· Suur-Saimaa · Sarastus · 13 M

The first cruise was quite unsuccessful by many ways, but that shouldn’t discourage us. I sent some questions about the rig and lines to the previous owner of the dinghy, and he responded with excellent instructions. I tested them on ground and the results were so promising, that we decided to head for Satamosaari on next Sunday. The forecast predicted wind speed of around 3-5 m/s (3 Beauforts) and partly cloudy sky.

By the way, we decided to name the boat as Sarastus, which is the name given by Finnish translators to the sailing ship Dawn Threader of The Chronicles of Narnia. We considered it as a nice symbol of Finnish summer mornings, but also a reference to the British origins of the boat.

Wondering the secrets of the rig
We launched Sarastus, paddled bit further from the pier and raised the sails. Raising the mainsail was easy and also the furling genoa opened flawlessly. Soon a light wind crossing the sheltering peninsula whisked us forward. It has to be said, that it was a wonderful feeling to realize, that the planning and waiting of months was over finally. The whole family of five fitted in the dinghy fairly well.

Both sails Raised!
Our children steered the boat and we parents took care of the sails and navigation. Nautical paper chart and Navionics smart phone app were used as a combination for navigation. Naturally the waters were familiar for us already too, but you can never rember all the stones!

Approaching Satamosaari
Eventually we started to come closer to Satamosaari. During the last couple of nautical miles the wind strenghtened, that raised our speed to above five knots. The dinghy moved swiftly and arrived at Satamosaari lagoon in a controlled manner. Closer to the beach, we lowered the sails and paddled the last meters, before leaping to the water and landing the dinghy. It was possible to raise not only the centreboard but also the rudder. I was curious to measure the space between the rudder blade and the sand. It was about 5-10 cm.

Terrain in Satamosaari
View from Satamosaari over Ala-Lyly and Keski-Lyly
After a picnic, we looked around in the island and chatted with another visitor, who arrived at the island after us. It must be said, that Satamosaari is a special place in the southern waters of Lake Saimaa, because of its nature and unique terrain. Of course the freshness of the early summer added its special charm too.

Wayfarer in Satamosaari
Time flew fast and we started the return trip. We launched Sarastus, paddled a bit and raised the sails again. The boat glided out of the laguun steadily as the light wind blew to the sails. The wind was almost calm from time to time, but during the last third of the trip boat speed raised to around 3-4 knots.

View over southern Lake Saimaa
We arrived at the harbor on time and drove to home. The trip was perfect, if you don’t count some sunburns.