Saturday, 13 June 2015

Experience: Sailing to Stockholm on the Aurelia + Galaxy to Turku

It has now been two weeks since I last left my Tallinn home. My final destination being once again Tervakoski, and the way I got here being once again somewhat adventurous. It started with a 36-hour non-stop sailing to Stockholm on Aurelia, the largest Estonian sailing yacht. We departed in the evening and the sail out of Tallinn was quite enjoyable, with people telling stories and enjoying the view and the calm weather; on the other hand, it wasn't windy enough to use sails and we lagged a bit behind the schedule. Alas for me, the next time I could just sit outside and enjoy the environment was after we reached the Stockholm archipelago; as we got farther from the coast the boat started rolling quite badly and I failed to prevent myself from getting seasick. On the 2nd day I managed to climb out on the deck a couple of times; the weather was actually wonderful. Soon afterwards we were hit by even stronger winds and higher waves, so I had to resort to curling up in the cabin bed (which, fortunately, was surrounded by walls on three sides), trying not to roll along and crawling to the bathroom every now and then. As we progressed the rolling got so bad that nothing would keep me in place on the bed and I had to lie across the bed and hope to keep myself in place with my legs. Early  in the morning on the 3rd day we finally reached the archipelago, the sea got calm and after some actual sleep I went on the deck to look and steer. That's when I found out we had gained up during  the windy hours and eventually we reached Stockholm only a few hours behind schedule. The weather was lovely and the best part of the whole experience was the fact I lost quite a bit of weight. At this point I would most likely even agree to do it again.

Superstar near Tallinn, making impressive waves. Later on we also saw her outbound.
View from the cabin window on a good day
A day and a half later
Baltic Princess in the archipelago
Viking Grace, shiny and beautiful as ever, also outbound. 
As I mentioned, the weather in Stockholm was gorgeous. We parked the boat near Gröna Lund, I went to the center and met up with a friend, later on I chose to buy a transport day ticket and take the most out of it, so I ended up walking around a little in almost every corner of central Stockholm. At one point I took the ferry from Gamla Stan back to Djurgården and picked up my suitcase. I'm not quite sure what exactly was happening, but the entire city was full of old vehicles, both cars and public transport. I also witnessed some kind of a parade thingy at the Royal Palace, which included seeing both the King and the Queen.

Mariella and Cinderella
I was just wandering around thinking of heading to the harbour when I passed the royal palace and saw a bunch of guards, so I chose to stick around and see what's happening...
... when His Majesty passed by.
Quite an impressive escort
As I walked on, some more marching squads passed.
Soon afterwards it was time to head to the harbour. As I arrived, Galaxy was just coming in and Silja Symphony was surprisingly still in. 
Fishies at the crowded terminal
Seems like Silja Symphony was in to stay; when I checked Marinetraffic the following day though, she had made it to Helsinki.
The Galaxy was surprisingly full for a Sunday evening; the Symphony next to us on the other hand seemed empty. For some reason I thought that the huge crowds in the terminal were waiting to board the latter, but unfortunately for me, all were boarding Galaxy. I had an E-class cabin, which is right above the nightclub. The only thing I chose to do that night was participate in the ship's karaoke, which had an unusually low attendance rate and quality of performances. Fortunately I didn't stand out in those terms, since I somehow managed to choose all the wrong songs. Due to it being Sunday, the free cabin party from down below didn't last for too long and I got about as much sleep as possible with the time zone change and early arrival in Turku. 

Mandatory funnel photo

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