Raid Finland - Part 2

By Norm Wolfe - Washington, DC - USA

To Part One

...Continued from yesterday

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 WWII.

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.


From Hanko we sailed to a tourist farm in a secluded bay in a community called Hummeldal: (Note - site is in Finnish or Swedish - your choice)

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 feast.

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:

mhanyi at yahoo dot com
peter dot lord at kv dot slu dot se

Links to information on boats in this raid:

Jim Michalak’s narrative on designing RAIDER:

Plans for RAIDER are available at Duckworks.

part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4

B&B Bay River Skiff:

Campion Apple:

Plans for Navigator are available at Duckworks.

Welsford Navigator:

More photos of RAID Finland 2009:

In 2008, RAID Finland had more wind:

Community boat building in Poland by Wojtek Baginski:

Praise and positive comments may be emailed to: norman dot wolfe at verizon dot net.



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