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Calm waters, thousands of tiny islands and miles of sunshine splashed coastline.

Our Tentipi (a tent that is a tipi that sleeps six salty men or women) was nearly empty when I finally gathered the strength to lift eyelids and look into the morning.

Sun light skipped low over the shiny earth, strobing off the water 40 feet from our camp. The entrance of the Tentipi was lit by the disco ball shimmer of the bay as the second to last man to leave the tent double knotted his boot and stood to face the Bohuslän coast.

I was the last camper curled in his sleeping bag. Again.

A gentle commotion of kayaks and mess kits clinked as “good mornings” ricocheted between campers. Ulrika had her spray skirt on and had already been out on the morning calm. She squatted in her waterproof pants and pointed to a waterproof map with her pinky, tracing a line from our bald granite island (uninhabited except us) past Fjällbacka and back to our base camp at TanumStrand.

A huddle of stoves and folding stools and sporks and instant breakfasts formed and broke and those who fancied themselves photographers climbed the granite slopes, picking their way to a vantage point to shoot the water and the rocks.

The day before it was pissing down rain — gray clouds all low and fat. The sun warbled on the gravel beneath my boat like the tiled bottom of a pool at a fancy hotel. Kelp beds reached up and brushed my paddle.

Paddling into one of the many island’s shadows sent shivers but the water that moved beneath me was warm.

“Warmer than off coast of Portugal, actually,” Nick, Ulrika’s co-guide, said as he paddled beside me. The tepid water is totally counter intuitive because we are so much further north than Portugal.

“And you have probably already noticed, there is almost zero tidal movement.”

I hadn’t noticed. But I nodded my head affirmative because I wanted Nick to think I knew more about tides and gulf streams and kayaking than I did.

I dragged my fingers through the water, leaning back in the kayak. My group paddled on in pairs and triplets. I reached forward and pulled my camera out from under the bungee that was holding it fast to the yellow plastic of the boat.

The group, now 100 yards ahead of me, rounded a little channel between nameless islands, their paddles tossing up sparks.

I hit record and watched them disappear.

[Editor's note: Josh was a guest of West Sweden, the Outdoor Academy of Sweden, Visit Sweden and a participant OAS summer program. Ulrika Larsson, professional touring sea kayaker and Green Adventures founder guided his small group along the The Bohuslän coast line.]

Paddling


 

About The Author

Joshywashington

Joshywashington is a Travel Media Ninja from Seattle who enjoys writing, climbing trees and strong coffee.

  • Nick Dariece

    cool video man. Looks like a nice day in Sweden.

    • Joshywashington

      Thanks! It was an exceptionally beautiful day! The water was so clear and calm and sun was just throwing lens flares everywhere!

  • Scott Hartman

    Looks a lot like those islands in your own backyard, Joshy… the San Juans, Gulf Islands… love kayaking in those islands protected places… Nicely done! :)

  • Mike Surber

    Go Sweden! Is that pretty typical weather over there?

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