Early this morning, we arrived in the beautiful Ekenäs Archipelago National Park in Finland. The park is composed of numerous islands with beautiful wilderness, lakes, lush forests, and rocky beaches. The National Park covers an area of about 20 square miles (52 square km) and was established in 1989 to protect the thousands of seabirds that nest on the islets, such as the emblem species of the park, the common eider (Somateria mollissima).
On the island of Jussarö, we spent the morning walking nature trails. Everything seemed to reflect the beautiful, traditional, idyllic archipelago scenery. Jussarö has a unique history of fishing, seafaring, defense activities, and iron mining. People have been aware of Jussarö Island’s exceptional magnetic field since the 17th century. The field causes ships' compasses to malfunction, and the iron ore occurrence is the biggest undersea deposit in Finland. From 1834 to 1861 and again from 1954 to 1967, the iron ore on Jussarö was mined. After closing the mine, the buildings and infrastructures were abandoned and left to deteriorate, creating a spooky atmosphere.
In the afternoon, we sailed to the island of Modermagen, meaning “mother's lap.” We went on a lovely hike through semi-open forest with mossy groundcover. The conditions were just right for kayakers to explore the island from the water along with Zodiac cruisers who got a great view of the exposed bedrock and the unique experience of observing the best of Finnish nature.