The spring is finally turning into summer. I was in Vallisaari just a few weeks ago, but now it looked really different; much more green! This time, instead of taking the ferry boat, we kayaked to the island.
As we got to our starting place the sun was shining. Pretty quickly it started to rain. And after a few minutes the sun was shining again! The best thing was, that it was warm anyway.
The kayaking route from Stansvik to Vallisaari is nice and sheltered. There is a lot of nature around, but in the background you have the city of Helsinki. I like the combination.
At Vallisaari we went fatbiking with our friends from Bliss Adventure. Fatbikes are a great way to see the island and you also get to visit the forbidden southern tip of the island. This is only possible on the guided fatbike and walking tours.
The scenery towards the open sea is spectacular. Too bad we didn’t have so much time to relax.
The fatbiking routes are easy to ride. Technically it is not demanding, but it is a great way to explore this beautiful island. The guides have a lot of knowledge and information about the island.
After the tour and ice cream at Paja kiosk we headed back to our kayaks. A great day to be outside and do something active! Thanks again to Bliss Adventure for the tour. We are planning a tour combining kayaking and fatbiking, but for now, you can just take the ferry and do the fatbike tour.
The kayaking season has now started. I’ve been kayaking a few times and my leg feels pretty good already. It doesn’t hurt, but it is still really stiff. Last weekend, we had our first guided overnight trip of the season and the weather was great. I wasn’t guiding the group, but I paddled to the island they were camping at in the evening.
It was a bit windy during the day, but by the time I got on the water, it was already calm and really peaceful.
This time of the year there are birds everywhere. It’s nice to see all the different species. I am not an expert, but I try to learn a few new bird species every year.
I got to Pihlajaluoto where the group was staying just as the sun was going down. Not a bad evening to enjoy the Helsinki archipelago.
The calm sea, the clouds and the evening sun shine. A perfect combination to just sit on the rocks and relax. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay the night on the island, because I had a course to guide early next morning.
I got back to the paddling center just as the sun was setting. A short, but very enjoyable evening paddle. I certainly try to get out for short trips more often this summer. Now it is really cold again. Let’s just hope it gets a bit warmer really soon!
I had a chance to visit Vallisaari before the real season kicks in there. The island opened to public last spring and already during the first summer there were about 90 000 visitors. It used to be a military island and big parts of the island remained untouched. This means the flora and fauna of the island is something special. There are about 1000 different species of butterflies on the island and a lot of plants you don’t find anywhere else in Southern Finland.
It is just a short boat trip from the market square and regular traffic to the island has already started for the season. It was a calm and sunny day and the boat trip was very enjoyable. It has been really cool for the last month, but now it actually felt warm.
We didn’t have a lot of time on the island, so we almost straight headed to Aleksanterinpatteri. This used to be a fortification for the military because it rises high above the archipelago. This is the view south to the open sea.
The view towards Helsinki is also nice. There are no leaves on the trees yet, so it is going to look different in just a couple of weeks. Hopefully I can find time to visit the island again.
It’s hard to believe there is a place like this so close to the city centre of Helsinki. Just a few minutes by boat. There are three ponds on the island.
If you don’t have a lot of time in Helsinki and still want to experience the Finnish nature, going to Vallisaari is an easy option. It really feels like paradise on the island! Next time, though, I think I will kayak to the island. This makes the trip even more special.
I have been busy the last month. Our baby daughter was born 3 weeks ago. So not a lot of time to think about writing or taking pictures. I had big plans to write some posts about previous trips, but taking care of a small baby is pretty time consuming. 🙂
The great thing is that we can finnalt get out together. My calf is also much better already and I got rid of the crutches. Walking is still slow, but it is getting better. The only problem is that our girl doesn’t like stopping, so taking pictures is a small challenge.
Yesterday evening we headed out for a walk with the whole family. This made it easier for me to take pictures along the way!
It was really windy outside, but the wind was warm. It really feels like spring is coming!
There is still a bit of ice left, but with the strong winds and warm weather it won’t take long until the sea is completely open.
My plan is to try how my leg feels about kayaking within the next few weeks. By then I think most of the ice will be gone!
Our kayaking season in Vuosaari is almost over as we close in the end of September. I am planning to leave a bit early and do a kayak trip to Lake Inari on the last week of September. My father is coming along, so I suggested we do a short one night tour as practice. So we headed towards Eestiluoto and Kutuhället.
I was ready well before my father, so I had time to enjoy a cup of coffee before leaving. The weather was perfect.
We got going and paddled in a very relaxed pace. We had a short stop at Tammaluoto since my father had never been on the island. It is a small island without any facilities, but a beautiful place. It is a bit further out on the sea, but the wind was very light.
I was also trying to take some promo pictures along the way and my father was modelling. I really liked this shot, so I might use at our homepage at some point.
We made a short stop at Eestiluoto, but came to camp at Kutuhället. The evening was really nice and was still warm. No other people on the island and not a lot of people out on the sea at all.
As the sun set, the sky cleared. The moon is almost full though so there was a lot of light. It was still a great night!
The next day we took our time before leaving. We stopped at an island called Kuiva Hevonen. The western part of the island has no cottages, so it a nice place to have a break. The weather was still perfect and actually the wind turned, so we had following seas during our whole trip.
My father is turning 70 this year, but still going strong. He is still guiding some tours, but this was his first personal kayak trip of the summer. Luckily we will get to do our trip to Lake Inari in a few weeks, so he gets out a bit more.
It was raining very hard here in Helsinki on Saturday. But the skies cleared and it was a beautiful day on Sunday. I was supposed to be at the paddling center, but for some reason it was really quiet there. So first I escaped and went stand up paddling. We have had the boards for the whole summer, but still I have only gone out a few times. I’ll try to get our more still in September.
It was a bit windy and I didn’t feel like fighting against the wind too much. So I just followed the coast.
There are a lot of nice places to take a break in Vuosaari. I just sat here for a while and enjoyed the scenery. This small rocky beach is on the coast, but nobody comes here.
Coming back was easy with the wind behind my back. As I got back to the paddling center it was still very quiet. So I went out for a short mountain bike tour.
I used to bike a lot, but this was the first time in years. The trails were still pretty wet from the rain and I had way too much pressure in my tires. And I didn’t have any confidence in my skills, so I ended up walking a lot.
I hadn’t been biking in the area, so I didn’t really know the trails. I found some good parts, but I also needed to turn back several times, because the trail wasn’t good.
I still enjoyed it a lot and decided to start biking more again. Let’s see how that goes! The waether forecast atleast for the next week looks great. There’s still a lot you can do outdoors in Helsinki in September.
The nights are getting darker now in August and it is my favorite time to go night paddling. Most nights are still warm, so it’s a great combination. This was the first night paddling trip I was guiding this summer.
We started out with some daylight left. Tha day had been a bit windy, but it was already much calmer.
It is impossible to take any good pictures on the water at night. So I mostly took pictures on our break. We made a fire and grilled some sausages. The full moon was just rising.
Our break was at an island called Läntinen Neitsytsaari. This is a picture towards the south and the island in the picture is Kalliosaari. The moon is really bright!
It was just a macigal evening. And still very warm. It was hard to get the group back in the kayaks.
This is our group back on the water. The tour went really well and I think everybody enjoyed the experience. I think I want to guide our next night paddling trip too!
A few weeks back I headed to spend the night on one of the islands of the Eastern Helsinki archipelago. It was the time of the Perseid meteor shower. If the sky is clear you can see hundreds of shooting stars. So I was hoping for clear skies.
I ended up staying at Hattusaari. It was the first time on the island this summer. In the early season it is full of birds, but now the birds were gone. I took some sunset photos, but was really waiting for it to get dark. The moon was about half, so I decided to sleep for a couple of hours as the moon was setting just after midnight.
As I got out of the tent the sky was almost completely clear and I saw the first shooting star in about 3 seconds.
You could see some light pollution from Helsinki, but it was still dark enough to see the shooting stars and the milky way. You could see shooting stars everywhere. It was just difficult to get them in the pictures every time.
It was an awesome night and I will certainly try to get to see this next year again! I lost track at some point, but I think I saw over a hundred shooting stars. At some point I stopped making a wish every time I saw one!
Even without the shooting stars the sky is very impressive on a clear night. I recommend going out to watch the milky way now as the nights are getting darker!
Kalliosaari is one of the closest islands to our paddling center. I was heading out to spend the night further east on Friday. As I was kayaking past Kalliosaari, I thought why not stay there. I hadn’t been there for a while, so I got out of my kayak and decided to camp. I brought my tent this time, because there have been some mosquitos in the evening and I wanted to sleep well.
Kalliosaari is a big island and I walked around just enjoying the beautiful evening!
The highest place in Kalliosaari is something like 20 meters above sea level, so not too high. The views are still nice!
There were two other kayakers as I arrived. As the sun was setting they decided to head to Pihlajaluoto to camp. This picture is taken about 11 pm, so still a lot of light!
The next morning was beautiful. I took my sleeping bag out and relaxed for several hours before I paddled back. It is great to spend a night on the islands! And it’s less than an hour from our paddling center.
The weather has been great in May. It is a great time to go out the islands this time of the year. Still quiet and not a lot of people. On some islands there are still a lot of birds nesting, but there are places where you can go without disturbing them too much.
On Friday we headed out. It was sunny and calm. Felt like summer. 🙂
We stopped at Hattusaari, but there were so many birds nesting that we decided to go to Pihlajaluoto. A lot less birds there.
We put our tent up and enjoyed the beautiful evening.
The two other kayakers camping on the island made a fire. It is always nice to stare into the flames.
The moon was almost full and very bright!
In the morning we took our sleeping bags out and had a nap on the sea shore. Such a great morning!
If you are here in Helsinki next Saturday, come and join us at our opening event at the new paddling center.