24 June 2012

Revisit Bothnian Sea National Park

June 2012

Spent the midsummer weekend on west coast. Had an opportunity to make a quick revisit Bothnian Sea National Park.

The park is about 150km long and some kilometers wide stripe on (south) west coast, few km's off the coast. The park was established a year ago.

I paddled only on a small area on it, the area somewhere between cities of Pori and Rauma.

Weather was fine, low 4m/s north west wind (which was predicted to rise up to 7-8ms/s in the afternoon and it did so) and clear blue sky with lots of sunshine. Temperature stayed under +15C.  All in all, fine conditions for paddling.

Last year spotted an interesting area south of Sappi Lighthouse. The area contained lots of small rocky and stony islands, with few old fishing huts on them. Some of the islands contained trees and bushes. Wanted to circle that area again.

Some of the islands belonged to a nature reserve area, too. Wide variety of birds inhabited most of the islands. Amazingly saw some sheep on a remote island, too. Nice!   Some information told me there might be seals lying on small rocky islands, which raised my interest, too. Didn't see them, maybe next time.

First few kilometers in the archipelago were full of summer cottages. People had come to their cottages to enjoy the longest days of summer. When islands ended, started to cross a bit larger peninsula. Waves were small and side-head wind didn't bother too much.

After reaching the north-most islands decided to turn back. There were two islands with huge amount of Great Cormorants on them. Never seen so many of them in one place.

Sheep in one of islands cheered me. They were so curious about visitor. Didn't want to land and disturb their life so a couple of photos from the kayak was enough. Wasn't able to capture their smile, just a curious look.

Found a very small flat and low stony island and parked there for a lunch break. It didn't have any birds nest, therefore I was able to stay there quite alone.

After lunch break continued paddling south, circling islands from west side.  When the wind started to raise, decided to turn back. Tail and side wind was welcomed. More boats were now on waters.

Wasn't so keen on large islands near the coast which were absolutely full of summer cottages, one next to each other with practically so free space between them. However, those remote islands were absolutely nice and worth seeing again. Although landing on most of them was prohibited until birds nesting was about to finish, still paddling around this region satisfied me.

Midsummer weekend was in full speed. It was about time to return and get sauna warmed.

GPS recorded route about 32km,  paddled anti-clock wise (view a larger map): 

Some photos along the route

S├Ąppi Lighthouse in about 5km distance

Lots of parking space but quite demanding

Typical shore of an island

A fishing hut


Much better parking lot


A typical scene


A place for lunch

Simple food tasted awfully good there

Sea-Buckthorn grew on many islands there

Someone's landed

Didn't know their name but looked nice

Holy Ghost

A Landlord

Synchronous flying

Sounded like a rubber duck

A Great Cormorant

Many, many Great Cormorants, and some more

A pair of Common Eiders

A nest of a Common Eider


A Herring Gull (?)

There were loooots of Common Eiders there


Heading north

Heard about stories of 'a fish on a dry land' but never seen it before

Follow-the-plane plan

Curious and pretty they were