Sweden around in a kayak 2013 - Mårten Wetterberg



Klyvan - Haparanda 92km

Northern winds opened the day, so I could only sleep for one hour under the bare sky. At 1.30am I started, and aimed for a very distant wind power station just outside of Kalix, barely visible. Soon, the wind power station at Karlshamn came over the horizon, so I aim for these ones.

At 5am the wind was starting to get quite strong, and the sea was hard to handle. SMHI said I had 2 m/s, but I had white waves everywhere, and I could barely get north. I did however remember that one of the forecasts I got at Rödkallen was 7 m/s, straight north, that was to last until 7am. Quite correct, as that forecast was not from SMHI, the Swedish weather forecaster. Seems like YR is showing the weather that will happen, while SMHI is showing the weather that will not happen!

Despite the sea calming down after two hours, I felt a strong need for my pontoons. First and foremost I wanted moral support in the battle against exhaustion. During the time I put the pontoons on, I used the paddle to brace the kayak, barely 10km from closest land. With the pontoons on, I leaned forward to reach for the paddle and start paddling, but it was gone! Franticly, I looked around for my paddle, and did strangely remember how it must've fallen off at mounting the first pontoon, about two minutes ago.

I quickly build my spare paddle, and drop it in the water to estimate how the paddle moves compared to the kayak. I pick the spare paddle up again, stood up in the kayak and looked in the direction I estimated. After a while I finally saw it, and could pick it up. After I've been using the paddle for so many days, it is no longer a tool, but rather a part of my soul, so I would spend weeks looking for the paddle out there!

When the headwind was at it's peak, I changed my course, to the wind power stations at Seskarö, and so I had a side wind instead. I continued with that course even after the wind ceased, and at 8 am I mix the last bit of couscous with cold water, and let it expand for an hour before eating it, hungrily. Even a cup of cold water was swallowed! At 3pm, I landed at Halsögrundet, to eat my last bit of dried food. After an hours nap I started the last leg of my journey to Haparanda.

Soon before the famous beak, my GPS warned me about crossing "Unsurveyed area". So far these areas on the map have been very shallow, so I chose to round it. I estimated being done slightly before midnight, but east of the island Kraaseli the current was strong. Also, I tried to get the awaiting family members to the sam beak. So no soooner than 0.55am I landed at Riksröse 59! The landmark is just a few meters from the cabin of the family Waltari, so I did my landing, and completeion of HBB quietly.

In some strange way it's wistful having finished the journey. It simply shows that Haparanda was never the target, but rather this: To live in a tent and off the nature for almost two months. To be kayaking daily. All the exciting people I met along the way. To see the entire Swedish coastline from the best perspecive, a kayak. But still the challange itself was exciting, something I have now pulled off. I am very proud that I, small little Marten, managed to paddle the entire coastline!

A big thanks to my mom Gill, my dad Benny and my lil'sis Greta for picking me up! I had the pleasure to be taken by car to a hotel in Haparanda, with a breakfast buffé the next mornign. After this, visiting relatives in Råneå and Boden, for the finishing car ride to Sala. The distance doesn't seem as far, espeially as the kayak isnät moved solemny by my own power, but by my dad’s car.

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