17 June 2012

Paddling overnighter on Lillskorvan Island

June 2012

Been too busy with all sort of work this year and haven't really had opportunities to do over a day long kayaking trips.  Shameful. This time squeezed some spare time and escaped for a short overnight paddling trip on Friday afternoon.

Weather was very promising, low or moderate (head) wind and lots of sunshine.

Did a quick packing. Subconsciously thought something's missing but luckily almost all important things were on board (matches: yes, a towel: no). Which reminded me again a need to create a complete packing list some day (good ready-made templates highly appreciated).

Decided to paddle to a small Lillskorvan island, about 26km south west from our kayaking club house in Helsinki. The sun was shining strongly thus some protection was needed. This trip was also the first time where I didn't use a drysuit this year. Water temperature with a low 5 ms/s wind in archipelago still felt pretty cold.

While paddling, ducks, seagulls etc. were busy and reminded me I was in their territory and was an unwanted visitor, even without landing on any island.  I wanted to explain them that I only paddled by near their islands and didn't really want to disturb their life, at least not intended to do so. They never listened me.

It took about four hours to paddle there. I arrived after 9PM but the sun was still up and shining brightly. Wind had died almost completely. Along the way, many islands had boats, both motor and sail, parked into their piers. Lillskorvan island had a couple of other paddlers but surroundings were very quiet. Perfect, just what I needed.

I had a camera with me. I knew that so called 'a golden moment', i.e. a perfect time for shooting photos around sunset was approaching soon. Thus I hurried to set up a basecamp. It meant install a tent, air mattress and open a sleeping bag. About 10mins later all was done. Dinner had to wait until I satisfied my photography needs. Also, a swim on a sea had to wait until next trip as I forgot to take any towel with me.

Sun shined only the west side of the island, keeping the east side shadowed and dark, which narrowed my chances of shooting photos. Well, maybe next time then with better time.

Dinner was quickly served, a couple of sandwiches followed by candies. Quite far from a gourmet one.

Bugs and mosquitoes; yes they were there but not too much. However, a lot more than last two years together. None of them bothered me during the night. Thanks for that.

Couldn't sleep properly as 'weird' sounds of nature kept me awake. Waves hit rocks every now and then, birds kept singing, too. I wonder when I fully get to use to them as I've got to use to city noise, too?

Next morning had to make an early wake up as another activity waited me in the afternoon, Jukolan viesti, one of the greatest and boldest orienteering relay race in the world, where I had to be around 2PM for ladies start (missed that my 5mins though, sorry!). Mens start was at 11PM but I wasn't competing there this year.

Wind had died during the night almost totally. Had a small breakfast, presso coffee and fried eggs with rye bread. It's so nice to have an early breakfast on an island watching calm sea and beautiful nature. Could watch it forever.

Paddled back via a bit more outer route. Checked couple of other islands, where I might still do trips during this summer.

After about four hours paddling arrived at club house. Happy and slightly exhausted. Mind requested from brains when's the next trip but a body rejected these requests for the time being. Let's see.

GPS stored paddling route (54km altogether), west side to go, east side to return (view in a larger map):

Some photos captured during the paddling trip


Basecamp set

Self generated

Other visitors

In a parking lot

In bloom

Little garden 


Enjoying scenery

Somebody's home


Master of flying

Getting height


A queue

Great Cormorant showing who's who

Father leads a way

Aah ...

City of Helsinki in horizon


  1. Some really nice photos there.

    Regarding packing, I generally just pack without a list or anything. This usually goes well, if Iäm not interrupted by the kids or something. On occasion, I have eaten my outdoor meals with a tire lever and filtered coffe through a Buff, though. For longer trips I try to be more systematic.

    1. Thanks! They were a mixture of iPhone, Nikon D90 and Lumix FT2 based.

      Outdoor skills leave space for improvising, which is important. Good tip about Buff's usage :)

  2. Looks like a nice trip. Great photos, those last two are so relaxing to look at - I've not seen it that flat very often!

    1. Thanks! A bit too much in a hurry but otherwise it was OK. Got some blisters, too :)

      Regarding those two last pics, 'on live' it felt that, too :)

      The sea is calm every now then, although not often, in early mornings or when the wind changes its direction.

  3. Lovely photos. Calm. Thats the sort of sea I can kayak in!

    1. Thanks a lot! I've seen your photos, paddling fine in more nervous waters, too :)

  4. Pretty impressive lenght of paddling.

    The sea really makes wonders, I have really enjoyed it when I've been in the Archipelago area. I can see myself having a packraft or a kayak in the future. :)

    1. To be honest, actually it's not so much in distance.

      Yes, try some of them, or a traditional canoe. Paddling is slower than with a motor so you can't be in a great hurry with them. I'm sure you'll enjoy. Whatever is your vehicle, archipelago is a nice place for leisure.

  5. Cool pictures, they make me want to paddle, too! I also love the sea and the islands outside Helsinki/Espoo/..., so I really need to start with paddling again one of these days (=years).

    So you're an orienteerer, too! I should probably say that I used to do orienteering, it's several years since my latest competetions, but e.g. I've completed many times Venlojen Viesti. Never been too competitive nor good at it, though, but getting to the finish line has been the goal.

    1. Thanks! To me it's the archipelago which makes paddling so nice. One can circle and zig zag numerous islands and decide route according to wind or scenery. i do prefer a salty water, too.

      Oh yes I am, or let's say I'll try to be :) One can never be too humble when searching control points. Wait until you'll see my next blog post.

  6. Beautiful feeling in the photos! Very relaxing.

    I often dream about getting a sea kayak. Packrafting is fun, but the speed and distance capabilities of a kayak would be nice somewhere in Lake Inari for example.

    1. Thanks!

      Doesn't sound a bad dream at all. Lake Inari is certainly in my most wanted list. More experienced paddlers have recommended me it when I've asked them where to go and really enjoy paddling with scenery.

      Oh, I noticed your packrafting opportunities you're now offering. Very interesting, would like to try it, too!