Many of my readers have no idea what it is to be on an island in the outmost archipelago in Finland. Today was one of those moments when I really wished I would have been on a calm lake or on solid ground. My boyfriend was in the city over night and came back today afternoon. I was going to pick him up in 17 m/s wind, north west which is the worst of them all for crossing the 3 nautical miles to get to the very shabby port where we have our boat “parking”.
When I left the wind was coming from the side so hard I had to attatch myself with one rope onto the dock that I released as I put full throttle to get out from the very narrow gap in our harbour.
The waves were up to 4 metres high, I could barely see as the front of the boat was going so high as I was trying to surf on the waves. I barely made it into the harbour without slamming into the pier, boats or the dock. My arms were shaking from the hard work I had to do with the wheel, to try not going straight into the “valleys of the waves”.
As we left the harbour we decided to take another route to avoid going straight up against the wind. We took the same direction as my dad had taught me and followed the marked route on the gps, and then BOO-BOOM! We hit an under water rock, and again and again. The route was off and we ad hit the mother of all rocks, a lobg nasty barrier of rocks. Imagine being in the middle of the sea, the wind is 16-20 m/s and you hit a rock, and hard, and your engine shuts down! We drifted for about 50 metres and then got the engine to start. We took a U-turn and then took the outer course in hope of getting some shelter behind the islands but to no avail. Every “valley” made the boat slam so hard it felt like a kick in the stomach and every tip of the wave just made you worry for the next dive, without knowing if the rock had hit a hole in the hull or if the engine was intact. We took it slow and finally made it to the island after a trip that seemed to take forever. We kissed the ground under our feet and had a shot of Jallu to calm our nerves. Luckily the boat was intact and only the protective fin of the boat had taken some damage. Pheew.
But this is how it is, when you have to go you have to go. You should never be foolish, and we weren’t, I’ve done worse, but sometimes everything just goes wrong. And today it did. I’m so glad it didn’t go worse. So be careful out there, never overestimate your skills on the sea and never ever rely on the GPS only. ( and don’t trust what you see from the shore!).