First day of spring

Today it’s the first day of spring. In the forest you could see the first snowless patches of soil covered with blueberry plants and the first birds sang their spring songs. But if you continued your walk through the woods until you reached the shore and had a look over the Baltic Sea, it looked like winter would be endless and continue forever:

But if you went on the ice and looked closer you could see, that the frozen surface only covered parts of the Baltic Sea. There was open water ahead. Blue open water. Blue open water with tiny little waves.

Oh, what I longed for my kayak – I would have loved to paddle on the crystal clear sea to the icebergs that you could see near the horizon.

The first day of spring in Skelleftehamn – still wintry but with a promise of spring coming soon.

Långhällan again

Two days ago Annika and I walked on the sea ice outside of Långhällan and had a view on large patches of open water.

Today I visited this place once more, but the whole area was covered with ice again. Some areas were covered with dark solid ice, some with ice floes that have frozen together. You could see walls of broken ice and dark channels between the different parts.

When I entered the terra incognita I half expected to fall through the ice and was equipped with the following:

  • my immersion suit, which is completely waterproof (and warm due to the thick neoprene)
  • isdubbar – handles with sharp peaks for pulling oneself out of an ice hole
  • my Nikon AW1 – a waterproof camera

To my big surprise all ice was thick and stable enough to bear my weight.

I couldn’t see any open water, but I could hear the sounds of ice and water below me. The cracking and clicking, the low, sonor pulsing drones echoing under the icy surface and sometimes even rhythmical beeping noises – like the Baltic Sea sending Morse code. An experience both fascinating and frightening.

Some impressions of today:

Four images from the coast of Kågnäsudden

When I arrived at the former fishermen’s village at Kågnäsudden I realised that I almost came too late for the beautiful pre-sunrise colours. The sun had already risen above the horizon, only covered by some clouds lingering at the horizon far away. I just managed to take a picture of the big lumps of ice before it rose above the clouds.

The sun illuminated the Baltic Sea which was covered with rough drifting ice floes to a great extend.

While I continued my photographical promenade the sun rose higher – what a difference to six weeks ago, where it more rolled along the horizon and hardly rose at all.

Round some of the small rocky cliffs the sea was still partly open but the first heralds of frost were visible. Finally we got a bit colder weather and the temperatures next night expect to be round -15 °C. This could be enough to make the surface to freeze over.

Perhaps I’ll check the same location again tomorrow, but then I’ll have to leave earlier because sunrise is already before 8 o’clock.