Day 65. No paddling. Resupplies in Helsinki.
So finally we met our helper Esikko. She picked us up to help us some more. Namely to drive us to Björn Lehtinen’s shop Bear and Water. A kayak shop with 200 different models of kayaks and canoes. Both Esikko and Björn are well known in Finnish kayak circles.
In 2001 Esikko was the first woman to do the Finnish “blue and white band”, she paddled alone from the Finnish – Russian to the Finnish – Swedish border. Almost 1300 km!
Björn has sold tens of thousands of kayaks over the years, and is the designer of the Norse kayaks (for you nerds out there).
We bought some equipment, most importantly Erling finally got hold of spray deck that fits his kayak. Hopefully no more leaks into the cockpit.
After a long and pleasant lunch with Esikko, we split up and tended to other minor things we might need in Russia.
Erling also went to see a tombstone he had seen on a former visit. A brutally honest life story in five sentences:
“The Major Willhed. de Besche rests here.
He was born 16.2 1756.
Hope brought happiness to his youth.
Ailments embittered his mature years.
Death made him happy 1st of January 1802”
Compared to him it would seem most of us have a lot to be thankful for.
Tomorrow we head east. If all goes well we will be in Russia on Thursday. Weather Permitting.