· Suur-Saimaa · Sarastus · 13 M

The weather for the weekend was quite variable. On Friday night, a strong northerly breeze blew over Saimaa, but by Saturday morning it turned into a gentle breeze. Rain was predicted for Sunday. So, Saturday was the best sailing day, and we headed for Värrätsaari sandy beach which was sheltered from the wind.

On Mäntysaarenselkä

We took both of our dogs with us as well as my mother after long, so our crew was four people plus two dogs. You have to be careful with the younger dog as it easily becomes in unwell in vehicles. We gave her breakfast on the island that worked fairly well.

We sailed close-hauled on the port tack, but beating wasn’t needed if the tack at the tip of Sarviniemi is not counted. The journey took just over an hour at a speed of around five knots. Our top speed was 6.5 knots according to GPS.

Our furry navigator
On the shore of Värrätsaari

Landing on the sandy beach was easy. In the beginning our anchor dragged on the soft sand but after some pulling the rode the anchor started to hold.

I had learned a new relatively unknown knot, Kalmyk loop, which is almost similar to the Eskimo bowline, which is actually relatively unknown too. The advantage of the Kalmyk loop is that it can be released quickly and it holds slightly better than the ordinary bowline when the pull is applied to the loop wide. The knot is widely used in Russia instead of the bowline, and is named after the Kalmyks, a Mongolian subgroup living on the western shore of the Caspian Sea. Both Kalmyk loop and Eskimo bowline are easy and useful knots.

Kalmyk loop
Sarastus' Danforth anchor on the soft sandy bottom

On Värrätsaari we had a picnic, explored the beach a bit and went swimming. Could there be a better way to spend a beautiful summer day? Eventually it was time to head back home.

Sarastus at Värrätsaari
A short expedition on the beach

On the way back, we sailed around Munaluoto islet and then close to the mainland to see the cottage landscape of dear memories. The sailing was mostly beam reaching and broad reaching that made the journey relaxed.

Near Pitkäsaari

All four of us were happy with the trip, which was very different from the trip to Jurmo. Both of them represent the two extremes among our sailing trips in many respects.

Värrätsaari → Sarviniemi