For long I had looked for a chance to visit Suuri Lintusaari island which is somehow not that well-promoted destination but still seemed like a fascinating place to visit. Its sandy beaches open to west and south that are often unsheltered directions during the prevailing winds of the Finnish summer. Also, a relatively long distance from the southern harbors adds its own challenge.
We woke up at 4 O’clock, prepared the gear and the boat and managed to launch bit after the sunrise. After broad reaching in gentle breeze we had a short break at Ilkonsaaret islands.
The breeze made it possible to beam reach to Suuri Lintusaari island. Approaching the shallow sandy beach was bit worrysome as the charts are quite vague about the bottom and the rocks. Despite of all, the landfall was succeful. I carried boat’s Danforth anchor to deeper water by wading. That’s a bit unorthodox way of doing it but at least it held firmly on the sandy bottom.
The island itself was an interesting experience, although we didn’t explore it that thoroughly because of its length of four kilometers and the heat. Both the sandy beaches and the weather were fantastic. Water temperature was 24°C that made swimming a pretty pleasent experience. Even if it was a working day you didn’t need to feel yourself lonely there. Including us, seven boats visited the place, most of them in the late afternoon.
Our return trip started after six O’clock in the evening. The breeze had turned to southwest and built up to around 10 knots. We paddled into the wind, lowered the centerboard (when it was deep enough), raised the sails and started sailing close-hauled. Karvasalo island made the breeze quite choppy but eventually it became more predictable.
Near Muuttoluoto islet there was a quite thrilling occasion, as an 83 meters long Dutch cargo ship, Adamas, suddenly started approaching us from aft at 10 knots. We weren’t sure where it was heading for at the triangle of the shipping lanes. AIS information stated its destination was Joutseno but that wasn’t the case. Near Kätkytsaaret island the situation calmed down.
Sarastus gained admirers, when we were leaving from the island and at the last miles when hauling to the slipway. There was even a yacht motoring near Päihänniemi and it raised its sails, clearly inspired by seeing us tacking. Anyway, it was a great day once again.