Day 18 – Part 1 – Tallinn to St Petersburg

Tallinn to Vergi, Estonia

Stamp, stamp

Our first priority of the day was to clear out of the EU.  This entailed queueing up outside the immigration and customs portacabin on the dock at the marina.  This needed all crew to be with the captain when passports were checked, and then only the captain going into the office with the crew list and official boat papers.  Lots of stamping, signing, stamping, and signing ensued.

Finally by midday we were ready to leave.  A slight debacle with one of the mooring ropes tying itself back onto the mooring ring, meant less than a clean exit – but we managed to recover in order to moor up at the fuelling dock in good order.  

Diesel head

Unfortunately Suzanne got a face full of diesel, as the pump needed Andrew to push a button to start it on land, and the nozzle had been left on automatic, unbeknown to us.  15 gallons in, to the tank not Suzanne,  and we finally were on our way out of the EU.

Sails away

Just our luck, another race was on just outside the harbour.  Safely skirted with set off under sail but with the wind behind us, progress was slow, so we started to motor sail.  After an hour or so, we decided to goose wing using our spinnaker pole, and making a good 5 – 6 knots under sail.  

So it was that a stream of rally yachts sailed out of Tallinn, heading towards Russia.  We had been given a timeframe in which to arrive at Kronstat, where we were to clear customs and immigration.  The slower boats, ourselves included, therefore headed off first.  The faster boats had a leisurely extra day in Tallinn.

Around 11am our GPS decided to die on us, never to reappear for the rest of our trip.  Luckily Andrew’s tablet and our chart plotter gave us two alternatives.  Still, annoying.

Pizza night

We opted not to do an overnight sail, and instead pulled into a tiny harbour, Vergi, the last one available to us in Estonia that would give us easy access to the fairway we must follow into Russia.  We spent a pleasant evening having home made pizza on one of the other yachts, and Suzanne made a mango and passion fruit mousse on the go, to take as our contribution. A boozy late night ensued.

It was a beautiful little harbour, but had the worst insect headcount of anywhere we’d encountered so far.  And they were vicious – if you were Andrew.  Bites came up the size of golf balls.  

Daily stats

We had a good days’ run of 55 miles, in just under 9 hours, averaging just under 6 and a half knots.  We sailed for 5 hours, and used 3 gallons of fuel.

We’ve no map for this leg, or the next – as we didn’t like to use any data while we were in Russia – no idea what the roaming fees would be – so didn’t even try! So if you’re interested, please do check it out via google!

You can hear more about our journey out of Estonia and our thoughts on Tallinn in Episodes 24 and 25 of our ‘2 in a Boat’ podcast.

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