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  • Writer's pictureRichard Mark Dobson

An Ode to the Norse Waterworld

Reed beds on the Fjärdsminnet, besides Vaasa old town harbour. Vaasa. Finland.

In the midst of our epic odyssey, a pause arrives—a moment to breathe, to dream amidst the ethereal aura of the North. We have traversed a thousand kilometers, and now, in Vaasa (or Vasa, if you prefer Swedish), we find ourselves on the shores of the cold Gulf of Bothnia. A place where time dances between past and future.

The name Bothnia, with its Latin echoes, whispers of ancient Nordic sagas. It rings with the timeworn tales of the Vikings, those intrepid seafarers whose legendary longships carried them across these very waters, threading the tapestry of their expeditions to distant lands with each rhythmic stroke of oar against the dark, frigid seas.

Here, the Gulf herself slumbers beneath a winter's icy blanket for nearly half the year. It's a realm for icebreakers, a sanctuary for travelers, and a temporary haven for Canadian geese who, like dreamers, seek warmer horizons when winter's icy grip tightens.

Canadian Snow Geese rest on a sandbank besides Vaasa harbour.

In an unscripted ballet, a flock of these hardy geese, stirred by the whims of two frolicsome dogs, takes to the skies. They vanish into the horizon, their path a mystery, much like the enigma that shrouds migratory birds in their perpetual journey.

Their flight southward mirrors our northbound aspirations, as we prepare to voyage across the dark, grey expanse of the Gulf of Bothnia to Sweden.

The gun metal grey seas of the Gulf of Bothnia

The heavens above paint a dramatic tableau—a chiaroscuro of leaden clouds and errant rays of light. It's a scene of foreboding, a harbinger of challenges yet to come. Whispers of freezing rain linger in the air, and as we peer upon the vast Gulf, we glimpse channel beacons, solemn sentinels warning of treacherous shoals.

Holmsund Shoals

Warning Beacon Holmsund Shoals I

Warning Beacon Holmsund Shoals II

Amidst the mist rolling in from the west, the ship sounds its fog horn—a deep, resonant call that reverberates through the quietude. It's a downtime serenade, a reminder that even in the stillness, there's a symphony of elements to behold.

In this interlude, I, the shadowman behind the lens, am entranced by the primal. I seek the poetry of raw visuals that evoke the primordial essence of this journey. The hues of encroaching winter, the subtle shades of a reticent season—these are the verses etched upon my canvas.

Sikskärsvaken Archipelago with Antenna. Sweden.

TOTAL DISTANCE COVERED: 1,094.40 KM (11 September 2023)

Day 23 - Vaasa to Holmsund (Ferry Ride)

Day 22 - Rest Day Vaasa

Day 21- Rest Day Vaasa

Day 20 -Narpes to Vaasa 79.8km

Day 19- Merikarvia to Närpes 93.76 km

Day 18 -Pori to Merikarvia 52.8km

Day 17- Rauma to Pori 57.9km

Day 16 -Uusikaupunki to Rauma 47.4km

Day 15 -Turku to Uusikaupunki 73.5km

Day 14 -Helsinki to Turku (Car)

Day 13 -Tallin to Helsinki (Ferry ride)

Day 12- Tallin Rest & Recharge

Day 11- Märjamaa to Tallin 72.17

Day 10 - Pärnu linn to Märjamaa 64.1km

Day 9- Pärnu Rest & Recharge

Day 8 - Salacgriva to Pärnu 75km

Day 7 - Riga to Salacgriva 104.4km

Day 6 - Riga Rest and Recharge

Day 5 - Plieņciema kāpa to Riga 60.14Km

Day 4 - Kuldiga to Plieņciema kāpa 108.59Km

Day 3 - Liepāja to Kuldīga 97.34Km

Day 2 - Sventājato Liepāja 62.11Km

Day 1 - Klaipeda to Sventāja 42.89Km

Join the expedition, follow updates, and tag along on this inspiring adventure."

ASF has carefully chosen Resolve to be the beneficiary for 2023: Resolve is a charity founded in 2017 that helps create change makers in our community to drive a more inclusive city. Their signature program is a Fellowship that has so far supported over 70 emerging community leaders from diverse walks of life. There have been five cohorts of the fellowship on racial equality, ending gender-based violence, disABILITIES and empowerment, wellbeing and health and (E)quality Education for all.

Visit the following URL in order to support the "I Resolve Challenge" and visit the following URL in order to support the "I Resolve Challenge" and give:

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