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!

Reflections

I still have one more post left from hiking in Tenerife, but I thought i would get back to our canoe trip in Norway first.

During the trip it was dead calm every day. All the rocks and branches in the water made beautiful reflections on the water. After taking pictures of the first ones, I got a bit addicted in trying to get te best angles and spots. Here are my favorite shots.

Rock and reflection

The lake was just so calm that it was amazing.

Big rock, middle rock and small rock

Three rocks.

Two rocks

Two rocks.

A dead pine tree in the water

A dead pine tree in the water.

A branch from under water

A branch from an underwater tree.

Northern lights in the Pasvik Valley

During our canoening trip the weather was very consistent. The high pressure was stuck on top of us. During the day there were some clouds, but in the evening the skies cleared. This meant a great showing of Aurora Borealis every night. I have seen northern lights many times before, but this was something special.

I hadn’t taken any photos of northern lights before, but with the expert help of my brother I learned a lot during this trip. Here are my favorite photos.

Aurora Borealis over Ellenvattnet lake

This is my second picture of the northern lights ever. The first one didn’t turn out quite as well. So this is pure beginners luck. And actually I think this might be my favorite picture of the week.

Northern Lights on the Ellenvattnet lake

This is another picture from the same night. The lake was so calm, that the reflections were really good. The Aurora Borealis are moving all the time, so you also need a bit of luck to get the picture at the perfect time.

Natura Viva van and the Northern Lights

This photo is from the next evening as we had just pulled the canoes to the parking place in Øvre Pasvik National park. After dinner I saw the northern lights behind our van and I knew I had to get this picture. My brother is sitting in the van and my father helped light the side of the car with his head torch.

Aurora Borealis in Øvre Pasvik National park.

There was a nice small rapid at the parking place of the national park. Already during the day I was looking at this spot and thought it would be a great place to take a picture. This is just as the sun has gone down.

Northern LIghts in Norway

Our last night in the wild. The tents are just a bit right from the picture. It was really hard to go to sleep when it looks like this outside.

Canoe trip in Øvre Pasvik National park

After our paddling season ended in Helsinki, we headed north. October is normally a great time to explore Lapland. One of my favorite destinations is the Vätsäri Wilderness area just north of lake Inari. This time we continued a bit further and all the way to Norway. The exact location was Sør-Varanger, the small slice of Norway between Finland and Russia.

Our plan was to start a few kilometres north from the actual Øvre Pasvik National park. There is a chain of small lakes with short portages in between. We first started towards the west and we were supposed to turn south towards Ellenvattnet, the largest lake in the national park. Well everything didn’t go as planned.

Calm weather.

The weather was just stunning all week. Clear and sunny, no rain and no wind at all. Of course the clear skies meant, that it was also quite cold during the nights.

Canoening through the frozen lake

The second night of our trip was really cold, about – 15 degrees Celsius. As we crawled out of our tent, we realized that the lake was completely frozen. The ice was not more than 1-2 centimeters, but it was still impossible to continue by canoe.

Dragging the canoes out of the forest

The next day we pulled the canoes to the closest road. The total distance was about 3 kilometres and luckily the bigger lake close to the parking place of the national park was still open. This still took us the whole day.

Beautiful sunset

After pulling the canoe back to the road, we continued hiking in the national park. During the whole week the weather stayed perfect. We enjoyed the beautiful sunsets and the calm weather.

Ellenkoia open hut

We spent two nights in the open huts and four nights in tents. This hut on the shore of Ellenvattnet lake was just perfect.

Although everything didn’t go according to plans, it was a fantastic week. We enjoyed the beautiful nature and the complete silence. My next post will show some of the Northern Lights we saw during our week.