… yells the alarm on my mobile. I open my eyes, still partly caught in my dreams. Then I realise: It’s 5 o’clock in the morning and I’ve planned a paddle trip today. Out there it’s still pitch black and reluctantly I get up and get some breakfast. I’ve already packed the day before: dry suit – neoprene boots, gloves and hood – camera in a waterproof bag – water and chocolate. The compass and the live vest are already in the kayak. I leave, pulling my kayak behind on its trolley and the temperature is -4.5 °C – the coldest day since April. Round half an hour later I’m ready to start the tour. The sun hasn’t risen yet and some pink clouds hang in the blue sky.
At the sandy beach I drag the kayak into the water, lay the paddle on both the boat and the shallow ground to avoid tipping and climb in. I do some strokes, unfold the rudder that helps my steering the kayak and turn right. It’s low water and much more stones and rocks are visible as usual. I turn right again to paddle between the island Brambärsgrundet and the mainland. After that I turn left again and see the horizon and an archipelago of stones. I have to make my way through and more than once I hear the typical clicking sound, when the sea is so shallow, that the rudder at the rear touches ground and is lifted up.
The colours start to change: From light pink to something you could call apricot to warm orange. And then the sun starts to rise. It’s not that I’ve never seen sunrises before, but still I love to watch.
The sun rises a bit higher and starts to illuminate the colourful trees on the island Storgrundet which I’m approaching. Before I reach that island I turn right again and head to the open water. All I see in front of me is water, waves, the sky, clouds and midmost: the horizon. It looks like I just could paddle straight ahead to the horizon for ages. Probably it would take ages: it’s round 150 kilometres to the Finnish mainland.
So I turn left again and paddle along Storgrundets outer shoreline, go round the western peak and to the same beach were I started my tour one and a half hours before. A quite short, but pleasant kayak trip.
I go ashore and drag the kayak to the beach. It’s still below zero. The spray water on the kayak is frozen and there’s hoar frost on leaves and wood, especially in the shadowy places.
Now I exchange the dry suit for pants and jacket and the neoprene hood for a woollen cap. Dry suit and such is great for protection in case of falling into the cold water, but the “normal” clothes feel much more comfortable. I make a last photo of the beach and the island Storgrundet in the back, then I return home dragging the kayak behind.
At 9 o’clock I start my normal work.
“New Year’s resolution”: Be more outdoors in my everyday life, even if it’s short.