Thank you Helsinki you truly have been amazing! The ARC Baltic fleet are now underway once again, but it has been a very special stopover at the NJK marina. They are definitely the hosts with the most, with participants loving the onsite sauna and plunge pool, fantastic shower facilities and an awesome crew dinner in what can only be described as an exceptional building in beautiful surroundings.
This island marina which is only accessible by water has been a highlight of the rally so far for many. Sami the harbour master and 'official grass irrigator' also ferries people back and forth all day and at times late into the night. Flags of the yacht nationalities are raised at 0800 every day and lowered accompanied by cannon fire at 2100.
The youngsters on board Selkie
decorated the pontoons with chalk drawings and really enjoyed the lawn sprinkler while their parents whizzed around the electric scooters in town. A three hour walking tour of the city took place on Saturday with many of the participants enjoying the sites and buildings in the area.
The local trip boats do a great job of ferrying you around the many small canals and islands to the east on the city sometimes even finding rally yachts waiting for a bridge to open before continuing onto the tranquil anchorages of this fantastic place.
Bernie and Julie from Circe reported that their arrival here in Helsinki would be a little delayed as they were having such a great time kayaking and exploring with the ARC Baltic flag!
After refilling water tanks with “the best water in the world” and provisioning with various items (including tinned bear meat) the fleet proudly paraded their vessels with code flags flying around Helsinki city harbour and then headed out for four days of exploring the Finnish Archipelago.
The weather looks like being kind to the fleet again as light airs and possibly even some sunshine will drift over them as they progress west. After a long and very happy conversation with Helsinki VTS the fleet all departed independently out through the not so busy Sakka channel.
A fond farewell NJK - thank you for having us again and rest assured we would love to come back to add to your flag collection.