We sailed from Punkahaju to Imatra in the south east corner of the lakes. This took us through broad lakes and a series of narrow channels. We had four stops overnight, one for two nights because of foul weather, in some lovely anchorages tucked out of the way.
Here many sailing clubs have their own facilities away from home for the benefit of members. At the island of Suuri Mantysaari we were invited onto the private jetty of the Lappeenranta Sailing Club. Ashore was a shelter with fire place for barbecues, toilet and a substantial sauna house with its own jetty for plunging into the lake. Huge piles of fire wood the size of hay stacks ensure there will be no shortage of warmth. It is a lovely facility to have.
As we have mentioned before, saunas are regarded as an essential here. Wood-fired saunas by the lake at your cottage are the most favoured, but Fins will go to great lengths to ensure a sauna is available.
In the photo you will see one solution for how to provide a sauna in a marina. The sauna boat has a wood-fired sauna and a stack of wood – and the lake is right on hand for plunging. It is fitted with an outboard engine for getting it to where it is needed.
From Suuri Mantysaari we had a lovely sail to Imatra. However, as we docked at the pontoon, Ynskje leaped off the boat and fell, injuring her right knee. She was in a lot of pain and we summoned an ambulance which took her to the district hospital in Lappeenranta. After X-rays she was found to have broken her patella (knee cap). This required surgery the next day to put wires in place to hold the parts together. Poor Ynskje! She has been fitted with a leg brace and must not walk without it or fully bend the knee for six weeks. So that is the end of our sailing for this season.
We have decided it will be best to over-winter Antipole here in Imatra. Fortunately, all we need is here. There is a winter storage facility close by and, while they are not able to lift yachts with fixed keels, they say they can manage Antipole.
Rather than have Ynskje repatriated to the UK and then have to manage without Tony while he prepares the boat for winter, we have decided that she will convalesce on the boat. This will enable her to attend follow-up appointments at the treating hospital. Accordingly, she was delivered back to the boat and has settled in to a regime of cold packs, exercises and daily self-injections as a precaution against deep vein thrombosis. She is not allowed to sauna until after the stitches have been removed. She is stomping around on her crutches and it sounds like Long John Silver on his peg leg. No parrot though. The crutches, being Finnish, have a fiendish attachment spike for ice or snow, worthy of James Bond kit.
The health service here has been excellent. One noticeable difference from the UK is that a single area authority is responsible for health services, family and social welfare services, and services for senior citizens that promote health and everyday wellbeing. This avoids the problem experienced in the UK whereby hospital beds are occupied by patients who cannot be discharged because the local authority cannot afford to provide accommodation.
So, a rather unexpected turn of events. Tony will use some of the time to do jobs on the boat needing good weather, such as repairs to paint. You can see our track log for this season here.
More news in due course.
Love to all
Tony & Ynskje