Out to the sea

It has been a while since writing something. We have opened our new paddling center and I have been very busy. Finally we are starting to get most of the things organised and hopefully I will have more time to be active with the blog.

Thursday afternoon I realised I didn’t have anything in my calendar for the evening and the next morning. So I decided to escape and spend the night somewhere on the sea. I packed my things and looked at the weather forecast. The forecast was light wind from southwest, which was supposed to pick up a bit the next day. So I decided to head to Eestiluoto and Kutuhället which are about 10 kilometres from our paddling center. They are the last islands before to open sea starts.

Kayaking at Tammaluoto, Helsinki.

The weather was just perfect. The islands are southwest from our paddling center, so I was paddling against the wind. The winds were very light and it was an easy trip. Here I am taking a short break at Tammaluoto, a small islands on the way.

Evening at Kutuhället, Helsinki

I was expecting it to be chilly so far out, but it was actually really warm. Especially on the calm side of the island.

Sunset in Helsinki

I had the whole island to myself and I was just wandering around and taking pictures. So relaxing!

Spider in the sunset

So nice to have places like this so close to Helsinki. There are a lot of recreational islands free for anyone to camp at.

Hammock at Kutuhället, Helsinki

I slept in a hammock and I must say it is very relaxing. I only had my summer sleeping bag, but it still wasn’t cold at all.

Flowers in Kutuhället

In the morning I took it slowly and walked around the island and took some pictures.

Kayaking at Eestiluoto, Helsinki

Here I am heading back to the paddling center. It was a great trip. I think I need to try to to get out again next week! But I will also try to post something about our new paddling center next!

Sunrise in Vuosaari

I have been busy getting everything ready for our paddling season at the new paddling center, so I haven’t had time to post anything in the blog. This morning I woke up early and decided to go out with the camera. I went to the Kallahti Peninsula (Kallahdenniemi in Finnish) to take some pictures of the sunrise. It was a beautiful morning.

Two birds at sunrise

 

Sunrise at Kallahti Peninsula

Sunrise in Vuosaari

Vuosaari is a beautiful place

Next week I will try to write something about our new paddling center.

First kayak trip this spring

We made plans with Joni a couple of weeks agoto go kayaking,if the weather is good. We wanted to open the kayaking season and stay overnight on one of the many islands of Eastern Helsinki. On Saturday the weather was perfect. Sunshine, calm winds and a good forecast. So there was no excuse.

The temperature had been below freezing the night before, so some of the inner bays were frozen again. Luckily we found a spot in Uutela, where there wasn’t too much ice. We had to carry and drag the kayaks for a few hundred meters to get to our starting place. The water is still very cold, so you have to be really careful if you plan to head out. A drysuit is essential and even that isn’t enough if you do something stupid. So be well prepared or wait for a few months before the water is warmer. 🙂

Pulling our kayaks to the starting place

The path was still icy and it was easy to pull our kayaks to the shore.

Breaking ice with our kayaks

There was about 200 meters of ice to break before we got to the open water. Luckily it wasn’t too thick.

Ice on the sea

It was great to kayak through the ice and get really close to the ice.

Sunset at Pihlajaluoto, Helsinki

We decided to spend the night at Pihlajaluoto, one of my favorite islands in Eastern Helsinki. The sunset was beautiful.

Sun setting behind the trees in Pihlajaluoto, Helsinki.

Pihlajaluoto isn’t too far from where we started, so we had a lot of time to enjoy the island and take pictures. The islands are so quiet in the winter time. It is a special feeling being out there.

Fire and the moon at Pihlajaluoto, Helsinki.

We brought some firewood and made a fire. The sky was clear and we were waiting to see the stars as it was getting darker. The forecast was cloudy, but it was completely clear.

Sky full of stars in Pihlajaluoto, Helsinki.

It was great to see the sky full of stars!

Frozen kayak gear

The night was pretty cold and I accidentally took a wrong sleeping bag, so I didn’t sleep to well. And all the kayaking gear was also frozen in the morning. But it didn’t take too long to warm up. It was a great trip and I hope can get out soon again.

 

Northern Lights in Helsinki

Tonight the sky is clear in Helsinki and you can see the Northern Lights.  This doesn’t happen too often here in the south of Finland. To see them you need to get out of the city, because there is too much light pollution. I found this spot close to Sipoonkorpi National Park. Here are a few pictures.

Northern Lights in Helsinki

Northern Lights above Sipoonkorpi National Park

Northern Lights in Southern Finland

The Northern Lights in Helsinki

It was pretty cold, about -25 degrees Celsius. So I didn’t stay out too long, but it was really nice to see the Northern LIghts here in the south. On Sunday I am heading back to Lapland and hope to have the opportunity to take some more photos of them.

 

The Old Town Bay

The nature is always close in Helsinki. November was great for taking photos. Not a lot of light, but really beautiful sunsets. It was very warm, so no snow in these pictures yet. But now we also have snow here in Helsinki.

These photos are from the Old Town bay area in Helsinki. This was the place, where the city of Helsinki was originally founded in 1550. There is a nature trail going to to a few birdwatch towers. This is a very popular place for birdwatching. It is also a good spot just to enjoy the nature close to the city.

Path to Lammassaari

This is the path leading to Lammassaari (Lamb Island). There is a birdwatch tower there and some small private cabins. Also a few houses you can rent our for private parties and celebrations.

Sunset in Lammassaari

The sunset was amazing. This picture is from a dock in Lammassaari. You can see the lights of the city, but you are still far away.

View from the birdtower

The view from the other birdwatch tower. You can see the lights of Herttoniemi in the horizon. The path leads to a small shed made for watching the birds.

Old town waterfall in Helsinki

This is the waterfall of the Old Town Rapids. Not a lot of water flowing, because it didn’t rain too much at this time. Now it’s starting to look like winter also here in Helsinki.

I just got back from Iceland and I have tons of great pictures from the trip. And I still need to write atleast one post about hiking in Gran Canaria. So a lot of things to write about, but I just need to find the time.

First snow in Helsinki

I like snow a lot! Within the last couple of days we have had the first snow in most of Finland. But where I live here in Eastern Helsinki, we haven’t seen snow. Until last night. There isn’t a lot of snow and it is going to melt really soon, but I still had to get out to take some pictures of the sea and snow during sunrise.

The first snow and a star

I walked to the tip of the Kallahti peninsula (Kallahdenniemi). It was still dark as I got there, so I even saw a few stars in the sky.

A frozen pond

The sun started to rise slowly. I like the light in the end of November. The colors are very blue.

Sunrise in Vuosaari

The sea is still completely open. And it propably won’t freeze for a while.

The sauna of Villa Kuhlefelt

Not a lot of snow yet. Especially here at the tip of the peninsula. And it is supposed to get warmer again.

Snow and the sea

The morning was beautiful and it was really worth it to get out. It usually is!

I am actually just packing my things and heading to Lapland today. So in a few hours I get to see a lot more snow. I am looking forward to starting my skiing season.
I still have a lot of photos from Tenerife, so I’ll get back to the warmer pictures in a few days.

The last kayaking course of the year

We had a very nice day out at sea on the 1st of November. This was a private course I was teaching. The main focus of the day was paddling in waves and wind. The conditions were really good. Some wind, but not too much and also some waves further out.

Before the course I hadn’t been kayaking for a month.  We did our canoe trip in Norway right after that, but no kayaking. After a longer break you always feel a bit stiff, but the muscles get used to it again pretty quickly.

A few rays of light on a cloudy day

The forecast was cloudy for the whole day, but the sun was shining through the clouds as we started the day.

Cloudy skies while kayaking in November

The sunshine lasted just two minutes, but we were happy with even that. And the temperature was about +10 degrees Celsius all day, so the weather was actually really good for November.

Lunch break at Hattusaari

We had our lunch break at Hattusaari. It is really one of my favorite places in Eastern Helsinki.

Enjoying the waves on the southside of Villinki

On the southside of Villinki there were some nice waves and it’s a great place to practice rock hopping.

Just about to hit a rock

What do you think is going to happen next?

It was a great day out on the water. Our group was really good and we tried a lot of new things. I am hoping for a cold and snowy winter here in Southern Finland, but I wouldn’t mind to still get out a few times with my kayak before that.

Our new paddling center

We have been renting kayaks in Vuosaari here in Eastern Helsinki since the summer of 2008. This winter we are finally able to build a paddling center with enough space for all our kayaks and all the gear. Everything is going forward as planned and the walls and the roof are just getting ready.

We still have the winter months to finnish everything before the beginning of May. I am really excited about the project and it is going to be a great place.

Our new terrace

This is where our terrace is going to be. We will have a cafe at the paddling center and it is going to be so nice to relax here before or after a kayak tour.

Putting the wall in place

The walls have been built at the factory and you just have to put the pieces together on the spot.

Sunset at the new paddling center

This is from the other side of the bay. One of the most spectacular sunset of the fall season.

November sunsets are great

This is from the same evening. Our new paddling center is on the right side of the picture.

The beach close to our new paddling center

This is the beach just by the paddling center. It is really nice to spend some time here in the summer.

Hopefully the rest of the project goes well and we have everything ready next spring. Still a lot of things to get done before that.