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1.8.2012 | Nature

Tallinn by kayak

Tallinn by kayak

Tallinn by kayak

The trip begins at the beach, close to the Linnahall. Before heading out on our tour, our guide Josep gave us kayaking tips and explained some important safety tips. Safety comes first, even though kayaking in Tallinn is pretty safe. Possible danger in Tallinn Bay includes large waves made by big cruise ships and speeding motorboats, and particularly difficult to manoeuvre are the cross-waves.

The journey passes by the Kalasadam, where the Saturday fish market is held, and heads towards Paljasaare. Along the way there are many interesting things to see. Especially fascinating are the historical structures: Linnhall, Patarei Prison, and the Seaplane Harbour. Our guide talks about the history of these landmarks and tells us of his own sea kayaking adventures as well.

For anyone that is interested in boats, you won’t be disappointed. Passing by us are sailboats, jet skis, yachts, and large cruise ships. Learn more about the historic ships at the Seaplane Harbour, as well as the legendary icebreaker Suur Tõll. Sitting in a small kayak alongside these vessels, you really get the sense of how big they are.

The most challenging part of the journey was paddling around the Paljassaar. Fortunately the wind was not that strong and the waves were small. However, for first timers it was still a challenge, and sweat was pouring! Very soon it became clear that kayaking requires, above all, knowledge of good paddling technique. Josep told us that last summer he had paddled 40 kilometres in eight hours. According to him, Hiiumaa is the best place to go kayaking; there are many little islands and plenty of natural beauty to see.

At the Katariina wharf we took a break at the beach to stretch our tired limbs. Kayaking is the ideal sport for nature lovers because the Bay of Tallinn is full of marine life. Even at the beginning of the trip at the Linnahall we saw a duck. Terns swopped down to the water to catch fish.

From Paljassare there was a great view of the Tallinn skyline. On the opposite shore you could see the sandy beach of Pirita, and the TV Tower in the forest behind it. Tallinn from the sea is still surprisingly bright and pleasant. The wooden houses of the Kalamaja district are visible from behind the massive Patarei Prison. Passing the old fishing wharf on the way back we saw people sitting out by the edge of the docks enjoying the evening sun.

From the sea

Sea kayaking trips around the Bay of Tallinn are organised by the company 360 kraadi. English language tours leave at 11.00 daily.

Tallinn Bay kayak trips are suitable for beginners and children as young as 12 years. The trip is 9km in total and lasts three to four hours.

For the journey you are supplied with a double sea kayak, paddles, life jacket and waterproof jacket. It's worth taking along an extra pair of clothes and sandals that you can carry along in the boat.

You can also take a sea kayak to one of the nearby islands, like Aegne. These trips are can be organised through 360 kraadi and the Reimann Matkad company.

TEXT: MIKKO VIRTA PHOTOS: MIKKO VIRTA, 360 KRAADI

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