2012 Finland

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After Stockholm we sailed NE though the archipelago, with a couple of overnight stoops in small islands, then the 40 miles or so across to Mareihamn in Finland's Aland islands.
Mariehamn was the last stronghold of worldwide commercial sail, and the Pommern, a square rigger that was in commercial use till the middle of the last century is docked there as a museum.  We spent a very interesting morning aboard.  There is lots to read about her on the web. 
Apart form that, Mariehamn lives off its unique situation of not being a full EU member, so provides a duty free haven for cruise ships (but not yachts)

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We worked our way East through the Aland and Turku archipelagos to Helsinki.  Many small islands and good anchorages.
One stop was at the Helsinki Sailing club's island of Ornholmen.  It is used entirely by the club members.  There is the dock you see on the left along the rock.  Mooring is by tying bows to the dock and stern to buoys about 20 metres offshore.
The island has two saunas, (on male one female during the day, and booked by groups in the evenings)  and a good BBQ/cookhouse for getting together in bad weather.
A very friendly bunch were there for Midsummer's weekend, so we enjoyed it.
We anchored in the traditional way in the islands, but most Finns and Swedes prefer to use docks, or tie the bow to a rock with an anchor off the stern.  Some boats have efficient, strong anchoring gear on the stern but nothing in the bow.

Here we are anchored off Degerby in the Aland Islands, with all the other boats docked.
The Leslies left us in Helsinki, and Dian Norwood joined us for the cruise on to Russia.
We enjoyed Helsinki, and toured the major spots, including the cathedral, shown here with Helen and Diane.
The Finns seem to prefer their statures nude.  There is more nude bronze than we have ever seen.
We were not sure whether to call the nude blacksmith stature "Stupidity" or "Ouch"

As well as seeing the sights, we enjoyed the hospitality of the Helsinki Sailing Club and also Eric von Troil, who invited us to his summer house, with its beautiful anchorage, East of Helsinki.  We also had a great dinner with Marten Krogerus, who ahs worked with Neil in Brazil, Romania and the US
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