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!

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.

 

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.