Hello Finland

Trip Start Apr 29, 2011
Trip End Sep 03, 2011

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Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Sunday, July 10, 2011

It was a lovely sunny day for the sail across to Finland. We bade our farewells to Trevor & Derek and set off at 10:00. The route we were planning to take was to the west of Helsinki, this is the shortest route between Tallinn and Finland and takes you away from the main ferry routes, thus allowing a more relaxed sail. The destination was the small harbour of Porkkala, situated amongst the rocky islands of Finland's challenging coastline and about 36 miles away.

We had a F3 and later a bit stronger, wind from the NW and later SW – both directions fine for sailing and we achieved hourly distances of between 5 and 7 nautical miles. In other words, champagne sailing but I’m not allowed to say that, as Elaine had a sore knee and Rosemary felt queasy and for one brief interval, the sun went behind a cloud, so it has been downgraded to Prosseco sailing.

By 15:00 we were approaching the coast and pilotage became interesting. When one zooms out on the chart plotter, the whole screen becomes a mass of symbols and very hard to interpret. Fortunately, the main routes between the maze of rocks and islands still stand out so once one has an idea of one’s destination, it is possible to zoom back in again to follow one’s route. We soon got used to the more demanding piloting and arrived without mishap in the lovely, wooded bay that is home for the marina and had the boat tied up, Swedish style and nose to the buoy, pointing back out to sea.

Once there, I was invited onto Jari and Taru Forsman’s yacht. They were both very friendly and chatty and keen to help and were very proud of their country’s beautiful sailing potential. In fact, having talked to them for a while and been given some lovely anchorages and harbours to visit in Finland, I have already amended our plans somewhat and will need to buy some more charts, as we will definitely follow their advice and take in some of the Finnish archipelago on our way to the Åland islands and Sweden.

We were all tired, a bit jaded after several nights of carousing so after a meal of Thai prawn curry (they looked liked prawns and were labeled as such, we think, but I reckon they were crab sticks made to look like prawns. Still, it was a nice meal) and very modest amounts of alcohol, we were soon in bed and asleep, lulled by the gentle lapping of wavelets against the hull.
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