Tuesday, July 26, 2011

10th day of the expedition

Many things have happened since my last blog entry. There has not been much time for writing – nor have we had cell phone coverage!
So far, we have covered more than 300 km. of the most demanding and exposed coastline in the country. One tenth of our total distance actually!!!
We have had good times, great spectacular experiences, and challenges as well. Adjustments still need to be made, both with our equipment and ourselves.
From our last blog entry in Vadsø we paddled to Ekkerøya. We saw lots of birds and other wildlife, and some ”war monuments” made by Germans 70 years ago. From Ekkerøya, we went to Kiberg – a beautiful small, but still active community. Bjørn Hansen from Alta met us there, and we have enjoyed Bjørn’s company for the last five days. We trusted Bjørn to be the toughest sea kayaker among us, but after a few days he revealed that he had never dared to paddle this part of the coast before!
We have managed well together, and crossed great fjords and landed on difficult shores together. Bjørn represents to me the best of the Northern Norwegian sea kayaking culture, and he’s a great guy who has an enormous knowledge about nature, history and culture in this part of the country.
It was great to paddle to Vardø – the most easterly part of Norway, On Bjørn’s proposal, we paddled on to Hamningberg where we stayed one night. From Hamningsberg, we took a short day’s paddling to the abandoned lighthouse Makkaur. The old lighthouse keeper’s house was open, and we stayed one night in this strange and ghost-like place.
From Makkaur, we crossed Båtsfjord, Kongsøyfjord and ended up in Berlevåg. We did some fresh food shopping for the first time, and crossed the great Tana fjord the day after. This was our longest paddle day so far, covering 55 kilometers.
According to the weather forecast, we would get easterly strong breeze for some days, so we decided to take the inner route around Nordkinn, which involves carrying the kayaks across a small strip of land at Hopsfjordeidet.
Now a new challenge has arisen. Tor has got tendon inflammation in his right wrist – probably due to gripping the paddle a bit too hard for the 30 000 paddle strokes a day in low temperatures. This kind of inflammation is best cured by resting for a while. We head for Kjøllefjord at a slow pace and will try to figure out some way to solve the new challenge.

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