Antipole cruises

Under way at last from Kärdla to Tallinn

Our last Saturday in Kärdla was indeed cold with a snow storm and severe gales, so an evening with Sulev and Maire in their sauna was definitely the right option.

By Monday the weather was transformed and we had three days of clear blue skies with light, mostly westerly, winds for our passage to Tallinn.  We did this in three stages with overnight stops at Dirhami and Lohusalu – both small ports with little habitation but both hoping to develop as holiday destinations.  The spinnaker was a great boon on these passages and was up most of the way.

And so we came to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia and home to one third of the country’s population.  The sea port is dominated by huge cruise liners which ply between Tallinn, Helsinki and St Petersburg.  We slipped in between them to moor in the Old City Marina, which, as the name implies, is close to the old city.  The marina is very splendid with beautiful facilities, saunas, etc, and eye-watering charges to match.

Tony had bad tooth ache in Kärdla and got antibiotics from the local dentist.  Now in Tallinn he has had a full examination and assessment.  The Estonian dental service has been fantastic, with appointments available at short notice and excellent equipment such as 360° imaging.  Thank heavens, once again, for the European Health Insurance Scheme and the E111 card.  How will we manage after Brexit?

Tallinn is a delight.  Like all Estonia, it has had a difficult history, being occupied successively by Denmark, Russia,  Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, brief independence, the Soviets, Germans, and the Soviets again before independence again in 1991.  Although Tallinn was bombed by the Soviets in WW2, it was out of range of Allied bombers.  Much of the medieval Old Town has survived and it has a charm missing in many of the Hanseatic towns we have visited which have had to be rebuilt almost from scratch. We have much enjoyed exploring the town and sitting in one or other of the numerous cafés.  We dined in an excellent vegan restaurant on Sunday evening, but had to book days in advance, such is the demand.  We will be staying here a full week.

Our next legs are challenging as we are faced with contrary northerly and north easterly winds prevailing at this time of the year and we have some long passages.  We will let you know we manage it in due course.

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