Short trip to Bjuröklubb

Yesterday I went to Umeå by car, but I took a detour. In Övre Bäck, where I made the photo from the “Winter tree” I left the E4 to drive to Bjuröklubb, a salient that reaches wide into the Baltic Sea.

In summer, you can walk up from the parking place, eat in the Café Fyren or follow the wooden walkway up to the light house. In winter time this place is abandoned. I took my snow shoes and went first along the shore and then up to the light house.

Temperatures were between -25 °C and -30°C and the sky was totally clear. Another wonderful winter day.

Yes, we have beaches!

Skellefteå municipality has round about 400 kilometers coast line (depending on how you measure). Most of the coast is stony or rocky, but there are exceptions. Annika and I used the fine weather yesterday to drive to the peninsula Bjuröklubb, however not directly headed to the lighthouse and the café, but turned right to Storsanden and parked the car. After crossing a sandy grassland that already reminded a bit of the dune landscape of the coastal line of the Northern Sea, we hit a wonderful small bay with a sandy beach.

Round two kilometer to the east, there’s a complete different type of landscape: A long moraine headland, that reaches into the sea called Grundskatan. Normally it’s not easy to reach the peak without getting wet, but yesterday the water level was quite low and we easily reached the peak.

We returned the same way back to the car, drove to the parking place of Bjuröklubb and took the short way to the Café, where we had a late lunch. We went tothe lighthouse, where you have a great view over the Baltic Sea and the coastal scenery. A dark patch on the other side of the bay Gärdviken caught our eyes. Is it solid rock or a a field of big rocky pebbles? Let’s explore …

We took the car and found the way to the coast below the hill Petberget. The way was hardly drivable for my Saab, it’s more a path for forestry machines and jeeps. But – again – what a beautiful place!

 

Beach pea

It’s July and the beach peas (aka sea peas) are blooming. They love sand or gravel beaches, where they seem to crouch over the ground. Crouching I did, too, to get a photo from the pale purple blossoms.

These flowers grew near Grundskatan south of Bjuröklubb.

Translation:

EnglishGermanSwedishLatin
Beach pea / Sea peaStrand-PlatterbseStrandvialLathyrus japonicus

A cruise from Skelleftehamn to Bjuröklubb

It doesn’t happen often, that you can make boat trips from Skelleftehamn, were I use to live. Only one week once a year the Laponia Rederi from Luleå comes down to Skelleftehamn for some cruises. Last Saturday Annika and I took the opportunity to attend a five hour cruise to Bjuröklubb, where I’ve been quite a lot, but never by ship. When we arrived in good time before 11 o’clock people already started entering the small ship.

We boarded, too and thereby lowered the average age some years. I sniffed around the boat and got the permission to enter the bridge for some photos.

Five minutes before schedule the ship put out to sea, cruising along the industrial peninsula Rönnskär.

While Annika and I were standing on the top deck looking at the sea, the islands, the sky and the waves, all other people stayed inside and started focussing on the main topic: the lunch buffet. Anyway I have to admit, that especially the salmon was extremely delicious, and the bread as well.

I once thought about making a kayak trip to Bjuröklubb, an exposed peninsula and the easternmost point of the county Västerbotten. It would take me some days, since for one thing I’m slow and for another thing I would follow the coastline and never dare to take the much shorter direct route long away from the mainland. The ship, however was fast and took the “directissima”. Therefore it took only 90 minutes to cruise there.

At the small harbour we all went ashore and the ship continued to a larger harbour nearby where it waited for us. We got a guided tour and went up to the lighthouse where we left the croud for a good reason: Just that day was the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend, the only day where the lighthouse – which is still in use – is open for visitors. I went up, waiting for the other visitors – max 4 at the same time – to leave and made some photos. Not only the cut glass mirror construction was incredible but the colourful reflections of the sunlight, too.

Since we already left the group we took a hike to the other harbour, where we entered the ship again. Why it took us more than half an hour to walk for just some hundred meters? Well, there were blueberries, there were raspberries … and we picked and ate a lot of them.

The crew untied all the ropes connecting the ship to the land. I’m sure they are nautical terms for those ropes, you are free to post their proper names in the comments. Then the ship started, fetched the other passengers at the other small harbour and headed back to Skelleftehamn. Annika and I sat on the upper deck and enjoyed sun, clouds, wind, and waves as well as the view on the islands Skötgrönnan and Gåsören.

Ninety minutes later we arrived again in Skelleftehamn, where we came off the ship, while one of the crew played farewell music on the accordion.

Conclusion: A relaxed cruise and the opportunity to play tourist in my adopted homeland for one day.

Orange is the colour of the sea

Another clear and frosty morning in Skelleftehamn. I stood by the Baltic Sea in good time before sunrise which was 9:24 today. The sky was orange, the sea was blue and the mirage of the coastline lingered at the horizon.

I changed place right after sundown. Here at a more sheltered part the sea had started to freeze over. I laid down onto the icy shore to get a picture of both the island Gåsören and the crisp structures of the newly built sea ice. Then I realised that the Baltic Sea is not blue, it’s of pure orange – almost amber – at least when it’s early morning and your chin is hardly above sea level.

Photographers hints: use a tele lens, try out extreme low angle shots, dress properly due to the weather, use the warm morning or evening light ;-)

Maybe a seal?

There are seals in the Baltic Sea, even in Skelleftehamn. I’ve been living here for six and a half years but never ever saw a single seal, neither from the coast nor from the kayak. Today this may have changed.

Annika, I and two German guests were in Bjuröklubb today and had a look at the wintery sea. The coast of the peninsula Fäbodarna on the other side of the bay Bjuröfjärden was hardly visible in the chilly, foggy air. The sea was partly open, partly covered with a thin layer of grey ice and some ice floes. On one of the ice floes there was something dark.

A rock? Probably not, since the depth of sea is at least 25 meter at this place.

A tree trunk? Maybe, but why should it lie on the ice floe?

Could it be a seal? I took my tele lens and made a photo. Here it is (which strongly increased contrast):

It really could be a seal, but I’m not sure at all. While I considered if it was one or not the fog came closer. And closer. And even closer. I took this photo before the fog curtained even these ice floes:

Home again I posted the first photo on Facebook to get help in the seal-question. These are the answers so far:

  • A UFO landed on the ice?
  • Nessie?
  • Toyota Camry?
  • Russian submarine?
  • Elvis Presley bathing?
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?

Well, the answers were probably more entertaining than helpful so I’m still unsure.

Any thoughts?

Spring birds

What a late spring we got this year. Still the seasons feels quite wintry and many of the fields and meadows are still covered with snow, only partly and slowly being defrosted by the spring sun.

The migrant birds however had started to fly northwards already – first the Whooper swans and geese, then the Common cranes.

I caught another bird by chance in mid-air and asked for help on Facebook not knowing what kind of bird it was.

This flying fellow is a Smew and according to the comments on Facebook I got it seems to be quite rare here. A photographical chance hit.

Since I was already quite near Bjuröklubb on my “bird hunt” I took the last 12 kilometres to the parking place at this peninsula. Parts of the northern bay Gärdviken was still covered with ice – apparently thick enough to bare the two ice fishers who sat or lay upon it. But round the eastern part that is more exposed to the sea the water was open, only some ice floes that stranded at the shallow shore indicated that summer is still some months away.

Translations:

EnglishGermanSwedishLatin
Whooper swanSingschwanSångsvanCygnus cygnus
Common craneKranichTranaGrus grus
SmewZwergsägerSalskrakeMergellus albellus