Evening paddle in Eastern Helsinki

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.

Kayaking in Eastern Helsinki

It was a bit windy during the day, but by the time I got on the water, it was already calm and really peaceful.

A kayak and a goose in Helsinki archipelago

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.

Evening sun at Pihlajaluoto, Helsinki

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.

Clouds and evening sunshine

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.

Sunset in a kayak, Helsinki, Finland

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!

Spring is arriving to Helsinki

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.

Ice melting in Vuosaari

Yesterday evening we headed out for a walk with the whole family. This made it easier for me to take pictures along the way!

Ice melting in Vuosaari

It was really windy outside, but the wind was warm. It really feels like spring is coming!

Sunset in Vuosaari

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.

Spring time in Helsinki

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!

Exploring Montenegro and Durmitor National Park

After our stay in Bosnia & Herzegovina we headed to Montenegro and to the city of Zabljak. It is located right by the Durmitor National Park. We stayed at Šepić Accommodation, which was a great place! Aljoša and his mother run the place and we got a lot of ideas and instructions from them. And I also recommend having the breakfast, which was really good.

Crno Jezero Lake

We came to Zabljak in the afternoon and didn’t have too much time, so we headed to Crno Jezero Lake. It was just a few kilometres from where we stayed. There was a nice path going around the lake and we managed to walk around just before it got dark.

Hiking towards the lookout place over Tara Canyon

Aljoša gave us instructions on getting to the lookout spot above the Tara River Canyon. It wasn’t a long way, but it took us a long time. I had to stop to take pictures all the time.

Tara Canyon in Montenegro

The Tara River Gorge is a really spectacular place. It is one of the deepest canyons in the world, 1300 metres deep at the deepest part.

Looking at the Tara River Canyon in Montenegro

In October the tourist season is already over, but we were still amazed that there were no other people here.

Enjoying the views at Tara River Gorge

It was very silent and peaceful. I really recommend visiting this place. Too bad we didn’t have more time to explore the Durmitor National Park.

Sunset in Durmitor National Park

On the way back we stopped at another lookout spot. There were skiing slopes here and a lift. Maybe we need to come back here some day and do some downhill skiing. Aljoša told us that it is mostly local people during the winter, but the slopes looked good. So maybe there is potential here. And the prices are cheap!

In Zabljak we also went whitewater rafting on the Tara River. I’ll write more about that in my next post!

Kayaking with my father

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.

Coffee before kayaking

I was ready well before my father, so I had time to enjoy a cup of coffee before leaving. The weather was perfect.

On a break at Tammaluoto

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.

Kayaking in Eastern Helsinki

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.

Kayaks at sunset

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.

A kayak under the stars

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!

Prijon Seayak at Kuiva Hevonen

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.

Shooting Stars

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.

Sunset at Hattusaari

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.

A kayak and some shooting stars

As I got out of the tent the sky was almost completely clear and I saw the first shooting star in about 3 seconds.

Shooting stars and the milky way

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.

Watching the Perseid meteor shower

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!

Hattusaari by night

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 – Rock Island

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.

Forest path in Kalliosaari, Eastern Helsinki

Kalliosaari is a big island and I walked around just enjoying the beautiful evening!

Evening view from Kalliosaari, Eastern Helsinki

The highest place in Kalliosaari is something like 20 meters above sea level, so not too high. The views are still nice!

Kayakers in Eastern Helsinki

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!

Morning coffee at Kalliosaari

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.

Kayaking in Eastern Helsinki

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.

Kayaking in Vuosaari, Helsinki

On Friday we headed out. It was sunny and calm. Felt like summer. 🙂

Evening sun at Hattusaari

We stopped at Hattusaari, but there were so many birds nesting that we decided to go to Pihlajaluoto. A lot less birds there.

Sunset at Pihlajaluoto, Helsinki

We put our tent up and enjoyed the beautiful evening.

Enjoying the fire at Pihlajaluoto, Helsinki.

The two other kayakers camping on the island made a fire. It is always nice to stare into the flames.

Enjoying the full moon in the Helsinki archipelago

The moon was almost full and very bright!

Sleeping on the shore in the Helsinki archipelago

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.

 

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!

Back in Tenerife

I was guiding a week of hiking in Tenerife and once I got back to Finland, I have just been running around everywhere. Our new paddling center here in Helsinki is opening first of May and there is still a lot to do before that!

Here are some pictures from Tenerife. It was a great week and a great group. Also a big thanks to our local partner Teno Activo and our guide Nayra for making everything work!

Hiking in the La Orotava valley

On our first day we hiked in the La Orotava valley.

La Orotava

And we also visited the city of La Orotava. It is a beautiful place!

Masca ravine

The Masca canyon was great as usual. It rained a bit at the start, but eventually the weather was really good!

Hiking in Anaga, Tenerife

You could spend a week just hiking in the Anaga peninsula!

Teide National Park

There was still snow up on Teide and Pico Viejo.

Hiking in Arona

On our last day we hiked from Arona to Ifonche and visited Bodegas Reveron to taste the local wines.

Sunset in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife.

We stayed in Puerto de la Cruz and the sunsets there are spectacular! It was great to be a week in Tenerife, but now I am looking forward to start the kayaking season for real!

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.