After a period of cruising through what was for most their first experience of the Finnish Archipelago, the warm welcome received from the NJK in Helsinki set the tone for what has been a great weeks sailing, relaxing and exploring this beautiful region of the Baltic.
Situated on the small island of Blekholmen in the middle of Helsinki harbour, the NJK marina with its prestigious yacht club added to the rally atmosphere whilst moored in the centre of the town. A crew dinner organised in the yacht club gave chance for new crews to orientate themselves and gave chance for reflection as Hans Hansell, skipper of lead boat Working on a Dream reminded the fleet of their achievements and highlights of the rally so far. A bus tour of Helsinki marked the last day before leaving the following morning to cruise through the remainder of what the Finnish Archipelago had to offer.
Departure from Helsinki and the NJK marked a significant event of the rally as the fleet left together in the first ARC Baltic parade of sail. A parade of the southern harbour exiting via its narrow entrance created a spectacle with all yachts displaying flags overall whilst in the heart of the city.
As the fleet took their time sailing and navigating through the challenging yet rewarding Finnish Archipelago, many met on the island of Kokar where there was chance to visit the medieval church and prehistoric sights where seal hunters resided, dating back to 1000 BC. Those that chose the anchorage were welcomed by live music from the small bar ashore who entertained the locals and crews late into the evening.
The sail through the archipelago next lead the fleet to the town of Mariehamn bosting a marina with full facilities, close proximity to town and overlooked by the impressive ex trade ship the Pommern which crews had chance to look around. The weather has continued to spoil the fleet with temperatures up to thirty degrees Celsius and favourable winds for sailing through the islands. All factors combined, the fleet rewarded themselves for their successful navigation with sundowners on the dock on yet another warm evening in the Baltic.
Leaving Finland behind them, the fleet have now arrived in KSSS Saltsjöbaden Marina, Stockholm. Situated just a short train journey away from Stockholm City Centre, the fleet will visit the Vasa Museum and Skansen Museum before returning for a crew barbeque in the evening marking the start of a free cruising period to Kalmar on the Swedish coast. World Cruising