We started on Friday with a seven hours’ leg from our homeport to Helsingholmen. After over two weeks on solid ground, it felt good to be at sea again! Initially, some rainy weather was forecasted for the whole weekend, but in the end, the weather turned out to be just perfect – or as good as one can expect on late August.

On Friday the wind was mostly calm, so we had to motor most of the leg. We stayed the first night at Helsingholmen, which is one of our most favourite places in the archipelago. We have also earlier blogged about this harbour (see 9/2011 and 6/2012). The sauna in Helsingholmen is one of the best in the archipelago, so we always book it if possible, when visiting this place. However, we arrived at six o´clock in the evening and the sauna was already almost fully booked, so we only managed to get the booking from 12:00 to 1:00 am. It was a great experience though to swim at the sea in the middle of the night under thousands of stars in the sky!

On Saturday we continued from Helsingholmen to Björkö. Calm and variable winds were forecasted also for Saturday, so we were prepared to motor this 20 nm leg. Fortunately, we got a steady 3-5 m/s southeasterly wind instead, so we had a very relaxed sailing day through the beautiful southern Archipelago Sea. 
Björkö – a scenic anchorage

Björkö is located in the outer archipelago of Korppoo, just some five miles northeast of Jurmo. The sheltered lagoon Byviken on the island is the most popular wild anchorage in the archipelago. However, I had only once just quickly stopped by in this lagoon and this was many years ago, so now it was a good time to correct this. We anchored in the Byviken in 10 meters’ depth, and took a dinghy ride to ashore to take a closer look of this island.

The speciality on Björkö is a 10,5 ha lake Insjön, which has been separated from the sea in 18th century since the land has risen. During the 19th century the locals used to fish baltic herring from the lake, but it disappeared as the water on the lake gradually turned fresh. However, during stronger southwesterly gales, waves may hit over the narrow isthmus on the west side, bringing some salt water to the lake.

Insjön lake and Byviken

We walked the 2,3 km long nature trail which goes around the lake. It is perhaps the most scenic nature trail in the archipelago, since the landscape is rocky and the trail goes near the shore, so one has a great view to the archipelago and the sea. Close to the end we were talking about how great the trail was, but apparently this was too early since the last few hundred meters of the trail passes through a wetland in which we were attacked by scourge of mosquitoes. And worse than that, deer (or moose) flies – those nasty little bastards, that attack one’s hair…

After a refreshing swim, it was time to get down below, close all the hatches and declare a war against all the mosquitous that managed to get inside the boat.

On Sunday it was time to head back home. The southerly wind was good, so we were able to sail back home in nine hours. Just as we were approaching our homeport, some heavy rain showers passed by. But otherwise we were very lucky with the weather during the weekend.

 Checking the entrance to Björkö from the the Sea Scouts’ harbour guide (text is in Finnish and Swedish)

 Southern entrance to Byviken