KYST 31 – from Svaneke Lighthouse to Årsdale harbour, 03.08.18

For at læse denne KYST 31 blog på Dansk, se her…

See here for an introduction to the KYST project

KYST 31 Still no rain, and yet again a clear almost cloudless sky and a breathtaking sunrise. Today, the light breeze was from the west, meaning an even hotter day. I settled in under the lighthouse and got to work, by now the witch on the bonfire a familiar friend.

The waters under the diving board at Hullehavn were still and untouched. Whilst I painted, the first bathers arrived and jumped in.

I walked through the campsite to my brother’s pitch. My family and friends were visiting and by chance were staying at Hullehavn on the day I passed through on my KYST trip. We sat and had breakfast whilst the children slept on. Soon, I walked on, back down to the coast where I looked once more back towards the lighthouse. For an instant, someone about to dive off the diving board mirrored exactly the position of the witch on the bonfire.

The day was heating up now. I walked on a little to Kirreskær, where some red breasted mergansers were hauled out, preening. I jumped off the rocks into the refreshing and clear water.

I walked on a little over the crumbling granite boulders veined with thick rock crystal. A herring gull appeared white and pristine against the lichen covered rocks. Some hooded crows lurked in the background, surprisingly camouflaged.

Yet another mink appeared, heralded by the cawing of some alarmed hooded crows, and slunk quickly off.

I walked around the cape of Frenne Odde and tried to rest in the shade of the M60, but it was far too hot. I walked onwards and looked across Frenne Bay towards Årsdale, the day’s destination. On the many rocky outcrops in the bay rested hundreds of gulls and cormorants in the oppressive heat.

I tried to protect myself from the burning sun under the M60, but it sheltered me also from the cooling breeze. The gulls in the bay sat and sweltered under a strong facing light. Bands of reddish seaweed stilled the rippling water (see top).

I jumped off the cliffs again into the water then walked on a little and came to a small landing stage. Here I looked back towards the gulls, this time with the light behind me. The head of one exhausted common gull kept slowly drooping, until he awoke with a start, reminding me of a sleepy life drawing model I once had in England.

Time was running out and so was my water. The day was already late and I had barely reached the halfway point. I walked briskly to the granite outcrop of Hestekløve, where there was a fantastic view back towards Frenne Odde, the colours intensifying in the late afternoon light.

At Hulenakke on my way towards Årsdale, I stopped to paint the golden light before it disappeared. I was hungry, thirsty and annoyed that I had left the last part of the journey so late. I forgot my binoculars and had to run back and fetch them.

I finally entered the harbour with an hour to go before sunset. I thankfully refilled my water bottled and boiled some food. Again, the air was filled with the mechanical maniacal screaming of swifts. Just minutes remained for me to finish off with a painting of the harbour arm, and as the sun finally set my brother appeared to collect me.


Weather report = uninterrupted sun all day. Temperature between 19°C and 26°C. Wind between 2 and 5 m/s from the west.  Visibility: good. Hours of sunshine: 16 hours.

Lessons learned – pacing, try to arrive half way on the trip around midday. And don’t run out of water.

Stops with the M60 = 2

Kilometers walked = 8.77 km

Day lasted = 16 hours, 11 minutes

Birds seen and heard = 30 species (1 new one, greenshank = running total 101)

Other stuff = During the walk I passed the wooden hollowed out bench near Grisby, where my family and I had sat almost exactly eleven years ago, whilst holidaying on Bornholm – which resulted in us moving the year after. The walk between Svaneke and Årsdale was my first on Bornholm and occupies a special place in my heart.

People talked to = 4

In my head – the fantastic party, the chaos of family visits