Friday, August 9, 2013

Couple of lighthouses and daymarks in a day

The last weekend was great paddling weather in Finland and thus on Friday I made a quick decision to head to Baltic Sea to paddle on the area of Tamminsaari archipelago and visit on 2 lighthouses and 2 daymarks.

Paddling route on Saturday can be seen from here.

I have been paddling in Tammisaari archipelago many times, but now the intention was to head out to more remote lighthouse islands. The start was from the harbor of Sommarö and the first leg was 18 km stretch to Längden lighthouse. It took 3 hours to reach the island, wind was blowing moderately 3-4 m/s. Island is tiny and full of ladybirds. It seemed that lighthouse was painted just recently...


There were only 3 km paddling to Storgadden - daymark island. It's a tiny islet and extremely difficult to get ashore from kayak. I even managed to capsize my kayak when trying to leave the island. Fortunately water was quite warm and sun was shining.

Storgadden - daymark

The next daymark was Segelskär roughly 5 km from Storgadden. There were good spot to get ashore between two islands and it seems it is known by local people as well. During the time of 1 hour there were at least 4 boats bringing people to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery.

Segelskär - daymark

On a nice tailwind of 2-3 m/s it was good to paddle still towards Sundharun - lighthouse island. There were 10 km crossing, but it was nice and fast. There were good landing spot on the southern bay in the island.


44 km paddling day ended on Jussarö - island on a guest harbor. Lot's of sailing boats and people were spending weekend here. I had had cold at some point earlier on this week and I was getting flu.

On Sunday I was totally exhausted and having fever. Therefore 14 km stretch back to starting place was tiresome. All in all it felt great to get a chance to visit on Längden lighthouse, it was my 36th lighthouse visited by paddling, only 2 lighthouses more to go...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Last one in Europe

It was the last one for me. Belarus. The only country in Europe, where I hadn't visited so far.

Welcome to cozy airport in Minsk

I mailed my VISA application to the Embassy of Belarus at Helsinki. Few days later I got it back via return mail without success. I had to change the application and didn't had too much time before the departure date. Therefore I was forced to travel to Helsinki and submit my application personally to embassy.

Fortunately I got my passport with Belarusian VISA couple of days before the flight to Minsk!

Broad avenues

The international airport of Minsk is not the most attractive and modern one. It's kind of relic from past Soviet times. Foreign visitors need to buy a travel insurance before entering the country. It was only 2 Euros for a short visit. When I had successfully bought insurance and passed passport control, I entered bare entrance hall and managed to exchange Belarusian rubles.

The bus from the airport to the center of Minsk was only 2 Euros instead of taking taxi and paying 30 Euros. The bus driver (and nobody else) didn't speak any English.

Orthodox church at the best place in town

Minsk is full of smokers and blondes. It seems to be some sort of fashion to tint hair from brown to white. Avenues are broad and buildings huge. Orthodox is present in everyday life. English is not spoken at all, you need to know some Russian...

Jere Karalahti was flying back to Finland in the same plane.