Thursday, July 19, 2012

Baltic Adventure Part 8: Elisaari to Pihlajasaari

From my trip journal:
And the weather was GLORIOUS and we sailed almost 42 miles (45 was our estimate, it was a little shorter than that) from Elisaari to Pihlajasaari, a lovely little nature preserve/recreation island in Helsinki Harbor.

More tricky navigation through islands today, but we were OK - everything's quite well marked and as long as somebody was paying close attention to the chart, we were fine.

Nice sailing day - all downwind, mostly dead downwind, with a good breeze...

A little bit chilly, but such a pretty sail! 

 so just jib, 

although the last couple of miles, as we came in to Helsinki Harbor, we did add the main. 

Tallink Shuttle ferry leaving Helsinki for Tallinn - if anybody had been tired of sailing, this would've been where they could've skipped back to Estonia, but nobody was!

I got to drive at the beginning and the end. Setting out was beautiful - Kat planned it so that we backed out to port (the screw walked us that way plus that saved us trying to bring the bow through the wind until we had room),
driving in not so good - line to stern mooring buoy got run wrong and at one point people were asking me for forward and reverse at the same time, which didn't work so well - but everything got worked out in the end One of the straps got ripped off the lifering cover in the process, but B. spotted the strap floating by the other island (Pihlajasaari is actually 2 islands, but they're only separated by a narrow span of water and there's a footbridge connecting them), Kat retrieved it, and I had happened to bring a little sewing kit with big sail needles from my kayak repair kit and I stitched it back together with dental floss (which works well as heavy-duty thread).

B. and I went for a walk - 

we found a restaurant 

where you can get a beer on a patio overlooking the entrance to the harbor -
 I had to shoot another beer commercial (I am getting a nice collection !) -

so we were late for snacks but there was still food when we got back.
More good herring! I ate more fish on the trip than I usually eat in a month.

Another gorgeous island. At one time I guess it was more private, the place is sprinkled with lovely villas that were the summer retreats of well-to-do Helsinki residents - our restaurant was one.
here's another!

Now it's another link in this chain of lovely recreational spots which we've been enjoying so much. There is a ferry from the mainland, so people can come here for the day to hike, swim, 
play volleyball,


or just have a beer on a patio overlooking the harbor entrance.

There are millions of boaters here - we didn't have any trouble finding a spot, but there's plenty of neighbors here in the public harbor.
including this handsome fellow with the magnificent mustachios!

Keelboats and kitesurfers, 

and  a whole assortment of dinghies - 

here are some foiling Moths ripping it up, and further off it looks like maybe an Optimist (or the local equivalent) race in progress - 

and a kayaker paddled into the cove across from where we're moored, although he beached his boat & disappeared on a hike before I could get to my camera.

Boater's heaven, here in the summertime. Think you might like to go there someday? Once again, here's the information page!

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