The forecast shows wind gusts up to 14 m/s. This section is not recommended to paddle when the wind is stronger than eight. Afternoon storms. We’re setting off at 7 a.m. It’s been raining for five days now. Fast-moving clouds, the backdrop of the high mountains in a sea kayak on the open ocean, that’s why I came here. To find that feeling when you wake up from an endless dream and snap into reality. Harsh, yet beautiful at the same time.
Paddling moved out of my comfort zone right from the start. The ocean was giving me a hard time. Waves, headwind, and splashing icy water. Thanks to a leaking spray skirt, I was soon sitting in water. The wind was blowing stronger. After more than 20 kilometers of paddling on the open sea, we approached a handful of islands. Paddling was so challenging that we couldn’t keep together. Every action in this headwind was like engaging reverse gear and backing down a hill.
The islands provided shelter. Looking into the distance, only the white foam of breaking waves was visible. Between the rocks, we found the entrance to a protected bay with a few abandoned houses. At the end of the bay, we found a nice sandy beach. A scouting party revealed the ruins of an old fishery where we could sleep well. The island offered much more. Fairy-tale scenery. Views of mountains and the raging ocean. Lots of forest berries. Then the nostalgia of bygone times when someone still lived here.
The next morning, the same conditions awaited us. However, the multitude of islands provided shelter. Always as a reward for the paddled section. First, it was necessary to head out into the open water. The interface with the ocean was formed by reflecting and shattering waves. Like riding a bull with a cold shower together. This was followed by a straight path with large waves in the wind and rain. Then another perfect sea rodeo. By the time we found a place to camp, this combination had repeated several times.
The island was covered in moss soaked with water, as almost everywhere. We were all the happier when it stopped raining later that evening. When we were getting ready to set off the next morning, the sun came out. As if we were in a completely different place. Instead of continuing, we stripped off and began unpacking our soaked gear. It’s been raining on us for more than a week straight. The Arctic sun was shining so brightly that I soon found myself in my underwear. The beach became a giant drying rack. I felt like I was in the best hotel in the world. It was an incredible luxury.
It was so warm that I took off my dry jacket after the first few minutes of paddling. The feeling of nirvana was interrupted only by occasional moments of falling droplets of cold water. I was wearing only a merino T-shirt. The splashing water on my heated body felt more like being hit by a snowball. The snow-capped peaks of epically looking high mountains added a dramatic effect. I felt like I was in heaven.
We circumnavigated the southern tip of Moskenesøya island and slowly began to return along the west side. The west side of the archipelago has harsh conditions of the open ocean. Places to sleep are very far apart and almost all are exposed to the west and northwest wind, often bringing stormy weather. To the west is Greenland, to the north the Arctic Ocean. However, we had excellent conditions. Paddling under steep mountains looked surreal. The place to sleep looked just as surreal.
The new day started with exploring a large cave located near the bay where we camped. The east wind was blowing, we paddled in the lee, but sometimes it broke through the high mountains and fell down like an ice-cold katabatic wind. Along the way, we saw several beautiful waterfalls and a few other small caves. We found shelter on the photogenic sandy beach of Kvalvika. The forecast indicated that we don’t have to worry about the wind for the next few days. We decided to take the next day off and go for a hike. We slowed down and enjoyed the moment in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
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.