The paddling and route taken was affected by the strong north winds. The day stated out sunny but was chilly from the get go. Temperatures didn’t get much better once it got cloudy and random rainshowers
crossed our paths! Winds were roughly 6-8 m/s but during the rain showers I suspect gust peaks were 12-14 m/s.
The 3 hours we paddled in above described headwinds. After reaching the northern tip of Kuorsalo we turned westward and had a sidewind. In a couple crossings the waveheights were in the 40-60 cm range. Quite manageable but tiring and tense paddling as the waves coming in came from two different directions.
I had a chance to use my SeaDog Commander sail for about 8 Kms.I had it reefed the whole time due to the sudden gusts that kept bombarding us at rabdom moments. The sail worked nicely even when reefed and especially in the above mentioned conditions! On one occasion when we were passing thru a narrow straight between two Islands, with a gusting tailwind the kayak was cruising along @ 7 km/h with no aid of paddle! ( kayak fully loaded + sailed reefed!) . However in the afternoon I took down the sail due to the strengthing of the gusts + waves from the side that were approx 60cm high.
At one point Marko’s kayak hit some underwater obstacle with a LOUD bang! Inspection, revealed a two fair sized gouges in the forward area of the hull about the size of a 50 eurocent coins. One gouge was center keel on the kevlar and the second one was approx 12 cm next to the first one. Both exactly where the forward bulkhead is located!!! Guessing on how the gelcoat was gone and the laminates had turned white, I would wager that the hull would have been holed, had the impact hit anywhere else than where the forward bulkhead was located.
Quick assesment was made and due to the cold weather we decided to wash, dry and patch up the dings with gorillatape and continue onwards. It was too cold to mess about with epoxy anyways.. some 13 C.
The day passed by quickly and passing thru the straights between Kuutsalo and Kirkkomaa we realized the cold the wind and the waves had tired us considerably. It was time to call it a day. We found a decent campsite on the southern shore of Kuutsalo.