15-Mar-2003 -- It was a late Friday evening when we were staring to dark sea at the lights of the incoming ferry that should take us to Bergö island in the west coast of Finland. There should be two cottages reserved for us to spend a weekend at Bergö archipelago. We have driven the whole Friday afternoon to get there and the last kilometers in a hurry in order to catch the ferry.
After two kilometers voyage on the ferry and some more at Bergö we arrived to the courtyard where the cottage owner Brita Sjöberg gave us the keys and we were ready to settle down in the cottages for the weekend.
Brita’s cottages are situated on a shore about 10 km away from 63N 21E confluence. When we woke up Saturday morning we noticed that the weather was excellent for an expedition out to sea, as the weather forecast had predicted. The only type of consideration was the means of transportation to use in order to get to the confluence. Because our intention was to spend as much time exercising outdoors as possible we did not want to drive there by car. We had skis with us, but it seemed that on sea ice there was only a thin layer of snow here and there and the surface of it was very hard.
When Brita promised to deliver us four potkukelkkas* the decision was made. Instead of skiing or walking we decided to use a traditional finnish winter time vehicle, commonly used on ice by fishermen, the kick sled*, for visiting this confluence.
The map shows that this confluence is situated on sea, some hundred meters east from Norrstenar islets, but not for long. When the continental ice melted here after the last ice age some 10.000 years ago and the weigh of several km thick ice disappeared the ground started to rise. At the moment the ground is rising from sea at Bergö 8.4 mm per year. If greenhouse effect is not affecting the climate too much this confluence is on dry land according to our estimation within only 600 years. Because we could not wait so long we started the journey out to sea.
It wasn’t quite sure if all of us could reach the confluence far away at sea. Still all of us: one baby, one little child, one tired terrier and five eager adults headed for the sea. Some of us could turn back in some point of the trip if needed. Because of the great weather and marvelous views and growing desire to see the exact point, after about five kilometers we decided that the whole group would continue to the confluence. Only the dog with aching paws preferred rather to turn back than keep going on. That’s why at the end of the trip the dog was carried in a backpack after testing every other option from shoulders carrying to toboggan pulling.
The three last kilometers to the confluence were the worst. There was too much snow and we had too little strength to fight with the kick sled in the snow in order to get it sliding. After all, we reached the confluence, ate our sandwiches there, drank the hot chocolate with some "fjeld brandy" and headed back to the cottages with two sleeping children and full of new strength. No more exercise was needed for this weekend - that we realized when we finally got back to the cottages sat in the sauna with our cold beers and the marks left by the sun and reflecting snow on our faces.