Friday, July 06, 2012

Baltic Adventure Part 4: Back To Tallinn to wait out a storm; we do some course plotting, and happen to catch a grand Welcome Home for some Estonian sailing stars!

Ah, it seems I'm now at the point when I can just start copying my journal! I have this very pretty small journal with a hand-marbled cover (a gift from one of my aunts or uncles, I wish I could remember who!) which has serendipitously turned into my amazing sailing adventure journal - I was looking around for something to use, and I picked this journal up and discovered that the last time I used it was on the trip I that Capt. Kat set up for me Capt. Sarah, another first mate from the schooner and 2 bartenders from the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Did we have fun? Oh my did we ever. Anyways, quite fun to realize this and although I've never been any good at keeping long-term paper journals (which is why I'm always amazed that this blog has gone on so long), I do enjoy keeping these trip journals.

First entry was pretty terse - I think I was just pooped after all the flying & the archery practice and the lovely dinner and wine and realizing it was still actually twilight at midnight. The entire entry reads "6/15 - Overnight in Tallinn".

The next day was a little livelier - I was a little punchy from the excitement (and, er, possibly a trifle tipsy...the local herb liqueur I was having as a nightcap the whole trip packed a pretty good punch itself) and it kind of picks up where I left off last night, with the entire front end of the day condensed into "Sailed from harbor 3 pm. Sailed to island of Naissaar."

Continuing from the journal's 6/16 entry:

Returned to Tallinn after weather forecast showed 40 kt blasts (from the south) in a south-facing harbor see note 1 . Got back, had "Kat's Midnight Docking Practice" see note 2, then red wine and Estonian herb liqueur "Urdimeister". Officially decided it never gets dark: 2:23 AM. 2:45 AM - Wanton Public Toothbrushing. B. and I feel that this should not be tolerated. Nip it in the bud! B. was slandered - something about saunas. I think it's bedtime now - somebody brought up something about dinghies being deflated - ooooh, goodness, I'm so tired all of the sudden! Bed, 2:50 AM.

6/17/2012: (early AM note) - Wet morning!
We'll probably spend the day in town - Estonian Maritime Museum? see note 3a First, Estonian breakfast cookies see note 3b and tea. Charging camera!

Full day report: We did stay on the dock today as  a big storm blew through. Plotted courses through Thursday -

Learned European-style aids to navigation. Red and green are switched and everything else is completely different. 

Mnemonics involve girls in tank tops in California and girls showing their midriffs in NY. Hey, whatever works, right?  Please note - this is absolutely not an "official" mnemonic, just something we made up, and I have cartoons to prove it - will share those in the next post!

We got a nice surprise for staying in town - There was a big welcome celebration for some very salty guys on a trip around the world:

There was a band, and singing, and speeches.

We weren't sure whether this was their homecoming or just a visit. Big catamaran called "Nordea" - I will have to Google when I get home. And I did, and it was a homecoming - it was Estonian adventurers Jaan T├Ątte and Marko Matvere and their team; they were just completing a global circumnavigation that they'd set out on in October 2010. Don't they just look it, too? Found them on the Helly Hansen website

Aside from trip planning, it just ended up being a nice lazy day - took a nap, went for a walk in the Old Town section again and then came back to the boat.

hooded crow in the parking lot near the boat - just snapped a picture because I'd never seen a crow like this before.

B. was our first chef and made a very good spaghetti dineer and salad.

We personally observed wind gusts to 30 kts (we turned on the instruments for a while in the middle of the storm out of curiousity) and between that and rain from a downpour in the AM to sporadic drizzle in the afternoon made us glad we'd decided to come back from Naissaar. Much more sheltered in Tallinn.

Turning in after an herb liqueur nightcap. Early start tomorrow - we're going to Finland!

Note 1 - this is why journals are good - when I posted about decision time on Naissaar, I'd already downgraded the gusts to 30 kts. I read this and think "No wonder we ran back to Tallinn" - I mean, seriously, 40 kt winds, a docking arrangement none of us had experience with, and all the locals leaving, wouldn't you have done the same?

note 2 - this is why Capt. Kat is so awesome to sail with - she's not just an excellent sailor, she's an excellent teacher (used to work for Offshore in fact). I'd noticed this on the last sail, but not quite as intensely - with 4 of us on board who'd been working with each other on the schooner for some time, getting everyone to learn to run the boat together wasn't quite as intensive a project - this time it really was, and it started back in Tallinn when she decided that we were going to take advantage of the calm before the storm, and we all took turns docking (much to the confusion and entertainment of the Estonian teenagers who were hanging out on shore watching us drive in and then out and then in and then out). I did pretty well - unfortunately ended up dinging the boat when we came in on the last day. Kat wanted to handle the lines, she needed someone to take the helm, and I volunteered , and we had a strong wind blowing us into our spot, and I did not do as well as I'd hoped, but cripes, was I glad I'd had that practice the first nightAnd she did this the whole time - and I think we got a lot better over the course of the trip, both as individual sailors and as members of a crew.

Note 3 a) Never made it, unfortunately; b) There are not really Estonian breakfast cookies, at least not that I ever actually became aware of - however, there were Estonian cookies that Capt. Kat declared were breakfast cookies and hey, who's gonna argue with the skipper? Can't be mutinying on our 2nd day on board. Especially over cookies.


Unknown said...

Beautiful pics. I love the Baltic Sea.

Buck said...

Loving this!

bonnie said...

Thanks! It was gorgeous, I'd love to get back there someday - more time in Tallinn, I wish we'd had another whole day on Suomenlinna, ditto for Elisaari (the place I thought was the most beautiful stop on the entire trip.

Even sitting on the dock while the storm blew through turned into an adventure.