Sweden around in a kayak 2013 - Mårten Wetterberg

Sweet and salty on Finnhamn

Thursday
20
June

Söder Långholm - Marboö 43km

Firstly I want to clearify that I've had a good day in hot weathers, with an excellent breakfast and beautiful archipelago. I'm on the other hand going to tell you a bit about the things I've noticed here, that are new for the trip. These notices are made by a 21 years old boy, who haven't seen Stockholms archipelago properly before. If you read something between the lines, a Stockholm with very broad strokes are being painted, based on few meetings.

It all started yesterday evening. The waitor was happy to serve me in my dry suit, and placed me at a table. When my order reached the kitchen, roadblock; the kitchen closed 10 minutes earlier. The waitor excused himself, and asked to make up for it with chili nuts. Beer and bread was also ordered.

At the table next to me, a young gang was sitting, with constantly changing constellations. They ordered food from the kitchen, chatting and laughing, having a good time. For them who worked on the island, the kitchen closed at 10pm. Soon, a lady escapes the company of these boys and walks home. In whispers, I can hear that she promised to never enter this restaurant again, it was something about the food.

Very well, the chaps start telling stories. One of them, a waitor on another restaurant on the island, told a story about a crying man, who walked into the storytellers restaurant a couple of days ago. The man explained that he ran aground just outside the restaurant. The waitor asked what he, a waitor, could do about that, and explained that they were on a restaurant, and the man was welcome to sit down and order something from the menu. The company next to me laughed at the stupidity of the man, why walk into a restaurant when the boat is aground outside?

When they closed, I ordered in my bill. Chili nuts were on it, but the ordered bread was free. The sum was however not entered on the card reader, so when I paid, the waitor disappeared into the cash machine to catch the few pounds the tip was, so I paddled back home without a word.

Now, this morning, I paddled back to Finnhamn to have breakfast at the hostel. When I entered the building, I met an italian guest in my own age. She explained that the breakfast was on the first floor, but wasn't to open for another 30 minutes. I thanked her and started off into the breakfast room. She, rather terrified, repeated on broken english that the breakfast wasn't to open for another 30 minutes. Again, I thanked her for the information, and walked up, I had other information from the restaurant yesterday. Well, it was open for staff and paying customers from 8.30am, but for hostel guests first at 9am.

Behind me, a couple sat down at 9am, from Stockhom, having two kids. They didn't eat from the breakfast, had their own, better, food. When their ham was finished the daughter started crying, what was she to fill her sandwich with, when her brother had finished the ham? Being wached by his angry wife, the father tried to solve it with ham from the breakfast table, but that wasn't good enough for the daughter.

I left the breakfast, 8 slices of bread, all filled with butter, cheese, ham and marmelade, 3 eggs, a bowl of sour milk and cereal, another with yoghurt and sereal, two glasses of juice and two cups of coffe. I met the lady from yesterday outside, and she was very interested in my trip, the eavesdropping from yesterday was mutual, as she heard mine and the waitors conversation. Her main concern was my clothes. I asked what she meant, and she explained seeing me in my "wetsuit" yesterday, and now I was wearing swim shorts and a wool sweater, but regular clothes? I still didn't understand her actual question, but I suspect she was referring to how I was to dress up decently during my trip. She worked for SJ, owned all of Finnhamn and had just done the "Vätternrundan" by bike.

I left, after filling up my water sack, and buying bread, Finnhamn. I recommend Finnhamn, but the place had a smell that didn't taste too well to me. After a couple of kilometers, a sailing boat caught up witn me, he on the recommended track, I 20 meters outside. Just as he passed me, he turned right off the track, and straight into me. 20 meters isn't a long distance to react, especially not in a 5.5 meters kayak, having a boat on a beam reach into the side. A T-bone collision would mean the end, breaking the kayak would run me into him. I just managed to sneak passed him, I really hope my rudder left a fat scrach on his hull. I gave the helm the blackest of eyes. Speaking of boats, the largest boat I've seen here, are the small ferries run by Waxholmsbolaget. They jump out between the skerries like elephants out of bushes, in a disrespectful speed.

Kayaking-wise there was nothing strange, rather tired the last hour. Lunch at Bildö, sleeping on Marboö

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