It feels very odd to sit in a coach in front of a laptop with clean clothes and a smell of soap. My whole body is in paddle mode and I can still feel the waves moving me and my baidarka all the time.
We arrived Tromsø yesterday evening after a day's paddling where we clocked up 61 km. It was Thursday, exactly 3 weeks after our start at Grense Jakobselv. Without much effort, exactly on schedule - strange in a way. Finnmark was, due to its exposed nature, the bit of coast I was most uncertain about. 790 km. all together ... so far.
We will stay here for a day or so, and continue south on Saturday.
I think I have lost a bit of weight, otherwise my body seems to function perfectly. I'll spend the day here in Tromsø to eat a lot and make phone calls to friends and family.
I was completely overwhelmed by the nature in Finnmark, and I certainly want to come back some day. We could easily have spent a month or two exploring all the exciting and spectacular bits of the coast - all the fjords, the settlements, the beaches and wildlife.
Our equipment also worked well. The planning could have been better, but we have had the right equipment to make ourselves comfortable at all times, also when the weather was bad. I'm very happy about our choice of camera equipment - with the combination of compact and bigger cameras, we have managed to make a lot of good photos. And I have managed to keep the camera dry and safe.
The baidarkas work well, but Bao Quoc may have chosen a slightly too long baidarka. He has had some trouble steering well in certain winds and tidal streams. We hope that attaching a small skeg here in Tromsø will solve the problems. The paint he used just prior to our departure has partly loosened; still, the baidarka is fairly dry. We washed it in fresh water yesterday, and today we will give it a few coats of fast-drying varnish.
All the way, we have used the ingenious KELLYKETTLE!!!!!! My warm regards to the mr. Kelly, who invented this waterboiler. We use it every morning heating water for our breakfast. Usually you just sit on the beach and pick up whatever you find - sticks, driftswood bits, dried grass and seawheed - whatever. In a few minutes you have boiling water! we use it one or two times during the day at lunch stops, and we use it in the evening for our evening meals.
Commercial: "Go buy a kellykettle immediately - you will not regret it. (Available in my web shop)"
We have made a lot of campfires - both during daytime stops and in the evening. We use drysuits all the time, and a fire both warms you and makes your woolen inner clothes dry for the next paddling. Many thanks to Bao Quoc who insisted on bringing a small hatchet along!
Also my warm thanks to Glenn who encouraged me to buy (and sell in my webshop!) the Crewsaver "Cell" drysuit. It's affordable, and it is excellent! I've been living in this suit for 3 weeks now, both in good and bad weather and I feel just fine in it. I was a bit skeptical to neoprene cuffs, but they work fine and keep my neck and wrists good and warm as well.
I will go and eat!!!!!!! I hope to be able to write more often now, as we enter more inhabited parts of the coast.