From Klaipėda to Kuressaare

Geographically, when we left Poland and headed for Klaipėda, we had already gone from sailing farther away, to getting closer to home. Our hearts and minds joined in on this turnaround one step later, though. Only now, when we were sailing north from Lithuania towards Estonia, it started to feel like return trips do. Less of the ‘to boldly go where no family of six— with dog!— has gone before’. More of ‘how far is it? are we there soon?’

It was an interesting, but also a bit challenging change of mentality as we wouldn’t in fact be there soon at all. Including a planned few days in Estonia, it would take us over a week to get there.

Thankfully, as soon as we got out on the water again, the small things— the sun glittering on the waves, the gentle movements of the boat, the slight eeking and meeking of the sails and the rigging, the children jumping around, happily, without any signs of seasickness—, the small things grew bigger and bigger, and slowly and surely they replaced the feeling of being still far away, with the feeling of simply being here.

Gentle Seas

In the Dane river, moments after having left our guest harbor through the (manual) swinging bridge.

We left early in the morning, struggled the ordinary amount of time at the unattended fuel station (which for some unexpected reason suddenly and surprisingly started to work!), and then headed out on the now much calmer sea. (Click the video below for a glimpse of it!)

J in one of his favorite spots.

So calm, in fact, that we thought it would be possible to watch a bit of our favorite (at the time!) reality tv show, while performing our mandatory watchkeeping chores.

Big mistake! Huge!

Not only did the laptop screen mess with the low-light vision, but looking at the screen against a backdrop of a rolling sea— that made even me feel a bit seasick!

So, this was an idea quickly terminated. We had to settle for looking at the sunset instead. And that was quite beautiful too. (Possibly even better than our reality show.)

Sleeping Among Mines

Later it got darker, damper, and colder.

“Just go in and get some sleep,” I said to Charlotte. “I don’t mind being here alone.”

Charlotte disappeared into the warm and cozy inside. And then it got more lonely too.

After a few hours by myself, during the darkest hours of the night, my own eyelids started to feel rather heavy.

We had just passed Ventspils (and an industrial oily smell coming from the harbor!) and I was contemplating my options. Should I soldier forward, or maybe drop the anchor and get a few hours of sleep? Quite quickly, getting some sleep won that argument.

What I didn’t know, was that Latvia’s coastline is notoriously known for the large amount of undetonated World War II mines lying on the seabed.

The red dudes, there! Mines! And the area is prohibited for fish as well.

Right next to Ventspils, however, there was a small area without the “DANGEROUS” marks, and after checking, and double, and triple checking the map (with my tired eyes), I positioned the boat, lowered the anchor, and disappeared inside to the warm and cozy myself.

Hello, Estonia! 🇪🇪

In the morning, we set sail again and continued towards Kuressaare, Estonia.

It was a nice daysail, and in the afternoon we reached our destination, the Roomassaare harbor.

After our a-bit-too-much previous sail, from Poland to Lithuania, this trip had been quite uneventful. And, to our great delight, nobody got seasick!

And we didn’t explode.

Charlotte and crew in happy Estonia.

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