Föglö, Åland

2006-08-18–22

We timed it perfectly, again. Pouring down and stormy both before and after our first international expedition. Ferried over to Åland from Grisslehamn late on the 17th and slept the night in Eckerö. Drove across to Föglö the next day after shopping all the food we would need.

At our starting point in Degerby village, as we were packing the kayaks, we met two kayakers who just finished their tour. They told us they’d had a less satisfying trip due to very hard winds and rain. Had to keep close to shore all week. As they looked so fit, a bit worrying.

We went south through the canal between Hummersolandet and Kyrklandet, looked good on the map but proved very shallow at times – even for kayaks.

We paddled south and around Hakonskär and Flatskär were the southernly wind and waves came as a small shock, at least to me.

We continued east and found a campsite at Stora Estö. Took a bit of searching around as good landing places are not that easy to find in this part of the archipelago.

The next day was calm and well suited for open waters…

…so – heading into the rising sun and straight for Stora Sandören.

We lunched and swam on a small island west of Stora Sandören.

Peter L waiting for Peter N and George Truly to finish lunch. I said it was a calm day.

We went north now. This is very we spotted eagle (well we saw them every day on our trip), but here five of them rose from behind a small island. Didn’t have a lens good enough to capture them however.

Peter N…

…in the wake of Peter L.

Found a nice camping spot…

…had dinner…

…and then prepared for the night.

The third day started with a fog. We emptied our waste at the the fishing camp near Örskärsfjärden and found this wall decorated with pike heads.

We continued eastward in the morning and then turned north and around Finnö before returning westwards. Stop for the night in a drizzle which continued for most of the night.

The next day took us back to Föglö and around the northern part of it.

The weather improved.

Equipped with the Åland kanoing map, water and the GPS.

Lunched at a small lagoon were the cruise ships passed by. Proved interesting as the the lagoon emptied (almost taking our kayaks with it) when the ships closed in and then gave us a mild tsunami wave when it passed. Had to save our kayaks again. We also met two of the locals – cows. They were very curious and watched us throughout our stay, but didn’t dare to come close.

We paddled north of Krokskär and through the seemingly open canal there. Half way through showed to be very shallow and we had to push our way through as there wasn’t enough water to paddle. Eventually we had to get out and drag the kayaks through the mud. Not the best of experiences and took a while to clean paddles and kayaks from the clay.

Then headed south for Bredskär where we put up for the night.

As this was close to the shipping lane, we had to save Peter Ns kayak and lots of gear after another unexpected “tsunami”.

But the evening was beautiful and swimming pleasant.

We heard about severe thunderstorms over Sweden and could watch them over the horizon. An enchanting last night.

Woke early the last day, has become a habit.

Finishing the trip in deteriorating, but dry weather.

After having packed the car we headed for the Seagrams restaurant. The skies opened and rain was thrown down. Wet to the bone we reached the restaurant and had a nice meal cooked by others than ourselves.

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