Our course on Monday to Dalsbruk took us near
an island where Yves has his summer home, and he invited us
to use the protected dock and extra long picnic table he built
himself for our picnic lunch. This came about 3/4ths of the
way to Dalsbruk, so it was as welcome stop. An additional
treat was a tour of his boat house where he is restoring an
old Finnish open fishing boat.
At Dalsbruk we enjoyed walking around the now
sunny town which was in stark contrast to the rain-drenched
beginning of the 2005 raid. Although there was no campground,
the hotel was just across the street from the small boat harbor.
Bruce and Katina were not satisfied with the
sailing performance of Meander, the boat they had rented,
so they fashioned a bowsprit from a piece of driftwood and
set a flying jib, providing noticeable improvement when there
was wind. With Wojtek’s assistance, they also repaired
a broken gooseneck.
Tuesday was a long 20 mile sail to Hanko, the
most southern port in Finland. We stopped at noon at an abandon
dock in a narrow passage, where we enjoyed stretching our
legs and having our picnic lunch. After a long afternoon sail
and row, we arrived at The Silver Sands trailer park and campground
and motel. We stayed there two nights, allowing a day of rest
and exploration of Hanko.
The campground is on the protected north side of the peninsula,
so our boats were safe just pulled up on the long beach. The winds
were light, so the sailing day was long. We arrived after 1800,
about third in the fleet. We were joined here by Len’s wife
Marilyn and her rental car, so we had wheels to get into the local
seaport town of Hanko, population about 10,000 and the Finnish
port remaining ice free the latest in the autumn. It was the scene
of battles between the Russians and Finns in the early part of
Entering the town along the old road along the
sea we passed many old “wooden” mansions from
the days Hanko was a shipping and fishing center. By wooden,
I mean solid wood, as in 10 inch square logs, faced with interesting
clapboard and gingerbread and restored to immaculate condition.
This kind of solid wooden house is common throughout northern
Europe for structures built before WWII, and is now recognized
as unique and worth restoring.
Luckily, Mike and Tuukka arrived first, in Peter’s boat,
because otherwise we would not have found it. We rounded a headland,
glimpsing Peter’s sail, and found a protected and secluded
harbor adjacent to a tourist farm with horses, cattle, chickens,
goats, sauna and a few cabins. Some of our party found the bay
warm enough to swim in, then dry out on the warm rocks.
Len and Marilyn had the cabin next to the harbor, which became
the host cabin for evening dinner and festivities. We had purchased
food in advance at a supermarket in Hanko, and now had quite a
Here we were also again joined by my friend Andres who had organized
and managed the construction of RAIDER
last summer. He also towed RAIDER to Finland and back behind his
suv. Both his teenage daughters were with us and the older, Kirtu,
became my fourth crew member for the last leg on Friday.
Friday morning found Marilyn cooking eggs to order for everyone.
After that fine breakfast, we made a leisurely departure at about
1000. This final leg was also a rowing opportunity, with just
enough wind to tempt us to raise the mast and sail, but then not
providing much help. So we rowed some more. We were the first
to arrive at the haul-out ramp at Bromarv, which we spotted by
seeing Marilyn and Andres waving to us.
After haul out, we had an additional adventure:
when driving back to Helsinki for the ferry to Tallinn, we
stopped at Miira and Tuukka’s parents summer home where
we hunted Chanterelle mushrooms and wild blueberries, and
brought back about 2 quarts of each. Miira’s mother
Kielo had home-made Karelian pastries waiting for us after
our adventure in the woods.
RAIDER is now resting in her winter home, a
small warehouse outside Tallinn, in the company of several
vehicles in various stages of repair, some industrial machinery,
and some household goods in storage.
Mike and Peter are already planning RAID Finland
2010, and may be reached by email at: