May 2013 - Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia
May 31, 2013
Baltic Sea |Latvia | Pavilosta | Saka River | Pavilosta marina
May 30, 2013
Hi Everyone, Sunday we had a nice 25nm downwind sail to Pavilosta, Latvia. This marina is in a very small village on the banks of Saka river (narrow). Pretty and quiet. We walked around the village and along the river. Then we walked along the seashore enjoying the sunshine and searching for amber.
Baltic Sea | Latvia | Ventspils | one of many cow statues around town
Monday we sailed close hulled 30nm to Ventspils, Latvia. Thankfully we got an early start so when the wind piped up to 25-35kts we had about 15nm to go. We ended up motoring the last 9 nm heading directly to the harbor to get off the sea sooner. We used our "mooring tool" for the first time in gusting 25kts of wind. This gadget on a pole allows you to hook the top of a stern mooring buoy and threads your line through the eye. Then you pull it back aboard as you go by. Well I got the line back to the boat but not tied down fast enough nor did I have enough line fed out to reach the quay. So it stopped our momentum heading toward the quay and we were blown sideways. Fortunately Alchemy came to the rescue tossing us a mid ship line to pull us over closer to him and I was able to get my lines to others waiting on the quay. Always some new thing to make docking exciting:-) About an hour after we were all situated big winds and an electrical storm came through. Glad we were snug and safe. It stormed well into the night.
Baltic Sea | Latvia | Riga | Old Riga Buildings | Brotherhood of Blackhead
Tuesday Ginger, Dick, Al and I took a 0720 bus three hours to Riga, Latvia's capital city. We had planned to take our boats there but the winds for the next week were not favorable for that direction. We had a great hotel, Hotel Justus in Old Town.
After we got checked in we went to St. Peter's Square to join a free Old Town two hour tour in English! Our guide Tom was excellent and it was fun to learn about Riga and have our questions answered immediately. After our tour we had a cafeteria style lunch in a nice restaurant. We decided on visiting a restored merchant house, Menzendorff House and then we walked Antonijas Street where the embassy's are and many restored Art Nouveau buildings.
Baltic Sea | Latvia | Riga | One of beautiful parks along the old moat surrounding Old Town
The moat of the once walled city now provides beautiful parks along a canal surrounding Old Town. We rested up for a couple of hours and then went for a light dinner of soup and salad, perfect after the huge lunch we had. Unfortunately it was raining when we came out of the restaurant so we decided it was not a good time to see Riga by night.
Wednesday we had nice breakfast served at our hotel and then went to visit Riga's Central Market. The market is housed mostly in five huge 1930's pavilions created using the roof structures of World War I Zeppelin hangers built by the Germans near Liepeja. This was by far the largest market we've ever experienced. We joined another free guided tour at noon. This time exploring the area east of Old Town known as the Moscow Suburb. Again we had a good guide and enjoyed seeing the market again with her before continuing our tour. Four "Young Adults" joined us for lunch at a Folk bar recommended by our guide. We had such fun sharing stories that we had to hustle back to our hotel to gather our things before catching our 1700 bus back to Ventspils. We had a great experience and are glad we took time to visit Riga.
Today we walked to central Ventspils, picked up some groceries and exchanged our LATS for Euro's. Workers are busy putting in new sidewalks and bicycle paths. Tomorrow we plan to sail to Kuressaare, Estonia on the Island ofSaaremaa (NW Riga Bay). Love and God Bless Sally and Al
Hi Everyone, We arrived in Liepaja, Latvia on Wednesday. We moored alongside pontoons in front of the Promenade Hotel, owners of the yacht center. This is a very friendly city. Many people have stopped by to welcome us and ask questions. Liepaja has a very troublesome history. They have been occupied by seven different armies in the last 92 years. They only became independent and open to foreigners again when the Soviet Empire was dissolved in 1990. Many restoration projects are underway of mostly roads, sidewalks, parks, and historical or public buildings. Hopefully money will be found to restore other parts of the town. It would be a shame to lose the neat wooden villas scattered around town.