Friday, July 31, 2020
Well, it is a turn. And I was desperate.
I've joined a group of avid skiers who wish to ski all the time. Well, at least every month. I've probably missed a few over the years, even if I have done a lot of summer skiing. But I won't miss any further ones! It is July 31, and time to find a turn, somewhere, anywhere!
Anyway, back to my skiing. This is a pile of snow outside the ice skating hall in Kauniainen. What a temptation, despite the forbidden-this-or-that signs. Obviously, I was unable to resist... and I really LOVED those turns. Or turn. One at a time for each run :-)
Thursday, July 30, 2020
If this cave wasn't next to Torhola's great karst cave, it would be remarkable. Now, it is largely ignored.
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Today's swim was at the Träskbyträsket ("lake village lake"). Nice swim. The only thing was ... that the lake is in the middle of nowhere, and as I approached it, it became apparent that is surrounded by a swamp. Getting wet before getting wet in the lake.
Träskbyträsket is near Långvik, Kirkkonummi, far south from the main roads. Take the Hirsala road for the drive towards Långvik.
Coordinates: N 60.09429 E 24.54138.
Be careful out there. This is a not an easy place to go to, or necessarily a safe lake to swim at.
Tuesday was difficult. The first place that I attempted to swim at in Matinkylä was signposted as having the dangerous blue-green algae in the water. And there was plenty of it, slushing green slime throughout the water. The same in the next spot... and the third. Or, there was a sign, but water actually seemed clear, so I did swim.
The second spot was the Hanikka beach, also in Espoo's seafront. The third place was also there, but slightly to the west: Soukanranta beach. I might not have swam otherwise, but there was someone else who was already swimming and she said she hadn't observed any algae.
Just in case, I swim only quickly, and then later showered carefully. That stuff can actually be dangerous.
Coordinates: N 60.13562 E 24.65134.
This is what it looked like in Matinkylä:
Monday, July 27, 2020
Ralf and I wanted to dip into the lake after a sweaty hike where we searched for possible new caves. Hiidenvesi was on the way... it looked nice, but I had never really stopped there. We went to the water... and found (eek!) oil barrier snakes drying on land. Maybe swim on other side of the peninsula?
That swim wasn't all that great either, it was in a boat storage place and the water didn't seem all that fresh-smelling there either. But we managed to swim anyway. Now that I look at the pictures, I wonder if the black thing in the water is oil.
Anyway, one more swim day down, one new place, and dust and sweat washed away. Ok. And, maybe, skin oiled?
Coordinates where we swam: N 60.36370 E 24.16691.
One of the most well-known recreation areas in the Helsinki region is Espoo's Luukki. Too well known, perhaps, too many people, crowds. But when I visited Luukki on a grey evening, I found absolutely no one else there. A peaceful, calm lake. Oh, and a parking police checking my own car was properly parked :-) It was.
The swim was very peaceful, and the beach was appropriately sandy, yet the environment was full of green trees and grass. Bliss!
Coordinates for the beach are N 60.31327 E 24.69499.
A beach far in the south... of Espoo's Suvisaaristo :-) It is late, it is starting to rain, and there's no one on the beach. Nice.
The water is fresh and refreshing. Mission accomplished!
Coordinates: N 60.12445 E 24.70716.
Friday, July 24, 2020
Late is the key. Almost no one at the Vetokannas ex-sandpit, current beach & hangout place.
What's remarkable about Vetokannas is the swimming platform in the middle of the lake. It is easy to swim to it, and it adds a nice touch. And of course, Vetokannas is right in the middle of everything, in Kaivoksela. 10 meters from a bus station, 30 meters from the parking lot, and so on. Coordinates: N 60.27110 E 24.88088.
I had never been here before, but I had spent time in other Vantaa's ex-sandpits in my childhood. This visit brought back some memories.
I also visited Martinlaakso on the way here. This painting of Martinlaakso's own boy, Mika Häkkinen, was awesome:
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
I was looking for a place to swim in Sundberg, Kirkkonummi. My first attempt was to get to the apparent harbour on the west side, near Morbacka. Could it be a Soviet-occupation era harbour? And maybe a swimming would also be possible? This needed investigation.
It turned out that the harbour did not have any signs of Soviet-era structures. That doesn't rule out that it wasn't from that era, of course. It also had a bit of a private or at least shared harbour feel to it, so I didn't want to hang around and disturb anyone.
Also, Jarmo Ruuth's excellent maps at ruuth.xyz do not give a conclusive answer as to whether the place is from occupation era or not. There are no marked structures at that point, however.
But then I switched onto swimming mode and drove to Sundet, a beach in Sundberg's newbuilt housing community. What a wonderful place! A sheltered sea beach, excellent views.
And, no one else. I couldn't believe my luck. Later, one person arrived as well, but this is pretty good on a public, nice beach on a hot summer evening. Maybe I was there late enough that the families had already left home. Who knows. But the beach is also semi-difficult to find, not really marked in Google Maps, and even the road (Sipulitie) is not findable. Excellent. We should make not-in-Google a service that everyone can get...
But I'll spill the secrets :-) the beach is at N 60.16233 E 24.55733. The beach is also listed on Tony Hagerlund's excellent swimming spots blog. The tells us for instance that the building behind the beach is a sauna that one can rent. I should try it some day...
Today's swim was at the lake Tampaja, which I had never heard about before. It is a medium-sized lake near Lapinkylä in northern parts of Kirkkonummi. There's a nice public beach, but unfortunately not much space around for a more socially distanced swims.
I did find some space to the left of the beach, however. There was also a famous, wrecked and tilted beach house above the waters to the right of the beach.
My own swimming place was at coordinates N 60.23304 E 24.42943. The tilted beach house is at coordinates N 60.233856 E 24.42983.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Today's swim was at the lake Vitträsk, right across the shore from the famous Hvitträsk villa for the architects Saarinen, Gesellius, and Lindgren. There's a public swimming beach, Luoman uimaranta, but I wanted to stay on my own. There was ample. space and decent way to get to the water on both sides of the official beach.
The coordinates for where I was swimming were approximately N 60.17700 E 24.50958.
Monday, July 20, 2020
There are a lot of interesting data sources for searching for new caves. There are databases at the national geology research institute [1, 2, 3]. There are reports and books of boulder fields [4,5]. There are websites [6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. Old newspaper keyword searches . And regular maps . But in addition, there are also names of places. Ralf had found the names Luolaniittu (cave field, on a small hill) and Luolassuo (cave swamp, an actual swamp) in Paimio. I have to say we felt pretty silly standing in the swamp with all our caving gear.
That being said, we explored the area. You have to comb through places to see what if anything is there. So that was our contribution :-) Plus it was good exercise, and the blueberries were tasty :-)
We didn't find anything on the two named areas, but we found a few small cavelets under boulders in the nearby Kukonharjanmäki (rooster comb hill) and some roof caves on a cliff face. Small, just 1-3 meters, but still interesting forms. We could also see clear effects of water erosion on the granite cliff, which was interesting.
I also draw very simple maps showing the layout of these small caves, out of the interest of documenting everything :-) Although it may be quite likely that no one ever gets lost on a 1.5 meter cave :-)
Ralf jumping over the ditches on the swamp:
Cavelet 1, a roof cave maybe 2m long. Coordinates: N 60.45586 E 22.83859. There's also a map.
Cavelet 2, another under-the-boulder roof cave. Coordinates: N 60.45533 E 22.83797. There's also a map.
Cavelet 3, yet another roof cave under a boulder. Coordinates: N 60.45514 E 22.83814. There's also a map.
Cavelet 4, a roof cave on a cliff face. This one was interesting due to the block at the bottom providing a convenient seat. Coordinates: N 60.45047 E 22.83842 (approximate). There's also a map.
Cavelet 5, a roof cave under a cliff. This was the biggest cave we saw, around 3+ meters. This one had the water erosion signs. How did this cliff face experience that during the ice age? Was there an under-the-glacier river flowing at the bottom? Coordinates: N 60.45046 E 22.83854. There's also a map.
Oh, and who says Finnish cave's aren't interesting looking? This whopping 50-cm cave had green and yellow. The yellow is from algae on the water at the bottom: