The day appeared to be getting off to a perfect start. We were still set for a 10 o’clock launch even after a long breakfast during which solutions were found for several of the world’s most pressing issues.
Our buoyant optimism was cut short by a sharp snapping sound when Erling’s clumsy launch resulted in a broken skeg. Yes, the already infamous contraption on Erling’s boat which is supposed to help keep the kayak on track though wind and waves. Luckily for the clumsy paddler, Stein is no stranger to field repairs. One hour later the spare skeg was in place and we were good to go.
We enjoyed five and a half hours of basically dead calm seas and sunshine. So we made up for some of the lost time. Only one break today, Stein estimated the temperature in the sun to be about 20 degrees. Erling thinks that just a bit enthusiastic, but lacking reliable measurements this will make for good discussions.
Otherwise the signs of spring’s approach are abundant. Take yesterday’s pitching of the tent. So far we have used a small axe to ram seven inch nails into the frozen ground (those nails are more evidence for Stein’s “camping” experience from northern climes.) Anyway, yesterday at Förö we didn’t need the axe. The ground was not frozen! Another sign of spring came as we paddled past first one then several pairs of “Tjeld” (Haematopus ostralegus) presumably on their way north.
We kept paddling almost till sunset and just managed to pitch the tent before twilight became darkness. A darkness that revealed a starry sky. Beautiful, but also a sign of a cool night to come. But for now the primus keeps the tent warm and comfort is top notch. Our hands have kept up well. They are not getting any worse. About 35 km to go until we get to Varberg and our rest and repair day. Likely more repair than rest we expect….