We were still partly on vacations. The weather report had settled for very nice weather (almost no wind and quite sunny and quite warm). We decided this was the time for a short kayak trip on east of sjaelland, in Denmark. We packed the kayaks on the car, and went over to Denmark.
Starting point was Helleup Harbour, and planned endpoint was Skodsborg. This would make a roundtrip of around 20 kilometer, which we judged as a good distance (not long enough for sour muscles, but long enought to be able to see a lot of things). The trip would take us up along North Copenhagen beach villages, Charlottenlund, Skovshoved havn, Strandvejen, Bellevue, Clampenborg, ... Quite a lot of nice views to see.
The track and the photos can be viewed in a high resolution version by clicking on the photo. It can also be viewed through google Earth if you have that application downloaded on your computer. In that case, just click on this link).
The arrival to Hellerup harbour promised a very nice experience. Hellerup harbour lies very close to Copenhagen, in fact very close to Tuborg harbour which is a huge harbour. One moment you are driving in Copenhagen, then you turn onto a small road, and bang! Suddenly you are thrown out of the big city and placed in an idyllic harbour. Fantastic!
The start of the day was perfect. We got a parking place next to the kayak club and restaurant in Hellerup harbour, which in itself was amasing. It was sunny and no wind as can be seen on the flags in this photo
We found a very nice restaurant (the main harbour restaurant), which melted into the surroundngs in a perfect way. We ate our food on the terrace, which was placed with a perfect view of the harbour.
We got to see a number of sailing boats of different kinds, some of them modern racing dinghies with green see-through sails making them look quite unreal (at the time, it was SM in sailing in Malmoe so better sailing boats then usual has been seen around our area the last week). Also, there was a lot of kayaks. Not the kayaks we are used of seing (ocean kayaks), but more of the racing kind.
The lack of wind is shown quite well on the picture of the dinghies entering the harbour with full sails, in fact one dinghy even have the black spinnaker up inside the harbour. The photo does not show it, but the speed of the dinghies was very low in spite of the sails. In fact, when they brought the boats up, they did not take down the sails until after the dinghies vere placed on the trailers. So we sat there in Hellerup harbour, thinking that weather could not be better, and we had already gotten so much atmosphere out of it, that it was enough to make a good day.
After lunch we packed our kayaks and placed them in the water. When doing that, I noted with some amazement that there was swells in the water. Considering the sailing boats entering the harbour with full sails just an hour ago, I could not understand where the swells came from. I thought it could possbily come from some racing boats or one of the big transport ships outside the harbour (there is a lot of traffic on the danish side, both sailing boats, motor boats and some large transport ships). Anyway, we set off and got out outside the harbour.
Outside the harbour we where met by the expected scenic views, but also by unexpectedly high and stompy waves.
The wind was coming from East, a very unsual direction in this area. It was around 5 meter per second (it had been maximum three meter per scond until lunch).
5 meter per second will generate waves, but it will take more time for them to build up in Malmoe than it must have done here. The waves we had already now was higher and choppier than we would get in corresponding wind in Malmoe (assuming similar conditions, which means a wind coming from Copenhagen).The waves where in no way too high for paddling, or for enjoying the ride, so we went further, but they kept me from taking more photos from the water.
The kayaks from the clubs where not out where we were. We were maybe 150 meter from shore, they were instead running on shallow water close to shore (40-50 meters, probably not more from shore). There was a number of them, but only in the first part of the journey (from the harbour and all the way through the first bathing area, maybe 1 kilometer or so. After that, they must have turned and stayed close to the bathing areas. On the sea side, traffic was high. We saw at the same time 5 different transport ships, and a lot of racing boats. I do not think it ever went more than 5 minutes before another racing boat passed somewhere at high speed, sometimes pulling a tire with a person trying to stay on top, sometimes only having passengers inside. Weather was still warm, so people were bathing.
We passed some nice looking bath places. And we passed Charlottenlund Fort, as well as the big area of Charlottenlund were the castle is, and where every year amongst other things they have Hubertus hunt, a lot of horses in a sort of competition.
After a while we reached Skovshoved harbour, and made our first stop with some coffee and a rest for the legs.
There were a lot of places where we could get up from the kayaks. The best spot was found by seeing another kayaker just launching to get out of the harbour. He was in the third ocean kayak we had seen on this trip. He did look somewhat unsteady, and we saw him return not more than 5 minutes later. Also, we met another kayaker who had gone out around 10 o clock, in calm weather, and just had come back after 10 kilometers with the waves and wind in his face. His kayak was also more of the racing kind than the ocean lkind, so he had had a really tough last part of the journey. It was clear that the waves had surprised him, he had been working quite hard to make it back.
As can be seen on Pernilles face, the journey so far had beern enjoyable for her. Waves as such are not a problem for her since she has good balance, and we had so far been paddling with the waves in the back. Also, the scenery had been nice. We had even gotten to see a game of kayak pool being played close inside the entrance to Skovshoved harbour
I was not wearing my usual dry suit (when we started, it had looked to be no wind and sunny and above 23 degrees, a situation which is the limit were I think the dry suit is the most comfortable to wear).
Instead, I was paddling in only rash guards, but even though the sun was still out, the right side of me was wet from the waves washing over the kayak, and I could feel it would be cold if we did not move soon again. Pernille felt the same, and thus she pulled on her sailing jacket which she wore for the rest of the journey, to keep her from getting wetter.
We decided to lower the length of the planned track, since we knew the waves were still increasing, and we would be paddling against the waves on the journey back. This would be a lot more taxing than paddling with the waves, or on flat water. Thus, when we started out again, the new target was to go into Tårbaeck harbour and pause there, before starting on the journey back home.
Almost directly after skovshoved harbour we got to the sight of Strandvejen, which actually looks more impressive form street level than kayak level, due to it being so high above the water that we do not get a good view of it from the kayaks.
Next nice area we passed was Bellevue, with its very large bathing place with bridges and towers, and some very nice houses. People were still bathing, although it was not as sunny as it had been earlier.
Directly right of the bathing area were more large houses, and other suitable bridges. Here we also met with two other kayakers. These kayaks were also ocean kayaks, which could be suitable since the waves were now a little higher than before.
When we were about 10 to 15 meters from Taarbaeck havn, and I had turned the kayak straight west into the harbour, with the waves coming from east southeast, then came a speedboat with 4 persons in it, It speeded passed me, 5 meters in front of my kayak (in the only space left between me and the harbour). It created an interesting set of waves, its speed waves, mixed with the ordinary waves already coming from behind me, and mixed with both those waves and the speed waves hitting the pier of the harbour and reflecting back and mixing all of it into one single set of uneven waves. It was not as bad as could have been expected, since I was facing the waves directly, but anyway I think the speed boats need to be more careful.
When we reached the harbour of Tårbaeck, we learned that not only was it a nice and small harbour, but also that it was without any suitable place for a kayaker to get up from the kayak. So we decided to go back to Skovshoved harbour to have our next pause with coffee there. Before going we took a photo of the Tårbaeck harbour, and the school house.
Also, Pernille took a photo of me taking a photo of the school house.
By now, the waves had increased a bit more, and thus the paddling was taking its toll on the shoulders of my wife. On the other hand, although more work, I think it is easier going against the waves than going with the waves. The travel to Skoshoved harbour were nothing but hard work, not much new to see on the return trip. Pernille had to rest a couple of times and did not feel well when we arrived.
We rested a longer time than normal, so Pernilles ache could ebb out a little. It was a good idea, since after the pause in Skovshoved harbour, we noticed that the waves were getting slightly smaller. The wind was starting to ebb out. While still in the harbour we saw a very funny contrast. First the people who are on the picture showing Pernilles kayak in the harbour took the longest time to winch up a boat I have seen. Directly after came a very experienced sailor who singlehandedly launched what he claimed was the worlds fastest single person saling boat. It was a real contrast, between people working the winch forth and back, using gloves to make the wire come up evenly on the wheel, and this single person getting the boat into the water without any hickup at any point, and being on his way out of the harbour in no time at all.
Although Pernille had been able to take photos independent of the waves during the whole trip, the lowering waves meant that also I could take photos again (I might have the balance to do it in the waves we were in, a bit above a half meter high, but I am uncertain about my stability when not having the paddle in my hand, so I did not try).
While going back, a large ship we had seen in the morning of the day, while passing Tuborg harbour with the car, left the harbour to start on its journey. This ship had looked very impressive from the car, and we had joked about not wanting to be crossing the harbour entrance at the time it left. So Pernille took a photo of it.
There is many boats parked in the water, tied to buoys say 40 meter from the beach or so. But in front of this house is a nice solution. Your own bridge for the boat, although not at sea level.
Along the route we travelled are a lot of nice and big houses.
No wonder, it is placed just at the water, bathing beaches on all sides, almost in Copenhagen, but just far enough to be placed idyllic outside town.
And probably some rich and impressive neighbours. At some places here, the water behaved differently. Probably since the waves hit the rather vertical walls built in front of these houses, thus bouncing back and mixing with the ordinary waves. It was someties hard to know if the waves were really coming from left or from right.
Pernille is just putting the camera back after one of her photo shots.
After this, it was only a couple of minutes left before we returned into the harbourt and packed our kayaks onto the car and drove home. We had made around 16 kilometers.