Monday 25 June
Another beautiful morning, and the knowledge of a very short passage ahead of us, encouraged us to don walking boots and explore the island. We followed a (mostly) well-marked trail around the Southeastern quadrant, which begins through the pine trees that fringe the sandy shore we sailed along yesterday, leading to the lighthouse on the Southern point of the island. Deep pink rock rose is fragrantly abundant, layering headily over soft sun-warmed pine resin – surely a perfumier’s dream.
We saw many fresh tracks and some scat evidencing the recent presence of wild pigs, but sadly none in the flesh to even attempt to stroke, and no snakes either – thank goodness. The trail swung inland along a dirt track, winding through the former mine factory, and past a hotel/restaurant rather incongruously placed amidst abandoned and rusting army vehicles, and crumbling ruins. Overshadowed by tall pines, the atmosphere was derelict, creepy and sad.
Further on we came across a tiny hamlet on the edge of a bay, with elegant homes and a huge barn used for musical festivals during the season. Back in the forest, we followed for a time the old railway track that carried mines to the harbour; this is being renovated as a tourist attraction. Inevitably, we were plagued with flies while amongst the trees, and in spite of being well covered, any exposed skin proved irresistible. Eventually we came back out onto the shoreline at the campsite on the edge of the harbour, completing a grand total of nearly 14 kilometres!
Back on board, we were soon ready to begin our eleven-Mile crossing of Tallinn Bay, motoring in the lightest of zephyrs for a couple of hours, weaving between ferries and cruise ships plying in and out of this popular tourist destination at the rate of 40 a day. We made our way safely into Lennu Sadam, the Seaplane Marina, and found our pre-booked berth, for once nearest to the harbour office and amenities.