Another magical two weeks in the land of the midnight sun, sailing around the myriad of islands between Finland and Sweden, including the Aaland islands, and the Turku and Stockholm archipelagoes. Fast, exhilerating sailing during the day followed by long relaxing evenings taking in the sights and sounds of the most spectacular crusing ground in the Baltic. Don't miss out on what will undoubtedly be yet another outstanding CUYC summer trip. If you're keen on sailing and want to experience life to the full then you simply cannot afford to miss this trip! If you only have one thing to tell your grandchildren about when you're old, make sure it's this!
We'll be sailing the Club Yacht - Skylark out of Turku in Finland
There are over 130,000 islands in the Finnish archipelago and 80,000 in the Swedish archipelago. We'll be spoilt for choice as we leave Turku and highlights will undoubtedly include Bjorko - a tiny island with a freshwater lake at it's heart, Osterkar with it's wonderful sauna as well as the farther flung Isokari and perhaps the Midsummer festival on Sarkisalo. Depending on the weather and crew, there might also be the chance for a hop across the Gulf of Finland (~40 miles) to the islands of Estonia. Then we'll gradually wend our way across to Aaland and the nearby Rotthammen - the "Red Harbour" - so called for it's vibrant red iron laden rocks. We'll stock up on food and the cheaper Finnish beer before then venturing across to the Stockholm archipelago. The Stockholm archipelago is truely magnificient with excellent chartwork allowing close navigation around the smatterings of islands and rocky outcrops inundated with beautiful natural harbours, challenging navigation, and varied sailing conditions. The harbour guide book lists the anchorages that have saunas in them, so we'll be sure to pick those first! We'll finish the trip in the heart of Stockholm - a vibrant cosmopolitan capital and having cleaned up the boat and handed over to the new crew, there'll be plenty of sights to take in including the amazingly well preserved wreck of the Vesterhammen. Doubtless a nice AirBnB apartment for the night of the 3rd August will be in order to allow a full 24hrs touristing before heading home on a cheap Sunday flight.
It'll be a great trip for beginners and experienced alike and will combine adventurous sailing with relaxed BBQs and parties in the midnight sun...
First Mate, Matt Hoad-Robson will be co-ordinating travel and has aleady identified cheap flights with Wizz Air to Turku and return ones with Ryanair or Easyjet from Stockholm.
Please do not book flights until your place has been confirmed and you have discussed chosen flights with Matt and Hywel.
Any questions - please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
To sign up - click the link at the top right of the page.
The yacht will leave and return from Stockholm harbour which is right in the centre of Stockholm. Ryanair and SAS both fly to Stockholm and there are two different Ryanair airports, so it should be possible to get cheap flights. Everyone will be responsible for booking their own flights, but it is important that you confirm the details you are planning with me, Tom Playford, the trip organiser, to make sure they are suitable before booking them.
You will need to get to Stockholm centre by around 2100 on Wednesday 1st July and you can choose to either leave on Saturday 11st July anytime after 6pm, or alternatively if needed, it is probably possible for around half the crew to remain on board overnight, but the new crew will kick you off fairly early in the morning! :-)
For lots of info on kit, costs explanation, and info for beginners see the links at the top of the page.
To Sign Up for the trip or to ask any questions click here - Sign Up & Questions
There are well over 100,000 islands between Sweden and Finland, consisting of three principal archipelagos around Stockholm in Sweden, Turku in Finland, and the main offshore island of Aaland - itself an autonomous province of Finland. About a third of the islands are inhabited by anything from a vibrant cultural town, to a quiet sleepy village, to a few goats and a hermit farmer... The rest are a mix of craggy islands, with untouched natural beauty and wildlife, and outcrops of rock which serve to make navigation challenging!
|In Swedish, the word 'Skärgården' means archipelago, a sea area covered with islands. A literal translation of the word is 'the garden on the rocks'. The full glory of the Stockholm archipelago is within an hour's sail of the main port of Stockholm and consists of 24,000 islands, from big to small, some inhabited, others large enough for only a smattering of wildflowers, providing some of the most beautiful and sheltered waters in Europe. In high summer, when the sun hardly sets, the weather in the northern Baltic is ideal for sailing. Exploring the archipelago thoroughly could take a long, pleasant lifetime...|
|Stockholm itself is like no other capital in the world. Built on fourteen islands, it rises gracefully from water so clean that you can go swimming or fishing in the very heart of the city. Its waterfront is alive with boats, from ferries to shuttle you around the city to sailboats and yachts that cruise out into the vast archipelago that stretches into the Baltic. The history of Stockholm dates back to the 13th century, and is famous for its winding, cloistered streets, boutiques, and cozy restaurants, all gathered close by to the Royal Palace.|
|The Ålandic landscape was forged many millennia ago by powerful natural forces, which are still at work today, into a distinctive archipelagic landscape consisting of thousands of islands, holmes and skerries. The rapid changes in the landscape from land to water, and from fields and meadows to dense, dark woods as well as the large number of different habitats and the striking wealth of species give Åland its special character. The mosaic-like skärgård, or archipelago, and its inspiring waterways, unusual land formations and rich bird life is perhaps the natural experience that most visitors associate with Åland, as well as the red rock, rapakivi granite, which gives the Ålandic landscape its distinctive hue.|
|The mild sea climate and chalky soil also help to create a rich flora. Åland has many species of orchids and is widely known for its wooded meadows, which are richer in species than anywhere else in the country. About 50 plants, including most orchids, are protected, and so, of course, are most mammals and birds, except for those game species which may be killed during their respective shooting seasons. Under an Åland Government resolution, all amphibians and reptiles, except the common adder, as well as some endangered butterfly species, are protected. The so-called every mans right, or public right of access to privately owned land, is more limited than in other parts of the Nordic region. There are about 40 nature reserves in Åland, which are intended to preserve different types of nature for future generations. The wooded meadows of Ramsholmen and Nåtö just outside Mariehamn are two well-known examples.|
|In the Turku archipelago you are surrounded by land, big islands, little islands, cliffs and rocky islets by the dozen - in fact there are far more islands than people! The sea, wind and waves give a special sense of freedom. But the islands are not completely without signs of life and bustle. Some people live here, while others come work here. Others spend their holidays here. Some just pass through the and others return time after time. No one can remain untouched by the magnificent surroundings. This is the boundary between land and sea..... The archipelago is extensive and diverse. It is the largest archipelago in the Baltic, and there really are considerably more islands and rocky islets than people here.|
|The chain of islands and rocky islets extends towards the sea for 100 km south-west of Turku. The landscape varies from large islands and verdant islets to bald rock islets in the outer archipelago. The immense lighthouses of Bengtskär, Isokari and Utö in the outer archipelago serve as a reminder of the presence of man, and guide the voyager back to the city lights. Nature in the archipelago is full of wonders. The enchantment of the sea, the verdant beauty of the inner islands, the barren outer islands, the unbroken peace and the rare flora and fauna give a faith in the future.|
|The colourful history and culture of the region offer an interesting place to get to know,and lively happenings, in the midst of the wonders of nature. Food is excellent - fishermen and farmers together guarantee fresh and clean delicacies for the traveler's table. The diversity of nature in the archipelago is especially captivating; the glaciated rocks smoothed by the waves, precipices, lush groves and wind-whipped pines give the archipelago throughout the year. Nature here differs in many ways from the flora and fauna on the mainland. In spring, migratory birds arrive in huge numbers, wooded meadows burst into flower in summer and in autumn, pike and other fish attract anglers to the area.|
Hywel was one of the founder members of the Club and has years of sailing experience. He recently retired from his position as RYA Principal for the Club however is still very active in helping to maintain our boats and as one of our instructors.