Taking the kayak home

After a Saturday morning with rain it became cold again today. The weather forecast believes Skelleftehamn to be subzero for at least ten other days. Since the sea at Storgrundet had already started freezing over it was time to take the kayak home from the beach. The easy way would have been to put it onto the transport cart and pull it the 1.5 km home.

Since the weather was fine I decided to paddle it to a nearer place, only 650 meter away from my house. For that I had to paddle round the island Storgrundet and the peninsula Näsgrundet. That’s round about 7.5 km. 7.5 km, that took me more than 2¼ hours today.

The temperature is -6 °C and there is a slight wind. As excepted the sea between island and mainland is frozen. Instead of the paddle I use ice claws to pull me forward over the ice towards the open water. That’s easier than it sounds until you break through. Then you are in some kind of amphibian environment, where it’s both hard to use the ice claws (where’s the ice?) and the paddle (where’s the open water?).

Luckily it is just a short passage and soon I reach open water. Now I want to let down my rudder but it does not work. The whole steering device is completely frozen. I try several times but when I realise that I even cannot use the foot pedals I give up. It’s possible to steer a kayak without.

Well, it doesn’t work very well. Although the rudder at the back is small it acts as a sail, when being flipped up and the wind constantly tries to turn me around, especially on top of the waves. Three seconds without paddling and I am 30° off-course. One photo and my kayak is turned up to 150°. Constantly I get ahead, but it’s really exhausting.

The sun has risen from behind the island Bredskär. When I pass the southern tip of Storgrundet I pass some fields of a million of thinnest ice crystals covering the sea. That’s really beautiful!

Near the small boat harbour Tjuvkistan I land the kayak and try to fix the rudder. I still cannot move the pedals but at least I manage to put down the rudder into the water to decrease the sailing area of my kayak. The kayak is covered in ice.

I follow the coast round the peninsula Näsgrundet until I have the industrial area Rönnskär ahead. I turn into the large bay Kallholmsfjärden, home of the port of Skellefteå. Luckily there is no commercial boat traffic now.

I can spot the tiny tunnel that leads into the small bay Killingörviken, my destination for today. It is 2.5 km away and it takes some time to reach it, because I have headwind and I am quite exhausted. But finally I reach the sheltered bay, cross some weak ice and finally slide over thicker ice using my ice claws again. I finish my paddling tour at 9:20 and now I’m quite hungry, since I didn’t have a proper breakfast.

The adventure is over, but not the journey. My kayak are I are at one place, my car is parked 2 km away. I have the cart at hand but the belt to fix the kayak I forgot home. Luckily Annika drives me around, first to my car which I leave home, then to my kayak that I walk home. After a hot shower I get finally a breakfast. Great!


4 comments to “Taking the kayak home”

  1. Johanna 2019-11-04 19:47

    Hej Olaf,
    darf ich sagen, dass ich froh darüber bin, dass Du das Kajak nach Hause geholt hast? Deine Berichte von Eis, Wasser, Kälte und Technik die erfriert machen mich nervös :-) Vielleicht ist das aber auch nur deshalb, weil ich keine Ahnung habe. Du kennst Dich aus, ich weiß, aber trotzdem……..
    Liebe Grüße :-)

    P.S: lege Dir öfter Listen zurecht damit Du nicht so viele Dinge vergisst:-)

  2. way-up-north 2019-11-04 20:53

    Hej Johanna!

    No animals, kayaks, or Olafs were harmed ;-)

    Wenn es jemanden gibt, der Packlisten macht, dann ich. Auf der Paddelliste stehen dann so Sachen wie Schwimmweste, Trockenanzug, Schwamm oder wasserdichte Handyhülle drauf.

    Nur der Bootswagen und der Riemen, die stehen nicht drauf, weil ich die entweder nicht brauche (das Boot liegt am Meer) oder, wenn das Kajak zu Hause ist, zwingend benötige, um das Gefährt überhaupt ans Meer zu bekommen.

    Jetzt liegt es im Wintergarten und bei dem Dauerfrost wird es wohl dauern, bis es aufgetaut und getrocknet ist.

  3. Margrit Schneider 2019-11-06 17:41

    Oh dear! What a excite. Ich sitze auf dem Sofa und mir wird bei Deiner Tourbeschreibung ganz schlecht ! ! Ich dachte, diese Ausflüge dienen der Entspannung !
    Gott sei Dank bist Du dann nach diesem Abendteuer doch heil gelandet.
    Gruß Ma

  4. way-up-north 2019-11-06 19:59

    Man kann nicht sagen, dass die Fahrt entspannend war. Ich habe auch ein paar Male geflucht. Aber schön war es dennoch.

    Gruß Olaf

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