Midnight paddling

It’s midsummer day in Sweden. Yesterday Annika and I danced around the midsummer pole and ate huge amounts of salmon, potatoes and eggs with roe, just as you use to do on a typical midsommarafton. One thing however was not typical: It didn’t rain at all. And since the night was still clear and beautiful, Annika and I decided to make a small kayak tour. At 22:40 we were clear to leave.

The eastern sky was blue and purple and the trees on the island Bredskarssten almost black – but it was not dark although some of the photos may look like. The sun had just gone down.We decided to paddle to the tiny archipelago Obbolstenarna.

When we arrived there all seagulls flew up into the air screeching. Did we disturb them? No, it was an eagle that quickly was chased off by the seagulls. We circumnavigated the islands and headed back east, where some of the spare clouds still caught some sunlight.

And now? There was no noticeable wind and kayaking has been pretty effortless until now. Annika and I had the same thought: kayaking to the southern tip of Stömbäck-Kont. We’ve been there often, but always by car. Stömbäck-Kont is 30 km from our home by car but only 5 km by kayak. So, let’s go …

Meanwhile it had become a bit darker and the flat sea and sky looked like fantastic paintings. Like from another world.

We passed the sea side of the island Tarv, and turned north behind the small island Gåshällan and some islands I don’t know the names of. Then we headed west.

This black shadow ahead, is it the rocks of Strömbäck-Kont? It is hard to see because the contrast is low. But my navigation was correct and soon we approached the barbecue area, where we were welcomed by the mosquitoes, that luckily were not present on the open sea. Time for a short break to stretch one’s legs.

The stop was pretty short, because the mosquitoes just loved us and we have quite a lot of them this year! So we jumped back into our kayaks and followed the coast a bit north were we could hear music.

Here lies Simphamn, both a nice sandy beach and a marina. A bunch of very expensive looking yachts were anchored at the boat bridge and apparently some people had had a party on one of the yachts. We paddled round the small island with the clubhouse.

Now it was time to head east back to the island Tarv and circumnavigate it clockwise. Most sea birds were relaxed. The geese more or less ignored us while the terns were ignoring us. They were hunting. Again and again they plunged vertically into the sea to catch fish.

After a while we headed south and reached the opening between Tarv and a peninsula connected to the main land. Here we reached the open sea again.

From there we know the way home by heart. Passing the bay Vitskärsudden, following the coast while avoiding the many rocks in the water and after two more kilometres we were back home.

Now we only had to drag the kayaks back to our house through a field of lupins. (I will pick them. They are an invasive species and we want to get rid of them.) And then – after 12.5 km of an extraordinary beautiful night paddling we were back home. Now it was a quarter to two – definitely time to sleep!

For those who love maps or live nearby, this is the track:


2024-06-23 00:15

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