Had a chance visiting Utö island at Archipelago National Park (south-west of Finland) by paddling a year ago at summer time. Ever since wanted to visit the island again but winter time.
Found some spare time, booked a room from the island and off driving towards the ferry.
(Un)fortunately a winter storm had hit southern Finland while I was suppose to drive and to take a ferry to the island. Wasn't sure if boat transported on such conditions. Called first the Captain of the boat. He confirmed me the boat will be on schedule. So no need to cancel the trip. Felt great, soon being on a remote island while storm continued.
Learnt also that all these ferries and the boat trip to Utö was completely free. Amazing!
Reserved a bit longer time for driving from Helsinki to catch the boat. The boat would start from an island of Nauvo, where you already had to take one ferry. Wind blew snow everywhere, was difficult to drive.
Reached the harbour in good time on Nauvo island. Wind blew about 25 m/s so high waves was to be expected. The boat would start at about 6PM, so dark it was. There was some 50 people on board the boat.
The boat was called M/S Eivor, about 40 meters long boat, and would be able to carry some cars on it, too.
The boat stopped in a couple of other islands before arriving at Utö after being four hours on turbulent sea (stopped on Nötö, Aspö and Jurmo islands). We arrived at 11PM. It had been dark all the time. Once stepped on the land, gusts threw you other direction, was truly difficult to walk straight ahead.
On the next morning weather looked better. Storm had died during the night. Wind stayed under 10 m/s figures. Temperature was about -8C. All in all quite a nice winter day, except it stayed cloudy almost the whole day (the sunrise was about 9AM and sunset was about 3PM).
Had nothing specific in mind other than to enjoy scenery, observe nature and take photos.
The next day the sun appeared slowly. The boat was to depart at 11AM so there was some time to do final walk and capture some photos again with small glimpses of sunlight.
There was some bird watchers who'd been observing birds on the island. Typical set was some 40 different species within two days. To me that's a lot considering the time of the year.
I personally spotted a seal, a fox, few sea eagles, some hazel grouse and lots of small birds of different species.
It was really relaxing time to be there. Recommended.
|Village and the Lighthouse|
|Loads of goods on board to Finland|
|Waiting for summer|
|A work horse|
|For small scale fishing|
|Does a Postman ring twice?|
|A chap riding with a fatbike back and forth|
|Connections to modern world|
|Beautiful Aluskär island on 5 km distance in south|
|Results after strong wind|
|A frozen rain drop|
|Moss like a clover|
|A monument for drowned Draken|
|Bönehuset, a chapel|
|A small fishing hut|
|For fishing nets|
|A Bohemian Waxwing|
|A Robin expands its feathers to keep body warm|
|'Watch how I eat' said a Great Tit and continued eating|
|... middle ...|
|Boats for Maritime Pilots interest people|
|Utö Lighthouse. There's a church on the 2nd floor|
|This much the sun brought its light|
|Maritime Pilot boat arriving|
|Old Post Office|
|This must be owned by a sailor, look at the colours of handlebars!|
|Sunday morning, the sun about to shine soon|
|Old basketball place nowadays occupied by sheep|
|It's not frozen yet|
|Busy village road|
|A village road|
|Wall of the Lighthouse|
|The same view but now in sunlight|
|People waiting M/S Eivor on Jurmo island|
|Wind is a professional artist|
|Local church on Aspö island|