Ruhnu, Pearl of the Gulf of Riga 20.7. – 21.7.

  • Posted on: 25 July 2011
  • By: Eve

Weather forecast promised again strong winds 16-20 m/s for the weekend and so on Wednesday we decided to leave. We descended the 8 miles on river of Daugava and took a direct course towards the harbour of Ringsu in Ruhnu island. Whole leg was sunny until just as we were mooring the clouds started to gather. The air was hot and heavy and we could feel that soon we'll get a thunderstorm. Heavy thunder reached Ringsu as at early night time.

In Ringsu ship and boat docks are in neighbouring harbour basins. Between two basins are a canal and there is a rock marked to the sea chart in the middle of the canal. We went dead slow forward trying to pass the marked stone in a very narrow channel. Next day while paying the harbour fee we asked the harbourmaster about the stone. He told for our amusement that there is no stone in the channel at all. The leadsmen took their soundings while the boat harbour was ready but the canal between basins was not fully dredged yet. The leadsmen marked the shallow as a rock. The sea chart went into print before the “invisible” stone was removed from documentation. As we leaved Suwena glided nicely through the nonexistent rock in the middle of the harbour channel.
Ringsu harbour in Ruhnu
Towards the nonexistent rock in Ringsu
Ruhnu was again a nice island with colorful history. It is the furthest of Estonian islands and more close to Latvia than to Estonia. Lavians have even made a proposal to buy the island but Estonians have not agreed.

The first written marking about Ruhnu island is already from the year 1341 when the Bishop of Courland which confirmed the islanders' right to reside and manage their property in accordance with Swedish law. The island has been controlled by Swedish, German and later Russians.

The harbour of Ruhnu has a small restaurant and close by there is a sand beach. During our visit the days were hot and the beach was used on actively.
Suwena in Ringsu harbour of Ruhnu
We also found an interesting discovery in Ruhnu. Its unique lighthouse is designed by Gustave Eiffel. The steel parts were prefabricated in France and the lighthouse was assembled in Ruhnu in 1877. For our part we only saw the steel lighthouse from the sea as we passed the Eiffel's design.
Eiffel tower of Ruhnu island
From Ruhnu we’re going to continue towards our most favourite destination of the year 2009 cruise, Roomassaare harbour in Saarenmaa. Like last time, also now there were various flying insects near Saaremaa at sea. In 2009 the full swarm of honey bees landed on Suwena's radar arch for resting. This time we had huge amount of horseflys surrounding us in cockpit. I guess the east wind catched them from the land and Suwena was a nice place to rest and eat :-) Usually there are no flying bugs at sea and we have almost forgotten about Finnish summer mosquitos.