Mats Bengtsson kayaking and kayak techniques

Kayak vacation in Havnsö in Denmark 2009-06-27

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Kayak vacation in Havnsö in Denmark

Last week (well it was when I wrote this, it was during end of June until beginning of July 2009) we had a kayak vacation in Havnsö in Denmark. We rented a little cabin, and shared it with another couple. Main vacation plan was to do some paddling, and there was no detailed plans above that.

We expected to have to adjust our vacation planning to the weather. With the weather we got, we did have to adjust to the weather, but more in ways of staying inside due to heat, rather than avoiding some specific excursions or paddling trips due to bad weather conditions.

Havnso centrum with its shopAnyway, Havnsö is a very little town in Denmark. From the beginning it was a tourist village for danes on vacation. It is or has a harbour, a shop (actually some shops) and then a number of houses. Many of the houses are ment for the summer months only.

The place has it all for the kayaker (and there is a lot of kayaks around considering the small size of the place). There is a lot of very shallow waters. There is a number of islands and bays. There are places with long shallow beaches, and there are places with steep depth changes with depths up to 13 meters of water. The water is very clear, and there is some tidal actions.

We brought 5 kayaks for the vacation, 7 seats total

We where two families with a total of three kids. The other family had a 3 seat K3 kayak, which came in very handy for getting the kayak excursions possible. Thus, all could paddle in the kayaks at the same time, but not all could have their own kayak if everyone was joining a specific kayak trip.

I never paddled the K3 myself, but it looked very stable, and it was fast. It could not be handled by a single person, two persons is the minimum load on that kayak to get weight enough to keep both bow and stern in the water.

2 carts carrying 5 kayaks

An island and two bays just outside the window

Our cabin had a fantastic placement, just by the water, and a very good water as well.

Nekselo island and 2 bathing bays within a few kilometersStraight out over the water (a little left on enclosed photo taken the first evening) was a couple of small islands. On the other side of those, lay a very huge bathing bay. We did paddle our kayaks to the bay. Paddle distance is likely to be around 4 kilometers (return trip).
Slightly up to the right on the same photo, is an Island called Nekselö. We paddled our kayaks to Nekselö as well. Paddle distance is about 4 kilometers (return trip), plus 9 kilometers round the island.
More to the right was the harbour and a bathing bay in Havnsö, but it can not be seen on the photo. Paddling distance about 6 kilometers (return trip).

Pernille Standing in Kayak At first day of tryingFrom enclosed picture, you can see a very short part of the shore and the quality of the water (crystal clear).
You can also see my wife standing in her kayak. This was something she had decided she should be able to do this summer, and the first day she tried (in fact, it was the second try in total), she made it and is thus propelling the paddle to prove she is standing stable enough.

Nekselo on west sideNekselö is also a very good target for excursions from where we were. West and eastern side differs a lot (the picture is from west side, and on east side the waters are a lot more shallow).

Hanso harbourHavnso is both the town and the harbour, as well as housing a bathing bay within close kayak distans from our cabin.

Tidal differences in Denmark

We live in Malmoe, so we are used to viewing tidal differences as so small they can be ignored. But when being where we were in Denmark, which is very close to Malmoe, we learned that the difference is very clear.

Tidal effects in DenmarkThe picture shows our normal landing place, where we start and stop our excursions every day. Normal days we would do 2 excursions. Some days we might do 3 and some only one. You will see me sometimes having a dry suit, sometimes only rash guards (depending on the weather and current activities, I have mentioned more about my dry suit experience).


Tidal affected landing in HavnsoThis picture shows the same landing place, but with water being a lot closer to ebb.

Landing at ebb and looking at nekseloeThis picture describes the difference quite clear. The row of stones on the previous picture is visible in the background. So is Nekseloe. But what really is visible is the water line that use to be the high water line (where the grass is green). Between there is all the land that comes adn goes with high and low tidal water.

First movable kayak picture from underwater camera

We recently bought an underwater compact camera. Same size, shape and price as two years ago normal non underwater camaeras would have. All pictures here from the vacation are from that camera. It can also produce movable pictures. Below is the very first movable picture we have taken with the camera (it was done by mistake).

I included it here, because in all its simplicity, it shows to me why I enjoy kayaking. There is a smooth soft movement in the water, a smooth soft movement by the kayak, where all movements blend together in soft calming harmony. Thus it is a good summary of a perfect vacation.

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The movie itself was not planned, so the person taking it (placed in another kayak) is not even aware that it is recorded. Thus, the camera is a bit shaky. If you are wondering about the low paddling speed, then it is because we have just arrived to a good location for some rescue excersises, so we have just stopped.


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