Our 16-year-old granddaughter, Samantha, is a bird expert who loves the outdoors. She expressed interest in a kayak adventure to the eastern archipelago of Helsinki that was available as a land tour during the Baltic cruise we had scheduled to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Her dad, Jerry, and I agreed to join her and it turned out, for me, to be the most worthwhile tour of a wonderful cruise!
The photos above capture some highlights of our paddle, including our wearing of kayak skirts (more about that below :^).
NO SKIRTS REQUIRED
|Ira, Lorin, and Bill|
I sold my kayak when we moved from our private home in The Villages, FL to our current digs in an Independent Living facility, where storage space is at a premium.
I had not been in a kayak for over two years when I accepted Samantha's invitation.
|Lorin, Bill, and Frank|
In over a decade of kayaking, I've never wanted to do an "eskimo roll" and so have never worn a sprayskirt that seals the cockpit opening.
So, I was totally unprepared to wear a skirt on our Helsinki adventure!
SKIRTS PROVIDED - AND MORE !
On the Helsinki paddle, we didn't do any rolls, but we did wear skirts. The lower right inset in the top photo shows our group that consisted of Claudia and Tanya (from Australia), along with Ira, Samantha, and Jerry.
We highly recommend the outfitter, NATURA VIVA, and the able leader of our tour, Outi, for their high quality equipment and enjoyable adventure. (See http://kauppa.naturaviva.fi/en/kayak-tours/helsinki-by-kayak-p-81.html/)
Outi and Anna and the others at Natura Viva made us comfortable and were highly professional in helping us don the skirts and life vests and rain gear.
At a stop at an island, we enjoyed some amazing refreshments, including the juice of the "Sea buckthorn".
|Samantha, Jerry, and Tanya drink -- Our leader, Outi, pours -- Jerry and Samantha enjoy the view !|
Outi told us they had diluted the highly concentrated sea buckthorne with pineapple juice to make it palatable for us. REFRESHING !!!
Oh, and Samantha pointed out a hooded crow (grey except for black head) and a muted swan, among other birds we saw.