Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Finland - Adventure Club holiday

A new destination for the Adventure club this year was Finland, from which we have just returned from a 9 day holiday. 
Flying into Helsinki we were met by Antti and Lauri who drove us down to join over 200 other paddlers at the Hanko Sea Kayak Gathering where we pitched our tents and joined in the action for the weekend. 
It was great to see a number of familiar faces, many of which we had paddled with back home on the island!  
The format of the symposium being short coaching sessions for different abilities, we also took some time to explore some of the nearby archipeligo islands, with changeable weather conditions along the way, sunshine, rain, thunder, wind.....
After an enjoyable weekend, we packed up and headed north to stay with our good friend Jukka Linnonmaa and his family who run Sea Kayaking Finland
Jukka's home by the river was an ideal base for us to set up camp for different adventures each day and trying out some new skills!
including coaching sessions on the river......
...and sea kayaking journey's on the nearby coast.
A river open canoe journey, practising tandem and solo skills

Plenty of food and drink, fun, laughs and Sauna! We also found time for some group paintballing (highly competitive so no pics of this activity!) 
Our final day on the sea saw us head to Helsinki, from where we paddled out to the Unesco World Heritage site of Suomenlinna. A cracking day on the water, with some mixed weather conditions! 
Great to have some challenges we do not usually encounter back home, including navigation and shipping lanes....
Thank you very much to Jukka, Anna and the family for your amazing hospitality. 
And to Lauri for accompanying us each day and transporting us round, looking forward to taking you sea kayaking on the Isle of Man next year! 
Our final 24 hours in Finland saw us head to the capital Helsinki for a great meal at the Viikinkiravintola Harald restaurant.
And some sightseeing time before back home to the island!
This was the final trip out of 5 club trips for 2014. At the next club social we'll be revealing a shortlist of potential destinations and activities for 2015. If you have any suggestions let us know!

Thanks everyone was great fun! 

Thanks to Anouk & Tim for additional photos....

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