Day 24 – Touching bottom in Helsingholmen

By 0730 we had raised both our anchors and retraced our steps to rejoin the fairway.  A grey and cloudy morning, but lifted by the stunning scenery of the national park we seem to have all to ourselves.  We saw seals, great flocks of cormorants and perhaps even more rare a sighting, Suzanne steering.

Around 0930 we were able to start sailing, make a good 6 knots and a for a brief period we even put up the cruising chute – although that didn’t last long.  Throughout the day military launches swiftly passed us.  

Mid afternoon, just past Hanko, we caught up with another rally yacht – who attempted to offer us scones it turns out – though we couldn’t make it out at the time!  The wind had picked up a little and we were making up to 7.5 knots under sail.

Hanko

Andrew had found our berth for a night on a website called viking islands.  It sounded promising, with a kiosk, sauna, showers and fresh fish.  We arrived about 4.30pm, and slowly motored into a sheltered bay on the island of Helsingholmen.  

Our first attempt to moor was rebuffed by another yacht – who said it was too shallow and directed us to the other side of a pontoon.  However when we got there, the boats were too close together and there was no room at the inn.  We spotted a gap further down, and slowly nudged our way in, until we slowly touched bottom.  Nope that was no good.

We reversed back and ended up tying up on the rubbish pontoon in a space reserved for the refuse ship.  Unfortunately Suzanne had just started to cook dinner when the said ship arrived in the harbour.  It had a small crane and was busy working on the round waste containers that were moored in the centre of the small bay.  Everyone watched intently as they made a lot of noise and put in a lot of effort into doing quite what, no-one knew.  

The boat then put across towards us, and Andrew asked if they wanted us to move – no they were ok on the end.  They let their dog off to pee and then they were off again.  Bin men of the waters still working at 7pm at night.  

We had a similar non event with the harbour office.  It was 10 euros to stay, another 5 euros if we wanted electric.  However no shower without the sauna, and that was booked until 1am.  There appeared to be nothing for sale in the small kiosk.  Armed with only a card, Suzanne slunk back to the boat, and we spent the following half hour rummaging through drawers and clothes pockets to scrape together enough coinage to pay the 10 euros.

Nevertheless it was a peaceful spot – with an amazing display of fish jumping out of the water.  It also, inevitably had a similarly large number of flying insects to tempt the fish…

Our daily stats

We made 51 nautical miles in 9 hours averaging 5.6 knots.  We sailed for 4 and used 4.5 gallons of fuel.

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