When we approached Mariehamn from Kastelholm, we noticed something which is quite normal in the Netherlands but very unusual here. A 'vlet' coming towards us!
It was called 'Gipsy Life', which from the looks of it was quite appropriate. The crew was just as excited as we were and we took lots of pictures of each other.
They appeared to be going towards the East harbour whilst we usually go to the West one. When we walked over to the East harbour later, they were not there.
We went to the East harbour to meet our Cruising Association friends Alan and Lucy (we actually found them in the supermarket, Mariehamn is a small place). We had tea on board with them.
We got talking about some of the particulars of Åland, one of which is that the first 2/3rds of the 20th century were economically dominated by ship owner Gustav Erikson, who owned and operated a fleet of 'windjammers', carrying grain from Australia to Europe. One of the most famous ones, the 'Herzogin Cecile ' ran aground and was lost off Salcombe in Devon. Alan and Lucy live in Kingswear, close to Salcombe and are quite knowledgeable about the 'Herzogin '. The captain of the ship on that fateful trip was a Sven Erikson and his house, called 'Pelles' is now a museum. His daughter, 84 year old Freya, runs the museum. She interestingly grew up in South Africa after her parents abandoned shipping life after the stranding of the 'Herzogin '.
The museum is still closed (until next week when the season starts), but though our Åland friend Ralph we managed to organise a 'private viewing'.
All very special!
The last picture shows Freya, who certainly does not look or act 84 years old!
Our last few days in Mariehamn were very pleasant. The season has not started yet, but the schools broke up today so the atmosphere in 'town' was festive.
The days are very long. Lyn woke up early, at 3:30 and took these pictures.
That's an early sunrise!
The club is most hospitable and flies the flags of all visiting ships
But all good things come to an end. We expect a good weather gap to cross back to Sweden tomorrow. Early start, 5am to profit from the light airs.