Paddling canadian canoe is very much about cooperation and the more narrow the overgrown waterway becomes the more important it is that the very thing cooperation works. Only 10 minutes from Skellefteå center you will find the perfect waters for paddling.
The wind is on greatly from the west. It tears furiously in all the foliage it gets hold of but down at the water surface all is strangely still.
– This area is called “småälvarna” says Niklas softly. It does not really matter how much the wind blows, down here, it's always flat calm.
The so-called Småälvarna is part of Skellefteå River. They flow calmly and rhythmically the last kilometers before the 410 km long northern river reaches the Inner's bays and later the Gulf of Bothnia. Inner's bays is one of Skellefteå's 31 nature reserves and consists of shallow overgrown bays, it really means open water interspersed with stands of reeds.
It might sound kind of modest but the birds in the area are of a completely different opinion.
– No less than 180 different bird species have been found in this area, says Niklas. He also tells that the last time he visited the bay, he was greeted by nearly a hundred whooper swans there and then got the idea to take off from the water surface - simultaneously.
– It was an incredible experience and not more than 10 minutes drive from the pedestrian street in central Skellefteå, smiles Saleta.
Just Interior's bays were really the case with today's canoe, but today the wind makes us rather remain along Småälvarna than venture out on the open sea. And it's actually good enough.
Beaver from canoe
Saleta sitting on the front bunk. The position makes her the engine. Annica is sitting back and acting officer. Just behind Saleta and Annica paddles Niklas. He has his own canoe and must therefore do all the work himself. But he does not complain. On the contrary, he is very happy and tells about beavers and elk and other animals you often get a glimpse of from the canoe.
– Paddling a canoe is, by definition, to be close to nature, he says. You travel almost noiseless, and it's as the animals do not shy away just when you are out on the water.
The farther into the shimmering green channel we go, the more narrow it becomes. Here it becomes obvious that the beavers in the area has remained employed; everywhere is felled tree trunks.
– There is the beaver hut, Niklas whispering and pointing with the paddle.
In several places we also see the so-called beaver slides next to the shore, that is, places where the beavers take in and out from the watercourse. Suddenly a beaver skull pops out of the black water. Unconcerned about our presence she calmly swims among felled aspens and birches.
– So relaxed, says Saleta, it's as she knows we can not follow there.
Niklas runs the company Swea Guide & Event. He’s passion is to let people discover all that our amazing natural landscape has to offer.
– Just think of how many stories are tucked up in the marshes, the pine area and in the mountains. But it is important that we approach our natural and cultural environments in such a way that they will remain even for future generations. And the most amazing experiences you get, says Niklas, is when a sense of timelessness appears.
– It should be felt in the air that this nature has run its course.
Therefore Niklas focuses on nature reserves in the region, and it’s very important that the arrangements should be as sustainable as possible.
– Nature Reserve has become what it is thanks to their high natural value.
Special rules in the reserve
In addition, the reserves around Skelleftea have a good accessibility, which makes it possible to rationally bring people there that might not be so used to staying in the forest. But nature reserves also requires visitors.
– You can not for example make a fire in the sanctuary, therefore you need to constantly plan and add a possible lunch break on the right side of the reserve.
At a timbered shelter Niklas makes up a fire (obviously on the right side sanctuaries border). He puts the coffee water on and add a mix of diced pork, potatoes and vegetables in the large muurikka (a kind of frying pan for outdoor use).
– Everything is locally produced, and even the berries, he says, and sets a canned lingonberries on the rough-hewn countertop.
During the summer you can paddle, hike and go fishing along with Niklas. In addition, every thursday there is a regular hiking-tour, which you have the opportunity to book.