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Sail Estonia: a VERY new idea

By Sail-World.com — last modified Jul 02, 2014 01:09 PM
Sail Estonia? Not usually on any roaming sailor's radar, Estonia, virtually a peninsula in the Baltic Sea, is a natural for roving sailors who are looking for fresh unexplored places with reasonable infrastructure. You can either charter there for a holiday, or make it part of a Baltic circumnavigation if you are taking your own boat. Report by Sail-World.com

Published: 2014-07-02 23:00:00
Countries: Estonia

Sail Estonia: a VERY new idea

© Sail-World.com

For full report with maps and photos go to http://www.sail-world.com/

So what are the attractions?

1. Well, it's new. Estonia, along with Latvia and Lithuania, recently opened their doors to cruising boats, the sailing authorities are keen to promote their numerous islands and wonderful historic coastline.

2. The facilities are improving all the time, and the signs are everywhere that this is a newish member (2004) of the European Union.

3. Provisioning is inexpensive, but the products familiar. Best facilities are at the Olympic Yacht Marina in Pirita near Tallinn, which has a wonderful old walled city. Then there's Pärnu, which has a yacht club with pontoon spaces for visitors.

4. It's still 'unspoiled'. From the medieval silhouette of Tallinn to its cliff-lined coasts and from the bird life on its islets to its picturesque lakes, it's a delight. To catch Estonia with its original old buildings intact inside the villages and cities, you won't want to leave it too long to go there.

5. There ARE essential local charts published. Care needs to be taken if you don't use the local charts, as British and US charts have inaccuracies.

6. The islands are a delight. There's something always different about lifestyle in island communities, and the islands feature lovely old resort towns, with ginger bread architecture and picturesque landscape.

7. It's a chance to try a new docking system - like Med mooring in reverse. Bow to the shore, stern to a mooring ball. If you charter locally your boat will likely be set up for this. Newer marinas, however, have finger pontoons like everywhere else in the world.

8. If you're on a Baltic circumnavigation, Russia and St Petersburg are not far away. While Russian law to allow yachts was changed back in 2008, it has taken until May this year for rules governing the sphere to be worked out.

Some initial ideas about where to sail:

First do spend a few hours sailing around Tallinn Bay, then you can also set out from Tallinn to the nearby islands of Aegna, Naissaar and Prangli. From Pärnu most boats head for the islands of Kihnu and Ruhnu, while from Haapsalu you can make for Hiiumaa and Vormsi and from Saaremaa for Abruka.

What you need to know about sailing in Estonia:

All sea-lovers and their families are welcome at the Tallinn Maritime Days and Saaremaa Maritime Week festivals each summer, while more serious sailors can take part in (or simply cheer on) the annual Muhu Offshore Sailing Championships – the oldest competition of its kind in the country.

The weather at sea is often changeable. The availability of safety equipment is ensured by service providers, but you should make sure you take warm, weatherproof clothing with you, as well as sunglasses, sun cream and something for your head.

For full report with maps and photos go to http://www.sail-world.com/

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