As we picked our way through the Islands, Graham and Mike were on watch and at 2215 hrs they spotted an unusual object at close range. They thought that it looked like the conning tower of a submarine and went below to plot the position. When they returned to the cockpit 5 minutes later there was nothing to be seen however earlier it had presented a positive target on radar. Several minutes later a periscope appeared just 100 metres from Roaring Meg and the radar confirmed that it was metal! Graham and Mike said that it was spooky. Is Meg a submarine magnet?
Our next port of call was to be a backwater on the largest island off the coast of Estonia – Koigustesadam. Piia, one of the three woman we met in Finland had told us of this harbour, and that her friend Niklas Jannsen, a professional sailor owned it. We said we would visit and we did. We did not arrive until 0930 and Niklas had been expecting us around midnight – a minor miscalculation of distance by the navigator! Where are you Tea?
Niklas had hosted a party on the Sunday night and was moving slowly when I met him. He was however most welcoming and showed me around the facilities which include a private sauna. He has a great set up if you enjoy simply getting away from it all. We were the only yacht in the harbour.
It is a large harbour with Islands and bull rushes and lots of water fowl. The breakwater was originally built by the Soviet military as they intended to use it as a submarine pen but the project was never completed. Niklas pointed out a lighthouse out on the horizon and told us that in winter when the ice roads are officially opened (more than 250mm of ice thickness) he drives his Toyota 4 x 4 out there.
Niklas had to go to Tallinn on business and so after some photos of the first Kiwi yacht and crew to ever visit his harbour, he took his leave. We expect to see him on his next sailing visit to New Zealand.
We decided to take Meg outside the harbour for some Hollywood shots as when you are really sailing it is impossible to ever photograph your own yacht without launching the Rubber Duckie.
So Graham and I sailed Meg all over the bay while Mike with his GoPro captured the footage. It was great fun and you can see the results.
I love to launch the asymmetric spinnaker, otherwise known as “The Big Frog” as the sail is red, white and blue and has a sail area of 1080 square feet. It is a very efficient sail and out of 9 knots of apparent wind Meg will achieve a boat speed of 7 knots. Unfortunately we do not always have the right wind angle and wind speed to launch The Big Frog.
That evening we tried our hand at fishing. Niklas had suggested trolling as we have only a boat rod and a hand line but we came back in the Rubber Duckie empty handed. A spinning rod would have been perfect. The water is almost completely fresh with a salinity of only 1.002 specific gravity. Apparently cod will come into the area but only when the salty currents flow from Denmark. There is however a solid herring season.
So with fish off the menu we decided to BBQ homemade meat patties and chicken drumsticks. The charcoal BBQ on the stern rail takes a while to get fired up but once going will stay hot for a long time. We washed it down with some French Bordeaux and life was good on a perfect evening on the Baltic.
“I did not choose a ship’s passage, but rather to go before the mast,
For there on the deck of the world, I could see the moonlight amid the mountains.”
– Henry David Thoreau