Intrepid explorers from Monmouth School enjoyed an unforgettable sea kayaking adventure in the Swedish archipelago
Seventeen pupils and four staff paddled and camped in the wild for five days on a journey which took them to some of the country’s remarkable uninhabited and wild granite islands.
The boys enjoyed swimming and cliff jumping and shared their many experiences while munching marshmallows and socialising around the camp fire.
They displayed excellent team-work, respect and consideration throughout as evening meals became competitive and morale was always high despite some tiring days. The boys also visited the Vasa Museum in Stockholm to see the iconic 64-gun warship which sank on its maiden voyage after leaving the harbour in 1628.
“The archipelago is a beautifully unspoilt wilderness and we didn’t see another person for the first few days in the north,” said Matt Peake, Head of Art and Design and Coordinator of CCF adventure training.
The boys prepared for their voyage by loading their double sea kayaks with camping equipment, food, water and clothes.
After an early evening departure from Sankt Anna, the group enjoyed wonderful paddling conditions with plenty of sunshine and blue skies. They crossed the shipping lane and headed south to the archipelago islands, some of which were inhabited with people and small holiday homes.
After landing at the small harbour of Tyrislot to bolster their water supplies, the group paddled east and towards the open sea.
“Boys took turns to navigate around the maze of unspoiled islands and sheltered from the wind on the leeward side when they needed to,” said Mr Peake.
After five superb days of exploration, the happy group returned to the mainland where they unloaded their kayaks and returned their kit. The hungry adventurers made the 45-minute journey into the old textile town of Norrkoping where they placed a large order of fast food.
They took another train journey to Stockholm to their floating boat hostel and enjoyed a cultural tour around the old town with insightful historical facts from Dr Harrison.
A trip to see the Vasa at the world’s busiest maritime museum proved the perfect ending to an awe-inspiring adventure which will live long in the memory of everyone involved.
Find out more about Monmouth School at monmouthschool.org