Another day and another country for the intrepid explorers of ARC Baltic 2019 – this time, Estonia. Pulling into TOP Marina, the fleet arrived a few at a time, spread from Friday through to Sunday afternoon. Light airs and sunshine meant quite a lot of motoring on the leg from Gotska, although Kleopatra managed to sail all the way in one go. Spinnakers where flown through the night on some yachts, with crews agreeing “it’s so much easier to sail at night when it doesn’t get dark!”
Each took a varied route to reach Tallinn and there many tales of adventure and exploration of tranquil anchorages and almost deserted harbours en route. The schedule has meant there has been time for some independent cruising between these first stopovers, and Susan on Hoedic decided they would detour to Latvia on route because they had the courtesy flag on board. Baltic sailing certainly does throw up some navigational challenges though, and it is reassuring to have rally yachts around as they explore some unfamiliar waters. Andrew on Crystelle Venture explained in detail how wandering off the marked channels in some areas is ‘an interesting experience.’ David and Susan on Hoedic were following them in morning mist and where quite happy they had someone to follow, until Crystelle Venture stopped. Which meant that Susan then had to take the lead through some very narrow and shallow channels, between the island of Vormsi and mainland Estonia. For those of you reading this it’s worth a look on the charts.
With the fleet reunited at TOP Marina, Sunday and Monday allowed the crews to explore the incredible city of Tallinn. The famous spires, cobblestone streets, flower markets, medieval buildings and museums all make this a fascinating place, and it is packed with great restaurants and delis to enjoy. A hop on hop off bus service is provided for everyone and really is a great way to see the area.
The rain moved in on Monday and luckily for all those plugged into the shore power Ned and Bro from Frannie B were close at hand to water proof the somewhat dodgy electric box on the dock. Great work guys although watching you tape each others hands to the post was very funny.
Monday evening will see the all the crews out for dinner in old town Tallinn for a medieval style served banquet at Restoran Maikrahv. A variety of traditional Estonian cuisine will be served, with options to suit all tastes.
The Skippers Briefing, ahead of the next leg to St. Petersburg, takes place on Tuesday to prepare for the trip into Russia with love.
Rally Control listening out on VHF 77.