Sweden around in a kayak 2013 - Mårten Wetterberg

Rate Ratan


Ostögrundet - Bakviken 59km

At 7.25am, I started paddling, without hat under a blue sky. The hat was packed into the tent, into the stern of the kayak.

I chose to go inside of the island I slept on, the map showed blue. First I noticed that it was no deeper than a couple of inches. After that, it was full of sea grass, with only small passage, so narrow that I had to stop twice to turn the kayak standing still. In the lagoon, trees where on the blue area of the map. Not to mention all the cottages not being on the map, as well as cables both over and under water, and a bridge.

After lunch, just south of Rataskär, I paddled past Ratan. I saw something looking like a café there, so I went ashore. It was apparently a very nice kitchen, with both shower and toilet, open for everyone. The janitor said that I had to try the buffé, as I had come so far.

Said and done, I went to the restaurant and sat down to the Smorgasbord. It's never economic to sell me a buffé, I had two massive plates with amazing pickled herring. Stuffed, I still had a few things on the plate, and the waitress came out and had a chat over a cup of coffee. She was very impressed of my trip, and I got to bring what was on my plate in a doggy bag. She absolutely though I should rent a rowing boat off them, and sleep on Rataskär for the night. I explained I was on the go, heading north still. A bit more quiet, she said I could borrow one for free. I said no, despite that.

Back in the kayak, I didn't get far until someone called out "Narrow boat you've got there!". We talked for a while, and soon more people joined in the conversation. They were calling out "A guy here has paddled from Strömstad", "Come and have a look, this guy will paddle to Haparanda in 5 days" or "He has been in the newspapar Sydsvenskan". Soon, I was telling my stories to a huge bunch of people. One of them started counting miles to Haparanda, and then tried to make everyone go home, I do have a tight schedule.

Soon after Rataskär, I came between an island and mainland. Soon I was on a bath beach. The problem was that from the beach to the island, sand was making an impossible passage to cross, just a few meters wide under the surface. Simple, just step out of the kayak and pull it over, but then, I wouldn't have paddled the entire coastline! I tried on pure force, to no use. Then I looked for where it was deep, and charged. It was just enough for getting over!

According to the plan, I did what I should, 30 nautic miles closer to Haparanda. Didn't start too early, almost 3 hours lunch in total. However, no evening break, and a pretty late finish of the day, 10pm, and good south winds, skewed tailwind. Tomorrow side and headwind, rather tough to get another 30 nautic miles closer to Haparanda then!

View comments