· Suur-Saimaa · Sarastus · 13 M

The beginning of July was record-breaking cool and rainy. We had looked for a weather window for several days.

Northerly wind offered a nice chance to try an unusual destination. We set off for Värrätsaari island whose best shores open to southeast and southwest. It’s bit a secluded place compared to the more popular destinations, but that makes it also more quiet. Beating on the fairway on the northern side of Honkasaari turned out to be challenging because of the shifting wind. We managed to get to the north cardinal mark, although its function remained a mystery, as south from it there is plenty of deep water but on its northwest side a shallow of 2.2 meters. Anyway, as Sarastus has draft of just 1.2 meters there wasn’t any apparent danger.

Northeastern wind turned into fresh breeze when we were sailing between Honkasaari and Värrätsaari, moving the boat over speed of six knots. As Värrätsaari got closer and closer I became bit nervous for our high speed and decided to furl the genoa and loose the main sheet a bit, because the shore was new and unknown. Nevertheless, landing on the shore sheltered by Äykönpää peninsula was successful. Near the shoreline there was a big white underwater rock but is was well-visible from far.

It's rare to see shoreless horizon in the lakeland
The mainsail tied and bags carried to the beach
Picnic time!

After landing I finished boat anchoring and unloading while my wife cooked us lunch with a cooker. The children and the dog had a scout expedition to the official destination spot. After returning they reported they found a sauna, a toilet and a sandy beach. Well, let’s say only the toilet met our expectations…

A tent sauna without canvas
One of the greatest findings of the life is to be happy with little

Värrätsaari consists of two parts separated by a neck of land. According to the topographic chart there is a sandy beach south of it, and we wanted to check it out. We paddled by the shoreline until reached the sandy beach which turned out to be a high quality beach, although dominated by reeds.

We paddled along the sheltered shoreline to the sandy beach of Värrätsaari
The second landing of the day
An outstanding sandy beach by the reeds

After exploring the sandy beach and the neck of land we set off and sailed back to the slipway. It was sunny and we northerly wind made it possible to beach reach most of the journey back. At the last mark we tacked 270° instead of gybing because of the northerly fresh breeze and the unreefed main.

Beam reaching back

We all agreed that Värrätsaari was a fine destination to visit, and definitely worth visiting again. Despite of the cool and cloudy weather we all had a great day.