Kayaking around Lervik and Kobba klintar (Åland)

Paddla kajak runt Lervik och Kobba klintar (Åland)

From Kobba klintar, a former pilot station, at the entrance to Mariehamn harbour, you can see the large ferries running into the harbor from the open sea. On the way you cross two waterways so you have to watch out and keep out of the way in time. You paddle through an exciting archipelago landscape with both open bays and narrow, narrow straits between the skerries. This is an ideal area for kayaking where in many places it is too crowded for larger recreational boats. A suitable day trip.

Start and finish: The floating dock at SGU canoe rental, the marina in Lervik.

Length: 14 km

Map: Terrain map L 233 Mariehamn

Difficulty level: Easy

This text is a continuation of the previous article Paddle in the Åland archipelago around Mariehamn .

From the floating jetty in Lervik, you paddle straight south and through the strait out into Styrsöfjärden where you turn to starboard, right, and pass the strait between Styrsö and Svinö. Follow the outside of Styrsö to the south. Along the southern part of the beach there are two small islets, the northernmost one you can go around on the inside through a narrow channel. In front of you now lies the open and wide Korsfjärden. You cross the bay in a south-westerly direction, towards Äskskär, which you round on the south side through a narrow passage. Round Vattskär on the north side and Ärtskär on the south side. From here you can see the Kobba cliffs in front of you. It is, in fact, a collection of small shards with narrow passages in between with lots of rock and crevices. At the northern end is a small, well-protected harbour. With a kayak, you go ashore on the north side of the harbor. Here there are tables and benches to rest at. During the summer there is a service.

Back you round Yttre Korsö on the south side. Then you avoid possible wave surges from passing ferries. Paddle up towards Jungfruskär where you can rest at tables and benches on the west side of the island. The island has the Baltic Sea's largest stock of yew. A nature trail leads through the stand. Cross Korsöfjärden again and follow the west side of Svinö if no ferries are approaching and the weather is calm. Otherwise, paddle the same way you came, into Styrsöfjärden and follow Svinö's east side up to the starting point.

On Kobba klintar there is an old pilot station, established in 1862 and staffed until 1972. The old pilot cabin dates from 1862 and the new pilot house with its mist trap from 1910. On the balcony of the pilot house stands a statue of a pilot made of wood by the artist Juha Pykäläinen, looking out above sea level. On a rock next to it stands a statue of a painter with his easel in the process of painting the view of the island.

Lervik (alt Dragsvik on Järsö) – Nyhamn – Stora och Lilla Båtskär - Lervik

In calm weather, you as a paddler can get out to the outermost skerries in this archipelago. The solitude, the exposed location, the open sea and the barren archipelago provide an overwhelming nature experience. The bird life at Båtskären alone is worth a visit. You can start from Lervik or put in at Dragsvik's jetty at the bottom of southwest Järsö. In the case of the latter option, the distance is half that of the former.

Start and finish: The floating dock at SGU canoe rental, the marina in Lervik; alternatively at Dragsvik's jetty with launching ramp on Järsö. At Dragsvik, you put the kayak in the innermost part of the marina by a grassy narrow slope towards the water.

Length: 28 km. From Dragsvik 14 km.

Map: Terrain map L 233 Mariehamn

Difficulty level: Average. In windy weather difficult

From Lervik you follow the west sides of Styrsö and Nåtö. Note that this is a well-frequented waterway for small boats. Larger ships can occur but are rare. After Gåsö you turn off towards Idskär and Gloskär. There are several alternative places to rest here. Via the small Fjärdskär you paddle across Nyhamnsfjärden to Nyhamn. On the north side there are nice rock outcrops to rest at. The strait between Södra Nyhamnsklubben and Nyhamn provides shelter from many winds. Here there is a narrow shallow passage where kayaks can get through. Just before the passage, there is a sandy beach on the right. There are grazing sheep here so avoid disturbing them. The passage from here over to Båtskären passes a fairway that is used by the big ferries, so keep an eye out and keep out of the way in good time. At Båtskären you can already see a tall tower in the distance. It is a residue from mining on the islands. However, all such activities have long since ceased. Nyhamn's pilot station was also formerly located at Lilla Båtskär. On Stora Båtskär there is a residential building, on Lilla Båtskär there are several buildings. There are no permanent residents here, but several large wind turbines that can be seen from very far away and are therefore easy to navigate. Stora Båtskär can be difficult to approach, while Lilla Båtskär has a real harbor on the north side and is all the easier to approach. Around Båtskären the bird life is intense, large colonies of herring piglet and thrush usually nest here. You paddle back the same way you came, unless you want to paddle south of Askö through Pungö strait to get a bit of a change.

Olle Persson