A saturday. For the first time we had a tailwindforecast for our intended route.. NE @ possibly 14+ m/s! The direction was ok but the numbers were a bit hairy!
Another issue was that it was a saturday AND we had to cross Helsinki waters laterally east to west… Not fun! I really cannot recommend it to anyone.. who values their sanity in any way. Ofcourse there the the commercial traffic which behaves and is predictable although is ALOT of it!!
The there is the normal smallboat traffic.. which is mostly harmless stuff in itself. But when you add to the mix random big yachties, a couple classes of sailing competitions (100+ optimist dingies plus support boats) and the usual mix of sailboats and sightseeing tour boats doing their thing ghen a couple sea kayaks really have no space to be in! Its a bit like trying to crawl across a six-lane freeway during rush hour and expecting not to get hit… not going to happen!
We did survive Helsinki crossing .. not going to do that again anytime soon in this life..
The rest of the days paddling went well.. we had a tailwind which gave a nicepush southwest along the coast. I believe this was the first fullday of tailwind during this trip.
We visited Skorvan isle’ where we were invited to stay the night by our hosts, Helsinki based sea kayaking club Merimelojat ry.
I visited the Helsinki Boat Show. It has been 17 years since my previous visit. A lot has changed since. A lot of it for the better. This post however has nothing to do with the merits of the boat show, rather about some goodies I found there, maps!!!
Being a paddler who spends alot of time on the waters traveling from point A to point G Via Points X, Y and Z, I am somewhat obsessed about good quality maps. Yes, the printed variety that do not require wi-fi, 3G or a battery to operate! Sure I have a GPS, but that I use to log and track where I have been. Not so much of where I’am going. Yes yes.. in otherwords I’am a dinosaur navigator.. but if it ain’t broke…?
Traditionally printed maps in the Finnish hemisphere have been prohibitively expensive, however during the recent years that has been changing for the better.. maps are becoming more affordable. Another thing traditionally has been that there have not been that many maps or charts that are suited for the paddler! Now .. sloooowly this too is changing !
I bought three maps from the boat show; Porkkala-Helsinki-Pellinki 1:50 000, Canoeing Map, An inland waterway chart 1:50,000 Puula and a ring binder set of charts printed on weatherproof plastic for the waterways area between Varkaus and Kuopio @ 1:55,000.
The latter was on sale for 29 €. This particular set of charts was of an area I have planned to paddle in the future but lacked any maps. So it was a “must have” purchase. the bonus of this set is that it is slightly larger than A3 size and printed onto solid plastic sheets. As is it is suitable to be used on a kayak deck, as long as a safety line keeps it attached to the deck. Does not require water proof packing.
The Puula region inland waterway chart is a standard inland waterway map which is suitable for paddling use, even though it isn’t a particularly designed for it. It has the standard maritime chart markings and navigational aids. This one is printed on paper and needs to be used within a waterproof maps case while on the water
The Porkkala-Helsinki-Pellinki 1:50 000, Canoeing Map is aimed particularly aimed for paddlers. The map is printed onto weatherproof paper basicly could be used as is, but it is always good practice to use it in a map case which can be attached onto the deck, so that it stays with the kayak in case of a sudden wind gust or rogue wave.
The map is clearly marked with the boating+shipping lanes, restricted military areas, camping areas, protected nature preserves, shallows and pretty much all the standard topographical map data. Pretty much everything a paddler needs!
This chart will definitely be on the upcoming summers Finnish coastal paddle!
Thus far there arent too many of these “paddlers choice” maps, but hopefully with time these will become available to other areas around Finland.