The Night of the Ancient Fires 26.8. – 28.8.

  • Posted on: 30 August 2011
  • By: Eve

On Friday we resumed the Baltic Circle. Ten great days will be spent aboard Suwena while sailing from Helsinki to Turku.

After provisioning her with the foods for several days and checking out from HSK marina we were ready to leave Helsinki behind us. We turned her bow towards the cape of Porkkala in a beautiful sunshine. Unfortunately there were no wind and therefore our archipelago adventure started with the quiet purr of the Perkins.

Our destination for the Friday evening was a small cove on the north side of the Träskö island. Rocna descended smoothly and quickly grabbed the bottom. At first we got this beautiful place only for ourselves. However soon one motorboat and two sailboats arrived as well. The other boats used their stern anchors together with bowlines made fast to the cliff. In addition another sailboat arrived during the night and anchored next to Suwena.
Suwena anchored on the cove of Träskö island
The island of Träskö Storlandet is located less than a mile to south-west from the cape of Porkkala only about 20 nautical miles from Helsinki. The cove on the north side is well protected from southerly winds and we can really recommend this lovely anchorage close to Helsinki.

On Saturday we left towards the Night of the Anchient Fires. The Night of the Ancient Fires is always arranged on the last Saturday of August. After googling around, browsing through the harbour guidebook and a few calls we found an island where the festival will be celebrated.

In the beginning we sailed in a light wind of 5 m/s. The weather was good and the passage over Porkkalanselkä was placid. We crossed the Porkkalanselkä from the sea side and afterwards turned to the ship fairway leading to Inkoo. After reaching the islands we turned to the boat fairway towards the island of Skärlandet and Sommarö village. The fairway zigzags between the islands and the route is stunningly beautiful. We admired wild picturesque cliffs and gorgeous summerhouses in between. The narrow passage enlarges at times to nice coves which can be used for anchoring. The boat is the only mean of transportation to the most of the islands and throughout the route we saw countless small motorboats speeding around.
Barösund islands
Boat fuel station in Barösund
Barösund islands
Barösund islands
As we approached the Sommaröstrand marina it looked like there is no suitable place for Suwena. We approached the guest dock on the western end of the marina according to the instructions of the marina guidebook. The dock hosted only a few small motorboats. We saw further away more docks and among the boats we spotted some masts as well. We decided to try if we can find a dock for Suwena over there. On the east side of the harbour we found a new pontoon dock with finger berths and the water depth was over three metres. And so we moored Suwena together with other guest boats.
Suwena in Sommaröstrand
At the harbour people had already started the festival celebration and the lively blather was travelling from one boat to another. A friendly Mrs Erja from the harbour office also came to chat with us as well and told about the marina services and evening's program and that she will circle on the dock every few hours. We noticed that she was ready to help with any request a visitor might have. We felt really welcome and it was nice to arrive in a place where guest yachts are really cared for.

The festival night was busy. In addition to the guest boats there were tens of small local boats coming and leaving throughout the evening. From Tammisaari arrived a 26 metres long M/S Sunnan II ship with 100 guests aboard. The waterfront was full of people when the ancient fires were lit at 09:30 pm. The harbour restaurant also hosted a band called Susann Sonntag and the people danced away the night with the cover songs from well known artists.
M/S Sunnan II in Sommaröstrand
Night of the Ancient Fires in Sommaröstrand
On Sunday the other guest boats left for their trip to home. Only at late afternoon another sailboat arrived to accompany Suwena. Of course the harbour hosts 150 rental places that were filled with boats arriving back after the weekend spent in the summerhouses around the islands.

We replenished Suwena's food supplies from the marina's own store. The store sells food and some boat supplies as well. The marina opened this summer also a new service building. Everything was very clean. In addition to the shower and WC facilities there is also washing machine and private sauna with own patio. By listening the jokes about sauna on Saturday evening we concluded that the sauna seem to be in active use.

In addition to harbour store we stumbled into the small scale agriculture farm that is located about a kilometre from the marina. Henrik's Garden grows vegetables, fruits and berries in a garden plot and two greenhouses. We were happy to add some vegetables and fruits to Suwena's food storage.
Henrik from Henrik's Garden
Sommaröstrand was a really nice place to stop for celebrating the Night of the Ancient Fires. On Monday our trip will continue towards the west.