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The Archipelago Sea around Turku is a great place to go Packrafting, Kayaking or Sailing. Since I have a packraft I took the opportunity to go on a four micro adventures during spring, summer, autumn and winter. Autumn is probably the nicest season to paddle since the trees on the small islands are quite colourful and there is also a bit more wind which also allows you to use a wind paddle sail.
Trip 1 – Spring
On my first trip in spring I decided to take my packraft and to paddle around Kulho – an island in the Archipelago Sea which is located next to the island where I am living. The Archipelago Sea contains the largest island group in the world by the number of islands. I have also been hiking on the Aland Islands 2 years ago which is also part of the Archipelago Sea.
Checking the route on the Ambit3. It’s about 7.5 km to paddle.
The weather was great. After the long winter in Finland it’s good to have the sun and warmer temperatures back.
What I like on Finland are the rocks which have been shaped by the Glacier thousands of years ago.
There are plenty of cottages spread all over the island which I paddled around.
Some places where also nice to jump off the boat and to rest for a few minutes.
Almost half way paddled according to my Ambit3.
It was a good idea to take water with me in my new Nalgene bottle. It can be quite warm in the dry suit if the sun is shining.
Seems that there are not only humans living in the Archipelago Sea …
Trip 2 – Summer
During summer I had my second packrafting trip in the Turku Archipelago where I paddled around 2 islands – Isosaari and Mäntysaari.
I entered the sea from the beach, just having my my dry suite, PFD, Windpaddle, paddles, iPhone and a bottle of water with me. The spraydeck stayed at home.
This area of the Turku Archipelago is actually quite crowded but would be interested to paddle more in less crowded places in the future…
The weather was first cloudy and later on rainy. However, it was great to use my Windpaddle. The Windpaddle is actually just fun if you have a good amount of wind otherwise I leave it at home. While paddling I came across many possibilities to attach my packraft on one of those buoy which is quite handy if you want to take pictures. Unfortunately, I only had my iPhone 4s with me so taking pictures with this phone is quite limited to point and shoot.
It’s also possible to ‘park’ your packraft in a reed field if you want to take pictures so the boat does not move and you can focus on your target.
I have still not figured out what this sign with 11 means which seems to be quite common.
Plenty of old buildings nearby the sea.
What I also like on the Turku Archipelago is that there are frequently motor boats in the water generating waves which is fun to paddle in with your packraft.
Trip 3 – Autumn
Autumn makes it very special to paddle here as the leafs of the trees have changed their colours and the scenery looks quite different than paddling here during the summer.
First, I had a short hike through the forest where I followed the Metsäpolku which means roughly translated forest trail.
The hike was quite easy but I really enjoyed the nature and the birch forest.
There was also a possibility to camp in one of those shelters.
The paddling adventure started after inflating my packraft, jumped into my dry suite and attached my backpack on my packraft.
It was quite windy on that day so there many opportunities to ride with my packrafts on the waves.
The coast is characterised by it’s rocks.
And it’s actually also quite easy to get on and off the packraft on those rocks.
This island was perfect for a stop as the water was quite shallow here.
Signs of autumn…
After strolling around on the island I found this hut which is probably used as a Sauna or a fire place.
Then it was time to return to my packraft…
… attach my backpack and continue paddling again …
… along the island.
Several sailing boats crossed my view.
The weather was excellent for paddling. Not too cold / warm with the sun looking through the clouds.
Archipelago architecture … nice!
Trip 4 – Winter
In November I went for another packrafting trip. We have currently a low pressure front coming in which means lots of wind and rain. The packrafting trip started ‘dry’ but half way it got rainy and more windy. However, this made paddling a bit more exciting.
After inflating my packraft I had to walk along a flooded area with my packraft to reach the sea. The flooded area was approximately ankle deep but since I was wearing waterproof socks and a dry suite it was no problem to walk to the shore.
There were plenty of houses and cottages along the shore.
In the front of my packraft I could see already the upcoming wind and clouds packed with rain which eventually reached me when I was on the way back.
And there were also plenty of jetties in front of the cottages which were built along the shore. Having a motor boat to reach your cottage is quite common here as there are also many cottages which are located on islands.
There was also a cottage on the island in front of me.
After paddling for a while I decided to have a break so I parked my packraft on the rock. It’s important to have something heavy (e.g. your backpack) on top of your packraft especially if it’s windy since there is a great chance that the wind will catch your packraft and take it away.
I enjoyed the nice scenery. Also I had a good timing since the sun was shining through the clouds just when I had my break.
Temperature today was around 3°C degrees and it’s always good to have a camping stove with you to prepare a nice cup of tea and recover from the cold weather.
The sun was refelcting on the plain rocks which have been formed by ice and sea.
On the way back I finally hit the rain. The sea became quite rough but it was still fun to paddle while the packraft was dancing on top of the waves.
After 3 years using my Werner paddles they sill perform like on the first day. I only have a slight issue to disassemble one part of the paddle.
The weather got again better at the end but the sun was still hiding behind the clouds.
I am still excited about the Archipelago Sea. You can have endless microadventures due the endless amount of islands in this area. More packrafting trips in the Archipelago Sea to come …
If you are excited about packrafting you may also watch my video about wind paddle sailing here around Turku.