Sorry all English speakers, this article is in Norwegian only.
Se her for en artikkel om pakking av kajakken:
Sorry all English speakers, this article is in Norwegian only.
Se her for en artikkel om pakking av kajakken:
Sidetracked Magazine published an article I wrote about planning for sea kayakers.
Check it out here:
Here’s a short review of some great beaches on the west coast of Moskenes island in Lofoten.
The west coast of Moskenes island is remote and isolated with no roads. Access to these beaches is only through hiking, sea kayaking or boat.
All of these beaches used to have settlements before the inhabitants moved to more central areas in the 1950s.
Some of the beaches are huge and ancient. They have been around a long time and are surrounded by some of the oldest mountains on this planet. They are a bit harder to get to, but they are great to camp on and the midnight sun can create long lasting memories as it paints the sky and landscape orange. Watertemperature? Cold!
Accessible by ferry or sea kayak from Reine, Bunes beach is one of the more popular and accessible beaches. It has a fresh water source, toilet and plenty of campsites. Privacy is usually not a problem here as it’s such a huge beach. It’s also possible to hike up to nearby peaks, such as Helvetestinden.
Accessible by ferry from Reine and a following one hour hike. This beach is one of the least visited beaches. There is fresh water near the beach. Horseid beach is the largest beach.
Without doubt the most visited beach, This is mostly due to that it’s easily accessible by a short hike. Kvalvika has also recently received attention from the movie “North of the sun”. There is a fresh water source on the beach. Excpect many visitors on this beach.
Only accessible by boat or sea kayak. A long and steep hike from Å is possible but only for the most dedicated hiker. The beach is small and surrounded by steep mountains. There is a cave nearby with 2-3000 year old paintings. There used to be a settlement here and you can see the remains.
Today view: 2 - Total View: 2239
Information booklet in PDF:
Guided sea kayak tours
Kajakk Nord in cooperation with photographer Tomasz Furmanek, Hattvika Lodge and Ut i Lofoten is inviting you to 5 days of kayaking in Lofoten.
Price: 9.999 NOK
Dates: 27-31 July and 3-7 August 2015
To sign up click here.
Accomodation and base camp will be at Hattvika Lodge, Ballstad in Lofoten. From here we will explore the Lofoten islands on daytrips. All trips will take advantage of the weather conditions. This means we are flexible to choose the best route available to us. There will be opportunities to explore mountains and coastline on foot as well.
Trips are aimed at beginners and above. You should know how to self rescue and buddy rescue or be willing to learn this after arrival in Lofoten with the guide. All trips will be held at an appropriate level dependent upon the skill level of the group.
What is included:
Accomodation at Hattvika Lodge in Ballstad Lofoten.
Guided day trips.
A sea kayak (P&H Scorpio, Seabird Explorer, Winner).
Food, self served breakfast and lunch, ready made hot meals for dinner.
Not included and must be brought:
– Dry suit or wetsuit for paddling.
– Safety west.
– Warm clothing. Even though it is summer in Northern Norway you should bring a set of warm and windproof clothing, as it can get cold.
– Any other sea kayaking gear you prefer to use which is not mentioned in the ‘what is included’ section.
– Photography gear for kayaking: GOPRO , compacts cameras and DSLR’s, Dryboxes and divehouses
– Practical advice for photographing in a wet environment
– Style and composition
– Photographing at sunset and sunrise
– Photographing campsites at night
– Photography in social media
– Practical tips and tricks
Itinerary (dependent on conditions):
Day 1: Arrival at Hattvika Lodge. Orientation and sorting out sea kayaking equipment. A trip with the sea kayak for those who have time.
Day 2: Daytrip along the coast.
Day 3: A paddle through Nappstraumen to Vikbukta. We will let the tidal current work in our favour in both directions this day. For those willing, a guided hike to Himmeltinden is highly recommended. This takes approximately 3 hours up and down.
Day 4: Daytrip along the coast.
Day 5: Departure day. One last paddle for those who have time.
There are several ways to arrive to Ballstad. The easiest way is airtravel via Bodø (www.sas.com or www.norwegian.com) and connect with www.wideroe.no to Leknes airport. Leknes have several arrivals with good connections from Bodø airport.
If sea travel is more convenient, Hurtiruten (www.hurtigruten.com/no/norskekysten/) is a good alternative as it arrives the local village Stamsund at 1900 and departures in south direction at 2230
If you travel by car, the ferry (http://www.torghatten-nord.no/english/) from Bodø to Moskenes (Å) is a good alternative. Several departures a day.
If you travel by airplane or by Hurtiruten, transportation from airport (Leknes) or shipdock (Stamsund) is included. Pickup/ return service is included.
Hattvika Lodge – private restaurant – activities year round!
Hattvika Lodge offers the ultimate facilities for small private groups or corporate business events in authentic surroundings in Ballstad, Lofoten. We offer activities at sea or in the mountains year around and the location is private and only for you!
Ballstad has been fishing for several centuries. The harbour is a safe haven surrounded by wonderful mountain that invites active activities and gives a fantastic overview of Lofoten. Right on our doorstep in Hattvika is some of the best fishing grounds in Lofoten, We say; Welcome Ski & Fishing!
For seakayaking, Hattvika is close to perfect as you have the sea on your doorstep. Right outside Ballstad you find thousands of islets and reefs on the inner shore of Lofoten. We truly welcomes you together with KayakNord and Tomasz Furmanek to this event.
For adittional information see: http://www.hattvikalodge.no/#!home/cotz
This fjord is located in western Norway and it´s the narrowest fjord in Norway. At the narrowest it´s 250 meters wide while the mountains soar 1761 meters above sea level.
From a sea kayaking perspective this fjord offers steep mountains, several big waterfalls, great campsites, great hikes, harbour porpoises (phocoena phocoena) and the possibility of having this fjord all to yourself.
That last point will prove tricky during the summer months as the small towns of Flåm and Gudvangen are overrun with tourists wanting to see the fjords onboard ferries, speedboats and sea kayaks. Campsites during that period can be packed with boy scouts from Great Britain, while boats full of chinese tourists on a fjord safari sail by your overrun campsite every hour. Not exactly what you expected. I recommend you to visit this fjord outside june and july. The months of April, may, august and september can be great weather wise in this region.
There are three different starting points for a sea kayak trip to the Nærøyfjord. The towns of Gudvangen, Flåm and Undredal all offers good starting points. If you have two cars, paddling from Gudvangen to Flåm is possible as an overnight trip. The good bits is basically between Gudvangen and Undredal.
There are alternatives to camping on the more well known campsites. If you don´t mind hiking it´s possible to hike up the Stigen homestead and find a suitable campsite above the homestead. Just follow the trail past the homestead and you´ll find suitable spots to camp.
If you keep following the trail you´ll come to the Beitelen lookout point. From here you can see where Sognefjord, Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord meets.
In addition to the many tourists in the fjord during the summer months, other annoyances include the goats near the Stigen homestead. They are extremely keen on nibbling and tasting you and your equipment.
This fjord is worth visiting in a sea kayak. Check the weather and go outside the busy season and you may have a really good sea kayaking experience.
Depending on how warm your sleeping bag is or how well you manage in colder climates, the months of may to september can be good for being outdoors in this region.
Here´s a video from the fjord:
Today view: 3 - Total View: 1369
My friend and co-paddler on many trips, Tomasz Furmanek, has received alot of publicity from kayaking trips done together with me and others.
His photos captures awesome moments from some of the coolest places to kayak in Norway.
The following media has been running this case recently:
During august 2013 I decided to go for a solo kayaking trip to Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. These are Spanish islands part of the Canary Islands, located just off the northwest coast of Africa, 100 kilometers off Morocco.
The guys at Kayak Fuerteventura, helped me plan the trip and rented me a kayak and paddles. Everything else I brought from Norway. This of course included a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, freeze dried meals, clothes, kayaking gear and various other stuff necessary to live off the grid for a few days. I had to buy a stove and gas canister in Fuerteventura, as the one I brought was not compatible with the canisters available in Fuerteventura.
The weather forecast was good for the next four days. However, as I was to find out, the wind would pick up and the waves would be a challenge.
The tide difference would be about 3 meters as it was full moon during my kayaking trip. This I did not consider a risk on this trip. My main concern was wave height, breaking waves and wind. Fuerteventura is known as a haven for wind sports, but high winds would mean big waves and at best hard work, and at worst dangerous conditions. The east coast is in general more protected compared to the west coast, where the coast is more remote, has fewer landing spots, is less populated and more exposed to the sea. Truth be told I want to paddle the west coast, but this is an expedition not done alone, but with a group of experienced paddlers.
My plan was to paddle from Corralejo in the north, over to the south east coast of Lanzarote. I would then return to the sand dunes south of Corralejo and be driven down to Las Salinas and continue on to Las Playitas in the south. The main reason for the drive, was to avoid the less scenic part of the east coast.
I began the crossing over to Lanzarote in perfect conditions with very calm waters. The crossing is about 12 kilometres and took about 2 hours. I followed the craggy, steep and wild coast until I reached a black beach located about 1 km from the village of Playa Quemada.
I returned the next day to begin the crossing back to Fuerteventura. The wind and waves had picked up and I also hit a current moving east. There was a belt close to Fuerteventura where the current was faster and the waves were taller, compared to other places on the crossing. I did feel very small and at some times stupid to expose myself to such conditions. The waves were about 1,5 meters and some were breaking. Looking back I realise I was outside my comfort zone at the time. The risks were in fact higher than what I was comfortable with handling.
In any case I was glad to reach the small island of Lobos, northeast of Fuerteventura. I landed at a sheltered beach, where I met up with Jorge and Juan from Kayak Fuerteventura for a summary of the trip so far. They were there guiding tourists in kayaks. After an update on weather we departed and I headed on towards the sand dunes on Fuerteventura.
I met up with Juan, who drove me to my campsite where the road ended, south of Las Salinas. The full moon was shining bright and the desert landscape was glowing in its silvery light. It was great sitting there, reflecting on the trip so far.
The next day the 1,5 meter waves and strong wind was back, and I had a bumpy ride until lunch time at a wild area called Jacomar. After passing Jacomar the waves and wind calmed a lot down, making the rest of the trip a lot more enjoyable. The landscape was getting steeper and taller. It almost reminded me of the steep fjords we have in Norway, except the landscape here was dry and brown instead of green and wet.
For a change I received some following wind and sea on the last stretch before Las Playitas. I was paddling along at about 10 km/h, double of what I normally do.
I arrived at Las Playitas and Jorge picked up the kayak later that day. Fuerteventura can be a really challenging place to sea kayak. I`ve explored parts of the west coast on foot, and it is wild! A sea kayak expedition there is on my bucket list. I just need someone else to join me for a week or so.
Lofoten is one of the most exciting sea kayak destinations to explore in Norway.
During July 2014 Tomasz Furmanek (www.furmanek.com) and I had the opportunity to paddle from the small island of Vaeroy up along the uninhabited west coast of Lofoten to the small town of Ramberg.
The plan was to paddle from Værøy, cross the Mosken tidal current and explore the exposed west coast of Lofoten.
Værøy is a beautiful island with many sea eagles, puffins, numerous other kind of birds and lots of fish. There are white beaches with no one on them, awesome campsites and fantastic mountain peaks from where you can see Røst to the south and Moskenes island to the North.
On day 2 we had nearly circumnavigated Værøy island and we were ready to begin the crossing of the Mosken tidal current north of Vaeroy. However, the weather had other plans for us, as thick fog and strong wind moved in from the west. Visibility was poor and unacceptable for crossing this tidal current. We had to pitch our tents and wait another 12 hours before conditions were acceptable.
The word maelstrom originates from the Norse word of male, which means to grind. The Moskenstraumen or Mosken tidal current, was in the old days marked on maps with enormous whirlpools and dragons. The phenomenon has also been described by poets, explorers and authors as something very dangerous. It seems this may have created an undeserving reputation, as it is possible to cross it with a sea kayak.
The Mosken tidal current forms between the small island of Mosken and the larger island of Moskenes. As the tide pulls and push a large amount of water through the narrow and shallow Mosken strait, the water speeds up through this overfall. At its strongest the tidal current forms a system of eddies and currents which, given rough conditions, is risky to cross with a sea kayak. However, given low waves, low wind, good visibility and good weather the tidal current can be crossed fairly easily.
Given that all the risks above are eliminated, there only remains the risk created by the tidal current itself. So how is it possible to eliminate this remaining risk? It is essential to understand how tide and this specific tidal current works.
The tide moves in and out with an interval of 6 hours. So after high tide, low tide occurs after 6 hours.
The flow (speed) of the tide increases with 1/12 of the total difference between low and high tide in the first hour.
The second hour = 2/12.
The third hour = 3/12.
Fourth hour = 3/12.
Fifth hour = 2/12.
Sixth hour = 1/12.
In Lofoten the total difference between low and high tide is about 3 meters. So in the first hour after high tide, the water level decreases with 1/12 of 3 meters. So the water level will decrease in the following manner:
First hour: 1/12 of 3 meters = 25 cm
Second hour 2/12 of 3 meters = 50 cm
Third hour: 3/12 of 3 meters = 75 cm
Fourth hour: 3/12 of 3 meters = 75 cm
Fifth hour: 2/12 of 3 meters = 50 cm
Sixth hour: 1/12 of 3 meters = 25 cm
So, knowing this we can see that the third and fourth hour is when the flow of the tide is the fastest, while the first and sixth hour is the slowest. The first and sixth hour is of course when the tide is turning, and hence there will be a brief moment when the tide is standing still before it starts moving in the opposite direction again.
Knowing this we have to find out how the tide behaves locally at the Mosken tidal current. There is a Norwegian Pilot guide (a rather large PDF document, see page 234) which describes in Norwegian the Mosken tidal current in detail. According to the pilot guide, the Mosken tidal current turns 1,5 hours before high tide and 4,5 hours after high tide. Knowing this we can use the tide chart for Bodø and plan to be in the middle of the tidal current either 1,5 hours before high tide or 4,5 hours after high tide.
We left Værøy at 10 am and paddled over to the small Mosken island in the middle of the Moskenes strait. At Mosken island we took a long break waiting for the optimal time to make the crossing to Moskenes island.
The crossing itself went fine as all the risks above had been eliminated with careful planning and favourable conditions. The crossing would not have been attempted if any of the above risks had been unacceptable. This place can kill you and it is certainly not worth risking anything, to cross this tidal current. As we were crossing we noticed that waves were moving in a very gentle current. There were a few hotspots where eddies and stronger currents formed. I can imagine these hotspots will be rough when the flow is at its strongest in the third and fourth hour. The waves were mostly 0,5 meters with some 1 meter waves. All in all it went well and we felt in control.
After arriving on the uninhabited and exposed west coast of Moskenes island we landed at Refsvika for a snack and a rest.
Our aim, due to pretty much perfect conditions, was to paddle as far as we could in order to avoid being stuck due to bad conditions. So we paddled on towards Bunes beach, which we knew had water and a possible escape by portage to civilisation if conditions turned ugly.
The west coast is wild and truly an awesome place to be. There are several large caves and tall, steep, craggy mountains all along the coast.
We arrrived at Bunes beach 11 hours after leaving Vaeroy island. The midnight sun was shining from a blue sky and we were two very happy and tired paddlers sipping whiskey and soaking up the atmosphere.
The next day, fog was forecasted to set in at 3 pm. We knew that part of the trip would be encased in fog, so we started early towards Ramberg.
After a couple of hours in the fog, it cleared as the wind picked up. We ended the journey with some following wind and waves, allowing us to surf towards our destination. A great end to a fantastic, challenging and most memorable kayaking experience.
Surfing towards our destination in Ramberg.
Here’s a video from the trip:
And here´s a video from a trip done in July 2015 in the same area: