Passing Suomenlinna sea fortress - a world heritage site right south of Helsinki
The rope slips off the cleat - the boat undocks from the mainland. A few strokes of the paddle, lift the bow to the wind, hoist the mainsail, then the jib. Veering off downwind, we pick up speed and the rustle of the wind is replaced by the gurgle of the water. The L. Francis Herreshoff design Buzzards Bay 14 is gliding through the water, waves gently kissing the bow. It's the beginning of an adventure.
This time the destination is a small rocky skerry only 3nm southwest from Helsinki. This is only one of the 300 islands in Helsinki, one of the over 200 000 islands in Finland. The vast archipelago is a limitless treasure-trove of discoveries and peacefulness. As soon as you get out of the immediate vicinity of the shore, you’ll find a new reality, wild places where many of us never visit. The smaller the rock, the less possibility someone has visited it in the last few years.
L.F. Herreshoff Buzzards Bay 14 - daysailor gliding along on a summer evening
Countless isles and skerries
There's something beautiful about being carried by the wind. When you observe, navigate, and use the surrounding elements you enter a state of deep flow. In a sense, you become one with the elements, leaning to the wind and waves for support. Keeping an eye on the gusts that roam the surface of the sea as dark shadowy figures. Watching the horizon for approaching fronts of showers. And navigating between rocks and beacons.
The nature and accessibility of the islands available for exploration varies greatly. From the wild tiny skerries far out at sea, best accessed by kayak, to places with docking and buoys, there is something for everybody. Some places have great Saunas that can be used. Uuvi is a great place to check for some of the destinations in the region of Uusimaa, while Suomen Latu has published a more extensive list on their site.
To be free is to explore
The future of local travel
Local tourism has been a topic in Finland for a few years now. Folks are re-imagining a world where people would explore on their backyard, instead of flying to the other side of the world for a vacation. With global tourism and its footprint growing exponentially, local travel is pitched as a relief to the environmental crises. Yet, for many, it seemed a far off proposal before 2020. How on earth would people replace their two-week vacation on the other side of the world to going to their local forest or the archipelago?
Then COVID struck and it is reality. It's like we are living in an alternate reality for a period of time, where people look outside and see things that are near. Folks are exploring their backyards. Everyone is sharing about where to go, where to stay and what to do. Tho, we are a little worried it might be only for the short term. We want to see this boom of local exploration be a tipping point towards a healthy relationship with our environment.
Sailing slow in a fast world
What we are doing
At Kasperi we spend a lot of time out and about, whether that be out at sea or in the woods. We want to do our bit at advancing local adventuring so that more people would find the beauty of discovering the places nearby. The more folks talk about it, the more we'll be discovering the micro-adventures just around the corner.
That's why we've partnered up with a few Finnish brands who share our thoughts. We are working with Alpa, Sasta, the Helsinki Distilling Company, and others later this year to explore and promote the home turf on the sea and the land.
The Kasperi team