Mikael Lönnroth is a passionate sailor from Finland, who fell in love with a Hanse 388 at the Southampton Boat Show. Just a few months later he delivered his new yacht from Greifswald back to his Scandinavian homeland. He told us what challenges the demanding cruise across the Baltic Sea had in store for him and his crew:
"Picking up our yacht from Greifswald was a special adventure for all of us. Fortunately, three colleagues absolutely wanted to accompany me on my maiden voyage. Slipping the lines for the 500 nautical mile journey to Turku in Finland felt incredibly good. While I was at the wheel motoring down the River Ryck, only one thought ran round my head: This is really my boat now!
“Our schedule was tight. By and large, the five-day trip to Finland included stops in Rønne on Bornholm and Visby on Gotland. We used the first, light-wind leg to Rønne to try out our new Code Zero. But the cold caught up with us on the way to Visby. The temperatures dropped below two degrees and our three-hour night watch became a real test. Thanks to the on-board heating and litres of warm tea, spirits remained high. One of the most beautiful passages was from Visby to Turku, passing northeast of the Swedish Gotska Sandön. In a flat calm, we just let the yacht drift. With music and a wonderful sunset as a backdrop, we enjoyed our dinner in the cockpit.
“I particularly like to look back on the last few hours of the trip. In the warm evening light it felt magical to sail through the archipelago off Turku. What a grandiose way to arrive in our home port. Our children could hardly wait to see their berths on "Charlotte", as we had named the yacht. They immediately started exploring everything and my youngest daughter Mimmi shouted, “our floating home”, which made me incredibly proud.
“Of course, our first outings are already planned. During the summer holidays we will explore our home waters with 'Aiko', our new dog. Maybe the next big destination will be Norway. I remember a picturesque place called 'Eidfjord', which is supposed to be the second-longest fjord in Norway. At some point we'll realise our biggest dream - to sail to the Bahamas together. By then, we’ll be on the next, bigger Hanse yacht!”
You can follow the sailing exploits of this Finnish family on their blog: https://nakedsailor.blog/