Late summer in Myggskären
A weekend in September on Myggskär with a relaxed late summer feeling. Sun, swimming, kayaking and interactions with many exciting people in the outer archipelago await.
The only sound you can hear is the soft wind rustling the water reeds. The sun warms the smooth cliffs through the thin veil clouds. It is afternoon, and we are arriving at Myggskär, on a Saturday in the middle of September. It is late summer and a few degrees above 20, and the cliffs feel warm and inviting when I step barefoot on them.
I have come to Myggskär together with photographer Henrik Trygg, to do.... nothing at all. We are going to stay overnight in one of the cabins, sunbathe, swim and just relax. Try to take it easy. Coming directly from central Stockholm, my mind is still racing; “what happens now, what can you do at Myggskär, what kind of activities are there”?
But soon enough my body and mind wind down.
There isn’t that much to do here, and that is the whole point of this trip. I take a walk down to the cliffs by the water and look down into the deep crystal-clear depth. It is 17 degrees in the water. I jump in. There is rockweed growing on the cliffs and soft green algae is covering the sloping gentle cliffs that reach out into the water.
In the cabin
In the ”large house”, one of the two cabins at Myggskär, Henrik Trygg is busy making a fire in the fireplace. The cabin is nice and clean. The bunkbeds have neatly folded pillows and blankets. The guest books in the cabins are filled with entries from frequent visitors on weekends and in the middle of the week during the summer, and there seem to be many returning guests: ”Back again at lovely Myggskär. Great weather all Saturday. Woke up to some fog on Sunday morning. After a long breakfast we head home to Gustavsberg, ready for another work week”, someone who was here last weekend writes.
I wake up at six. Someone is singing. It’s seals! The yellow, pink sun colors the calm ocean and flocks of sea birds fill the surface with black silhouettes. The chirping of the birds at Myggskär blends with the seal song from nearby islets. – The morning sky looks just like in the Carribean, says Henrik and serves us coffee and sandwiches on a smooth cliff warmed by the morning sun. A new day, without any stress or plans. After breakfast I take the kayak that we brought with us in the boat and explore the island. Suddenly, a head sticks up about ten meters from the kayak. And then another. Curious heads pop up one by one, and I count to 30. The gray seals are watching me from afar, and as I slowly paddle towards them they quickly submerge again and make a demonstrative splash. I realize that the seals are playing hide and seek with me, they come close and surround the kayak – always on their own terms – when I get too close, they quickly disappear under the surface.
A popular islet
The rumors about the bliss of Myggskär have spread on the internet to tourists from other countries; and often visitors end up sharing the space in both cabins.
In good weather, there can be ten boats out here at the same time. Even during Christmas and New Years, people come here to enjoy the winter unless the wind blows from the north. It has happened that people have come here and then have to be rescued by another boat from the storm.
There are no rules and expectations, except not disrupting nature, not setting up fires on the cliffs and bringing all your waste back with you. You can fish with handheld equipment or just sit and watch nature.
Skakobben and Biskopsö
I paddle out into the calm waters again and set out towards Skakobben. Seagulls have gathered on the outer islets and disperse when I land with my kayak at one of the rocks. There isn’t a single grass blade on these islets, they are completely polished clean of vegetation by the wind and spotted with bird droppings. The water is clear and inviting, so I dive in.
How many people actually know about this paradise so close to Stockholm? I quietly ponder while I hear a jet ski in the distance. It feels a bit out of place in the middle of September, but then again, the weather is still quite warm.
We load the kayak onto the boat and head back to the mainland. At Biskopsö we moor at a natural harbor where a few sailboats have already anchored. This island is famous for its herd of fallow deer.
It is completely still as we make lunch on the portable stove and eat on a cliff. After lunch we have a nap in the warm sun, go for a swim and just hang out. The summer feeling lingers, and I don’t want to go home. I just want to stay here in the calm and serene environment.
In a few places in the archipelago, The Archipelago Foundation has so called open sheds. They are small cabins where you can stay overnight for free, for a maximum of two nights. The Archipelago Foundation’s open sheds can be found on Myggskär and in the Möja archipelago.
Text: Johan Augustin