Spinnaker sailing through Scandinavia

If Scandinavia had a Chamber of Commerce (which actually I'm sure it has some sort of government agency that acts as a chamber of commerce) this is the kind of night they 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. This shot 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-jybe, 120-degrees of apparent wind spinnaker sailing awesomness. 

And we only took it down only because the wind died to under 1 meter per second (that's about 2 knots for you North American philistines that 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 Anitia 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 an 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 dresses and cool purple sashes) that were gallivanting around the docks and 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?  So 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 neighbours 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.