Sweden to Finland – this time by kayak (?) Day 1 Björkö Ören to Söderarm

Today’s route

As some of you may remember back in 2018 Stein and Erling managed to avoid a looong weather wait by the near miraculous intervention of Torbjørn and Helge (aka the Naadendal Comrades). We took the ferry..


But that left a gap in our track. For several years now we have been discussing with our friend Mikko Suominen that we should close the gap and paddle from Sweden to Finland via the Åland archipelago. Both 2020 and 2021 was impossible because of COVID. But this is 2022 and here we are! !

A few words about both the we and the here. First the “we”

Knut Arne, Stein, Erling, Mikko and Karianne. Margaret was busy doing something useful while the rest of us sat around.

We are six altogether. In addition to Stein and Erling there is Stein’s wife Margaret. And Stein and Margaret’s friend Knut Arne. Last year Margaret and Knut Arne walked the full length of Norway, 3000 km! Then there is Karianne who has already joined us from Tromsø to Oslo in 2020 and 2021 and who together with Margaret helped us a lot with logistics when we struggled along in the winter of 2018. And then Mikko. The most experienced member of this years team. He has paddled the Canadian West Coast, the Finnish coast and a lot of other places. He has even written a book – in Finnish titled “With the kayak as a suitcase”. In short we consider us a very strong team. That was the “who”. Then the where:

We are camping just across the old lighthouse at Söderarm. The westernmost piece of dry rock before the 31 km crossing over to Lågskär. Now the lighthouse is a hotel of sorts. Too upmarket for campers on the island. But we found a nice spot on the islet just to the south. Just as well because the weather forecast suggest we will stay here both Monday (tomorrow) and Tuesday. We will not cross in 10 m/s winds.

We’ll see tomorrow.

Today we paddled 23 km from Björkö Örn camping. 23 km 6.5 hours underway with a long (two hours) lazy break in the sunshine.

Stein todays main photographer

In the archipelago outside Kapellskär

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