Summer solstice strong upon us, a plan for a quick midweek getaway was brewing to compensate busy hours at work. I’ve done some paddling in Porkkala peninsula before, but always wanted to do a bit more exploration, zigzagging between and around islets, nooks and crannies, and combine it with a night out. Weather forecast for this week promised only mild winds and waves before the passing thunderstorms later in the week, a prerequisite for a comfy sea paddle on a packraft (which does not cope all too well with large swell and especially strong winds). From reflection to action, off I was on Tue evening, after work.
Entering Porkkala, I climbed on top of the Sunds bird watch tower, which offers a grand view around the peninsula, even if the multitude of birds lodging in the area is of no interest.
Starting the paddle around seven in the evening, I toured in between the various islands and islets, gradually making my way towards the end of the peninsula, where I planned to camp out for the night.
Mild waves and light breeze made travel effortless, no more than shorts and a t-shirt was needed to stay warm. Rarely is the weather this good, especially around June, so it was nice to be out there to take it all in while it lasts (I bet the typical summer is fast on its way already). After few hours of touring, I ended up on the tip of the Porkkala peninsula, going ashore on the patterned slick rocks.
I was counting on dry night and left the bivvy in the pack, simply laying down almost fully deflated packraft (mainly to keep it from being blown away by the wind at night), XTherm on top, and my summer bag as a blanket. Dinner from the Adventure Food selection, a tasty (although somewhat overdue and not quite like the real) goulash from an old stock (surprisingly did remember to remove the oxygen absorber this time, before cooking). Sunset awe, skipping fish, photos, and off to bed. Good night!
Knock. Knock. Knock. A herring gull standing on my chest, jabbing my forehead through the bug net! Rude Hitchcock-style awakening at four in the morning, and having cleared my throat with a whoop and with sun just about to climb back up from behind the trees, I decided to call it the night. Finishing light breakfast I was soon bobbing in the waves again.
2 more hours of paddling closed the circuit at the starting point. Packed up, starting on a gravel road, met a family of two - elk calf and the mother. Intensive stares were exchanged for a passing minute, after which they continued their merry ways, as did I. Porkkala rarely disappoints with its selection of wildlife, and not long after the previous encounter, also a capercaillie and young white-tailed deer was spotted on the roadside field (both too fast for my camera, sitting in the trunk of the car).
12+ hours of play, fresh air and peace of mind - need to do these more often!