Spinnaker Sailing through Scandinavia

If the region of the world called “Scandinavia” had a Chamber of Commerce (which I’m sure there must be some sort of government agency that acts as a chamber of commerce) then this is the kind of night they would want to be telling people about. It’s probably about 10:30 PM or so. Sun is just about to dip below the horizon. Happy boat. Happy crew. Happy everything. The shot above was taken on our way up from Gotska something-or-other, a sandy Swedish atoll in between Visby and Tallinn. We’ve just taken the spinnaker down after a simply glorious day of no-jibe, 120 degrees of apparent wind spinnaker sailing awesomeness.

And we took it down only because the wind died to under 1 meter per second (that’s about 2 knots for you North American Philistines who don’t use the brilliant metric system).
Who says sailing isn’t pretty, or glamorous, or just for the happily retired? It’s like performance art up here in the Baltic. Especially when I’m sailing with two of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Tommy and Anita are from Stockholm and they are simply the best. And their X-412 is a Danish rocket ship in the light stuff. I’ll take 7 knots of boat speed in a 4-meters-per-second breeze any day.

And then we arrived in Tallinn.

What a fantastic first impression I received when I stepped foot into Estonia for the first time. This was only one of many happy bridal parties (complete with wedding dress and cool purple sashes) that were gallivanting around the docks, as we sweaty sailors tied up our lines and went in search of overpriced showers.
In fact, our marina just outside Tallinn was the sailing venue for the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Kinda communist, no? There’s lots of decaying concrete and remnants of a not-so-happy marriage between Estonia (which has a rich history that I’ll explain more later) and their neighbors to the east. But alas, I’m a lover not a politician.
Plus I’m wonderfully clean (and finally clean-shaven) as I compose this post on the veranda overlooking nice clay tennis courts and the inner marina. Not-so-communist, no?
Tune in more later as the next stop—St. Petersburg, Russia—is sure to be a bit more…communist, I think.

And if you can’t wait, here are the links to the rest of the “reporting” that came from this awesome adventure.

Binge Blogging
Rocking the 12th Century 
Estonian Escapades
Bodacious Baltic Cruise Barrels into Russia
All That Glitters IS Gold
Excessive Russian Excess Is Excessive
Then the Russian Bikini Models Showed Up

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