As the kayaking season has started, and my hopes for myself this year have risen I was happy to see an invitation to Soomaa kayaking-hiking tour this weekend. 16km on a mildly over watered river with all the twists and turns you can imagine, running through a forest. This was my first kayaking there.
I was on a single kayak, so were most of the others, except for one canoe. The water level was quite ok, though at the times it felt like almost kayaking on a field. What made the 16km trip interesting were
firstly, the twists and turns that you had to take, some with rather fast current (nt fast FAST, but still, faster than my regular training on Emajõgi). You could train taking the curves without losing speed.
Second thing that made it interesting was the branches, ice and logs. So you had to pay attention not to let the obstacles push and turn you around. I managed to get stuck once on a narrow passage that we had to go through, but as I had a bad angle, the backside of my kayak got stuck. So there I was, stuck on the log and in a way that the current was pushing the middle of my boat. Luckily a fellow kayaker came to rescue so we could test the rescue tactics. All ended well, but there was a moment I thought I might actually have to test my eskimo roll skills.
Third interesting part came with the more dense rubble and ice obstacles. The first one we managed to create a passage through but the second obstacle was 300m of thick ice and though we did try to get a bit through, there was no point. Backing away from the ice passage was tough, since your paddles hit the ice and it was easy to get unbalanced. Then our guide came and pushed himself straight at the ice, took out the rope and helped other on the ice so they could walk through the shore until the water was open again. Really nice and quick work from our guide. Unfortunately, my phone battery was dead and I have no pics of that …
All in all it was my first longest trip this year and my first trip in Soomaa. We were blessed with the weather, the guides and the equipment from Seakayaking.com was great and it was for a good cause (save the forest – they are raising to protect the forest in this area).
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