· Suur-Saimaa · Sarastus · 7 M

We had taken a couple of weeks off in May and June to prepare for our daughter’s graduation ceremony. Although we were pretty busy enough, we wanted to use a day for a small sailing trip, as the weather was so beautiful. We set out, leaving the destination undecided, as different forecast services gave slightly different prediction about the wind conditions. Our primary destination were Ilkonsaaret, but if the wind was light, we would choose a closer destination.

My wife suggested we land at Päihännieme, as she was already hungry and the speed was rather modest. However, we got the idea that we could have a picnic break at Kätkytsaari, which is facing Päihänniemi, next to the junction of the traffic-lanes. Although the island is centrally located, it has somehow always been off our routes. Now it was time to put things right.


We landed at the southern tip of the island, where there is a small patch of gravel beach and an unofficial campfire site. As the light breeze was blowing from east to northeast, the western shore of the southern tip was a perfectly sheltered spot for landing.

Packing the sail at the end of the landing
Unofficial campfire site

After eating sandwiches and rhubarb pie, we made a short exploratory trip to the island’s lighthouse. We also watched from the top of a large boulder the journey of a Russian cargo ship loaded with wood. It came from Saimaa Canal and headed for Imatra.

Kätkytsaari beacon

As it was still an early summer, birdsongs dominated the soundscape of the island’s forest. The lilies were in bloom, and some of the fir trees had gorgeous cones.

Gorgeous-looking cones in the fir trees
Lily of the valley blooming

The surface water had already warmed up to about 20 degrees, so swimming was a must. The shore of a mix of gravel and stone provided a relatively good place to get into the water.

Swimming in water of 21°C
Sarastus moored

A peculiar-looking transport, resembling giant batteries, came in from the north on the traffic-lane. We had never seen such a convoy.

Special transport on traffic-lane

We decided to head back to the slipway, but first wanted to sail around Kätkytsaari. The crosswind was moving the boat at a little over four knots, which felt both relaxing and brisky.

We finished the trip around 3:30 pm, that made for an unusually short trip. But that doesn’t mean we were bored. It was a great day and an interesting new experience on Kätkytsaari.