22-May-2004 -- We were three members from Alta Kajakklubb that drove from Alta early this Saturday morning with our sea-kayaks and gear packed on a little trailer.
The weather wasn't too bad, a bit cold (+5ºC), a northern breeze, cloudy and just some scattered drizzle.
100 km west on the E6 we took right by the crossing at Storeng out in the mouth of Burfjord in Kvænangen. We then drove just two hundred meters on a dirt road, passed two graveyards to our left and continued west on a small path out in a field. This path took our car and trailer all the way down to the shore by the fjord where we could start to load up our kayaks.
The GPS showed that the CP was just 930 meters SW of the shore we were on. The wind had increased a bit, and we soon realized that so had the waves!
Within the CP-area it prooved almost impossible to keep our kayaks steady upon the exact point.
The northern wind, the strong current and the waves all worked against us, and before we knew it, we had drifted several meters off the CP. Taking pictures from a narrow and relativly unstable sea-kayak under these conditions were not by any means an easy task.
After several attemps getting no photos nearer than 30 meters of the point, we finally found the solution:
One padler took a solid and stabilizing grip in the kayak-cockpit of the photographer, while the third of us used a bowline and towed the other two kayaks the last meters in position into the CP. By using this cooperative method in which the towing padler got presise instructions from the GPS-holder, we got a reading indicating we were less than 4 meters off the actual point!
Satisfied with this result we paddled westwards and crossed the magnificent Kvænangen fjord. Wind and waves from the north made landing on the tip of the Klubben peninsula a bit difficult. This peninsula separates the Kvænangen fjord from Burfjord. So we were more or less forced south to Kviteberg were we landed for lunch. The place got its name from the white cliffs that easily can be spotted from the E6 on the east side of the fjord when you cross the Kvænangen mountain by car.
We then paddled to the north tip of Nøklan, a 5 km long and only 1/2 km wide island in the bottom of the fjord.
In the evening we ended up at the island Skorpa on the east side of the fjord, were we spent the night in our tent.
Skorpa was a beautiful place, but it was a bit sad to discover that the whole island is abandoned. The picturesque white wooden church and the empty post office both stood as silent witnesses of a long gone period of human activity, hard labour and busy social life.
Now all houses are only used as summer residents for the families and decendants of those who migrated from the little island.
The church, by the way, is 154 years old and was one of the few buildings that was not burnt down during the German withdrawal of all troops in the Finnmark and North-Troms region in winter 1944 when The Red Army moved in from the east.
After a good night's sleep in our tent, we visited the graveyard down by the shore the next morning. It was a beautiful place, but many of the momuments and gravestones had tipped over and most of them had been hidden by the grass and vegetation up through the last decades.
The grass hadn't been cut for ages and it was almost like nature was about to take over the whole place for good and slowly remove all signs of human life and death.
We said goodbye to Skorpa and paddled back to Storeng and our car, which had got a flat battery during the night! After quite a bit of pushing and a following exciting jump-start almost all the way down by the rocky shore, we were ready for our journey back to Alta.