My wife went to Palma with some friends and the kids wanted to go to my parents in Falkenberg, so what to do? Put some kayaks on the car, never know whether the kids would like to join or not. To Falkenberg it is 1-hour-drive.
Arrived on Friday evening, Sweden vs Austria in the qualification round to the World Cup in Rio 2014. Since I am interested in Footyball as well, I wanted to Watch the game. I called a friend, Håkan Ödéhn, and we watched the game while talking about times passed over a couple of glasses of wine. Great evening, not only for the fact that our saviour Zzzzzzlatan Ibraaaaahimovic scored a decisive goal, but more for the chatting.
On Saturday morning I enjoyed a breakfast with mom, dad, and kids. Decided that I would launch at Strandbaden and my father drove me there and they would later in the afternoon come to Långasand, some 8 km further south from Skrea Strand.
"Bring some coffee and apple pie, I guess I'll need that then."
Strandbaden Hotel created good memories. A lot of fun has taken place there, good food has been eaten, dancing and laughter..."Those were the Days..." I Heard my mind saying. but after having considered this for 30 sec, well, Life is still good, even better. Same, same, but different.
My idea was to go into the harbour and up to Tullbron to see if it was possible to have some fun in Ätran, a river/Creek/brook. I have only been on the waters in Falkenberg's harbour once, then with a friend who had a sailing boat. I was 19 years then, but the memory brought me back to that day directly.
I paddled up along the pier. Strong easterly winds made it possible to feel some surf on my way out.
|I saw some thieves taking some metals from those heaps. Since there were surveillance cameras I didn't bother to report.|
|The ship is called Prospero and has its base in Donsö|
|Good to see that they are based here as well.|
|Old Railway Bridge on which you also could bike and walk.|
I had the wind in my face and the current from Ätran against me. but the colours on the trees, the familiar buildings and the memories made the paddle an easy one. I didn't really know what to expect from this day. I had a plan A, but also a plan B and felt comfortable with that since I always look upon things as if you have got a frame, a goal, you're freer to deviate from that. Heading up to Tullbron I had hoped to go through it, but since it was low water and I had chosen to paddle my Tahe Greenland T Aramid/Carbon, that was not an option any more. There was a current so I could play around a bit. I put my helmet on and just for the hell of it - rolled. Well, you never know when you will come back to Toll Bridge in a kayak.
|Through one of the passages you can read "Falkenberg". That's Grand Hotel.|
|Thumps up for the roll, Kokatat Watersports and Falkenberg|
I noticed that some people stopped while crossing the bridge, it was probably not a common sight here, even if there's a great tradition in Rowing. Some people went closer to where I had rolled and looked into the water as if they were expecting to see something down there. A treasure? I reassured them by saying that I was only playing and they burst out laughing! Said good-bye in the typical accent. Always feels so good to hear.
Time to go out to the sea again. On my way back I chose to paddle closer to the North pier of the harbour. It would feel more spectacular to go close to the big boats and buildings and since it was Saturday and no one seemed to be very busy working here, I thought that would be safe and sound.
|My Joe O´Paddle pointing out the Rescue Zone...|
|Famous landmark in Falkenberg. This is where the crops go and stored to be shipped, I guess...|
|Sandwich and Waterbottle on the Rocks, please!|
|Hiberries, beach, kayak, sea, horizon at Neta's Berg, Skrea Beach|
|Marsten at a distance. Sorry for the leaning sea.|
|Rocks at Grimsholmen|
|A bit of Rock Gardening at Grimsholmen|
|Teodor is there to meet me at Långasand|
"Well, took some photos, bit longer than I had expected, and especially the strong wind delayed my arrival."
"Give me the camera, I can take some photos when you roll and paddle to the beach."
I gave him my Pentax and thought, well, if my son says so.
|Balance Brace and Marsten at a distance|
|Sometimes Life is upside down.|
I paddled around the peninsula and found a nice little beach to land at. Teodor continued to take photos and I let him go with it. I think he managed quite well, 8 years old, to found some angles and perspectives. I now waited eagerly for the expected coffee and home made Apple Pie.
|There they are. My SAAB with two more kayaks in case I would like another one on the way back.|
|Nice Place to land, small nice beach|
|On my way to land|
Långasand is a really beautiful place, actually we have been looking for a house in wonderful surroundings here where it would be possible to run a kayakbusiness and keep our Icelandic horses.
|Dad, I, my daughter, mom|
|If SAAB had existed as a Company this could have been a commercial.|
|Tahe Greenland T in front of Fisherman Ander's Boathouse|
The mouth of the brook and the first 100mtrs were promising. Interesting area and very wild.
|Interesting raft. Two canoes are the foundation.|
|...and another one. Greenhouse meant for relaxing and with two Electric Engines! Behind you can spot a Trapper Kayak!|
|Felt like a real Trapper in a Greenland T and Neil Young's "Pocahontas" came to my mind|
|...paddles cut the Waters, in a long and hurried flight|
|Well, couldn't go longer because of the difference in height.|
|Rowanberries (Rönnbär in Swedish)|
|Time to go out on the sea again. Short break after 6km in the river.|
Time had now passed and the wind started to calm down, but there was still a pretty strong southeasterly, but this time I would gain from it since my paddle back was towards North.
|"The getting older and older Man and the Sea"|
|Nice rocks on my way back. Ringsegård|
|We´re close friends now, it passed the test for a long paddle as well.|
|Including playing, rolling, photos, breaks on the water, reflecting upon memories: 34.10km and on the sea for almost 6 hours. Garmin always tell you the truth.|
A Day very well taken care of. Next time I go to Marsten and bring my family into the river, and perhaps I will paddle a PE kayak in order to dare paddling over rocks and stones. Arrivederci Falkenberg.
Text: Mikael Svalstrand, Sea Kayak Billdal, www.kajakkurser.se, www.facebook.com/SeaKayakBilldal, http://svalstrand.blogspot.com
Photos: Mikael and Teodor Svalstrand