The alarm went off an hour too late: the mobile phone was still on Finnish time. So we only left around 08:00 and - as the captain had all papers prepared - he spend only 30 min at customs clearing. The hot weather of St. Petersburg continues. During nights the temperature "cooled" down to 29 C. However, during day time it was higher then 30 C and humid. Unfortunately there was hardly any wind and from time to time we wondered if we were really on a sailing trip - we went on motor the whole trip to Haapasaari. The picture above shows a turbine driven hydrofoil passing us in the narrow fairway on our way to open waters. The hydrofoils commute between the Hermitage and Peter the Great's summer palace.
While we have not been contacted by the Russian border control on the way towards St. Petersburg, they had an eye on us on the way out. We had to report back at multiple buoys. Our original plan was to go to Estonia. But - due to the border and the border control, this would have been quite a detour and a much longer trip than towards Haapasaari. Furthermore we had to attend to some private matters and had to return to Helsinki ASAP. So, our goal was Haapasaari again. We informed the Finnish customs of our late arrival, cleared customs in 3 minutes and then squeezed in the already full guest quay in Haapasaari. There we spend half of the night drinking with the Finnish neighbours :-).
It was late last evening and late this morning. In best faith we tried to sail again. After one hour we gave up. The hot weather with little wind (and if, then from the wrong direction) continues. We selected a harbour from our Finnish harbour book. However, on arrival we found out, that it was not really suited and we searched the area for another place. The first mate spotted a place at the SE-bay at Ygglasön and we navigated in between rocks and washes.
The first mate stumbled onto a marshy field, more about 10x10 m, covered with the plants / flower you see below. The flower is actually white and reminds of peace lilies, but it was a field with marsh callas. It felt more like in a rain forest and not in northern Europe.
Back on the boat we had the first swim in the Baltic this year. Water temperature were a pleasant 22.5° C. Some trout were teasing us, but the fishing proved unsuccessful.
There was no house on that part of the island (but they started to build one) and the crew explored the place: flowers could be found everywhere.
Above Linnaea borealis, commonly known as Twinflower - the Captains favourite flower, tiny , hard to notice, but graceful and maybe the best smelling flower of them all!
There was some light rain in the morning - but not for long and the hot weather was back. Today we could sail some time :-). The boat was left in Helsinki for 5 nights for the "bargain" price of 30€/night (normal is 40€/night, the whole season for the members is 500€!). Filling up the petrol got us to the amount of 400 €! And no one said thank you for paying the high Finnish taxes! Then we were off to Oslo for a couple of days to attend to some private matters. When we got back 11th July we were accompanied by a deck hand and the evening was spend in the Helsinki harbour watching the WC final. Spain won!
The rookie sailor's corner
I'm not that interested in football, but with Spain vs. Netherlands in the World Champion-ship final, I just have to watch!
Finally the "real" vacation starts: No more fantastic cities, where you have to do sightseeing and get so many impressions, that your capacity overflows. No time pressure, that you have to be at a certain place at a certain time - just drifting (or sailing) along. And so we did. Thanks to the breeze the heat was bearable: we had to tack against it. We ended up at Stora Svartholmen. There we were lying at a public quay which we shared with some other boats. Some forest strawberries, blue berries and a lovely sunset after 22:00. What more is there to ask for?
Arriving in the secluded bay south of Korsholmen, we found a private sail club harbour, but looking a bit further we found this place, well sheltered from the east wind, and could lie alongside the cliff.
An island for our self, at least we thought, until the rookie sailor went ashore and a deer jumped off the island!
The rookie sailor's corner
It is HOT......
The deer reached safety on the shore of the neighbour island.
Today we went zigzagging through tight fairways towards Hangö, where we stocked up at the local shops. A fair was going on near the guest harbour and the place was so much more lively then last year, that the first mate could hardly recognize it. The fantastic weather still continues :-). There is something to mention about shopping in Finland: An awful amount of low-fat or zero-fat products exists. The first mate by mistake bought such zero fat yogurt and low fat sour cream. We all came to the conclusion, not to do so again.
Another day with sun and wind and a lovely bay to rest: Our original goal was Vääamaa.
Before we reached it the captain spotted some boats in a bay and we changed plans.
We had done enough sailing for the day, anchored up and spend the rest of the day onboard, in water and on the island.
The dog was taken into the water, too - and he did not appreciate it! The locals were watching the sunset from the shore - and so did we!
It is Saturday, and we arrived early in Turku in order to do some shopping for the boat. On the way to the harbour we passed loads of amazing summer cottages / houses / estates. The Finnish people have a good life!
The boat shop recommended to us, was supposed to open at 14:00. When we arrived there we had to find out, that's when its closing! So: the shopping was not a real success.
The nice warm weather and the water produces unfortunately a large amount of mosquitoes. So, we stayed a day longer, lingered around in Turku, where the second mate left again, had ice cream (the Finnish have a lot of liquorice ice cream - very interesting!), enjoyed the city, cafes, did more food shopping and tried the boat shops again on Monday morning in order to look for mosquito nets for the hatches. The captain found some for the incredible price of more than 54 € per hatch! There must be better options!