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Nocturnal creatures

We woke up into what would be our third day in Skalavik. We like to think that we know how to be land bound. One just has to slow down, let the time pass and entertain one self with everything possible. For example, when there are days to be waited through, each action needs to be done as one. So if one is cooking, then that’s it, no coffee drinking or even reading if one is cooking. Also if someone is cooking, the other person, should not waist any other activity, that can be done after cooking. It is ok to help, or even watch, but definitely not go for quick walk, boat check, or tidy tent, these all can be done after. The same goes with reading. When books or even individual lettres in them are sparse, there are some internal rules to apply. So it is not ok to read after waking up. After waking up, it is good to check, if it is possible to sleep some more. If not, then getting up is a good time filler. After that breakfast could be done, then tea, then washing up, then some rest. If coffee is being cooked, then reading is definitely not allowed. Walk before reading is good, followed by another tea. Sticking to one action at the time, with some walk or people watching (if possible) thrown in, then reading may not even happen till later. But if one is sleepy after such exertion, then it is definitely waste of pages trying to sleep on them. And so it goes. The day fills in, and valuable pages might have been saved for another rainy non paddling day. It is also not allowed to reach for book on the first non paddling day, as more may follow after. And then what?

Fortunately today was meant to be entertaining enough without needing to reach into the bag to get a book. Maggi, the one who helped us with SPOT, finished his weekend task early and promised to come to pick us up for some food shopping. It will be our last chance before crossing over Isafjordur and Jokulfirdir towards Hornstrandir. True to his words he came, and somehow the day worked out, that we ended up in his parents’ house eating their Sunday roast. Thank you Mrs Maggi’s mum.

After charging everything and much weather checking, we made a decision, we will paddle that evening.

Maggi dropped us back, and we got to work. It takes us two hours at least to pack our stuff, get ready and launch. By quarter past six we were ready. The wind was a steady F4 with the prospect of it calming down, it was a headwind to go past the headline. But everything could be different as the mountains and fjords tend to do their own thing with the wind.

The wind at the first headland was more than F4, I didn’t think I wanted to continue with the 23 kilometres crossing in this. We decided to paddle a little bit hoping that the headland is holding the wind more, and it would be calmer further on. It was also blowing quite strongly down from the fjords. We had two options, paddle across with headwind from side or paddle into Bolungarvik with straight on headwind. First meant long by distance, annoying by side waves, tiring by wind paddle but making progress in our aim, second meant headwind paddle round the corner. We decided for the first option, hoping that it would die down as forecasted.

The whole distance was about 20 nautical miles and with the intended slow progress we prepared for long night. Fortunately, we’re in Iceland, so daylight wasn’t an issue, yet, the day slowly came to an end, the light turned blue, and we watched the midnight sun to go to sleep.

It was amazing how much fuel an odd roast dinner gives to nighttime kayakers, that and some of Maggi’s bat power gave us enough strength to make good progress. We reached the opposite headland according to plan and marvelled and celebrated with yet more bats. ,

At one o’clock in the morning we landed in Latravik in the bay of Adalvik. Only when out of boats and performing all the necessary actions of getting the boats out of water, and us ready for the rest, we realised how much energy we spent and how tired we were. We opted for a night in the emergency hut, as I only really had enough energy to find my sleeping bag and mat, and blow it up.

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