gliding through the blue
It’s easily one of the best feelings in the world: kayaking. No matter if it’s on a calm and sunny summer’s day, a rainy day in early autumn or a cool and windy spring day, the kayak feels like an extension of my own body and brings such tranquility and complete focus to the moment at hand. It may sound like I’m becoming spiritual, but it’s actually the opposite (what that means is a good question). During the latest kayaking trip, which took place this August, I wrote about the physical sensation of kayaking in my journal: “today, all that exists is what my body perceives”.
My friend and I always plan to go on annual kayaking expeditions. For one reason or another, they turn out to be biennial instead: I’ve made posts about some of them before. This year, we managed to squeeze one in between some of my other journeys around the world, and I’m endlessly happy that we did! We stayed relatively close to home (if we forget the fact that we were kayaking in western Finland and I live in Morocco), which is never the boring alternative, for several reasons. First of all, you see the familiar in a completely new way if you’re kayaking. Second of all, this area is known for its endless number of underwater rocks, so there’s never time to get bored!
Most of my photos made during this trip were taken in the mornings, evenings or during lunch breaks, since I preferred not to keep my camera out while kayaking. I really should get a pocket camera for occasions like this… But that’s beside the point. Even if I won’t be able to communicate the joys of the physical act of kayaking through my photos, I think it’s worth sharing some photos anyway. Because honestly, the small islands and headlands of the archipelago are such treasure troves, even when they’re close to home.
The view from a small island (where we slept) on our first evening. The world almost seemed to say, ‘Welcome’.
Some days, when you’re looking for a place to stop for lunch, you just find a perfect spot with a sandy shore and a comfortable place for a tent, and decide to stay for the night.
Then you find out the island is covered in bilberries, and you wonder if you’re ever going to leave.
The second evening of the expedition. The tent is up, dinner has been consumed and the bilberries enjoyed – time to sleep!
After one day of being attacked by stinging ants everywhere we went (for some reason, they seemed to prefer me) and an evening of finding out that it was very difficult to land on the island where we had planned to spend the night, we arrived, slightly exhausted, at a relative’s (empty) cottage. We still slept in the tent, of course. Another good thing about staying close to home!
Another beautiful morning, and the Gentlemen Paddlers are ready to head out!
The Blue and the end of yet another fantastic kayaking expedition.
Sounds wonderful. Those sunsets really cap off camping days well – the reflection on the first one is just amazing. I have some sense of the joy of kayaking but I ended up being more of a fair weather kayaker.
I have never kayaked in winter or when there’s ice – I’d really like to do it. We are also very sensible kayakers and limit ourselves (maybe even too much sometimes) if we’re not confident in our abilities. It’s a situation where I’m rather safe than sorry…
Thanks for your comment!
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