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Hanko & Ekenäs


Hanko Map

The area between Hanko and Helsinki is another maze of islands, with a number of interesting routes. The section around Hanko is strewn with rocks, and is subject to the swell, but once you reach the outskirts of Tammisaari the route is more sheltered. There is then a choice. The northernmost route is very tranquil, almost like a canal, but the main route travels through the Archipelago National Park, where there a number of exceptionally pretty anchorages. The various routes come together just west of Barösund.

Beyond Barösund the route opens up again, and you head south round the tip of Porkkala before heading north again towards Helsinki. This part of the route is once again more open.

Hanko

Hanko Hanko is the Finnish sailing centre, and is always popular. Allied to the fact that there aren't many places to stop within a short distance either side of Hanko and that means it tends to get full. There are a large number of berths inside the yacht harbour but some these often get taken for the racers. The harbour is often full of yachts cruising up and down looking for a berth, particularly late in the day. We've seen people rafting up in Hanko, but the Finns do it differently - bow to stern instead of the more usual alongsides!

Hanko Harbour On a few rocks immediately opposite the harbour is the Marina Itameren Portti, part of the Baltic Sun Marinas chain. The system here uses red cones (well, sometimes they are not red...) tied to the head of the pontoon to denote busy berths where you cannot tie up. There is a regular on-demand ferry, a kind of over-engined raft. In a gale, the only thing that moves is the ferry - probably the most unseaworthy vessel in the harbour!

There are a number of good restaurants along Satamaktu at the head of the harbour and the beaches are stunning, and the harbour has an outdoor market twice a week. Unfortunately the town leaves rather more to be desired. There are three reasonable sized supermarkets, but the town lacks character. Probably the best attraction is the water town. 1 Euro allows you to climb this for some spectacular views.

Bengtskär

Bengtskar Not really a yachting destination, as there is no harbour, but accessible by day trip from Hanko in anything but the nastiest conditions, Bengtskär is the southernmost point of Finland. A tiny rocky island, its main attraction is Scandanavia's tallest lighthouse. The scene of an epic battle in the second world war, the lighthouse and its associated buildings (now a hotel) are now owned by a trust, and hosts thousands of day trippers every year.

Arrival is interesting, as the trip boat simply nudges up to rocks and stays there, rocking in the swell. You get a talk on the history of the place and then you are free to wander or climb the tower at will. There is a small cafe and a museum.

2006 is Bengtskär's 100th anniversary.

Note: Elina Mattila from Finland points out that it is possible (indeed popular) to get to Bengtskär with a yacht in settled weather, but you must take care. There is no shelter (apart from behind the island) but there are apparently rings in the rocks.

Tammisaari (Ekenäs)

Band in Ekenas About 10 miles east of Hanko, Tammisaari is one of the more popular destinations, as the town, with its leafy streets and wooden houses, is rather pretty and the beaches superb. The visitors marina is quite large, although it is not immediately apparent which quays are for visitors. Attached to the harbour quay is the Knipan restaurant. (You cant miss it). This is a huge place on stilts built out into the lake. Part of the Skargardssmak initiative, the lunchtime buffet is popular, but the huge place struggles to be filled in the evening. There place has an air of somewhere in Eastbourne...

There's also a good summer steak restaurant at the head of the harbour. Nearby is a visitor centre giving details on the nearby Archipelago park.

The town has a market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and occasional band concerts in the square.

Archipelago National Park

A few miles south of Ekenäs lies a protected area of archipelago.The main route runs right through the middle of the area and there some excellent, rock free anchorages around Fladalandet, but alternatives run both north and south. Some of the rocks have rings set in them for you to tie up to.

Barösund

Barosund A small narrow gorge about halfway between Hanko and Helsinki, this is a popular stopping place (a bit to popular for our liking). There are jetties on either side of the gorge, one with a shop. There is also room behind the jetty to anchor. The place is completely sheltered.

However, a couple of miles in either direction are some excellent quiet anchorages. It never ceases to surprise us that you only have to go a mile or so off the main drag to be completely alone, even at the height of the season. We nudged our way up to an island that hadn't seen people for many years, and whilst anchored, an Elk calmly swam past the boat.


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Useful Resources

Journey Planner

Finnish Chart Pack B

Journey Planner

Finnish Sea Scouts Guide

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