On Wednesday the 1st of July, we decided to take the advantage of rare northwesterly winds and woke up early for a 40 nautical miles leg across the Gulf of Finland. In the morning we got a good wind, but the wind started to fade away around noon. We motored for a short while, but then it started blowing again – this time from the west. So instead of having a downwind leg, we were now close reaching, but at least we were able to sail all the way to Naissaar where we arrived after eight hours of sailing.

Naissaar in sight

Due to its strategic location less than 10 nm northwest of Tallinn, Naissaar has history as a military base. After the Second World War, Naissaar was a naval base for Soviet Union, which even had a mine factory on the island. Soviet army left the island in 1993, and after that it has been converted into a nature reserve.

There are good pontoons in Naissaar harbour. Tallinn in the background. 

There are kilometres of empty sandy beaches on the island 

On Thursday morning, we walked to the mine factory, which is located in the inner part of the island. However, we did not find too much to see in the forrest and as the route had been longer than anticipated, we decided to take a shortcut to the harbour. One of the trail maps that we saw along the route showed a straight route from mine factory to the harbour. We decided to try this out, but eventually this ‘route’ turned out to be an old electricity line which was mostly overgrown. However, there was a narrow trail following the old line. The trail was getting narrower and narrower and after we had walked about 15 minutes, the trail ended up in a wetland without any possibility to round it. Thus we had to swallow our pride and take again the longer way to the harbour. After that it was time to head for nearby Tallinn. More about that in next blog post.

As a reminiscent of the military history, there is a narrow gauge railway network on the island.