Sunday, October 19, 2014

Closing Märket - lighthouse for winter 2014-2015

Märket profile with 3 buildings

On 12.-14.10.2014 I was on Märket lighthouse island with other 8 people from Finnish lighthouse association with the aim to close the lighthouse for the winter time.

Sefyr heading back to Åland

The Sunday morning was foggy when we left Eckerö in Åland mainland and headed towards the sea on a Mats' boat "Sefyr". On a way to lighthouse we passed a small islet full of seals and after 1,5 hours reached Märket. We did quick changeover with volunteers, who had been working on a island previous week and carried food & backbags inside the lighthouse.

Sauna ready for use

New sauna has been built this summer to one of the lighthouse buildings and from my previous visit kitchen has moved from second floor to first floor as well.

Fishing on a northern cliffs

We had one fish enthusiast among us and he took care of fishing during these 3 days. Therefore we didn't had lack of fresh fish at all. There were lots of cod & sculpin on our dinner table.


3 days was too short visit back to Märket, but anyway it was better than nothing. Excellent steams at new sauna, great delicious and fresh food, magnificent views as rainbow overarched beautifully over the lighthouse.

Rainbow over Märket

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Northern lights and local trips

Tampere by night seen from Näsijärvi lake

According the Finnish weather forecast company last weekend was supposed to be excellent for seeing Northern lights due to strong solar flare in the sun.

However the weather forecast showed cloudy weather to southern part of Finland and I was bit skeptical to see any Northern lights. I went to bed on Friday and of course the clouds swept away during the night and there were beautiful Northern lights.

Tent at Siilinkari - islet

On Saturday I decided to paddle on a small islet - Siilinkari - just 1 km next to my house on Näsijärvi - lake. I pitched the tent and started to watch the dark sky hoping to see Northern lights. But I was not lucky, the solar flare was a very short one and lights were visible only on Friday night.

Lighthouse at dawn

OK. Instead of the Northern lights I spent a night on Siilinkari and took photos during the night and morning. I'll share some of those here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

From Iran to Baku, Azerbaijan


Tabriz has the world largest covered bazaar and I must admit it feels like a huge endless maze, from where you can find and buy everything you need. There's everything from jewellery to shoes, from spices to household goods, from clothes to carpets...

Empty streets of Baku

After travelling one week in Iran, I was flying to Baku, Azerbaijan. Baku is called as a city of wind and indeed it turned out to be windy. It was hard to communicate with the locals, they didn't speak English at all or just a few words. 

The old town

However I managed to take a bus from the airport to center of town. Although there are over 2 millions residents in Baku, there were not too many people walking on the streets and no traffic jams.

Ready for sauna

It was nice to have a possibility to have a sauna at a hotel after two weeks travelling. Enjoyable!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Travelling in Iran

My first visit into Iran started by a long bus drive from Yerevan to Tabriz. Although it was 34 degrees outside, the temperature inside bus was pleasant +20. When arriving at Tabriz at 1 AM in the night the search for the hotel is a challenging task. Fortunately there was one hotel - Koshar - open and there were room for 5 people available. Me and Swiss guy took the room and we got it even a bit cheaper. Swiss guy, Rafael, had been travelling already 5 months and Iran would be his last country to visit. He had planned to travel in Iran 1 month.


Stone-carved bedroom in Laleh - hotel

Nearby Tabriz is located Kandovan village, which is famous for the people living inside the rock. They have carved their own rooms and houses onto rock and are living there all year round. Nowadays there's even hotel, Laleh, which offers the same experience of sleeping in a carved room.


With arabs in a museum

I have been asked constantly to be photographed by the locals. National museum couple of Arabs from Iraq wanted me to be in a same photo.


Street musicians on a street of Tabriz

Today I was having my first performance as a street musician with the traditional sitar instrument. Perhaps I could earn my living in this way, playing sitar at the streets of Tabriz and being photographed.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

On a Gulf of Bothnia

The paddling trip to Gulf of Bothnia was my last one for this summer season. I had only two daymarks to be visited there and I managed to visit on both of them despite of the constant thunder storms.


The Poroluodonkari - daymark was about 10 km away from the mainland. The paddling was easy and nice with slight tailwind. I landed on the southern tip of the island on a small harbor. After short walk to the highest point of the island I saw the daymark. When paddling back to mainland there were lightning and thunder all around me, but I was lucky and got back to the car before it started rain and thunder. What a close call!


The next day I headed onto Ulkokrunni - island, which is located 20 km from the mainland. It's really remote and there's no coverage for the mobile network. The islands are protected and the only time of the year, when it's possible to visit the islands is 15.7-31.8. Just before Ulkokrunni - island there's a ship-road to Kemi, where huge cargo vessels operates. I nearly hit one Trans Atlantic ship !

Ulkokrunni was my 29th daymark, only 8 daymarks left...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Paddling course at Kristiinankaupunki and 26th & 27th daymark

Participants for the paddling course for beginners

The first weekend of July was booked for leading a paddling course for beginners at the western coast of Finland, in a small town called Kristiinankaupunki. The local paddling club ksf contacted our company and asked for a teacher for their course.

Finally the high pressure has conquered Finland and it was sunny and hot weekend. The Baltic Sea was totally calm and beautiful. Therefore we had extremely good conditions to lead the 2 day - course near Kristiinankaupunki center.

Calm waters

At the same time when I was at western coast, I had a chance to visit on a couple of daymarks nearby. On Friday I drove to Merikarvia camping area and headed towards Oura - archipelago and Oura - daymark 10 km away from shoreline. It was moderate headwind when paddling towards west, but on the other hand return trip was easy when coming back to mainland in a tailwind.

Oura - daymark

On Saturday evening I drove from Kristiinankaupunki to Närpiö and visited on a Rövargrund - daymark very near the shoreline. Rövargrund was my 27th daymark, still 10 daymarks left to be visited...

Rövargrund - daymark

Monday, July 7, 2014

Goals for 2014 achieved

I had set only two objectives for this year. The first one was to successfully orienteer in a Jukola-relay mid-June at Kuopio. The week before Jukola I was sailing at Croatia and couldn't exercise or run at all. Therefore I had a bit uncertainty how would I manage the 5th leg of the relay.

All in all my performance was quite OK, the biggest problems I had in the very end. The 2nd last control point was slower in the slope than I expected and I lost minutes when searching it. Otherwise when I wasn't in a good running shape, I went on slowly and found control points quite OK.

Finisher of Själland Rundt at Koge central square

Two weeks after Jukola I had Själland Rundt cycling event in Denmark. The distance to be cycled was 300 km. I started at Koge central square at 6 AM. The training for the cycling event was minimum due to other activities during the April-June. The first 100 km went quite OK, but then I had hard time between 110 km and 168 km, when my energy level was going down, there were lot of uphill sections and even moderate headwind. However at service point at 168 km I ate pasta and got my energy level back to normal. The latter half of the race I was feeling surprisingly good.

The last 5 km were tough and long. I crossed finish line after 8 PM and 14 hours drive. I was extremely satisfied, cause this was my most important goal for this year. Yeah!

Road bike for sale

Now I'm having a break from cycling and selling my road bike.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Midsummer paddling at Baltic Sea

It has been extremely cold and rainy summer so far in Finland. Despite of the weather I headed onto Baltic Sea during midsummer. My original plan was to paddle to Haapasaari, but the winds were too strong to try to reach Haapasaari island 20 km out of the sea.

Instead on Friday evening I drove to near Loviisa and started paddling from Söderby towards Orrengrund island. After 1,5 hours paddling I landed on a small beach at the harbor of Orrengrund. The Finnpilots were working at the midsummer Eve and they were leaving with their boat to guide a ship, which was coming closer.

Orrengrund - daymark

I hiked up at the highest point of the island and took the photo of Orrengrund - daymark. Daymark has been built 1858 and it's still standing strong.

On Saturday morning I drove to Pellinki archipelago, near the city of Porvoo. The day was sunnier, but wind was still strong. However I had a sheltered route to paddle to Glosholm island, where I visited Glosholm - daymark. This was my 25th daymark visited by paddling. Glosholm was built 1835, but it was destroyed during the second world war. It has never been built again as it was. However there are ruins of Glosholm still visible in the mid of bushes.

Glosholm - daymark

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sailing in Croatia

On a way

At the beginning of June I had a chance to join a sailing crew of Finnish sailboat on Croatia coast. I flied to Split, where cars were waiting us to drive us to Sibenik. Captain was waiting us on a harbor and we stepped onto a 62 foot sailing boat. Altogether 10 crew members enjoyed one week of sunshine, great food, beautiful scenery and +30 degrees temperatures.

Our boat

During the trip we visited Kornati national park as well as Krka national park with beautiful waterfalls. The days went by sailing, swimming, enjoying local food on tiny villages, etc.

Waterfalls at Krka national park

Our itinerary was following : Sibenik - Zirje island - Kornat island (Vrulje village) - Dugi Otok island (Bozava village) - Ugljan island (Preko village) - Murter island - Sibenik.

Steering turn

The archipelago of Kornati is beautiful and suitable for sailing and paddling trips.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Baltic Sea on May

Weekend packed with paddling on Baltic Sea and visiting on daymark islands next to Porkkalanniemi, Korppoo and Kustavi. The routes can be seen here.

I had an early start on Saturday morning towards Rönnskär daymark island and therefore I drove to Porkkalanniemi already on Friday evening. I found a beautiful spot on the southernmost dip to camp and put a tent on a rock just next to the sea. During the evening and morning there were plenty of trespassers like white-tailed deer, who passed my tent only a few meters away.


 Rönnskär island is owned by military and therefore it's closed from the public. I had managed to get permission to visit the island with other group of people. We agreed to meet at the island at 9:30 AM, the others were coming by boat. The weather was sunny and there were only mild wind blowing, but water was still very cold. I put my dry-suit on and started 5 km paddling to the island.

Rönnskär daymark has been built on 1800 and it has been a lighthouse. Nowadays there's no light anymore and Kallbådan has replaced it as a lighthouse. Still it is visible daymark for boats and vessels sailing nearby. 


Even during the same day I drove to Korpoström and started 32 km paddling to Bredskär daymark island and back. The wind was blowing up to 5 m/s, but sun was still shining and weather was beautiful. After 6 hours of paddling I was back at Korpoström harbor at 22:00 just at the sunset. I packed my kayak and equipment to the car and drove to Kustavi during the night.


On a Kustavi after short sleep and breakfast I headed to the northern part of islands and tried to figure out the spot from where I could put my kayak on the water. By a chance I found a good spot near Susiluoto sea patrol station and managed to paddle to Blekungen and Flatu daymarks during the day. This was the most beautiful day so far in the Finland during this spring time.


All in all 62 km paddling and 4 visited daymarks.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Northern Finland tour continued

Lanterns in the sky

It has been exceptionally dark and warm winter so far in southern part of Finland. We still don't have any snow and therefore cross country skiing is not possible in Tampere.

During the new year it was my second trip to Lapland for skiing. This time I was spending a week in Äkäslompolo next to Ylläs. The snow and track conditions were good and the temperature was pleasant -5 degrees at coldest.

On a ski track

Martti Jylhä, who has been selected to Finnish team in winter olympics 2014 in Sochi, were skiing and preparing for Sochi at the same time in Ylläs. What a speed he was skiing, when he was accelerating and skating gently sloping downhill!!!!

At new year the dark sky was beautiful, when thousands of lanterns rose high to the sky in the village of Äkäslompolo. It was great atmosphere with all that snow, dark sky, slight snowfall, fires and beautiful lanterns.

Slight snowfall

Summary of the week:

Total amount of skiing kilometers this winter : 325 km
Famous skiers met in Ylläs : Martti Jylhä, Jari Isometsä
Pizza eaten in Eväskori - pizzeria : 4 x S (HK sininen, sinappi, sipuli, suolakurkku)
Skied first time in Levi (Pyhätunturin kierros) and visited Levi spa.