Day 39, 9th of April. Konungshamn to Bergkvara, about 34 km, 6.7 km/hr average speed.
We had a splendid start to the day. Sun, that actually warmed. No wind. We left the tent to dry over breakfast and enjoyed our good fortune.
We were on the water about 10 o’clock, calm and sunny still and we made good progress toward Kristianopel, our planned first stop. Kristianopel has less than 100 inhabitants, certainly less than envisaged by the Danish king Christian IV, who founded the city in 1599 as the easternmost outpost of Denmark into Sweden. That only lasted about a dozen years, and in the end, the Swedes tore down the fortification and used the stones to fortify Karlskrona. Anyway, both the GPS and Google agreed that there was a water connection through Kristianopel. That’s correct, but too shallow even for kayaks when we came there. At spring tide and low pressure it would have worked.
It was a perfect place to dig a channel. We definitely expected more from Christian IV. Anyway, we stopped for lunch at the shore and paddled round the peninsula we tried to shortcut and set course due north in about 3 to 4 m/s tail wind and following seas.
It went quite fast, above 7.5 km/hr. Exactly how fast we will never know, because after five weeks of faithful service, Stein’s GPS stopped working. Navigation from Kristianopel to Bergkvara is not difficult and visibility was good. Toward the end of the day the ocean mist was reduced and we could finally see Öland.
We paddled straight into Dalskär camping, and coincidentally landed the kayaks 25 m from hut 11, our home for the next two days as we wait out the weather. It’s low season and the owner of the camping had to get the municipality in to open the water to get the hut ready before we came. Great service!
After a quick shower (luxury), we went shopping. On the way we noticed Bergkvara school had a thermometer. It showed 18 degrees (centigrade)!!! We were clad as we have been for four weeks; thick wool and warm jackets….
The shop was about 1,5 km walk. We both felt quite exhausted and fell for the temptation to just have a pizza at the local pizzeria. After having gulped down 1.5 liters of water. Each. We concluded that part of the reason why we felt exhausted was dehydration. We have also started to reflect on what will be sustainable load on our bodies over six more months. Maybe more on that later.
Back to “Turin Pizzeria” Bergkvara. On the table next to us sat Nicklas and his daughter. He kindly offered to drive us and our shopping back to the camping. Much appreciated. Although Erling preferred to walk to loosen up his body.
A beautiful and shockingly warm day. With some food for thought as well. And time to think we will have amply of: For the next two days the Kalmar sound will be the most windy place in Sweden, with winds approaching gale force. If someone somewhere is trying to test our patience, she is doing a thorough job.