Sweden to Finland 2022
Having explored the Stockholm archipelago with Wes and Alexis, we decided to make a direct run to Marieholm, the capital of the Aland Islands. Following what we refer to as our ‘stumble in’ policy, we arrive in the Islands on the 100th anniversary of their independence, quite a celebration.
Arriving on the west side, after a night we decided to more around to the east side that was closer to the center of town and a friendlier marina. Before moving, we visited the wonderful Maritime Museum and four masted 1903 300’ four masted s/v Pommern built in 1903. Over 10% of the workforce on the island are skippers or crews on ships today.
Instead of trying to boat around the entire main island, we rented a car and did a full island tour including Kastelholm Castle dating from the 14th century. Returning to the marina, Marcia got word of the passing of her friend Carla’s husband, Don. It was important Marcia return to the states for the services and a good visit with Carla. The marina was most accommodating in extending our stay for a week.
Dockside we had met local residents and boaters Marie and Edgar. They had offered any assistance we might need, Dan took Edgar up on the offer and the two of them changed out the failed alternator that charged the engine batteries.
Marcia was back on board the evening of the 22nd after four flights from Valdosta, GA to Marieholm, Finland. The next morning we off the dock and headed thru the island toward Helsinki. By islands, I mean thousands of all sizes with many of the larger ones connected by ferries. At Degerby we met Merit and William who were kind enough to invite us for a glass of wine at their home under construction on nearby island. What a great set up they have and are wonderful hosts.
We also met Gustav who was swimming from Stockholm to Helsinki, 350 miles as a fundraiser to Baltic Swim. We would meet again the next day in Kokar where Gustav and his crew helped us get tied to the dock in very stiff winds. Imagine needing 6,000 calories a day to swim 10 miles in 50-60 degree water.
Weaving our way thru the rocks and islands, next stop was Borsto. Again, they would accommodate us dockside in the Guesthamen. Any boat over 15 meters, 49 feet is considered oversized. Borsto was a farming island with four families and a small guest house and restaurant.
Hanko was our first stop on the mainland. This is beautiful resort community with many homes built by Russians in the mid to late 1800’s. We enjoyed a few days of wandering the island and enjoying the restaurants.
Ekenas was a bit of a diversion up a river where the water actually got up into the 70’s. The harbormaster was nice enough to tie us up to the major restaurant dock for the night. Last stop before Helsinki was Porkkala where we anchored up in a small bay for the night and slept on the foredeck.
We found very accommodating dockage at Marina Bay in downtown Helsinki. Returning to the city, we were reminded of how much we enjoy this city.