Finland: Canoe Circles

Last night after our wild sauna we went to bed. It was only about 2030 but Rachael was not feeling well so we thought we best get some rest. The sauna did make her feel a bit better so there might be something in the Fins passion for them.We had a good sleep and got up at 0800. We had breakfast and dismantled camp. We were back in the canoe at 0900. The water was mirror calm so we thought we would do better than yesterday. Rachael had mastered the kayak, but in the open water the current was so strong that me and Eva in the open canoe were just going around in circles. Now, when we hired a canoe at Lake Louise in Canada I was sat at the back controlling the direction. But here Wasi told us the person steering sits at the front. I was getting really frustrated and when the water was calm I noticed that Eva at the back was having control over the direction. I googled this when we were in some calmer water and it was the case that something had got lost in translation and I should be at the back. But it did work well in calmer water with me giving Eva instructions on which side to paddle. We decided we could change position at our lunch stop. When we were in calmer water we could fair fly along. We had travelled about 7km in two hours and we were at our lunch stop earlier than we imagined. We checked the weather forecast and other people kayaking had concerned us with the forecast for later this evening and tomorrow. We had to make a decision at our lunch stop, which was actually going to be our second wild camp. We had the choice of having lunch and doing the final 3km back to base camp or sleep our second wild camp and set off at 0500 in the morning as after that the weather was rain and high wind. We decided to finish lunch and make our way back as we were more certain of the weather.In the shelter of the lunch stop it was fine, but as soon as we set off around the bay we had the wind and strong currents. Me and Eva were just going around in circles again and even with me at the back we could not do a darn thing about it, it was getting highly frustrating. We had to let the canoe drift to the next island along where it was calmer water. Once at the other side we could make a straight course. Rachael on the other hand in a kayak was in control and had to keep waiting for us. We made our way out of the channel that was trying to turn us around all the time and I was wondering what delights we had in store when we entered the final stretch of open water. As it turned out it was not that bad. As the water was entering the channel it must of been speeding up and caused all the problems. In this scenario the open water was actually better for us that yesterday. We were making our way to base camp and things seemed to be going fine. But then just 20 metres away blast. Wind took us and turned us to the left of our target. I told Eva not to fight it let’s just hit the land and I jump out and walk the canoe around the corner, I never thought I would take a canoe for a walk. When we got to base there were a couple setting of in a double kayak and they had never done it before and they were doing a nine day tour. I feel sorry for them because the weather is meant to get a whole lot worse over the next few days.Base camp is never supervised so when we got to base we sorted all the gear and got our bikes from the pin locked storage. We left the rest of our gear in the storage and cycled into town to get some food.When in the cafe we met a couple that are stopping at Base Camp in a motor home. They had been out for the day in a double kayak. They were English so we got chatting to th them. They were experienced kayakers and they had tried a canoe on a river in France. They said they also couldn’t control it and they were also going around in circles, for them they were going down a river so in the end they said they just let the river take them. This made me feel better. They were not surprised at the difficulties given the differences between the canoe and the kayak and their own experience.So we are back at base camp now writing our journals. It is blue skies with cloud, but it is very very windy. I am glad we made the decision to complete instead of trying to get back in the morning.We are also using this time to plan the next stage of our trip to Finland as nothing as been planned except for our flight in and out. Each day is new and unexpected.

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