My girlfriend and I went to celebrate the Finnish midsummer in Archipelago Sea. The celebration of midsummer has its roots deep in the Finnish paganism and it is still one of the most important holidays for us. The most common way to celebrate the midsummer is to get close to the nature and relax with a sauna, good food and with a varying amount of alcohol.
First we tried to get a boat ride to one remote island where I knew a lot of flounders lives. I have heard that the smoked flounder tastes good and I wanted to try it out. We also wanted to enjoy the beautiful sights of Archipelago Sea. We didn’t manage to arrange the ride, but we decided to go to the most nearby island which was possible to reach with a ferryboat. Luckily, we chose this way, since we had quite much items to carry ūüėÄ Before the trip we used maps and Google’s satellite images to find a good beach for our camp. We got lucky, since the sights from our spot were really beautiful, the weather was good, I found a couple of (small) flounders and I got multiple beautiful underwater macro images. The nights were calm, while I sat on my picnic chair and wondered about the mysterious world and the life itself. Here, look at yourself and dive inside our marine midsummer of 2013.
It was nice to drive to the coast since the weather was good and we managed to leave early. Note: I didn’t touch the bottle during the drive. ūüėÄ
I don’t have a radio in my car, but we used a MP3 player and a small speaker for making our trip more enjoyable. ūüôā
Finally, we reached the coast! We waited for the ferryboat ride about two hours.
Then the ferryboat took us to the sea. ūüôā
There is our beach! It was empty and there wasn’t much crowd later.
A couple of turns from the port, small ride along a bumpy road and we were there. ūüôā
The seawater was quite clear. Look at those bladderwracks, I bet there are lots of interesting, hiding creatures!
The first sunset begins and the sea calms. The silence encloses us.
Here is our camp. We used a tent for sleeping and my lean-to for storing our iceboxes and other gears. Before the trip, we froze some water bottles and all the sausage packages for example. It worked, since our food was still cold after the three nights we spend in the island.
There were multiple commercial grills available, but we made our own ones from the empty pickle cans. Why to buy something that costs twenty euro and are used only once in summer? Hopefully we didn’t get much tin in our bodies.
There were mosquitoes everywhere! Luckily, they were stupid enough that they didn’t interrupt much when I covered my arms, legs and head appropriately.
A night snack.
A bunch of mosquitoes trapped in our storage lean-to.
Me taking macro images. ūüėÄ
The ferryboat carries more holidaymakers on our island.
It was easy to change the temperature during days. If we got too hot, we would move our picnic chairs under the shadows and vice versa.
A meadow vetchling.
An old monument of an ancient church.
An Anoplodera rubra on an oxeye daisy.
Flowers of meadow buttercups.
Bummer! We heard a sound of big wings above us and it was already too late to take a good picture from the mighty white-tailed eagle.
Yeah! A sunny day and a cold beer. ūüėé
A local pennon over a coffee bar.
My girlfriend is taking a photo from a bunny. ūüôā
A barn swallow is sitting on a rope.
A leaf of birch.
Making rods for my tridents. Actually, I found the grey one from the bottom of my home lake just before this trip. ūüėÄ
Ready to rumble!
Here is my first flounder! I found only four small flounders during the trip. I believe it was a little bit too late for the flounder hunt, since the big ones were perhaps spawning in the deeper waters. Anyhow, I got what I came to search! ūüėÄ
These prawns were crazy with their camouflages! During a blink of an eye, they dived under the sand and almost totally disappeared.
Here is the same camo prawn hiding under the sand. ūüėÄ
A sand goby escaping away from me. During all the actual dives, I didn’t know how to take a good images from these little fish. For example, when I snorkeled forward they escaped from their tiny holes dug in the sand. They were too far for taking good macro images. Then I realized that the sand goby will return in their holes if I just wait for a while. Just before we leaved from the island I once went into the chill water only with my swimming trunks put on. Then I stayed still and waited the sand goby to come back again. I managed to get a few of good photos, which are further in this post.
A three-spined stickleback.
My girlfriend and I used a pine as a drying rack for our diving gears. ūüėÄ
First two flounders are in salting for the later smoking.
A common gull.
Grilling some stuff on a beach.
“Hey, what’s there?”
“Me? Nothing! Just walking.”
“Hmm… Delicious food of humans…”
“Better go now…”
A remote bonfire near our coast. This one was the closest one, the second one we saw was further away. It is an old habit to build a bonfire during the midsummer.
Me and my tritend ready to go to the flounder hunt in the night of Archipelago Sea! I tried to search flounders during the night also, if they would crawl in the shallow waters for searching food. It was worth it since I found two more flounders in the pitch dark water.
Here are the two last flounders I found during the trip.
A moth is hanging on the roof of our tent during morning.
RD2D is ready to kick some ass!
A straight nose pipefish. It’s a funny fish I say, like a straighten seahorse. ūüėÄ
Two mates hanging out together, a small broad nosed pipefish and a straight nose pipefish.
A small shrimp is swimming towards a bladderwrack.
A transparent Baltic prawn. All these neat underwater creatures force me to consider the building of a Baltic brackish water aquarium!
This one was relatively big!
This was the only image I managed to get from a living flounder. Can you spot the fish? ūüėÄ
Before the trip, we bought a small piece of salmon, which was smoked with the flounders during the last night.
Like a small inferno.
The dinner is served! The flounders were good like we excepted. ūüôā
A firefly is shining its green light in the night of the midsummer.
Now here are the images I was talking about. I patiently waited in the chill, shallow water with my swimming trunks and my camera. ūüėÄ
Sneaking back to the home. ūüėÄ
“Perkele, go home!”
A dragonfly lost in our storage lean-to.
The last macro image before entering into the ferryboat. ūüėē
Here we are heading back to the mainland and the holiday is almost over. It was unforgettable midsummer. I will not mind if this becomes a habit. ūüôā