14 October 2012

Two days paddling trip to Torra Lovo island

October 2012

(my 100th blog post)

Did a 24H sea kayaking trip to Torra Lövö island on Espoo archipelago, Finland.

Haven't been able to paddle at all during August and September due to some injuries. Have filled the gap by cycling, a lot more than usual. However, passion to go on the autumn sea has been there all the time. Sometimes one would wish there was a medicine called 'patience' at pharmacy.

Weather forecast promised really nice weather; chilly, no wind and some sunshine. Couldn't wish better.

Took an early start on Friday afternoon. Packed the kayak full of stuff. Probably would need a third of it. Lack of paddling trips, you see.

First 30mins felt a bit weird. Shoulders felt heavy. Decided to continue slow speed, something like 6km/h. After all, wasn't in a hurry anywhere. After 30mins the paddling started to feel quite normal, and soon, almost like there had't been any break at all. Boy it felt nice to be back on salty waters again!

It stayed a bit too cloudy. That meant it was quite dark, too. The sea was empty, not much people on boats, many species of birds were gone. Autumn foliage had arrived to the archipelago, too.

Didn't choose the direct route to the island. Instead, zig zagged around islands near by. As it had started to get darker and darker, decided to head towards the target, Torra Lövö island.

There was nobody. It was a rocky island, a hill top, some trees. It was quite near the coast. Towards east and south east one could see only the sea.

Set up the base camp, i.e. a tent, inflatable sleeping pad and a sleeping bag.  Temperature had dropped to +5C. No frost yet.

It was time to take some photos. Noticed soon that it was getting too dark to capture proper photos with lenses I had taken with me (bloody kit lenses!). What a shame.

Gourmet dinner was, I'd say, quite typical Finnish; grilled sausages on open fire, followed by some Lindt 85% dark chocolate. Mmmm ...

Small waves hit the shores and they put me into sleep.

I woke up at about 5AM. A motorboat was circling near the island pointing a bright light towards it. Heart started to beat faster. Heard some men talking. Shit, who were they? Why circling there and pointing a very bright light towards the island? Drug dealers? Surely they'd seen my kayak there. Heart beat kept rising. They landed on the northern shore. Talk. And off back to the sea, until soon they landed again now closer to my tent. Finnish talk. Two men walked a path near passing my tent. However, they didn't see it as it was too dark. They went to the northern part of the island. Well, it was a small island anyway. After some time didn't heard any talk. But there they were.

The sun was about to rise at about 8AM. Took my camera and silently slipped out from the tent and walked to the south end of the island. It was coming lighter although it stayed cloudy.  Concentrating on taking some photos clearly slowed down my heart beat. Couldn't capture sunrise as it stayed too cloudy.

Went back to the tent to prepare the breakfast. Suddenly a man with a rifle came via path directly towards my tent. He saluted me and said they were duck hunters (it was a hunting season). He wanted to come to say hello and warn if I'd hear gun shots.  Bird hunters. I laughed myself. Too much imagination at this time. Had a nice chat.

Breakfast was about scrambled eggs with some coffee. For the first time tried an instant coffee from Starbucks. Well, it was an instant coffee after all, not too much to say about it.

Unpacked all stuff and headed to the sea. Weather forecast predicted some sunshine. There was practically no wind at all. How come in October?

Circled a different route. Well, all these islands were familiar to me already, but they did look different now late in the autumn.

After arriving at the club house the GPS showed about 45km altogether. I was really glad I'd been able to do this trip after some break. Didn't feel exhausted which cheered me up even more.

Maybe one more overnight paddling trip later on this autumn ...

Paddled route anti-clock wise (view a larger map):

Some photos

Move away, you clouds!

Headlamp found two stones on the sea

The Base Camp on top of the hill


It's 8AM so must be the sunrise

French Roast coffee as always, this time an instant version of it

I am grateful to Ikea about their bags

Some people live on there, Cool!

A group of young swans with one of their parent

There were all sort of bridges

Autumn foliage show, free seats available

One autumn storm and it's gone

Willows, EOL

This island has attracted me for many years

Bye Bye Torra Lövö

Colours were nice

I do like Hellmanninkupu island

Wind's arriving

Ulko-Hattu island on its best

An Old meets A New

Arriving back at the civilization


  1. Congratulations to your 100th blog post.

    Looks like a nice trip. Kayaking seems a lot more interesting in the Espoo/Helsinki region than it is here in Turku. We have a long way to the outer archipelago and kayaking in the inner archipelago isn't really the same thing.

    1. Thanks!

      That might be true. We have a few islands here but and open sea is still not too far either. Another good thing (to me) is that there are many islands without private summer cottages and that you can land and do camping on them. These are nice but only for a 1-3 day trips. For longer trips this is too small.