05 June 2011

Sea Kayaking trip to Skorvo island, Gulf of Finland

June 2011

Did a two day paddle trip to a Skorvö (aka Skorvan) island, staying overnight there. Started the trip on Friday (3rd) afternoon and returned on Saturday (4th) afternoon. Paddled 30km on both days, so 60km altogether.

Skorvö is a small island in Kirkkonummi municipality, quite near the coast. Actually there are two islands, a little one is loosely connected to a bigger one and thus both referred often as a one. The island is rented to our sea kayaking club. Thus, (typically) the only people there are paddling colleagues from our club. Distance from our club house in Helsinki is about 25km. I seldom go there using such a direct route, e.g. this time I got 5km extra. Everyone stays there in tents. the only building there has a room and a sauna, of course. I'd say having an island as such for paddlers is a real luxury.

Paddling from our club house to Skorvö island goes through Helsinki, Espoo and Kirkkonummi archipelagoes. More direct route you take, less islands there will be.  Outmost islands are just bare, rocky islands, some having few trees but most of them have nothing (except screaming seagulls).  Biggest islands which are very near the coast have lots of living houses and summer cottages.

Day 1
Beautiful sun shine, but it felt terribly strong wind, although figures were reasonable: 10m/s and 16m/s or more in gusts. Made a decision to go, despite weather conditions. Forecast showed wind direction to be from North-West. However, wind direction in waters often follow open space routes, as it seemed to be then, too, blowing more of less from South-West. That meant headwind :(

Toughest section was until Hanasaari bridge. It's only 5km until there but it took me an hour and lots of hard work, for sure one of the toughest ever been. After passing the bridge the wind continued strong but gusts were more easy to control. However, the direction of the wind stayed mostly against me. Due to wind I chose the route quite close to the coast line.

Stopped for a short break at Pentala island, to a beach in there. Then continued till Skorvö paddling the narrow route, leaving Hirsala island to left side.  Wind wasn't so strong anymore.

Happily arrived at Skorvö island. Spotted about a dozen of other kayaks on the shore.

A quick wash, changed clothes and setup a' base camp', i.e. a tent and a sleeping bag. Had an early dinner, talked with other paddlers this and than, read a book a while and tried to get some sleep.  Latter easier said than done as there's a constant choir of birds singing (wide variety of them), waves hitting the shore 24h a day.  HEARD A CUCKOO SINGING FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME THIS SUMMER.

There's the paddled route from our club house to Skorvö island, i.e. paddling to south-west direction (View Larger Map):

NOTE: Google Maps' satellite picture when zoomed shows clouds during most of the route. MS's Bing Maps, especially its Bird's Eye View shows very well these archipelago (but showing a GPX content there needs more work...).

Suvisaaristo in Espoo, nice narrow waterways

Wind hitting from the right

A break at Pentala Beach

A beauty of a nature

I like these, version 1

I am a rock

A scenery to south from the top of Skorvö island

The Base Camp

Day 2
I guess I slept some time as I woke up at 6am. The sun shined and warmed already then a lot. Cooked a breakfast and dissembled the 'base camp'. At 8am was ready to paddle and return to home.

There's practically no wind at all when started to paddle. Terrific weather, there were no clouds, just a clear blue sky and the sun. Water seemed to be so clear, as one could see several meters down (not always that). Water temperature wasn't so warm, something around +10C.

Due to no wind, decided to return slightly other route, a bit more off from the coast line, more east side than at arrival route was.  These islands represented the best type of islands to be for me, i.e. so bare and rural as they could have been. So they were, scenery was so relaxing.

Stopped at couple of official recreation islands, maintained by the city of Espoo, called Kaparen and Rövaren. In them you had basic services e.g. restrooms. Summer season had barely started as there were no visitors in these islands. Very little people in their summer cottages, too.

These outmost island were the ones where I most often come, when ever weather condition safely allow to go there.  At this time of the year, most of them were occupied by different type birds, having their nests in them. Some even had little baby birds already, so cute they were!

Returning took nearly five hours. Perhaps shooting of 150 photos slowed down the trip a bit. However, returning in such a great route and in perfect weather condition was so relaxing (the best anti-stress tool I know).

There's the paddled route from Skorvö island to club house, i.e. paddling to north-east direction (View Larger Map):

East side of the Skorvö island


In the queue, oldest first

First things first in the morning

The little Skorvö

Found something?

A water drop in perfect spot in camera lense

The best anti-stress for me

I like these, version 2



How did we manage to do
paddling trips before there was IKEA?

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