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Sailing in Finland: Starling arrives in Helsinki

Posted in : Starling

As soon as the lines were across in Helsinki, the last of the crew began arriving at the dock – it’s clearly difficult to sneak into a city in a 60ft pink sailing yacht. Within 12 hours we were at full complement – welcome Tracey, Sue, Karen and Steve. A well earned break following our 36 hour dash left us with the delightful quandary – What to do in Helsinki in the middle of Summer… well culture and walking come high on the list, so a few of us followed Karens example and joined a ‘Red Umbrella’ walking tour around the city. Run by students, this picks up the key cultural highlights accompanied by witty and we hope reasonable accurate commentary. The advantage of a local guide is of course local knowledge, particularly the best and cheapest restaurants. In a city which has a reputation for being one of the most expensive in the world some of us were delighted to dine on the finest salmon bisque for literally only a few euros – bargains can be found everywhere – just ask a student. The less culturally inclined decided that electric scooters, which can be hired using a natty smart phone app, were order of the day. Helsinki is a walking and cycling city so the mode of transport is ideal and crew were soon zipping between monuments at 20 km/hr. We even used the souped up toys to go and get the yachts victuals …. perhaps we should get some for all the boats (What d’ya think Bruce?) Tempted by the fresh meats and wurst available in the supermarket, Bar B Que was the decision for our first full complement crew meal. Firing up the flames in the centre of a European Capital is a surreal experience, but as always dining alfresco was a delight and Steve proved to be a skilled chef on the coals! Saturday brought an early start, breakfast followed by the obligatry Man Overboard Drill. We fuelled and watered before departing Finland’s Capital and heading West again. Our destination was an Island renamed Derick – for ease of pronunciation. Light head winds frustrated us , but a few hours motor sailing enabled the crew to brush up on pilotage skills and immerse themselves in the challenging navigational environment that the inland routes around the Finnish coast provide. The boat is settled at anchor for the night, we have had the dinghy ashore for afternoon perambulation and are relaxing with an apparently ‘enjoyable’ board game (again thank you Steve……. I think)