterday and the masseur found all my tight and tense muscles on by upper body, on my neck, shoulders and back. But it felt heavenly when muscles were relaxed and loosened a bit. The next massage time has been reserved already to next week.
It was a long trip, 30 days (29 days of paddling), 1301 km and as said already I lost 6 kg of my weight. The weather was varying from storm (up to 20 m/s wind) to totally calm and sunny days with zero wind. From sunshine to heavy rainshowers and thunderstorms. From 10 degrees temperature during night paddling up to 30 degrees warmth at sunshine. The length of the paddling days varied from 6 hours to 11 hours and were roughly between 24 km - 77 km.
Somewhere between Pyhäjoki and Siikajoki
I visited on a 8 lighthouses during the trip : Suomenlinna, Porkkala, Gustavsvärn, Kylmäpihlaja, Ritgrund, Stubben, Tauvo and Keminkraaseli. There were lots of other lighthouses close to my route as well, but I tried to pick those I have not visited before (Porkkala, Ritgrund, Stubben, Tauvo and Keminkraaseli). On Kylmäpihlaja lighthouse I stopped to have delicious lunch, on Gustavsvärn lighthouse to stay overnight and on Suomenlinna lighthouse to have cup of cocoa with buns at midsummer, although I had been on these places before. In addition of lighthouses I visited on numerous daymarks as well and e.g. stayed overnight on Lyökki, which is the oldest and most famous daymark at Finland.
The last camping spot at Hietakalla island. The tent, hut and kayaks between rocks
Few facts and opinions as a summary:
- Best paddling area : Saaristomeri with small islets and islands
- Best meal : Mässkär nature center at Pietarsaari. The chef is just incredible and food is awesome.
- Most beautiful camping spot : Fladalandet at Tammisaari
- Camping spot I wouldn't like to experience again : Stora Fagerö at Inkoo, the north peak of the island was occupied by the army of angry ants, which were biting all the time. It was impossible to stay even 1 minute standing still. They were occupying the tent as well, just horrible.
- The most scary moment : 9 km crossing from Hailuoto on a sudden storm
- The longest crossing : At Perämeri close to Tornio, crossings were roughly 18 km.
Supper at Mässkär nature center