Sweden to Finland second attempt. Day 5 14 July. Bergskär to Sandvik Gästhamn at Kökar

Thursday’s route

It was a really nice spot to camp at Bergskär, but some of us had just put the tents right on the bedrock without any pegs. We came to regret that about five in the morning when the wind really picked up: one the one hand it was definitely a good idea to go out and check on the gear, on the other hand the only thing that kept the tent in place was the weight of the inhabitant.

In the end both Karianne and Erling figured a way to get out of their tents and make some makeshift securing and then collect gear, which hadn’t dispersed to much in the wind. And nothing was lost.

We obviously should have thought more about that in the evening, but we were perhaps just to tired and happy to have finished the crossing.

Anyways, the wind was forecast to keep blowing at 15 m/s until at least 1500, so there was time for a lazy pancake breakfast and some serious chilling.

The pancake master and his recently promoted assistant
Time to chill out

We were one the water at 1445 and set the course due east aiming for Kökar about 35 km and one hour plus crossing away.

The wind was about 7 m/s tailwind and we made good and uneventful progress through the rocky archipelago. After about two hours paddling we had a break at Ormgård were we found some shelter from the wind. But it turned out “nomen was omen” as Mikko almost stepped on an adder. Close but no bite.

It turned out “Ormgård” was aptly named

Then we set course for Kökar via Stora Sandören. We have learned that any island with a name that ends in “ör” or “ören” consists of washed out moraine, so an easier place to land and often with a more diverse flora and fauna.

We passed Stora Sandör after just one hour and decided not to stop. But we still got a teste of the diversity: There were lots of different birds, the ubiquitous terns and gulls, flocks of velvet scoters, eider, adolescent swans, “teist”, “siland” and at least 15 sea eagles.

Spot the Sea Eagle

Erling asked Mikko if the flock of sea eagles might be connected to a nearby fish farm, but Mikko told no, more likely some meat from an unfortunate goat that graze Stora Sandör during summer.

Next was the crossing. We were a bit apprehensive of the weather. The forecast said 6 m/s with gusts to 18 m/s. We read that as risk for local low pressures and potential thunder storm.

Local “cumulunimbus” weather system. Close to the center it gets unpleasant. We were at comfortable distance

We saw one that passed to the south of us, we were on the margin and got some rain and small gusts of winds. Close to the center it would have been at gale force possibly storm. We could see no other such weather systems heading our way and made the hour plus crossing in gentle tail winds.

We had a very gentle crossing.

At the other end Mikko knew of an short cut through a pipe under a road. We found it and that saved us a couple of km. Just as well. We arrived at Sandvik Gãsthamn and camping at 2200 after more than three hours sat in the boats.

Margaret and Stein coming through the short cut

According to the weather forecast we will stay here until Sunday afternoon. Åland is really a windy place – and not just in April obviously.

Nice place to be weatherbound

2 Thoughts

  1. Hello, guys (Hello Mikko)! Great trip you are out on, and a lot of nice places you get to see. I have done a similar trip once (Stockholm, around Åland, Helsinki – DPK), and will certainly do it a few more times – it was a great adventure for me. Enjoy the trip. I look forward reading about the rest of your trip.

    Liked by 1 person

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