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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
We left Dihrami as a three boat convoy, slipping lines at 0900 ish and motoring out into the bright Estonian sunshine. The journey was to be straightforward, with no shallow bits, no rocks to hit and no fog. Unfortunately no wind either.
Mains were raised, motoring cones hoisted and onwards we chugged. Another Rally yacht proposed a lunch spot, but on investigating the water was algae ridden and foul, and there were a disturbing number of wrecks on the shoreline and in the hidden depths. A nice idea but the Baltic seems to be full of algal bloom this year.
A little later, and within a few hours of Tallinn the wind filled in, and sails billowed out as we tried to get at least a few hours of sailing in; but it was not to be. It veered and with such a header all we could do was fire up the iron topsail i.e the engine and motor once more.
The entry into Top Marina, host for the sailing events of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, is easy, even with a plump gentleman falling off a paddleboard right in front of us, plenty of room to take evasive action and slide into the Marina.
Another stern mooring buoy. But this time we were prepared. Suzanne hooked it like a pro, walked it to the back as Andrew took in the stern line then walked casually to the front and handed the bowline to Rally control who hooked us on. Fantastic. If Carlsberg made berthings they’d make them like this. A slight rejig of the stern line to straighten the boat up and we were in Tallinn, Estonia’s capital city!
Time to stock up in the fantastic supermarket, carry out some much-needed maintenance, enjoy a crew dinner in the town centre, and visit the seaplane museum!
Our daily stats
We managed a measily one hour of sailing, one of motoring and 5 and half motor sailing, using 5 gallons of fuel. We were underway for 7 and half hours, making 45 nautical miles, averaging over 6 knots. At least the sun was shining!
You can hear about this sail and more in Episode 23 of our podcast ‘2 in a boat’
2 in a boat is our podcast that brings you the sailing and travel world of Suzanne and Andrew on their aged yacht Crystelle Venture.
You’ll join us along the way as we prepare for our longest sail yet, from Dartmouth, UK to St Petersburg, Russia. Our route takes us across the North Sea and around the Baltic this summer, a round trip of about 3000 nautical miles.
With a fab intro music written by our talented nephew, Joseph Turner, and artwork by our equally talented daughter, Jessica Caballero – it’s something of a family affair.
Warts and all live recording of our time sailing across Lyme Bay to Portland. Ever wondered what goes on during those long hours in a small cockpit on a yacht? Now’s your chance to eavesdrop and find out what Andrew and Suzanne get up to!
Just where have our 2 in a boat washed up now? They’ve spotted submarines, been boarded by the Dutch authorities, and now want to buy concrete sheep. Listen in to find out what on earth/on sea, has been going on.
At last our 2 intrepid sailors have made their way to the gateway to the river Elbe and the prospect of the Kiel canal looms. But what are our 2 in a boat talking about? Borkum, bikes and boys! Listen in to hear about their journey from Borkum to Cuxhaven, and all manner of other discussions.
Today is the day our 2 in a boat face one of their biggest fears, and most anticipated parts of their journey to the Baltic – going into the Keil canal (NOK). Find out how they got on in today’s episode.
Today we find our 2 in a boat preparing for the first official leg in their Baltic rally – from Warnemunde, Germany to Bornholm, Denmark. What have they done in the past few days and what are their thoughts on the rally? Join them on Crystelle Venture to catch up with our 2 in a boat.