062212 - St Petersburg to Tallinn via Helsinki

061712 19 Heading into Helsinki Harbour The Storm Front we we running in front of

Storm Front we were racing against into Helsinki

Friday 15th January to Friday 22nd June

Clearing out of St Petersburg took a little longer than expected with delays both at the fuel dock and with customs so an expected 10 am departure turned into 1230pm - as always one has to be flexible with your plans.

We had a good sail to Haapasarri and anchored out having arrived at 3am Russian time to the Frontier Guard station. Lots of radio chatter throughout the night turned out to be the Frontier Guard having to rescue a person who was totally inebriated and had run aground a stolen boat, he had obviously not heeded the warning we heard “You are proceeding on a dangerous course.” 

The holding at Haapasarri is very good and the island and small community so picturesque that we opted to spend the night here before proceeding onto Helsinki.

Our run to Helsinki was in total contrast to our previous leg. A very grey wet day with squalls coming through and motor on motor off all day. We finally made it in through the entrance of Helsinki Harbour and into Katajanokka Marina at about 6pm with a huge cloud front literally chasing us in. We tied up to the Pump outstation pontoon as it seemed obvious to all onboard that we weren’t going to fit where we had been booked. Unfortunately in the middle of the 25 plus blow a FInnish boat decided they wanted to pump out and that caused all sorts of dilemmas. The following morning reallocated a new berth we tired up for our second night in Helsinki and took the opportunity to catch Tram #3 around the city area to get our bearings before setting out on foot on the second day taking in the city sights. 

Leaving Helsinki we had a Viking Ship on our tail once more as we proceeded through the gap of Sumomenlinna Fortress. From Helsinki it was a forty odd mile run across to Tallinn. Sounded easy enough and winds though strong weren’t meant to be too unpleasant - we should have known better. It blew nothing less than 24knots on the nose all the way. The seas were short sharp and standing up - Katherine took several flying leaps which would have have been particularly impressive to catch on camera had we just not been onboard. The fast ferry from Tallinn was suddenly looking very nice. 

But on arrival at Tallin in the new “Old Port Tallinn” we quickly forgot the crossing and were totally happy with both our marina, its location and its facilities. 

Weather conditions were dictating we needed to move on Friday to everyones disappointment. Had we known better we would have tried to shuffle days elsewhere to have more time in Talliinn. Though a mega tourist destination - we think it must be the Baltic’s version of Ibiza in the Mediterranean with at least ten to fifteen ferries/cruise ships coming in and out daily - the Old Town was a maze of beautiful streets. One could easily spend three days just walking the Old Town before setting off further afield on the public transport of trams and buses.

So with Helsinki barely touched and so much more to see in Tallinn I think we will be putting this area on our list to come back to - maybe not In Katherine but definitely to visit again.

Now we are heading for the east coast of Sweden hoping to make a 340 mile run to Kalmar before the next weather change comes in. One thing we have definitely learnt in our several months of cruising here is to watch the weather and to continually check as when the change comes it comes in fast and the sea state changes rapidly with it. 

Next stop Kalmar Sweden. 

(Click Here for Photos)

061612 5 Haapasari Harbour

Picturesque Harbour of Hapasaari

© SV Katherine 2018      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Isle Tabarca Spain