Late autumn welcomes the seasonal period in Finland where sunlight in the daytime is a precious commodity. As luck would have it today's sunlight, which was present in the early morning, decides to go behind the clouds, yet Nurminen decides to dip into the cool water anyway. One more smile from my guide, Juho Vuolteenaho, and we jump in, too. picture-takiNG Not So eaSy The first thing I feel is the pressure of water surrounding the thick layers of my drysuit, which keeps me surprisingly warm and helps me to stay afloat. As I sink my face into the water, through the mask I notice that the sea floor is just below my feet. Tiny fish swim about in a tight formation and seaweed attached to the rocky bottom sways. Vuolteenaho points to a barely-noticeable critter attached to a leaf. "That's a sea snail," he explains. It is a fairly calm day, but there are enough waves in the water to feel constant movement. I watch Nurminen expertly swim around the cove, his giant camera a few centimetres in front of him, long handles attached to the camera keep it steady. He heads closer to open waters, which scares me a little the water sinks into a dark hole, and the waves are noticeably bigger. Nurminen dives in, and I watch the camera's flash snap. The little tiny marine isopod that he is photographing is a whimsical The Finnish Archipelago is made up of thousands of islands, the exact number is debatable as some are so small they disappear during high tide. Boating is by far the best way to get around the Finnish archipelago. MAY 2009 Blue WiNGS 43
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