Amidst the pandemic, our adventure sprouted from the confines of my home office—a sanctuary where the blueprint for an extraordinary expedition unfolded. This blueprint, akin to a guiding light, charted the course for a sea kayaking odyssey around the entire Lofoten archipelago.
Following the plan’s revelation, conversations with enthusiasts from across the globe ensued, dwindling down to a resilient group of ten. A shared thwarted yearning due to Covid disruptions united us. Yet, the expedition was confined to vaccinated EU citizens, excluding participants from Canada, the USA, and the UK. Thus, a four-person international team emerged from Latvia, Germany, and Slovakia.
I recall a time when flying was not the norm. Embarking on this journey in my trusty Toyota, we covered over 7000 kilometers to reach Hanøy, the starting point in the northeast of Austvågøya—the largest island. The relentless drive, spanning three days with only a pitstop in Kiel, Germany, saw Maditha joining our ranks. As we neared our destination on the ferry, the Arctic wind greeted us, a prelude to the climate we were about to face.
With the Latvian contingent, Ilze and Janis, now on board, we sought a strategic spot to park the car for the expedition’s duration. A local community administrator, amidst the tourism-driven displacement of original inhabitants, extended assistance. Despite the persistent rain since our departure from Germany, gear and supplies were meticulously loaded into kayaks, anticipating the impending adventure.
On the fourth day, fatigue from marathon-paced paddling, sleep deprivation, and the unrelenting elements began to gnaw at me. Doubts surfaced—maybe I shouldn’t be here. Yet, a panoramic sweep of the surroundings, an infusion of the Alps with the North Atlantic, reinforced the profound privilege of experiencing Lofoten’s beauty. This realization propelled me forward.
A meager lunch break on a small beach marked our first landing in over 50 kilometers of paddling. The challenging topography often left us with limited options for disembarking. The day’s end brought a search for a tenting spot in the rain, reinforcing the tangible reality of being amidst this dreamlike landscape. Drained yet fulfilled, I succumbed to a much-needed sleep.
Morning rituals unfurled with impatience for the rain to cease—an optimistic hope. Dressing in perpetually damp attire became a daily struggle, but adapting to the discomfort became second nature. Our kayaks, laden with essentials, became our haven.
Navigating through a relentless headwind, we covered 15 kilometers before choosing a sandy beach for respite. The weariness from the arduous car ride and the preceding day’s paddling led us to decide on an impromptu overnight stay. It was an opportune moment to test the chilling waters of the North Atlantic.
As challenges intensified with fierce headwinds, torrential rain, and imposing waves, the Lofoten Islands and the North Atlantic revealed their tempestuous side. The already epic adventure grew even more dramatic. More on that—next time.
Map (Expedition GPS track records)
TIP: Click on the rectangle icon in the upper right corner to open the map in a new tab. Then, click on the three dots and choose Show map in Google Earth. This action reveals a detailed 3D map, enhanced with textures derived from aerial photographs, offering an immersive and comprehensive view of the environment.
Shorten the anticipation with our documentary on this epic expedition. Immerse yourself in the English narration with Slovak and English subtitles, bringing the adventure to life in a captivating cinematic experience.
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Adventure series about expeditionary paddling in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Moving playground to the tidal zone. Exploring remote places on Earth. Paddling with whales. True wilderness. Nordic paradise on Earth.
New chapters of the story every two weeks.
|Sea Kayaking in British Columbia’s Untamed Beauty
Dive into the untamed beauty of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest.
Prvý diel rozprávania o epickej expedícii na morských kajakoch.
|A Journey of Transformation
Experience a remarkable transformation from a capsized kayak mishap to epic Arctic expeditions.
Pokračovanie rozprávania o tom, ako som sa ocitol sám na kraji sveta.
|Navigating Lofoten I
Embark on a riveting sea kayaking journey across Lofoten’s archipelago.
|Vysokohorská turistika na morskom kajaku I
Po expedíciách som začal snívať o ceste na ďaleký sever.
|Navigating Lofoten II
Confronting Arctic North Atlantic’s extreme paddling challenges.
|Vysokohorská turistika na morskom kajaku II
Prekonávanie extrémnych výziev pádlovania v artickej časti severného Atlantiku.
|Navigating Lofoten III
The final third part of the story about an adventure in the Arctic part of the Atlantic Ocean.
|Vysokohorská turistika na morskom kajaku III
Posledná tretia časť rozprávania o dobrodružstve v arktickej časti Atlantického oceánu.
|On the Edge of Civilization
The introduction to the first of seven chapters about a great adventure in the North Pacific.
|Na hrane civilizácie
Úvod prvej zo siedmich kapitol o veľkom dobrodružstve v severnom Pacifiku.