maanantai 16. lokakuuta 2017

Ragans blog, day 9

Day 9

Morning 9....

Much to all our surprise we get one last floating voyage - out of this harbor and to Purjelaivakonttori's main dock with is just past where the ice breakers are moored. This is another beautiful urban harbor, great buildings line the waterways and at the pier, Jouni's other ships! We get to fawn over them, he has a nice little empire! Also, Mirkku on the pier! Apparently their place has a view of the water and they saw us pull in while sipping her morning coffee. So sad to part ways, what an amazing time. We are all so grateful for the most excellent Crew and Captain.

It will never be the same again and it was a once in a life time adventure, a fairy tale. Thank you Purjelaivakonttori! I hope to be so lucky again. 




Epilogue.... perhaps forth coming about the amazing ship yard and dry dock!

tiistai 10. lokakuuta 2017

Ragans Blog, Day 8

Day 8

The wind the wind.
The dingy, (aka the bow thruster) pushes and pushes and pushes: finally peels us away from the Coastguard pier against the wind. Then very very narrow channel in the wind. It is a great distraction from the impending end of our voyage. The channel markers exiting HogHolmen seems the same width as the ship, a serious obstacle course with the wind pushing the ship sideways. We exit safely and hoist one sail and inner jib. The wind is strong, and then the first jibe. Fun times. 

The seas have a little chop to them, a great distraction, from the end. Suddenly everything shifts: The mast was pulled with enough force, it rotated! However magically it seated back into position – just rotated perhaps 15 degrees. A handful of us watched in a flash, standing under it – 6 feet from it as moved. It was almost unclear if we had seen it or not. Wish I had that video but the cracked screen phone stopped working. My phone with all the photos is dead, and this is almost over.  It’s overcast and depressing, no more phone and no more ship. What is the point of life...  Lauri shims the mast in with blocks and off to Helsinki we sail. 

We come upon some beautiful smaller old boats, it must be great to be out in one of those tall ship races where all the boats are historic. To look around and only see these old giants. There’s something inherently heroic about these vessels. I will miss this ship, and we are not done yet. 

Welcome to Helsinki! Such a busy harbor with all the enormous passenger ferry/cruise ships. The downtown/tourism hub of Helsinki is of course surrounding a little harbor with a couple islands at it’s mouth. The NJK yacht club has this old palace on one of the islands. It looks like a castle. Beautiful old white wood building with onion top turrets in copper green. Nothing like a fairy tale ending to a magic journey. 

We tie to the NJK dock and I don’t want to go ashore. 








Inside, the old building is full or paintings, trophy’s and memorabilia. All I can think of is how much maintenance this building must require and how cold it would be in the winter with these single pane windows. Turns out this structure is closed in the winter. It's also fun to imagine in winter the little protected harbor often freezes over and you can walk across it. Inside the building there is a beautiful library - it would be great to sip some of their nice Cognac and pour of the books. The wrap around veranda - enclosed of course - is covered in burgees from all ages and places, even a burgee from Saltaire, Fire Island! The mention of Fire Island only slightly warms my heart which is heavy to be on solid ground. The food is fine with lovely company. We sleep on the Svanhild one more night.

lauantai 30. syyskuuta 2017

Ragans blog Day 7

Day 7 Ådö-Högholm

We are headed for Högholmen. This is a very nice spot, closer to Helsinki, we moore off a Coast Guard station. 
















There is a happy hour in a house on the island, we dingy over through some mildly choppy seas to their dock. 

The house has a very nice view, and very cool deck cut into the rocks. And a puppy! These houses, this island is perhaps the 1% of Finland? 

They have a wood stand for the boxed wine, I think my friends on Fire Island need this. But to note, even the 1% here have an outhouse. So far I enjoy all the Finnish beers, America should learn their ways, instead of all this IPA swag, or as they say here, ”eeeepaw”.

















 Back on board the crew has the Sauna ready, one must rush to get a beer and get in the Sauna. I got extra time, since the rest of the ladies were still in transit from the island. I came to the deck for some air and David had a net, catching these little fishes, anchovy like creatures. We joke with everyone on deck about eating them raw. David looks across the deck at everyone and bites the tail off one, and hands it to me, I take a bite. Oily, fishy. They would be delicious fried whole. 









For dinner there are Crayfish! Songs + vodka shots! It’s John’s birthday – Juha made an ice cream cake! Boat made chocolate ice cream! Dressed in whipped cream, frozen and torched like a baked alaska – kinda – it was delicious. To be remembered, Swedish songs make the best drinking songs, which should be short and quick. Gravity becomes to heavy and I slept better than ever. 

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.