28 June 2011

Sea kayaking on becoming National Park on Bothnian Sea, Finland

June 2011

Spent midsummer weekend on the west coast of Finland. Weather stayed pretty good, lots of sunshine, low wind but some showers almost everyday. Temperature didn't raise above +20C but stayed close to it.

Did a day trip paddling on Luvia municipal's archipelago, 36km altogether. Shores and islands near the coast were absolutely full of summer cottages. Didn't enjoy them so much, built too full.  However, the main idea for paddling there was to see part of a new, becoming national park, to be called "Selkämeren kansallispuisto", that should be established this or next year (fingers crossing not enough though). The park will start south from Turku (Kustavi to be exact) and finish north to Merikarvia, containing altogether some 160km of coastline's archipelago within Bothnian Sea.

Few words about local area; Luvia is a small coastline municipal, with some 5K people. The sea seems to be an inspiring thing for locals. However, looking at some history books, this tiny sleepy village was famous on 19th century from two reasons:

  • manufacturing of church bells by Mickel Rostedt. He did cast e.g. church bells for Turku Cathedral
  • manufacturing of wooden sail boats, sizes from little Scyllas to big Fricates, Shooners being probably most famous model. They are mentioned e.g. in Volter Kilpi's novel Alastalon Salissa.  This practice was woken up again by voluntary work as a single instance, where local people built a beautiful Galleass called Ihana. I admire such a handcraft very much

The word "manufacturing" may not describe production of things two hundred years ago, but hopefully you've got the point.

Back to paddling; islands after a group of Haavanen islands became more rural and rocky. That meant more beautiful to me. A group of Maskali islands were extremely beautiful; rocks, stones, common juniper trees and common sea-buckthorn bushes inhabited islands. Also there were basically no summer cottages anymore, just few small fishing huts, maybe a hut per 10 islands. Water was clear there some 10km out from the coast, one could easily see three meters deep. Near the coast visibility was less than a meter deep.

This region is famous of common sea-buckthorn bushes which grow in outmost islands. They grow in very tough conditions, bringing some sauer berries which contain huge amount of vitamin C.

Had a break on a tiny rocky island, which had a funny name, called "Hoppostenkloppi". Not trying to translate it. Then continued to north west towards most interesting area, as it contained lost of small rocky islands (I'm repeating now) close to each other. Few of them had small fishing huts. Nothing can be built now to this area due to preparations of the national park.  Variety of birds was rich.

After circling small islands, saw a few lightning hitting on the coast. It was time to return. Almost immediately after that, sun got hidden behind clouds and it started to rain. Rain is usually not a problem while paddling. At this time I was more afraid lightning to come closer and to bring sudden strong wind in gusts. That never happened, thunderstorm stayed on land. Rain continue till the end. Return was a bit boring due to numerous summer cottages built close to each other, I meant really close. Hope people enjoyed they stay at their cottages with surrounding neighbors.

After paddling the sauna was waiting. Nothing to add there.

Here's paddled route (View Larger Map, again Bing Satellite Maps from this region are better):




Galleass Ihana at harbor ...

... and off the sea with full of paying customers

Typical island near the coast; a private summer cottage

Heavy air traffic

Standing still

A typical fishing hut on a remote island

A perfect place for a lunch break

Protecting family

After these two is a coast of Sweden

Landmark

Another fishing hut













27 comments:

  1. Additional note from the blog writer: the new national park called "Bothnian Sea" is now true, it was approved a week ago and it is Finland’s largest marine national park.

    More information about the news here:
    http://www.finland.fi/public/default.aspx?contentid=223336&contentlan=2&culture=en-US

    and hopefully much more soon here, too: http://www.outdoors.fi/destinations/nationalparks/Pages/Default.aspx

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