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Old 05-08-2015, 14:31   #91
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Re: Impressions of the Baltic

Hi Guys. I'm enjoying a nice glass of wine in our hotel room in Helsinki and re-reading this tread. My wife and I came here for four days to get an impression of the area before deciding to commit to coming here. It's been a nice visit in which we toured the city one day, took a small tour boat to Porvoo another, and then today rented a car and drove to Turku and surrounding areas.

It has been interesting and we have more trepidation then expected about coming up here with Palarran. I'll detail it and maybe you all can help me work through it.

First of all, we haven't been impressed with the water. It is muddy brown almost everywhere we have been. Only one beach we went to had mildly clear water. It was more like an inland lake with algae then clear. Otherwise, it's been murky enough that my wife for sure wouldn't swim in it even if it was warm (which it isn't). We only have seen a few people actually in the water over the past three days.

Another question is about pump-out options. The one marina we did tour had a small protruding dock for it and it would be near impossible for my boat to use it. It was made of wood and had wood bollards with small pegs to secure the lines. I'd literally tear this thing apart in winds above 10 knots. We have small black water tanks and need pump-out's about every three days. According to the marina worker, you all don't go offshore and dump so this is a big issue.

The charge for the marina was 33 euro per day - very cheap and a nice location.

There has been a lot of descriptions of the raw beauty and isolation of the area. Also about how many "islands" there are. My feeling is that it is very similar to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Canadian Coast of Georgian Bay, or Thousand Islands of Upstate New York. Many of the islands are large rocks with 15 trees. Obviously there are many that are quite large with development but the variation of the scenery was not that diverse IMO. Pines and rocks with no more than 30 meters of rise in topography in the surrounding area. I didnít see anything else remarkable about the views, especially compared to where we have been this year in the Aegean and Turkish Coasts.

The Finnís have been very nice and almost all speak very good English. Itís quite a bit like being home in regards to shopping and restaurants. I do like that for a change but itís not much of a change from home. The selection and quality of food is fantastic and the prices at the Market for vegetables and fish are fair. The cost of eating out is about 30% higher than in the United States and at least double that of Greece and Turkey. There have been comments about prices of alcohol but I think they are good in relation to most Northern EU countries.

When Iíve viewed pictures on Google Earth of Sweden it looks similar to Finland but maybe a little more hilly. For me, and this is only my very limited opinion, in order to get truly ďHoly CrapĒ viewís, Iíll need to be in Norway. This still greatly appeals to me and is keeping me on the fence (which is still a long wayís to the end) for heading North from Gibraltar.

I left Palarran with Yeloya in Marmaris this year. For those of you who have sat and viewed the setting sun across Marmaris Bay you can appreciate what mountains do to the contrast in views. Iíve seen this in many places in the Mediterranean but not in the pictures of the Baltic or by observation. And crystal clear warm water is very hard to beat.
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Old 05-08-2015, 16:51   #92
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Re: Impressions of the Baltic

Dauntless arrived in Helsinki from Tallinn 3 days ago.
We are currently in the Katajanokka Marina, and we'll need heading west Thursday.

I see much of what palarran describes, but this is the first country I've been to in northern Europe in which power boats far outnumber sailboats.

We spent three days anchored next to small islands sheltered from the wind.

I've yet to see any boat using a pump out station.

As others have said many times, Finland is far more expensive then the countries on the southern coasts of the Baltic and north sea.

I ended up liking Latvia more than Estonia and Poland most of all.

Really looking forward to seeing more of Finland and Sweden for the rest of August.

Richard on Dauntless now in Helsinki
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Old 05-08-2015, 21:34   #93
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Re: Impressions of the Baltic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
Hi Guys. I'm enjoying a nice glass of wine in our hotel room in Helsinki and re-reading this tread. My wife and I came here for four days to get an impression of the area before deciding to commit to coming here. It's been a nice visit in which we toured the city one day, took a small tour boat to Porvoo another, and then today rented a car and drove to Turku and surrounding areas.

It has been interesting and we have more trepidation then expected about coming up here with Palarran. I'll detail it and maybe you all can help me work through it.

First of all, we haven't been impressed with the water. It is muddy brown almost everywhere we have been. Only one beach we went to had mildly clear water. It was more like an inland lake with algae then clear. Otherwise, it's been murky enough that my wife for sure wouldn't swim in it even if it was warm (which it isn't). We only have seen a few people actually in the water over the past three days.

Another question is about pump-out options. The one marina we did tour had a small protruding dock for it and it would be near impossible for my boat to use it. It was made of wood and had wood bollards with small pegs to secure the lines. I'd literally tear this thing apart in winds above 10 knots. We have small black water tanks and need pump-out's about every three days. According to the marina worker, you all don't go offshore and dump so this is a big issue.

The charge for the marina was 33 euro per day - very cheap and a nice location.

There has been a lot of descriptions of the raw beauty and isolation of the area. Also about how many "islands" there are. My feeling is that it is very similar to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Canadian Coast of Georgian Bay, or Thousand Islands of Upstate New York. Many of the islands are large rocks with 15 trees. Obviously there are many that are quite large with development but the variation of the scenery was not that diverse IMO. Pines and rocks with no more than 30 meters of rise in topography in the surrounding area. I didnít see anything else remarkable about the views, especially compared to where we have been this year in the Aegean and Turkish Coasts.

The Finnís have been very nice and almost all speak very good English. Itís quite a bit like being home in regards to shopping and restaurants. I do like that for a change but itís not much of a change from home. The selection and quality of food is fantastic and the prices at the Market for vegetables and fish are fair. The cost of eating out is about 30% higher than in the United States and at least double that of Greece and Turkey. There have been comments about prices of alcohol but I think they are good in relation to most Northern EU countries.

When Iíve viewed pictures on Google Earth of Sweden it looks similar to Finland but maybe a little more hilly. For me, and this is only my very limited opinion, in order to get truly ďHoly CrapĒ viewís, Iíll need to be in Norway. This still greatly appeals to me and is keeping me on the fence (which is still a long wayís to the end) for heading North from Gibraltar.

I left Palarran with Yeloya in Marmaris this year. For those of you who have sat and viewed the setting sun across Marmaris Bay you can appreciate what mountains do to the contrast in views. Iíve seen this in many places in the Mediterranean but not in the pictures of the Baltic or by observation. And crystal clear warm water is very hard to beat.
The Stockholm side is not much different to what you described. If you've seen one small island, you've seen them all. Murky cold water, which I could never swim in.

Whilst I've only done it by land, the topography from Sundsvall to the south of Sweden is quite flat and I suspect quite boring from the sea. There are a few quaint towns. The west coast of Sweden might be a little more interesting, but I'm only basing that on opinions of Swedes from the west coast, but Swedes think their pizza's a so great but they are But at least with the Swedish west coast, you will probably visit it on the way to Norway via the Kiel canal, so you are not going out of your way to visit it at least
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Old 05-08-2015, 22:54   #94
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Re: Impressions of the Baltic

Richard, We leave for the airport today but if I get the time I'll try to find you. We are only 20 minutes away.

It would be nice to know what is up with pump-outs in all the Countries.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:29   #95
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Re: Impressions of the Baltic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
Richard, We leave for the airport today but if I get the time I'll try to find you. We are only 20 minutes away.

It would be nice to know what is up with pump-outs in all the Countries.
Hi guys,

Virtually noone here in the baltic uses pump-outs - we dump at sea so this shouldn't be an issue


I don't understand the comments about murky water. I sailed most of the Baltic and the water tends to be quite clear, albeit grey, not azure blue. Tere are some local murky areas.




You're completely correct that there no high mountains around the baltic, basically hills are what you find - but lots of the country is desolate and few live there




I gguess it depends on what you are looking for. The water temp up here can inn no way match the Med - but you get used to it




carsten
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:39   #96
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Re: Impressions of the Baltic

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Hi guys,

Virtually noone here in the baltic uses pump-outs - we dump at sea so this shouldn't be an issue


I don't understand the comments about murky water. I sailed most of the Baltic and the water tends to be quite clear, albeit grey, not azure blue. Tere are some local murky areas.




You're completely correct that there no high mountains around the baltic, basically hills are what you find - but lots of the country is desolate and few live there




I gguess it depends on what you are looking for. The water temp up here can inn no way match the Med - but you get used to it




carsten
We do pump out at sea, like everyone. But the great thing about Scandinavia which is so different from other countries is that instead of sending out toilet police with dye tablets (stick approach), they provide abundant free pumpouts (carrot approach), in order to encourage people to comply with recent strict black water rules.

So black water is really no problem here.

We spent some money last winter on the installation of a deck pumpout port in order to start falling into line on this. But no one is bothered if you want to pump out offshore, either.

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Old 19-08-2015, 04:42   #97
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Re: Impressions of the Baltic

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Hi guys,

Virtually noone here in the baltic uses pump-outs - we dump at sea so this shouldn't be an issue


I don't understand the comments about murky water. I sailed most of the Baltic and the water tends to be quite clear, albeit grey, not azure blue. Tere are some local murky areas.




You're completely correct that there no high mountains around the baltic, basically hills are what you find - but lots of the country is desolate and few live there




I gguess it depends on what you are looking for. The water temp up here can inn no way match the Med - but you get used to it




carsten
Hum, I don't have statistics to support this, but I do think that people in Finland generally don't dump at sea, not close to the shore anyhow. Holding tanks are mandatory here, if your boat has a water toilet (not enforced, except by clubs). There are a lot of pump-out stations in the archipelago, in addition to public toilets on many islands. Then again, the cruise ships dump their s***t in the water, so I don't think the pleasure boaters will do any difference really.

As for water temp and murkiness... Just came back from Sardinia and went out sailing for the weekend here in SW-Finland. The weather's nice and warm now (finally, after a terrible summer so far) so water's getting warmer as well, definitely swimmable for me now, not that different to northern Sardinia. The water's brackish, not really salty, and has a lot of sediment in it, especially around the Finnish coast. This is just a visual characteristic. The real problem around here is that some years we get a lot of blue-green algae late in the summer, which can cause skin reactions to swimmers.
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Old 23-08-2015, 11:15   #98
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Re: Impressions of the Baltic

Having just sailed around the Baltic sea I was astounded at how transparent the water was around Denmark, and to a lesser degree on German coast. Approaching Copenhagen I could discern the bottom at 6 meters, freaking me out a bit.

As for pump out stations, no one I know dumps their septics out at sea, and most boats up to thirty - forty feet in size don't even have the option to dump at sea. It's no trouble to pump out at the station, especially as there is one always close at hand. Easier to pump out than to sail out of the territorial waters and dump, and easier on the conscience than to be an ******* and dump closer to shore. Having said that, I would love to have the option to dump at sea, as in many less developed countries around the Baltic sea it's quite a hassle to arrange holding tank pump out (Poland and Latvia, I'm looking at you!).

As for the beauty of the Scandinavian coast, I have once again been reassured by my experiences that Swedish and Finnish archipelagos (ok, Denmark's inner waters too) are simply awesome places to sail. Polish, Lithuanian and Latvian shores were dead boring, just one long beach, you hop from port to port with nothing to see or do but to keep lookout for fishing nets.
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