Because of the sea the climate is softer than one may expect given the latitude (67°09′). Winter, however, is long, from the beginning of November till well into April.
It is often wet and humid, and weather may change quickly. That’s the key to preparing for trips here: WEATHER CHANGES SUDDENLY AND IN A WIDE RANGE.
The climate is just perfect for mosquitoes, gnats, and horse flies. Don’t underestimate this issue when planning hiking or rafting. In June 2012 I experienced a mosquito attack that made run to safety. And then the locals laughed me off saying I haven’t seen nothing yet, and related their stories how they got blinded by insects while negotiating their way around rocks in river rapids.
I recall an old book that quoted a local reindeer herder saying that lack of insects is a key feature of heaven.
A rumour is going around that, should the sky be clear, we stand a good chance of seeing northern lights around Kandalaksha from now till Jan. 6 2017.
Warning: we are into a cold spell now, with temperatures around minus 20C.
Good news: the car is back in circulation after a major repair job. No blizzard inside the cabin, and it is much quieter now than it was before, making conversation while driving easy. Also it is kept heated when parked, so no problem starting despite the cold. I and the car are available for hire at discount off-season rates!
Spring is here. The Spring equinox was yesterday, with days being longer than nights from today till end of September. A perfect time to visit the Kola Peninsula. Lots of light, the roads are mostly clear, bitter colds are gone yet lots of snow for skiing and snowmobiling, and there is still a good chance of seeing Aurora Borealis. Last night it could be observed right in Kandalaksha, despite lot of local light pollution.
The length of “the sun above the horizon” day is down to one hour. Driven by the thirst for sunrays we went to the Monastery Cape and spent the entire “day” there.