Well actually 2 nights & 1 day but the title above works better, regardless of the time and title we thought Helsinki was great!
A day sail from Tallinn (Estoina) across to Helsinki of 45 nautical miles, with two very distinct halves in the journey. Departing Tallinn in drizzly weather beating into the wind with slight seas which developed into force 5 (17-21 knots) of wind on the nose and a sea swell of 1.5 meters creating a rough and messy slop which wasn’t that comfortable. However around the 1/2 way mark the wind dropped to F4, the sun came out, layers of clothes came off, the swell dropped and the seas calmed and the best thing was the wind allowed a good angle filling the sails for the remainder of the journey.
A quick visit from the customs launch just prior to arriving into Helsinki confirmed that we made a good decision in Maree crossing on the public ferry (a very smooth and cheap 2 hour journey without need for visa control).
We secured the boat in the Helsingfors Segelklubb about a 20 minute bicycle ride out of Helsinki at Lauttasaari (an island connected by roads and bridges). The next day after spending the morning scouring the chandleries for all the things on Phils list we cycled into town and touched on the big “must see” icons (more below) and also spent and enjoyable 4 hours out on Suomenlinna Island know as the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress.
The must see features being; Helsinki Cathedral & Senate Square – very impressive, Uspensky Cathedral – from a certain angle looks like it is built on the rocks (needless to say that is the angle we took pictures from), the Presidential Palace, Market Square – loads of elk, deer and wooden souvenirs for sale, the Tori Quarter and City Hall.
We also popped into the “Magnum (Ice Cream) Shop” just in case they were giving away free samples (Phil insisted) only to find it was a custom Magnum shop where they start with the plain ice-cream on the stick and you choose what chocolate they coat it in and the what kind of nuts/sprinkles/etc to dip/coat it in – a bit too fancy (and expensive) for us and sadly no samples.
We enjoyed our day in the country’s capital although we are both really, really, really looking forward to getting away from marina’s, cities and people into some secluded anchorages in untouched beautiful locations. The plan from here is to spend 3-4 weeks cruising the Finish Archipelago’s heading west to arrive in Stockholm – Sweden.