Friday, June 26, 2015


I have been trying to visit Russarö - lighthouse island close to Hanko many years, but haven't had the permit to visit the island. The island is still military area and you'll need a permit from defence forces to get ashore.

I had already the permit for visit years back, but I was unlucky, cause at that day there were a storm with winds blowing up to 17-20 m/s and I couldn't kayak to the island.

Landing spot at Russarö

Now I managed to get a permit and weather forecast seemed to be very good for kayaking as well. The island is not far away from the harbor and the paddling distance to the island is a bit over 5 km. The sun was shining when started paddling from the guest harbor and crossed the waterway, which is used by huge cargo vessels coming to and leaving from Hanko harbor.

In the northern tip of the island there were sheltered lagoon, from where getting ashore was easy and possible. The lighthouse itself is located on the southern cliffs and the road leading to the lighthouse was a bit muddy, cause there had been lots of rain in previous days.

Russarö - lighthouse

Russarö was my 36th lighthouse. Not too many left anymore...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Kayaking trips during midsummer

During the last years I have been heading onto Baltic Sea during midsummer for kayaking trips. This midsummer was not an exception. The weather forecast was looking pretty ok, mild winds but occasional showers.

Start at 23:00

On midsummer eve, Friday 19.6, drove to Dragsfjärd, packed the kayak and started paddling at 23:00. Short paddling to Högland - island just 5 km away. On the northern tip of the island there is a tenting area with a small sand beach. Just after midnight arrived and put the tent under the tree on the grass. Birds were loud during the night and couldn't sleep too well. Route of Friday paddling can be seen here.

At Högland

After breakfast at 8:00 headed towards Spelharu - daymark island some 10 km away. The paddling was easy on a light tailwind. Spelharu - was my 30th daymark to be visited by kayak. It would need urgently some fixing and maintenance...


After Spelharu returned back to car. All in all 30 km paddling and the route for Saturday morning can be seen from here.

It was lunch time and stomach was yelling some food, so decided to stop over nearby at Kasnäs and eat a decent lunch (more or less brunch). It was absolutely delicious. The main objective though for this midsummer was still ahead. I had a plan to visit at Haapasaari roughly 25 km south of Kotka. Drove to Kotka in a heavy rain and thought if the rain would continue as well in Kotka, but luckily when arriving to harbor there were not anymore any raindrops.

Unpacked the car and packed the kayak and was ready to start paddling at 20:00. The evening was nice with sunshine and non-existent wind. First 10 km paddling was beautiful but when had to cross waterways, which were used by the big cargo vessels coming to and leaving from Kotka harbor dense fog just arrived. Visibility was just few hundreds meters and I felt unpleasant when paddling in silence and couldn't see anything. The navigation was extremely difficult and found finally Haapasaari island at 24:00 because of my GPS-equipment. It was a spooky feeling when arriving from the fog to island in a darkness.

Arriving Haapasaari at 24:00

Pitched the tent next to daymark on a rock and slept well after a long and tired day. The paddling distance of Saturday evening was 25 km and the route can be found from here.

Haapasaari - daymark

The next day, Sunday 21.6 was luckily bright with sunshine and the return trip back to Kotka was much more pleasant when visibility was good. Route back to Kotka was more or less the same as yesterday's paddling. Route is here.

Haapasaari - daymark was 31st and total paddling distance during midsummer 81 km.