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.
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.
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.
I was expecting it to be chilly so far out, but it was actually really warm. Especially on the calm side of the island.
I had the whole island to myself and I was just wandering around and taking pictures. So relaxing!
So nice to have places like this so close to Helsinki. There are a lot of recreational islands free for anyone to camp at.
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.
In the morning I took it slowly and walked around the island and took some pictures.
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!
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.
Next week I will try to write something about our new paddling center.
Valkmusa National Park is less than two hours from Helsinki by car. One of the borders of the park is Kymijoki, the most popular whitewater kayaking river in Southern Finland. I’ve been kayaking there for years and we also run our whitewater courses there. But for some reason I’ve never visited this place before.
Well that changed on a beautiful winter Saturday. After getting lost once we managed to find the parking place with the entrance to the park. There were just a few parking places and they were full of snow. Of course we got our car stuck. We got some help from other visitors of the park, but decided to reverse the car to a place, where we could turn around and not get stuck. That turned out to be a couple of kilometers away. So we walked a bit more, but luckily the days are getting longer so we managed the whole trip in daylight!
We started along the path, which was also a cross-country skiing track. We didn’t bring skis, but we had our snowshoes with us. Soon we decided to put the snowshoes on and climbed up the hill. The view was really nice and the weather just perfect!
There was still more than enough of snow to enjoy snowshoeing. A lot of beautiful places to see a bit outside of the normal paths.
With enough of soft snow, it is nice to jump down from small rocks. You just need to watch, that you don’t hit yourself in the face with a camera as almost happened here.
Most of the land area of the park is swamp. It is only accessible in the winter time. There were people skiing and I think that would be the best way to explore the flat swamp area. Especially now when the snow is getting hard enough to carry your weight. I also think I need to come here in the summer. I’ll be several weekends at Kymijoki anyway, so it is not a long detour!
On the way back we made a short stop at Porvoo. It is a very popular place for people to visit in the summer. But it is also beautiful in the winter!
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. 🙂
The path was still icy and it was easy to pull our kayaks to the shore.
There was about 200 meters of ice to break before we got to the open water. Luckily it wasn’t too thick.
It was great to kayak through the ice and get really close to the ice.
We decided to spend the night at Pihlajaluoto, one of my favorite islands in Eastern Helsinki. The sunset was beautiful.
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.
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.
It was great to see the sky full of stars!
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.