· Suur-Saimaa · Sarastus · 18 M

The first working week was over, and in the weekend we wanted to get out on the water, because our eldest daughter was going to continue her studies on Monday, and she wished to go sailing. We were a bit apprehensive as the winds were forecast to be between 9-16 kn on the Saimaa, but luckily they predicted it would weaken a bit by evening. We chose Satamosaari as our destination, where we could get in tailwind.

The sailing started quite briskly by broad reaching and then running. In Haukiselkä we made a jibe through the wind by tacking 270°, as it felt safer with an unlined sail in winds of close to 20 knots.


As we approached Ylä-Lyly, we saw a dozen sailing boats coming out of Likosenlahti, most of them with a spinnaker raised. This was a sailing race called Joutsenpurjehdus, which is organised every summer in Saimaa. Its route is scheduled to take about half a day and usually runs in the waters south of Kyläniemi.

Joutsenopurjes sailing race

Before long, we realised that our route would cross with the race. However, this didn’t cause any problems, on the contrary, we got some excellent pictures of one of the participating boats.

A fine boat
The boats continued their race towards Suuri Lintusaari

Soon we arrived at Satamosaari, where we rounded the northern seamark and then turned into the island’s lagoon. Our landing went smoothly. The anchor didn’t hold that well, though, which is not the first time at the sandy beach of Satamosaari. As such, in the shelter bay, anchor holding is not an issue.

Approaching the beach of Satamosaari

We booked a sauna and started cooking on the fireplace. The picnic was great, as were the wild blueberries as dessert. After the meal, we made more firewood for sauna.

The fireplace for preparing picnic

While carrying a birch log from the beach, we met a French group, which basically consisted of about two families. They were from Brittany, where the designer of the Ilur boat, Francois Vivier, also lives and works. Familiar from the Asterix comic strip, Armorica is the historical name of the land area that covered what is now Brittany. The French group had chartered a small ship with a captain and arrived in the harbour island on it. They were swimming with their children on the sandy beach of the island. They seemed to like the beautiful scenery and nature of the Saimaa very much. (The ship Emma in the picture is different from the one the French hired.)


Having sauna and swimming in Satamosaari is always a great experience. The sandy beach deepens at just the right rate and the waves never get in the way.

At the end of our sauna shift, we started our journey back. The wind had weakened a little to around 10-12 knots, which was just the right wind for tacking headwind.

Back to Haukiselkä
Sarastus moored temporarily

The trip to Satamosaari was a great success, with plenty to see along the way and not a lot of water in the sky. Satamosaari is usually quite a social environment to visit, and you rarely get out without chatting to another boat crew, which is a positive thing.