Day 69 – We hope to get trouble free into Russia. Tomorrow is the day – 9 May

Day 69. 9th of May. Victory day in Russia. From Lilla Krokön to Hamina. 39 km 6.3 km/hr average speed.

We weren’t too eager to get going this morning. The weather forecast promised a day of 6 m/s headwinds. We lingered over breakfast, our porridge greatly improved by Esikko’s apple compot. We also checked for any signs of our canine friend, but nothing.

In the end we ran out of excuses, and we were in the boats at 0920. And the weather forecast was right. The first leg was hard and slow. And most of the second which took us to Kotka. But after lunch break in Kotka the wind had come down, and we informed Gasthaus Kallioranta that we would be in at about 1700, not after 1800 as we had expected. And so it was.

Virve and Jyrki who runs the guesthouse gave us a welcome more fitting for royalty than two scruffy paddlers from Norway.

We were met at the beach, and before we had gotten our sweaty and stinky paddlers gear off, a small table had been set three meters from the kayaks, and Jyrki’s home brewed beer was served alongside Virve’s cucumbers, bread and sausage!

And so the evening passed, a Japanese guest (Hanako) was picked up, dinner was made over open fire, and the conversation flowed until the sun set and it got a bit chilly. Stein and Erling aren’t much company after 2200 anyways.

So our last night in Finland for now was beyond all expectations.

Finland has impressed us. People and hospitality. Strong ocean paddler communities. Beautiful landscape/seascape. We hope to return some day.

But first we hope to get trouble free into Russia. Tomorrow is the day.

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