2220 Round Sweden, The Story Continues…
by Louisa and John Paul Bichard.
“We encountered winds over 12m/s, seas of over 3m, people who were kind and generous to us and all sorts of wildlife: harbour and grey seals, a snake and a toad, horseflies the size of bumble bees… We were surrounded by a flock of sheep, invaded by a herd of woolly cows and came across the jumping pike of Haparanda!”.
2220 was a 2392 km sea kayaking expedition around the coastline of Sweden by adventurers Louisa and John Paul Bichard. They paddled in everything the wind and sea offered them: from chilling out on glassy seas, coasting on long rolling swells, to navigating in thick fog, battling for hours on end into strong headwinds or slicing through high fast waves. They were soaked, chilled, baked, wind dried, tumbled about in confusing roller-coaster seas and enjoyed hours speeding down surf waves. At times, after days of paddling into the wind, the journey seemed endless, then a strong following wind, a breathtaking sunset or waking up on a beautiful sun-drenched sandy beach would make it all worth it.
There were a few close calls: a night paddle when the skies darkened, the wind picked up and they had to head out around a breakwater; the longest 5km ever paddling along the sea wall in Helsingborg harbour amidst ferries, currents, a strong side wind and big refracting waves; there were a few near misses with dozy speed boat drivers and two flash gales when in force 6 winds the paddles felt like they would be ripped out of their hands.
After 56 days of paddling, around 1.5 million paddle strokes, 5700 documentary photos and dozens of mosquito bites, they were lean, tanned and in surprisingly good condition. When it was good it was very very good and when it was bad they wondered why they weren’t in the tropics sipping margaritas.
Since getting used to dry land again and after much head scratching, photo editing and log transcribing we have completed our new and improved hydropia kayaking website. The main features of the update are two new sections for our ’2220 Round Sweden’ expedition area:
1 Photo Essay – an artwork comprising photos and text that explores the relationship between self, land and sea.
2 Interactive log – based on Google maps the log allows access to photos, log entries and exploring our journey via a fully interactive satellite map. (We recommend you use the Firefox browser)
The new sections can be found at http://www.hydropia.org/hydro/expedition.htm
- John and Louisa
* Text & Photography used by kind permision.