Around the Finland '10

Blog Renewal

  • Posted on: 18 September 2010
  • By: Eve

We have now held our blog for three unforgettable boating seasons. Our target audience has been in Finland and blog language has been Finnish. During this season our stories have been read by more than 600 unique visitors monthly. We've got good feedback both by email and by blog comments as well. We would like to thank all enthusiastic readers and feedback writers.

The past seasons 2008 - 2010 you can see in our Finnish pages. There you can see our stories and photos. We have written a short summary of each season to Voyage page in English as well.

It's time to develop ourselves and raise our blog to new level. From now on we will write blog stories in both languages: English and Finnish. We will make translations to both languages as we have resources available. There can be some differences between them occasionally. Anyhow our aim is to keep our readers worldwide up to date about adventures of Suwena.

Our aim is to find people who are sailing the seven seas of the world or who are interested in boating as armchair traveller. We also hope we could help foreign cruisers visiting Finland. We are happy to share our knowledge of Finnish coastal cruising because we have been sailing with Suwena all around the Finland: Bay of Bothnia, Quark, Sea of Bothnia, Archipelago Sea, Gulf of Finland, Saimaa Canal and Lake Saimaa.

During this 2010 season we began to make video clips about locations we visitted and our adventures. Videos have been subtitled in English for international viewers. You can watch videos on Video Channel in this blog or on boatsuwena's channel in YouTube.

Library and International Signal Flags

  • Posted on: 19 September 2010
  • By: Eve

We've added a Library as a new item to the top menu. Into the library we'll collect stories, columns and publications which are related to Suwena or boating in general. For example we have been asked about a check list of new boat which we'll do at later time for our readers.

The first library publication is printable quick reference card made by Andrus. International Signal Flags card describes the single letter signal codes, international phonetic alphabet and ship's dress code followed in Finland and USA.

Check out our library and send us your wish list about boating subject you would like to see. From our library you can also print handy quick reference card of signal flags into your boat and explore multiple letter codes.

Boating Video of Saimaa Canal Passage

19 October 2010 -- Andrus

The Suwenas summer adventure is still continuing in the video world. We sailed through the Saimaa canal just before the midsummer 2010, so during the rainy day of October it warms our heart to go back to the exiting moments of canal passage.

We visited in Saimaa Canal control center and Saimaa VTS as well. The city of Vyborg was out of reach despite of visas because the pleasure crafts were not allowed to stop in Vyborg in 2010.

Watch this video in HD on Youtube.

The sum-up of Suwena's boating season 2010

  • Posted on: 27 November 2010
  • By: Eve

The season 2010 was the third boating season for Suwena's crew. Incredibly warm summer offered very enjoyable moments for all sailors. Here follows some highlights of Suwena's last summer adventures.

Our original voyage plan was to sail around the Finland from city of Iisalmi, through Saimaa basin, down by the Saimaa canal to the Gulf of Finland and then continue sailing around the Finnish coast back to home city of Oulu. However some changes occurred.

The voyage began as planned in the end of May when Suwena was transported by the truck to city of Iisalmi. Suwena landed safety to the lake Porovesi 100 meters above sea level where our sailing voyage started. We got our first experiences for the locks ever and within our first cruising month we passed through 25 locks. Height of all locks was totally 123 meters. After the initial excitement has been relieved we noticed that we handled the locks well and there was no reason to worry. After these experiences we feel certain to plan the future canal passages such as Göta canal.

We sailed through the lakes and canals from Iisalmi to Kuopio and then through the Heinävesi route down to Savonlinna. From there we continued to Puumala and to Lappeenranta. One thing to note about Eastern Finland is a delicious and various kind of seafood. We thought that by the coast people would take advantage of wide scale of fish from the sea but now we must say by the lakes people cook the best seafood in Finland.

Our lake adventure took place in June before the Midsummer, and for our surprise the boating season wasn't even began. Service, if available, was anyhow very kind and scenery was beautiful. We could believe how full the marinas will be during high season in July.

The most spectacular places we saw in Saimaa were waterfall of Korkeakoski, Valamo Monastery, the locks of Varistaipale, many beautiful anchorages and of course the city of Savonlinna which has been built to the top of four islands. We warmly recommend everyone to sail in Saimaa. Visiting in Saimaa must definitely be done in July.

To sail through Saimaa Canal down to Gulf of Finland was the most exciting leg. As the locks in the beginning of the summer voyage we found that the higher locks in Saimaa canal were easy to handle as well. Lock masters handled us through the canal very professionally. And Suwena sailed proudly out from EU through Russian waters back to Finland for celebrating the Midsummer.

The nightless night Suwena spent in the island of Kaunissaari near a city of Kotka. Then we continued to the cities of Kotka, Porvoo and Helsinki. After that we travelled to the south-western Finland where are thousands of beautiful islands to visit in Archipelago Sea.

In July we made some changes to our voyage plan when we got a berth for Suwena in ASS's marina in Turku and we got confirmation for winter storage in Nauticat Yachts boatyard in Pöytyä as well. This change made the city of Uusikaupunki the northest destination on the coast where we turned Suwenas bow towards Turku.

In September we managed to have time to do two weekend cruises one to Korpoström in island of Korppoo and one to Parainen. In addition we took part in Elojuhlat in the island of Röyttä. Elojuhlat is one of the biggest boating parties in Gulf of Bothnia. The Röyttä trip we made by our dinghy Pikku Suwena while Suwena was waiting us in Turku.

During the season we got to learn many new seamanship skills: passing through the locks, anchoring and handling the dinghy. Last winter we've bought an outboard engine to our dinghy, so we made a lot of dinghy trips during this summer. Boarding dinghy and landing with dinghy were good skills to train for a future voyages. Leaving anchored Suwena waiting us required a lot of courage and very careful anchoring in order that anchor doesn't start to drag when we're away.

The strongest memories from our voyage we got from the warm and kind boaters in the Eastern Gulf of Finland. Also very positive surprise was the experience from the marina of HMVK, Helsingin Moottorivenekerho (Motor Boat Club of Helsinki) situated just in the heart of Helsinki. Despite of its name the marina is suitable for motor and sail boats as well.

The speciality of this season was the possibility to feel the difference of sailing by lakes and by sea. We visited totally in 40 different ports and anchorages so we saw small and big marinas as well as beautiful anchorages which everyone of them having own attraction and style.

In the harbours our folded tandem gave us a lot of freedom to move around. By bike it is possible to explore much bigger area than by foot. Even Helsinki by bike felt totally different kind of city compared with our normal trips made to our capital city by plane or by car.

You can read the stories of 2010 and look at seasons ranking. Sorry that our blog stories year 2010 are in finnish only.

Log summary of Suwena 2010

  • Nautical miles: 741 nm
  • Engine hours: 145 h
  • Diesel consumption: 1685 l
  • Calculated average consumption: 2,3 l/nm (incl. driving, heating, diesel-hob and occasional battery charging)
  • Fresh water: 1950 l
  • Septic pump out: 11 times
  • Ports and anchorages: 40
  • Overnight stays: 66 nights from which 4 in anchor
  • The locks: 25 locks with total height of 123 m
  • Longest leg: 73 nm Juustila - Kotka - Kaunissaari
  • The great-circle distance to the farthest point from home port: 321 nm Oulu - Peninsula of Hanko
  • Southernmost point: 59N48.5 Peninsula of Hanko
  • Westernmost point: 21E22.0 Näsby, Houtskari
  • Easternmost point: 28E54.4 Savonlinna, the bridge of Kyrönsalmi
  • Northernmost point: 65N20.8 River Ii delta Suwena's winter storage 2009
  • Dinghy fuel consumption: 9 l

The map of Suwenas year 2010 harbours and summer voyage. Click here to enlarge the map or enlarge map to full screen.

The ranking 2010 of Suwena

  • Posted on: 27 November 2010
  • By: Eve

During the season 2010 we visited in 40 different ports and anchorages from which we rank the following places.

Top five marinas

  • Sapokka in Kotka
  • Kaupunginlahti in Lappeenranta
  • Verkan in Korpoo
  • HMVK, Helsingin Moottorivenekerho in Helsinki
  • Pakkahuone in Uusikaupunki

Top three anchorages

  • Seurasaari in Haukivesi
  • Varsalahti by Pähkinäinen
  • Toras Viken by north side of Nauvo

Five worst marina services

  • Villinki in Helsinki
  • Oravi
  • Kermanranta in Heinävesi
  • Itäsatama in Hanko
  • Maljalahti in Kuopio

Top five delicious food

  • Restaurant Liekkilohi in Savonlinna: seafood buffet
  • Restaurant Buffalo, Verkan: Buffalo Ribs cooked in 15 different spices
  • Restaurant Yume in Helsinki: Moriawase sushi and California roll
  • Restaurant Kermankeidas in Heinävesi: fried perch with vegetables
  • Restaurant Muikkuterassi in Savonlinna: crispy fried vendace served on a plank of wood

Special mention of fresh donuts

  • Cafe Pakkahuone in Uusikaupunki: donuts are fried all day long to serve them fresh

Top three marina facilities

  • Porvoo marina
  • Sapokka marina in Kotka
  • Puumala marina

Top six attractions

  • Maretarium in Kotka
  • Castle Olavinlinna in Savonlinna
  • Icebreaker Tarmo in Kotka
  • Waterfall Korkeakoski in Maaninka
  • Valamo monestry in Uusi-Valamo
  • Cliff Myrskykallio in Villinki, Helsinki

Boating Video of Villinki island

2 January 2011 -- Eve

One of the most impressive anchorages during the last summer was Villinki island, which surprised us by scenic beauty and natural quiet, even though it is located in the heart of Helsinki, only four nautical miles from the market square Kauppatori.

In addition of our video you can read more about Villinki from our blog entry which is unfortunately in Finnish only.

Watch this video in HD on Youtube