torstai 14. syyskuuta 2017

ICOYC-cruise Marianhamina-Helsinki by Ragan Peck, Day 6

Day 6
Storlandet - Hanko – Munkshavn- Ådö

Departing Storlandet there is some rain. Overnight despite the crews best efforts to erect a tent over the cabins, one couple gets soaked. The beauty of a wood deck! Kati quickly sets to drying everything out and they solve the problems quick as ever. Time to get a little wet hoisting the sails. As we carry on the skies clear and we can squeegee the deck and resume our basking like marooned seals. 

Kati and I fooling about in the hammocks, what a lovely crew we have. The channel on the way to Hanko is narrow and fun to watch with all the traffic and people on shore since we are closer to the cities there is a population again. 

A moment of intrigue: a ferry-like leisure boat misses their dock a head of us and tries some ill-fated turn around in the narrow traffic filled channel, to no harm, they must continue on and wait to turn around till out of the maze of islands. 

And there goes the chef, in the dingy, he is off to greet his mother? Their summer cottage just around that island yonder. The charm of this place. He returns, speeding back to us, with a secret bounty of crawfish. The charm and wonder of it all. 

In Hanko it looks a large town, we tie at the industrial port with the cargo ships. We quickly take taxis to town to buy produce, wine and gin, the best Finnish Gin. Visiting the Marina it is packed as there is some speed boat competition, people seem well dressed, nice bags. There are tents set up with high-er end shopping, I got cute shoes, Riveras, appropriate for the Finnish Rivera. 

Back on board, there are nice seas rolling the Svanhild about in the sun. And now, we are as I type, underway! A destination unknown. We come to a protected cove no one can recall the name (Munckshavn)! We approached a rock face that looked promising, and I must have had a worried look fender in hand, Loury, smiled and relayed it’s not a worry the hull was wood and very thick. A few moments later – smack! A rock. So I guess it is no worry and we will not stay here. I am wistful it will be over soon. 

Ådö, Odö, a very fine looking spot with beautiful granite rocks, pockets of tall reeds and as always nice pines on shore. This shall be home for the night. A nice place for a swim.  Beautiful summer cottages – this might be the place. 

The unknowing of the destinations is the most magical feeling, wherever they take us there we will be. A nice feeling of implicit trust in our Captain. 

tiistai 5. syyskuuta 2017

ICOYC-cruise Marianhamina-Helsinki by Ragan Peck, Day 5

Day 5

Örö to Kasnäs to Långholm to… Storlandet: well Dorthy we are not in Kasnäs anymore. 

A nice leisurely morning, and a walk to the northern point on Örö, from that point, an old military fortification you can see both sides, the protected harbor and the windward side, it looks like it will be a good day to sail – a direction unknown.

We depart to get water, fuel and pump out. The wind was really nice and we seem to make good time, and it was engaging to put the sails up. We made good time as we cruised in the wind and sun till we came to Kasnäs. 

Some shopping, some gas, some time on land. There was a large marina, a spa, hotel and a fish factory. I saw some strange smoked salmon, now I wish i had purchased: smoked salmon with blue cheese smoked on top? Apparently now one else on board has ever has this either and I guess we may never know. Always but the food. 

Långholm – the NJK has a yacht club out station, and they hosted a happy for all the guests of the cruise. The Svanhild is far to large to get to the outstation so, we take the dingy. I ended up in the first scouting dingy somewhat by accident, but happy I was. It was nice to be cruising low to the water, we finally found the destination, a beautiful ride. Of course I left my shoes on board. Day drinking problems. Oops. I stepped on land only to be whisked off again and invited for a beverage with the loveliest couple, the shoes – not required on boats. Upon further inquire about these snakes they keep warning us about – indeed they are poisonous, I had thought they were joking. Beware of the Wipers. 

Långholm was an enchanting spot and our host for the evening Jan and Anna put out a great, huge amount of cheese for all the guest of the cruise. Our ship with people from the Seattle Yacht Club and Kyoko and Naoki Yamanaka from the Suma yacht club in Japan.  In the larger group of boats, there are people attending from as far as Australia, Canada, Germany & England. (pardon if I missed your country!). 

And now, we are as I type, underway! A destination unknown. Somewhere better to moore for the night. We come to a Storlandet a very fine looking spot with beautiful granite rocks, pockets of tall reeds and as always nice pines on shore. This shall be home for the night. A nice place for a swim.  Beautiful summer cottages – this might be the place.  

perjantai 25. elokuuta 2017

ICOYC-cruise Marianhamina-Helsinki by Ragan Peck, day 4

Leaving Jurmo

Couldn’t leave Jurmo without stopping in the harbor store one last time! The salmon is delicious, and the carrot cake and the buns! And the expensive beer. What a place. After we left I heard some history of the island I had missed, Jurmo was full of wreckers and around about 1700’s-ish the King of Sweden ordered the island to be burned. Perhaps this is a rumor or true. Perhaps they burned seal fat to make such false markers. The entire island, plants, house, all of it, burned. Beautiful as the island is now with even small raspberries growing on the shore, all of it is hard to imagine, false markers and fires to lure seafarers, let alone people living on a little icy rock year round. 

Alas off we head! To somewhere? It is enchanting, exciting to not know. And so we sail for a decent amount of time, put up two hammocks, everyone lays about like seals until… tack. So then we come upon our midday destination. The entrance to the town – the islands harbor is a series of turns, switch backs, blind corners, but such lovely little inlets and such a narrow passage. We arrive at Borstö!

Se upp för vormar! Varokaa Käärmeita! Beware of snakes (and ticks)! There a sign with a cartoon puss in boots, use boots when you walk in the forest, Welcome to Borstö! As we leave the dock, Lauri is slack lining on one of the lines to the Svanhild. I am pretty sure this is the life. 

We go see the the old lady of Borstö, she is amazing, the patina and blackened textures of the old wooden bowsprit is beautiful, somehow the textures of her clothing are even more ornate. On the nature walk it leads to a beautiful vista and some old Viking ruins. The ruins are a maze of sorts, from where you begin is where you end. It’s unclear the use, ritual, game or otherwise. Back at the ship the water is too luring and it was a nice quick swim, much warmer than the sea at home, about the same temp as the lake. The Baltic is like lightly giant salty lake. 


Departing Borstö another good sail ahead. The conditions favorable, sunny and gorgeous, though there could have been more wind? At any rate, hammock up, tack, hammock down, and around again. Rough life. The crew has magically transformed us into semi-functional crew, we are grateful. 

In transit we pass the Captains brother as he saddles his sail boat right up next to us they yell across jovial jests. Wonderful surprise to us. 

We near our destination, furl the sails, fenders out ready to come in and not 80 feet from the pier the guy on the pier calls off our approach, arms in a ”X”. Unexpected. Fortunately around the corner the freight dock is there, where we may moor to. Swim, Sauna, Swim! Thank you!

This is the island of Örö. Apparently if you call ahead you should not trust what they say… but it is of course a beautiful place like everywhere in the archipelago. It was a military installation until most recently, now it is some kind of preserve. There are great vistas, protected harbors, supposedly seals and at least one mink we saw running along the shore. The chef is for sure trying to fatten us up for the next part of this fairy tale, he served some perfectly cooked beef and roast vegetables. That was enough for one day.