Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Crisis? What crisis?

Today, the 8th of August is actually my 40th birthday! No bad way to spend a special day, to be out paddling with friends. I was a bit concerned, since so many people ask me about the midlife crisis – so far it seems to be nothing to worry seriously about!
We left Tromsø late Saturday. 30 km. of paddling took us to the outside of Kvaløya. We had quite strong wind at our backs, and some nice surf too. A narrow passage with strong currents also made the paddling exciting, but fortunately no capsize this time!
From Kvaløya we crossed Malangen on Sunday. We ended up just North of Dyrøya late, after 63 km. of paddling – the longest distance paddled in a single day so far on our trip! We made a stop of more than 4 hours just north of Finnsnes. A paddle friend, Ørgen Karlsen, had arranged a stop at Kurt Sverre Albrichtsen’s summer house. Kurt Sverre has built several skin on frame kayaks with my guidance, and on his own. Meeting him and his wife was a great experience. They served us a great meal (we haven’t eaten fresh vegetables for almost four weeks now), and showed us around in their wonderful summer house. The summer house consists of several small and large buildings, all built and decorated by themselves with second hand materials, stone and wood. It was beautiful and radiated creativity – truly an inspiring visit. Kurt Sverre was very modest about his creations himself, but I was amazed. A couple of true artists, and a place I definitely would love to visit again.
Today, we had a late start. It’s my birthday and I phoned my family while having 4 cups of coffee in the sun. Truly a good start of the day. 39 km of easy paddling brought us to Astafjord. I had a good long surf on the way – the GPS showed a top speed of 16 km/hour – or 9 knots. Almost the speed the Aleuts were rumored to keep for long distances in the old days – I wonder if they surfed too?

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