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by Perttu Korhonen - Finland

Lake Puula is nice place for lake kayaking. Two open water areas are separated by hundreds of islands, which create sheltered waterways for a kayaker to explore.

Before this summer I had not done any "longer" paddling trips on lake. I had feeling that it's a bit boring - I can see a long way ahead - and I have to paddle there and even further away on a monotonous rhythm. Last spring I designed and built a bit longer and narrower kayak to see if I could lake paddling be fun?

On shore I squeezed gear in quickly - I had packed too much stuff for a one night trip - same problem every time. First paddle strokes and the feel of adventure already filled my mind. The Weather was sunny, but a bit windy. I planed my route so I have to pass open waters on two points which adds some excitement to the trip.

After an hour of paddling I came to the first place where I have to pass on open water area. The wind was blowing in a good direction which made passage easy. Just some bigger waves splashed over the deck and I soon reached shelter behind islands.

Another hour I landed on a rocky beach for lunch break. I love how easy it is to land with a kayak. With a plywood sailboat it can be quite hard to land alone on rocky shore. Coffee and nap - I can´t ask not much more. Paddling alone feels free. I can plan the route and all breaks just how I want. Evenings can first feel a bit long, but it´s nice to watch the fire and hear the silence.

Next I have to go around a narrow peninsula and surf downwind to an open lake. Paddling downwind with small flat bottom kayak like this is fun. When I pass the peninsula I just have to paddle downwind over waves - no turning back. I fly near shallow waters and pitfalls, but I manage to go around them and head towards open water. First it was a bit scary, but quickly I found myself on opposite shore behind the island - It was fast ride and real fun!

I found beautiful place for my tent from one small island. After I set up the tent I went swimming. The water was cold, but I needed to refresh myself and it makes so good feeling.

I got a nice view to both sunset and sunrise directions. I took some photos and pick some cowberries for breakfast. Even the evening was warm. I setup the fire inside the tent. Staring a fire is magical.

A heavy wind wakes me up at night. I was hoping for calm weather, because I needed to cross open lake area first thing in the morning.

When I finally get up it was sunny and calm - just like I planned! I enjoy the morning sun and eat a warm porridge with fresh cowberries in peace.

Second day of one night trip always feels like home. I try to paddle slow - keep extra coffee break and observe nature, but soon I found myself at the point where I started.

I actually loved lake paddling. It is an easy way to escape from everyday routines.

Here is short video of the trip:

My kayak worked really well on lake paddling - more info and plans.

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