Category Archives: Baltic

Quick Trip To Helsinki Finland !!

In August i was invited back to rejoin a boat i was on last year. It was taking part in the ARC Baltic rally and i was joining in the latter part of the rally in Helsinki Finland.

NorwegianAir  got my custom this time and i flied to Helsinki from London.

I had some time to tour the city and take some photos before joining the boat. I was surprised to hear that Finland spent a lot of time under Swedish rule where as i thought it had mostly been under Russian rule in the past. In fact it wasn’t really that long ago that it gained its complete independence, only in the last 100 years or so.

Finland has two official languages – Finnish and Swedish, but English is spoken widely, making it very easy for us English speaking folk to get around ! In fact the whole of Scandinavia is easy for us English speaking folk to get around !

Helsinki Cathedral –

Helsinki finland

Helsinki finland

Had to get a picture of a boat in here somehow ! –

You might think that Helsinki has hints of Russian style and architecture about it and you’d be right ! Apparantly the whole town was built to resemble St Petersburg.

We enjoyed a dinner in the oldest yacht club in Helsinki called the Nylandska Jaktklubben. It is situated in the bay right in the heart of the city on the island of Blekholmen.

The green roofed clubhouse was built in 1900 and is only accessible by boat or ferry.

Nylandska Jaktklubben

Looking out from the clubhouse –

Nylandska Jaktklubben

After a couple of days in the capital we headed out to sail west ultimately to get to Stockholm Sweden but with a few stops along the way.

The weather was forecast to be a little lively so we kept into the coast and stayed for a couple of nights in Porkala in the marina. It was in a sheltered bay, ideal for sitting out the gusty weather that was apparantly blowing 30 kts.

Slightly chilly but the sun was out –

Porkala marina

The next day i went out to explore the green and wild surrounding area.  All very natural with no signs of pollution anywhere.

It didn’t take me long to find the other side of the bay and more water !!

Many Finnish people have second homes in these sorts of areas. Usually some type of cabin quite often with a sauna, what a great way to get away from it all.

We left after 2 days as the winds had died down and headed for Junta. After 12/13 hours at sea we arrived and moored up stern to to the piers.

Sadly this was going to be the end of this trip for me. I turned my phone on and all sorts of bleeps and ring tones started playing. It was the messages and calls you dread the most. One of my parents had been taken seriously ill during the night and had undergone heart surgery that morning.

Fortunately Junta was the last stop on the train line so I was able to get the last train that day back to Helsinki. I slept at the airport that night and flew home the next morning, I was home by lunchtime.

You have to be thankful for modern transport and communication to get back home that quickly !!

Sadly my father never made it but it wasn’t for the efforts of the doctors and nurses who tried their best to save him.

Good bye old fella – you were a muched loved man.

This obviously brought this years travelling to a halt.

Sorry for the late update of this trip, thought i had added the details already.

Looking forward to 2018 for more travels and exploration !!


New Sunreef 74 Delivery

One more boat delivery this year – a new Sunreef 74 sailing catamaran from Poland to the UK.

Sunreef 74

I flew out a few days earlier and went to the city of Poznan – once the capital of Poland. Obviously being November the temperatures were cold and freezing most of the time. Access around the town is easy due to an extensive tram network.

Old square –

Poznan poland

Poznan poland

Poznan poland

Poznan at night –

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Poznan poland


Found a traditional Polish restaurant that served boiled potatoes,  sausage meat wrapped in cabbage leafs and a beetroot hot drink !!

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After a few days in Poznan I moved to Gdanks by using the train, a system that seemed to be very efficient and extensive. Although Gdansk was mostly flattened during the war it was rebuilt in a similar style to how it was previously.

Gdansk old town –

Gdansk poland

Gdansk poland

Gdansk poland

Whilst in Gdansk I was shown this sight, it was originally a Post Office during the second world war. Apparantly the Nazis when entering a new city would first go to the post office. From this they could find out where all the wealthy people lived and would immediately target them and start looting. The post office workers  on hearing the nazis were coming started to burn all the records. They were found doing this and all lined up against the wall and shot. The white lines part way up the wall are where their hands would have been.

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Photo at the time –

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The Gdansk shipyards were some of the biggest in the world, some of the cranes you can see are now protected and cannot be removed. Once upon a time 20, 000 workers walked through the gates to the shipyards everyday. This of course was the birth place of solidarity movement.

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Some of the cranes are still in use today –

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Meeting the boat – a newly completed 74ft Sunreef catamaran –

Sunreef 74

Inside the main saloon area –

Sunreef 74

Galley area –

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Rear deack area –

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Flybridge –

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Instrumentaion –

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Onboard jacuzzi –

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Made to feel at home on the boat !!

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We left Gdansk and headed out into the Baltic for our trip to the Mediterranean.

Early morning Gdansk –

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The conditions soon picked up and we were soon in constant 25 – 30 knot winds with choppy seas. The wind gusted up to 42 knots at times and never dropped below 20.  When the wind changed to a northerly it was bitterly cold !!

The boat at Cuxhaven, Germany, just about to leave after it had completed the Kiel canal.

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It took four days to get to Falmouth, in fact we arrived about 20 miles outside late at night so had to kill a load of time and arrived early morning.

Arriving Falmouth where the boat would spend its winter.


The boat stayed in Falmouth over the Christmas period as people needed to get home and opportunities to cross the Bay of Biscay were less frequent. The boat would have to wait until the beginning of the year to find its way to the med.