· The Gulf of Finland · Sarastus · 16 M

Once the Finnish national parks connoted to me just frontiers in the distant Lapland. That was a quite limited view which has broadened not only because of our trips to other onshore national parks but also to those on the sea. The Eastern Gulf of Finland National Park is often shadowed by the more well-known ones but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have many magnificent destinations to see.

Lanskeri has been in our list for long. I had followed closely the forecasts during the past few days, and the sailing conditions around Lanskeri seemed ideal, as in the morning there would be northerly breeze of 9 knots which would turn into westerly breeze in the beginning of the afternoon. This would guarantee a comfortable ride to the island and back. Of course, I don’t fear adventurous tacking but beating when wind builds up and when you are sailing with family is something I prefer to avoid. Nevertheless, our children has started to show attraction to the adventurous and speedy sides of sailing.

Running with reefed mainsail and a new wind indicator
Towards Metsä-Haru (the round island) and Lanskeri (the longish island)

We set up the boat in the morning. In the harbor there were couple of men who were interested in a wooden Wayfarer and asked some questions on it. For some reason Lightnings, Windmills and Snipes are familiar for most of Finnish sailors but not Wayfarers. The mainsail was reefed before the launch because the predicted wind speed had got bit tougher. We set off in a moderate northerly breeze which turned into light breeze eventually. So, the reef on the mainsail was shook out.

The predicted time the wind was supposed to turn was postponed. I had chosen a bay on the east side of the island as a landing spot. According to the topographic chart and pictures in the internet it had one of the rare gravel shores in the island. Because the bay opened toward northeast while the breeze was blowing from the north the bay wasn’t sheltered at all. There were also many underwater rocks around the bay making the landing even more challenging. Despite of that all the landing was successful without any damage to the hull. Some of the rocks had colorful stripes hinting not everyone had been as lucky as us.

Anchored at Lanskeri island
Few other boats had chosen another bay which was sheltered in the morning

We started to explore the northern part of the island. I have to say that thinking of how Sarastus would survive in the unsheltered rocky bay was stressful. All the same, when we were back it was very relieving to notice that anchor hadn’t dragged and that the wind and waves had weakened significantly.

The view to southwest
A peculiar pine

We cooked some pasta and sauce as our dinner which we had on a big rock next to the bay where Sarastus was anchored. After the meal we explored the southeastern part of the island which offered a view to the high seas.

Picnic on rock
The rock looked compelling!

We climbed on the rocks and scanned the open sea with binoculars. You were able to see the remotest Finnish islands on the border zone next to Russia.

The rock could provide a shelter for canoes
Scanning the view on the southeastern cape

It was time to raise the anchor and start our journey back. The bay was completely calm which made the departure very simple. The calm conditions continued for around half an hour until a northeasterly light breeze started. However, it died soon but only temporarily as the predicted westerly breeze finally came and lasted for the rest of the journey.

Smooth outline of Metsä-Haru
Calm replaced by westerly breeze

Bit before arrival at the harbor the wind died and we paddled rest of the journey. A motorboat passing by stopped and asked if we needed a tow. Bit stunned we express our gratitude but sail we rather wanted to continue our journey sporty way. Do they offer a tow for row boats and canoes too…? We arrived at the harbor well before the sunset.

The magnificent trip finished

Whole all agreed that the trip to Lansker was very successful, and the winds were favorable all the day. The island itself was a beautiful place, although you don’t have fresh swimming waters at sea.

Running from Klamila harbor to Lanskeri island