Bathing in gold
Kayaking into the midnight sun
Paddling on the still waters of the north by midnight is probably the closest you´ll ever get to bathing in gold.
It´s all quiet. Really quiet. It´s the middle of the night, and we´re out paddling on the coast of Helgeland. As our kayaks glide still through the fjord, we see Svartisen, the second largest glacier in Norway, bulging in the landscape before us. Beneath those thousands of tons of ice, we paddle our way through the labyrinths of the rugged archipelago, to take a closer look.
When the midnight sun peeks out, it is reflected in the crystal clear water – warm, golden light stretches across the surface. We really do paddle directly into the sun, it´s like bathing in gold.
The need of silence
The way a kayak cuts quietly into the water in front of it, flowing smoothly forward in pace with your strokes, is really quite hypnotizing. That of course applies for paddling on lakes and rivers, too. But the experience that will really burn into your memory is when you try it in the Northern ocean waters under the light of the midnight sun.
One would think that rough ripples or fear of falling into the sea would distract you. But by night time the waters here, north of the Arctic Circle, are incredibly still. The only waves you get are the ones you make yourself. Since we paddle late in the evening, there are very few boats or disturbing noises heard from the landside. It´s a feeling of total serenity.
I think in the modern world, where there are noises and buzzes everywhere you go, and where everyone has earplugs and music in their ears just to go to the store, there´s a need for a deeper silence. We cultivate this quietness, as we have done for generations out on the sea.
Close to the nature
When you paddle through the light of the midnight sun, you soon learn that a small kayak becomes something big. Yet while the water may be flat, the surroundings are definitely not. One of the multi day routes we paddle, located at Engavågen, lets you explore the many wonders surrounding the pointy islands of Meløy. We start from a quiet bay to get comfortable with being in the kayak. Then we drift pass islets, skerries, and mountain tops as high as 600 meters.
If that’s not enough, many of the tours encourage you to create your own adventure – making the kayak tour into a camp. Here you’re free to fish, meditate or simply go hunting for the perfect midnight sun picture. Sleeping is of course optional.
Don’t be a afraid to feel alone out on the sea, even though it’s after midnight. One or two guests who are very awake will probably accompany you. “The porpoises here are very curious and often eager to visit the paddlers. The small, toothed whales look almost like dolphins, except for the shorter beaks. If you are more into flying creatures, the route at Engavågen stops by an eagle’s nest. We actually get to paddle underneath the nest. It´s pretty cool.
The northern veteran is in no doubt that paddling is one of the best ways to experience the brightness of the midnight sun. “In the kayak you appreciate the midnight sun in a complete and different way. Being in the kayak also lets you to see hidden treasures of the north that really can´t be seen from anywhere else”.