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--------Kayaking in the Bay of Finland, Baltic Sea



In 2013 while I was staying at the youth hostel in Helsinki, I planned a kayak trip to the Bay of Finland in the Baltic Sea. From Helsinki, I took the metro and got out at the Rastilan Metro station. From there you can walk or take a bus who will leave you near the kayak center called Natura Viva. From the metro to the center, it's about one km away.
On the first day. I arrived in the afternoon and I went kayaking nearby for few hours. The staff was quite nice and helpful. They had a variety of kayaks, solo and tandems. They gave me an waterproof map. It was not a navigational one, but it was fairly detailed. I went kayaking in some inlets. The arquipelago had hundreds of beautiful islands of all sizes. One my back I took the wrong turn and ended up lost. I believe you can hire guides but I was going solo, by myself it was easier to get lost but it was also more challenging and interesting. In some ways, from far everything looks the same. After thinking, I realized the mistake I made and found my way back. This was a few fantastic hours.

The next day I came back but this time. I was going to find an island and stay overnight. I brought my tent, sleeping bag and cooking utensils. I also brought some smoked salmon. I found an island a couple of km from shore with a sauna and campground. I was able to make a fire. I listened to music. Many boats came and people went to the sauna. In some ways the people made me feel invisible not too many people talked to me. There was even a couple of people that walked right in front of me without even looking at me. One family, asked me if I wanted to use the sauna after they were done. Finally, some act of kindness. They asked me where I was going to sleep and I said on the island. They were worried that I was going to be cold. It was the summer and I am from Canada.I also had a warm sleeping bag. This was by far the best day that I spend in Finland.

The next day, I may have kayaked another 15 km. I got lost and I had to ask for help. I was getting closer to downtown Helsinki, it was getting busier. I was getting tired, my muscles hurt after those extra kn. My patience was leaving me. One time I stopped at a prohibited Island and forgot my life jacket. I could not swim. I returned to fetch it. Overall, it was an unforgettable adventure.
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