Mats Bengtsson kayaking and kayak techniques

Valön to Grebbestad kayak trip 20090814

Mats Bengtsson mib over the years

Valön to Grebbestad kayak trip 20090814

KF Öresund kayaks lyinf waiting in the morning, close to the pier, ready to be launchedWhen arriving the day before, we had placed our kayaks close to the pier, ready to launch in the morning. They were now lying there, waiting for us to get out into the sunlight and off to see the neighbourhood.

Orientation is hard in top left is seen Valön and behind it Köttön two different islandsOrienting yourself around the islands is hard, and you have to follow closely on the map while paddling the kayak. Use of a compass is also more or less a neccessity. The picture here is in the top left showing a corner of the same island as previous picture (Valön, our base island), about 100 meter further away from where the previous photo of the kayaks and pier was taken. It is hard to recognise it as the same island. What is then seen further to the right is not the same island but two other islands close to Valön, little Köttö and a small island dividing little Köttö from large Köttö. The islets are so scattered that seen from a kayak, the islands melt together and it is hard to see when one ends and another one starts. This makes it hard to track where you are.

A number of KF Öresund kayaks passing nort west point of Valön ready to make first open water crossingThis picture is taken after an additional 1.5 kilometers paddling. We are still following Valön on our left, which is seen on the photo. We have already passed 5 or 6 islands on our right, all melting into each other seen from the kayak. We are now at the first point where we will cross some shipping lanes over more open water, first crossing them while heading west, and then at next island (Risholmen island) turn north/north west and pass west of Lökholmen.

Here the KF Öresund kayaks are reaching the Rish islet, and it is now time to turn more north.Here the group of kayaks has now crossed the shipping lanes, reached the island called Risholmen, and it is time to turn more north to get to Lökholmen, which then leads up to the next target, Ingrid Bergmans house.

Ingrid Bergmans house on Dannholmen, and the pigeon statue placed there after her deathOne of the main targets on the way up to Grebbestad was the house of the now diceased Ingrid Berman. It lies on an island and like so many other islands and houses in this area, it is located very beatifully. Aftere the death of Ingrid Bergman, the statue of a pigeon was placed here.

Me in my NDK Romany kayak in front of a long coastline of islandsOn this picture is shown the view west from Ingrid Bergmans house. What looks like a long coastline of cliffs, is actually made up of a great number of islands, of which probably around 7 are visible in this photo.

Kayaks passing through a narrow passage on sdhallow water between cliffsOne of the beauties with kayaking is how close to nature you can get. Here the whole group of kayaks pass between two islands through a narrow and shallow passage between the cliffs.

Kayaks on the way to a coffee break in musö sältanIndependent of weather, a coffee break is always enjoyable. When the weather is as fine as this, and there is a possibility to find a nice shore in the nature, then the coffee break becomes even more enjoyable.

A group of KF Öresund kayaks landed on the shore in front of the beautiful bay at musö sältanHere a large part of the KF Öresund kayaks has been landed in the same part of the bay of Musö Sältan for a coffee break. Some kayaks, as can be seen in the background, were landed further away, more onto the cliffs themselves.

NDK Romany kayak on cliffs in Fjallbacka, at musö sältan isletThis is where I landed my kayak. The rest of the group is just 30 meters away. The bay was shallow, so the kayak could be landed in many places. Landing it was easy, getting out was a little trickier since the cliffs where really slippery beneath the water. So slippery that it was not possible to neither stand, nor grip with the hands without slipping, unless you could find a crack in the cliff to use for grip.

The final destination Grebbestad, like so many other places in this area, has a large harbour with a lot of boats. It also has a kayak shop, and thus the stop in Grebbestad was taken at the kayak shop. Me, I bought an additional cushion for sitting comfortably (a skwoosh x-treme).

The way back was taken on the east side, closer to main land, but still passing a lot of Islands. There are many routes that can be selected for such crossings, and suddenly the big party of kayaks where divided into two smaller parties, one party taking the east route along the shore, and one going more on the west side of that route. That left me and my wife a little unsure of what group to follow (my wife had gotten tired from the long kayak tour, so we had fallen a little behind the others). However, the splitting had lead to the party to the east getting unsecure, and no longer following the shore but paddling more out in the middle of the water to not lose contact with the other group. Since this brought them too much into the shipping lane which was going in the middle of these two groups, we selected the west side group and crossed the shipping lane back to the islands there.

In the western group which we now followed paddled the very same person as in the beginning of the day had given instructions on crossing shipping lanes. During the day the wind had increased a little, although not much. We had to cross a rather large opening of water which also was a shipping lane, and this person now organized the group for that crossing. He also selected to fall back during the crossing, paddling in the same speed as me and my wife. To me, it felt very much as a relief to have company on the long journey over so I was very grateful for that, so was my wife (although she does not get as uneasy as I do on crossing large amounts of water).

On the other side of the crossing, the rest of the group were waiting for us to arrive. When we had something like 200 meters left, I noticed something in the water which first looked like a low floating buoy. Then it raised a little more, and I recognised it as a seal. So, we had been lucky and sighted seal on the very last part of the trip.

In the evening we once again had a meal together, arranged from the barbeque.


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