Grey morning. Some rain in the air. Misty. Bad visibility. Cold. And expecting some off shore winds today. (I don’t bother posting any grey, misty pictures.) Bu around noon the grey film screen infront of me, turned into a color version and I think that was good, cause this day I crossed lots of bays and I think this was the least interesting day on the trip. I felt I wanted to keep moving, doing distance and with the off shore winds I tried to stick as close as possible to the coast, but the winds increased and even if the Baltic Sea doesn’t offer big sea states as, let’s say the waters in North Wales, the wind strength made the ride a bit uncomfortable after a while. It was time to find a place to camp. And the island of Asunden was a great choice. I met some lovely people when I landed and after a chat with them I pitched the tent next to a rauk. Asunden also delivered another cold, frosty night, but I woke up to a completely flat sea the morning after. I was very happy I had made the decision to stop there.
So I paddled away from the island with stiff fingers and frost on the deck, but the calmness of the sea was touchable and the first few hours that morning on the water are hours I will remember forever. There I was, sitting on a mirror of water, totally alone and I could only hear the sound of the dripping from my paddle...
On the north eastern part of Gotland, there is another island called Fårö. The famous film director Ingmar Bergman used to live here, but I had already from the beginning decided not to go around that island too. I was sticking to the main island. So I went through the sound of Fårö with light tailwinds and saw the first boat on the water since I started in Visby 8 days ago. In the late afternoon the small winds completely died out and when I did a 6 km crossing over the bay of Kappelshamn, I once again had a magical experience that is so difficult to describe with letters and words. Arriving in Halls fiskeläge I felt like I had really fallen in love with this island. A true love.
In the small harbour I met two men who were born on the island and I had to excuse my self a few times cause I didn’t understand what they were talking about. Their accent was quite strong if I put it like that. But I got that much, that they said that it was okay to pitch my tent on the grass next to the harbour. One of the men told me that from here it’s about 45 km to Visby. I started to think if I could make that distance the day after, but tried not to think about it too much. I didn’t want to just make the last day a day of transportation. I wanted it to be as special as all the other days on the trip.
But day 9 actually came to be the last day on my circumnavigation of Gotland. It gave me some light side winds/tail winds and some impressive, high, cliffs to look at while I was paddling back to Visby. Cause I got back to Visby that late afternoon. Back to the same pebble beach where I had packed the kayak 9 days earlier. And oh, what a good feeling that was.
I had planned, or thought, that a trip like this would be something I could do in about 14 days. It’s about 400-450 km (depnding on route choice) around the island and I was thinking that I could paddle 40 km/day but then I also should add a few more days when I might have to stay on land because the winds and weather would be too bad to be paddling in. So I feel really good that I did it in 9 days, not that that was a goal in it self, it’s just that I’ve been SO lucky with the winds and the weather. I’ve also been very disciplined and I wanted to spend as much time as possible on the water, without making it too boring. I think I’ve had a great mix of time on and off the water.
So if you ever think about visiting Gotland and are hesitating, please buy a ticket straight away! It’s a very unique and exotic place, no matter if you go there to paddle or to explore the island by foot or bicycle. I know I will definitely go back one day, but right now, I will just enjoy my successful paddle around the island for a while. :-)
If you click the pictures, the will be presented in a Light Box.