What a contrast – two days ago I skied through the snowy winter forest in Äkäslompolo in Finland, today I paddled on the Baltic sea under a blue sky with two friends and it almost felt like spring.
Hans, Stefan and I met at the pilot house, where the Baltic sea is completely free of ice. We paddled to the island Klubben and started to round it, but a thick layer of old ice still lay between Klubben and Bredskär.
So we turned left, and paddled along Bredskär and Norrskär.
On the outer side of Norrskär we went ashore and took a fika, a break with drink and food.
On the outer side the waves were a bit higher and sea spray splashed ashore.
The old ice has a fascinating structure, it’s like a mosaic of thin vertical sticks. If you smash it, it splinters into many pieces, but the sticks are quite stable.
After the break we continued our tour and paddled along the southeast peaks of the islands Storgrundet, Brambärsgrundet and Vorrgrundet. Here we had a bit more waves. More than twenty whooper swans rose when we came closer – a spring sign. But on the ice between Storgrundet and Brambärsgrundet people still stood on the ice, perhaps there were ice fishing.
Now we were on the way back and the waves got smaller again. The ice edge is quite fascinating. The ice itself is still quite thick but at the edge the underwater ice got a lot of holes and looks like a frozen sponge.
Three weeks ago I stood on the thick ice between the mainland and the island Bredskär and it was possible to go to the islands by snowmobile. Today we paddled through the open water, but on the remaining ice in the small boat harbour Tjuvkistan you could still see some snowmobile tracks and they were quite fresh.
Soon we arrived again at our starting point, a short but very pleasant tour. Thank you, Stefan and Hans!
They packed their car and I put the boat onto the small cart and started to go home, dragging the kayak behind. (Foto: Stefan)
The air was still cold – round +3 °C – but the sun already got a lot of power and it feels much warmer. On my way home I discovered another spring sign: The first blooming flower, a tussilago. Spring is here!