Cruise A – Helsinki to Turku (7-10 days)

Note:  This trip has now been split into two parts, Helsinki-Hanko, and Hanko-Turku, to meet a request from a crew member.  You can still sign up for the whole trip if you’d prefer that.

This is to some extent a delivery trip.  Prior to this we will have collected Korybant from winter quarters, stowed everything, and done the usual start of season sorting out, ending up in Helsinki.  Because of this we can be pretty certain that we’ll be in Helsinki on time and ready for this cruise.

In June the weather can be quite variable, so we allow 10 days for this trip, if the weather is good then there will be time to stop off along the way and see some of the islands.  In 2015 it took seven days to get to Turku, including two days when the wind was at least 12 m/s for much of the time.  2016 may be easier, but be prepared.

The route is WSW from Helsinki, through dozens of coastal islands.  The first stop, depending on conditions, will be in the Porkkala area.  The Bay of Porkkala is about 20 miles across, fairly open water, with good harbours on both sides.

After crossing the Bay we travel down the Barosund, in a SW direction, becoming WSW in the later parts.  The next stop might be at Jussaro, with a former underwater iron mine.

On day three or four we hope to make Hanko, the Finnish Cowes and centre of much racing.  When Finland was part of Russia many wealthy Russians built grand villas (of wood) in Hanko, for the summer.  There’s a casino, some good restaurants and an opportunity to shop and restock the larder and wine cellar.  The marina has showers and a washing machine.

This is about the half-way point, and our next target is probably Helsingholmen, or possible Rosala, depending on wind and weather.   The harbour on Helsingholm is well-sheltered from most directions, there’s a tiny shop, and they also sell their own smoked fish.  There are some good walks around the island, and a very good sauna.

With a bit of luck we have a day in hand by now.  We can use that to visit another of the islands in the Turku archipelago, or if the weather forecast is not too good we can continue towards Turku.

Turku itself used to be the capital of Finland.  It’s still the second city, with excellent rail and bus connections to the rest of the country.  Trains take 2 hours to get to Helsinki, and run at least hourly, so it’s a good spot to swap crews.