A few words about kayaking

Since I moved to Helsinki, some kind of activity on the sea was my dream. There is nothing surprising in it – Greater Helsinki coastline is more than 100 kilometers long and there are numerous beautiful islands in front of the city. It took however five long years to make dreams come true.

During first 3 years of my life in Helsinki new hobbies were out of question. I had to study programming and Finnish language. It was also quite hard to afford something new, living on 400-600 € per month.

Later I needed to learn how to swim. It took almost two years from barely floating on the water to be able to swim more or less efficiently and for a little bit longer distance. I was never afraid of deep water, but wawes were a huge obstacle for me. Now I can cope with them, which is quite important to start having fun on the water.

And finally this May I went to the beginner’s course of kayaking. It lasts three evenings and involves quite a lot of things: gear overview, paddling forward, backwards and to the side, different types of turns and ways to stop. We learned how to use sea maps and signs, how to cross waterways, how to moor to the island. And of course rescue exercises! :) One should be very brave to intentionally fall in the water, which was around 10 degrees Celsius.

When I fell in the water, I performed a test of my Samsung Galaxy XCover II phone at the same time. Advertising states that the phone can be safely placed one meter deep in the water for 30 minutes. My phone was under half of meter of water during 3 minutes and water penetrated everywhere inside, including battery contacts and SIM card holder :( Don’t believe in advertising.

After the course I went to paddle by myself and asked Elena to take pictures of me.

It’s nice to know that a beautiful woman is waiting you on the shore :)

Coming closer.

And going farther away. As you can see, weather was still not very good, but it was a different place than the course’s place and water was a little bit warmer there.

There in the forest Finnish president’s residence is located. It didn’t wonder me much when I paddled there that being close to it is not forbidden and there are no bodyguards after every bush. I really like this openness in Finland. Most of places are available for the public, nobody is trying to cut your way with a 3 meters tall fence.

Kayaking is exactly what I wanted – it’s an outdoor activity, it’s related with water, it trains upper body, it’s not extremely expensive, it can be practiced alone or with friends. And it’s easy to start with! I already went to an island for a picnic and paddled in the relatively strong wind (6 m/s). Only positive emotions so far, therefore I suggest it to you as well :)

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