Category Archives: Sailing Trips

Northern Sardinia

First boat trip of the year took a little while to track down but well worth the wait. A Benetau First 45 was requiring crew to sail around the northern tip of Sardinia. This boat is more of a racer/cruiser rather than a traditional cruising yacht.

I met the owner and his motley crew in the bar at Wetherspoons at Stanstead airport. We flew into Olbia and got a taxi to Porto Torres, about 45 minutes away. Porto Torres is a port on the north west tip of Sardinia, large ferries come in from Corsica and the Italian mainland.

A short walk from the marina and port are some nice secluded beaches. There are some remains from Roman buildings by the sea, apparantly the only evidence of the Romans in Sardinia.

Our first night away we found a secluded inlet where we stayed for the night, very peaceful.

When we left the next day we saw these big guys hanging around not doing much. They were waiting for some wind so they could go racing. Alas the wind never came so they had to abandon the race. These boats were big, like really big ! Must have been 200ft long with a couple of dozen crew onboard.

The yachts undoubtable came out from Porto Cervo which is the expensive town of Sardinia. Its the place rich people like to be seen in !!

Purely by chance i managed to meet my cousin whilst i was in Sardinia. He was arriving into Alghero to attend a lecture at the university. Fortunately i was flying out of Alghero the next day so dinner was on the cards.

Old town Alghero –

Alghero old town

Alghero old town

Looking back at Alghero –Alghero

Watching the sunset from the restaurant –

Never worked out why all the lanterns were out, i’m sure there was some sort of festival on. Looked good at night time –

After a few days of sailing the boat returned to Porto Torres. I remained onboard for another few nights doing a few odd jobs and cleaning the boat for its next adventure.


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 !!