The Picks of the Season 2016

The season started early this year but unfortunately it also ended early in our case because of other hurries. Now it’s better not to try boating on our waters. So, it’s a good time to look backwards and summarize the season.


There were many days with good sailing weather. On Saimaa our favorite condition was a steady southern breeze of F3 in the beginning of July. It took us smoothly to Pullikainen island and back.

We didn’t experience bad weathers. During our first sailing trip in early May it was mostly calm. However, it guaranteed a safe trip as water temperature was around 12°C only. In August there were many rainy and calm days at Lake Saimaa but then we headed for the sea, that was another advantage of owning a traileable boat.

Approaching Pullikainen island

The Best Destination

There are many wonderful destinations at Saimaa but for us the trip in Gulf of Finland was a new experience as we visited Suuri-Pisi island. Its northern bay was ideal for beaching and its smooth rocky western shore was like from another planet. Also the historical dimension added its own charm to the place.

There is no need to choose the weakest destination because we like all of them this year.

On the gorgeous rocks of Suuri-Pisi island

The Best Water

This year I could sail on three waters. Suur-Saimaa was familiar already bu Päijänne and The Gulf of Finland were new ones. At northern part of Päijänne I admired the hilly shoreline. At The Gulf of Finland the shoreless horizon was a new experience from the sailing point of view. The Gulf of Finland was the best out of those three in this season.

None of the waters was a disappointment to us.


The Best Experience

The best new experience for me was watching the distant Suursaari (Hogland) island with my own eyes, especially as that was a surprise when sailing around Kaunissaari. The island is owned by Russia and landing there is strictly forbidden. Also, during the Suuri-Pisi trip it was a new experience to sail near to the border zone of Russia and the open sea, accompanied by Russian comments from VHF handheld. On Saimaa we also experienced many great moments but sailing on the sea was something never experienced before.

There weren’t actual negative experiences this year, unless you count the windless moments. However, the windless moments have their own magic as you can admire the nature, shoot pictures, chat with the other crew members or even swim around the boat.

The mysterious Suur-Saari island looming

The Most Challenging Conditions

The elements were favorable for us this year and we didn’t have any demanding conditions, although when sailing on Päijänne with Seppo wind was building up during the return trip but still everything was perfectly under control all the time.

Landscape at the northern Päijänne

The Best New Gear

The best new purchase was the nautical chart of The Gulf of Finland. Relying on it we made safely the trips to Suuri-Pisi and Kaunissaari islands.

The Most Useful New Skill

Getting touch on sailing at sea was absolutely the best during this season. When sailing back from Kaunissaari I experience the first time in my life a moment when I didn’t know where to head for, without consulting a nautical chart. Somehow that was fascinating.

In the autumn there was an extra exam for Coastal Nagivation Course (Saaristolaivuri) in addition to the standard exam days of April and December. The course book provided answers to some of my open questions. By the way, do you know what’s the minimum height of powerlines in summer?

Beached at the north cape of Kaunissaari

Salty or Fresh?

This summary has certainly plenty of salt aroma but that doesn’t mean that the inland waters wouldn’t be great sailing environments. On Saimaa I like the warm fresh waters (that are great for swimming) and many uncrowded sandy beaches. Let’s see what’s waiting for us in the sailing season 2017!

See also: The Picks of the Season 2015
The Picks of the Season 2017