In June, temperatures of around 30 degrees Celsius are less common in Finland, but in 2021 the situation was totally different. In such warm weather, heading for the water seems the most sensible solution, because on land, the heat makes it tough to do anything useful.
A friend couple and we headed for Saimaa. We left the destination open, but the primary alternatives were Great Suuri Lintusaari and Peräsaari. In the end we chose the first of these. At the request of the crew, I reefed the mainsail before we left, because the wind forecast for the lake was around 11 knots and the National Weather Service showed winds of almost 20 knots plus gusts.
The wind was quite brisk, but not strong-enough to make reefing necessary. We unreefed the main a little after halfway. We arrived at Suuri Lintusaari around nine o’clock in the evening.
We landed and unloaded the gear. Then it was time for a little snack for those who needed it. As the summer solstice would come in a couple of days, it was a good day to admire the sunset at the end of a long day. After that it was a bedtime.
I myself woke up at about 5 a.m. at the bottom of the boat. It had been a restless night with gnats and mosquitoes, although I slept under the mainsail and a mosquito net. When walking on the beach, I couldn’t get a moment’s peace from the gnats, they were circling around in black. I decided to head for the sandy beach to the south of the island in the hope that the wind would blow the little winged ones away. But it was a vain hope. I ended up walking back along the beach at least, as the gnats were less of a bother when you are moving. I continued walking there for over two hours, listening to podcasts from my playlist.
Others woke up before 8 a.m. Frustrated, we paddled the boat deeper, where we anchored it into the wind. However, we were accompanied by a swarm of gnats, who harassed us at anchor as they had on the beach. We had breakfast there and then returned to shore. Once there, the insects began to disappear. We din’t know whether it was the sun, the rising temperature or the increasing wind. We had already agreed to leave the island at a brisk pace, but as the situation changed we decided to go for a swim before setting off.
On the way back we didn’t reef. The journey went quite well, despite the fact that there were five of us on board. Top speed probably was 6.1 knots bit before Rastiniemi, which is slightly above the Wayfarer’s hull speed. Considering the load, that wasn’t a bad achievement at all.
We packed the boat on the trailer, ate the rest of our food and headed for home. Despite the gnats, the trip was nice. The next night we slept rather well.