Day 51. 21st of April. Källvik to Brandalsund. 42.1 km, 6.2 km/hr average speed.
We got off to a 0900 start and had ample time to do today’s longest crossing before the wind picked up.
We took our first lunch stop (or second breakfast) just outside Trosa. We spotted a nice little island to land on. On closer inspection the island had a cottage built on it and the owners were in. We asked permission to come onshore for 30 min. That was granted, with an invite to eat our lunch sitting in chairs at a table on Gittan and Lennart’s veranda. Most welcome.The island had been in Gittan’s family for generations, and Gittan and Lennart had extended it and improved the island a lot. It was an idyllic place in the midst of the “skjærgård” environment. Swans and eiders were building nests on the island in peaceful coexistence with the landlords.
One thing Gittan said caught our interest. She told us that when she was a kid they never brought food to the island. Her father would just fish dinner, and the menu had two choices pike or perch. Now there was almost no fish left and there was plans to ban pike fishing altogether.
Again since Gittan’s childhood seals had appeared and big flocks of cormorants. Apparently the ecosystem is changing and out of balance. Above the sea surface, it appears to be blooming and diversifying, but below the surface, it is becoming more barren. Surely both trends cannot continue.
We bid Gittan and Lennart thanks and farewell and paddled out into the increasing headwinds. Average speed came down as our efforts increased. We just hunkered down and took it kilometer by kilometer.
Just as we started the third leg, we heard strange noises from about two meters behind our kayaks. It was a big seal apparently expressing his displeasure about our presence.
About 1700 we started to look for a campsite. We spotted a beach just where the shipping fairway to Södertälje is at its narrowest. As we came on shore, we were met by a few people who were enjoying the afternoon and grilling at the beach. It was Niklas, Daniel, Ninouss, Marilin and Franco, all members of a church in nearby Järna.
They had just finished eating, but they had meat left and the grill was still warm. We were immediately invited to dinner with lamb kebab, sausage, salad, onions, tomatoes and bread. A lot better than what we manage to make.
Hospitality, generosity, good food, interesting company in the last warming rays from the sun. One cannot wish for better.
One kilometer of paddling can be much like another, but all such encounters are unique and those are the key building blocks of our adventure. A day to remember.
Tomorrow we’ll go through the locks at Södertälje, and hopefully get quite close to Stockholm. Weather and port authorities permitting.