This Story was supposed to be about my trip from Oslo to Tarifa and it was supposed to start the 1st of April but when i woke up the day before i started feeling sick. The flu(No Covid) hit me super hard and I will have to give it a top 3 of all time!
It took 2 weeks until I started feeling better and one week later I felt ready to start my trip from Engelsviken where I had stored my kayak at Sam and Gry`s place after my trip in march to hold talks about my trip along the Norwegian coast and back in 2021. My mom and Kjell picked me up in Nesodden in the morning and at midday I said goodbye to everyone and started my journey south to Tarifa.
See full route her MapShare (garmin.com)
I was planning a soft start but with calme weather I made it all the way down to Rom island right before the Swedish border where I found a perfect place to set up my hammock for the night. On this trip I have decided to make it a little more basic so I didn't bring a tent, no more broken tent pools and zippers! Instead I bought my Ticket to the moon hammock, tow line, mosquito net and a tarp.
With this equipment I was more comfortable and dryer than the other times when I used a tent. The next day I did my crossing over to Sweden and just continued south jumping from island to island for the next week.
At the end of day three as i was searching for my camp for the night i found the first kayakers of the trip Bearing North was a two person kayak team with Johanna and Joakim doing the blue ribbon challenge (Havspaddlarnas Blå Band)
In 2022 13 people started the challenge and only 7 made it to the finish line in Haparanda and you can see stats going all the way back to 1991. From 1991 to 2022 the challenge has been done 197 times while the Norwegian coast challenge has been completed 14 times from 1989-2022 for more stats on the Swedish coast check out HHB homepage and for Norway just check my last post. There are also people that have done this challenge but taken some shortcuts or had help transporting and didn't make the lists.
Its really cold and windy so finding a good camp site is really important and for the most time it's not a problem but on day 4 i couldn't find anywhere good but right before the sun goes down i find a nice beach where i manage to find a little shelter from the wind but it's just getting colder so i decide to test out the emergency sleeping bag this night to get a warm night.
The next morning I woke up nice and warm with the sun on my face. And I am soaking wet due to the condecon inside of the bag so I just need to dry my sleeping bag before I get started. I am really struggling with the cold and my lack of power, i feel like i am at less than 50% of my normal energy but I keep on pushing myself south little by little.
By day 7 i am outside of Gothenburg and having my first short day and had a washing day at Öckerö, it is still a little too early in the season so sanitary stations are not open yet but after telling my plans and my needs i get all the help i need and a little exstra, and by the end of the day everything are clean and dry so we continue to find the closest camp.
The next day we started with some shopping both at the grocery shop and the fishing shop and after filling up Ymir we did another 30km in the sun.
I was hoping that the short day would be all the rest I needed for the next week but by the time I made it to my camp for the night I was exhausted and the next day ended up as a full restingday with good food, tea and a good yoga session in the warm sun.
For the next week we just keep south along the beautiful Swedish coast. Sunny and windy with cold nights continues but luckily at both the 20km crossings we had calmer seas so no problems here.
On day 15 we take our next resting day looking over to Denmark from Domsten just 6km away and during the day we get a visit from an old frien Jonathan, it's alway nice to meet good old friends a
After a day of watching ships pass in the highly trafficked area and planning my route, are we ready for the crossing! I'm a little nervous since this is the most trafficked area I have crossed! My plan is simple, i start with kayaking out to the first lateral marker where i stopped and check all ships speed and position on Marine Traffic while calculating when I will have the time to cross.
I find my opening and go full speed! I make it to the middle marker after 1nm and then to safety after crossing the last marker 1nm later. We made it over in a shorter time than I had planned so I cleared the ships with no problem but it looked really scary with large tank ships coming straight against you and if I misstime my crossing they will not be able to stop in time and they cant change direction without going on ground. You better be 100% sure before you go!
Finally in Shelland, Denmark i made the decision to go on the north side, a little shorter distance then south but rogher and longer crossings.
I make it 80km the first two days but on day 18 I am once again out of power and in need of another resting day. Every day we are falling further behind so I need to go as direct and fast as possible but it's rough and I am still operating at less then 50% energy. It's starting to get really hard to motivate myself, not much to hide behind, wind against me most of the time right now but luckily it is finally getting warmer.
While I was resting I made arrangements for a night inside so I could charge my equipment and the first wash in two weeks, I got a positive answer from a small hotel at Sejerø but by the time I made it there the host had left the island so I stayed outside in the yard instead.
The internet service here was terrible so I was struggling to get in contact with them but after leaving the island an email popped up with info on how to get into the house hahahaha. The plan here was to just cross direkt to Samsø but the weather was not right for the crossing of Samsø belt. This area is just as trafficadet as the crossing from Sweden but it's a much longer crossing with multiple shipping lanes and ferry crossings so a little more to keep control over here. We changed our direction and headed SW to Nyby where two local kayakers had tipped me that the harbor had a service house where I can shower and wash my clothes. It was a thick fog so I could not see my goal before I was half way over the 20km crossing. While I was chilling in the sun drying my clothes I got a visit from Johanne and Vivi, thank you for the tip, I needed that wash!
When everything was dry I kayaked to a campsite close by where there was a women's retreat where they were staying out in nature and learning to connect with nature with what looked like fun exercises.
We leave my camp around mid day when the wind is at its calmest but still windy from the south and we are going west. it's a lot of ships coming from north and south so I ended up waiting by the red marker for 30 minutes before I made my move.
We stop paddling south against the red marker and turn west full speed ahead and we make it over the shipping lane without problems and much faster than we needed and keep heading to Samsø and keep following up the island as winds and sea gets wilder and wilder.
And during a little crossing the winds turned and are now at 9m/s with 14 in the gust and I ran out of power agan! Really frustrating and I feel lucky that the wind sends me straight to a long beach where I find a good spot to set up camp.
The three next days I have next to no energy and I just see myself falling farther behind for every day that goes by and I can't trick myself anymore so I announce that I will abort the trip to Tariffa and start on my way back when i feel ready. A hard decision to make but when you fail to meet the goal every day, start 3 week to late and some other bad news so you have to find a way to start making your goals and stop setting yourself up to fail! So I made Sjælland my new goal, i will continue around Denmark's largest Island and cross black to Sweden at the same spot. When we get there I will decide what I will do next!
A little review on some equipment I used.
Hammock and tarp camping was a success! more comfortable with a tired body, much dryer then in a tent and a much better view! I will bring my Ticket to the Moon hammock on new adventures and I have upgraded with a MoonQuilt and new straps.
Right before I got sick I ordered some super underwear from Brynje of Norway, one set of merino wool and one set of thermo wool netting, a perfect combo when every part of your skin hurts and you don't have the problem with a pawn of swet where you have been sleeping.
it`s also the most used clothing in camp and the nights i didn't put them on i normally got cold during the night.
And I have to brag about my 18 in one soap from Dr. Bronner's one soap for body, hair, hands, teeth, cloth, dishes and more, good for nature and health! This saves a lot of space!
And as always a big thanks to my team! Norse for the magical kayak Ymir, LevelSix with the amazing drysuit Odin, Silva for Navigation and keeping equipment dry with drybags, Aquabound sendt me their paddle Whiskey that now is my Nr1 paddle!
And last out Aktiv.no that have equipment from all mentioned above! Thank you all!!
For more about my trips check out my Instagram, FaceBook and YouTube as ShibbyTraveler.
Full route here by Garmin MapShare (garmin.com)
Next part is being written now. Lots of Love Joachim The ShibbyTraveler