The Sail in Finland editor is Håkan Mitts. Håkan has been sailing and boating in the Finnish archipelago since his youth. Here is a small interview with him to give you some background on why Sail in Finland! was created.
Sail in Finland (SiF): Hello Håkan! Please tell the Sail in Finland! readers a bit about yourself.
Håkan Mitts (HM): Hello everybody and first of all, welcome to Sail in Finland! I guess I’m first and foremost someone who really loves the Finnish archipelago and the sailing, boating as well as the general travel and tourism opportunities that Finland offers. It’s a great sailing destination for anyone who loves the sea or the small lakes.
I’m also a freelance marine journalist and blogger. When doing some background research for a piece I’m writing, I noticed that there is really no one on the web blogging about sailing in Finland for an international audience. I thought that was a pity and decided to set up Sail in Finland!
SiF: How did you become involved with sailing?
HM: I guess I got part of it already in my genes. On my father’s side, some of my forefathers were lighthouse keepers outside Vasa, on the western coast of Finland. On my mother’s side, some of my forefathers were ship captains and ship builders in Nagu, one of the central locations in the Finnish archipelago.
When I was a child, I spent all my summers in Nagu, one of the main islands in the Finnish archipelago. A big part of those summers were spent on the water; a lot of it was actually spent fishing from small rowing or motor boats. Later, in my 20’s, the first big invest that my wife (then girlfriend) and I made was buying a small sailing boat and we have been sailing ever since. Next year will be our 30th anniversary sailing our own boat!
SiF: So what are you doing out at sea nowadays?
HM: All kinds of things. We have a 31 foot sailboat that is 25 years old, so boat maintenance is important. When that has been successfully done, we tend to spend about 2 weeks each summer sailing, mainly just pottering around in the Archipelago sea south of Turku. We also have a small cottage on an island outside Nagu that can only be reached by boat, so we powerboat to and from that island. And then there are all my boating related journalistic projects to research new articles that I write.
I’m also a photographer and sailing is one of my favorite photography topics. Therefore most photographs on this site are taken by me. You can see some more photos also on Pinterest, just click on the banner at the right!
SiF: So let’s move over to Sail in Finland! Who is the site intended for?
HM: Sail in Finland! is mainly targeting visitors from abroad who would like to spend some time on the water in Finland. Hopefully I can share some of my experience and in that way encourage people to overcome any doubts that might have and come to Finland to discover the unique sailing opportunities that Finland offers. Ofcourse I hope that people in Finland will also find the blog interesting.
SiF: What do you plan to cover?
HM: There are lots of good sites in English that cover tourism and touristic services in Finland. Also there are good sites for finding the marinas and other boating services. I don’t intend to compete with any of those. Instead I want to cover the nitty gritty practicalities of sailing in Finland, give some insight into sailing habits and sailing culture and provide some information about how to be safe in the rather challenging waters of Finland. Ofcourse I’ll also talk about things such as the marinas and the services, but then more from a personal, opinionated (grin) perspective.
SiF: Sail in Finland! is on quite a number of sites already day one, perhaps you could elaborate a bit on that?
HM: Yes, Sail in Finland! indeed can be found in a few places. This blog will be the main place for longer, in-depth articles, so you might want to bookmark the site or follow our RSS feeds (found at the top of the page).
I guess no-one has missed the impact of social media on the web recently and therefore it is nowadays quite important for blogs to also connect with social media. The main social media site that Sail in Finland uses will be Facebook. You can like Sail in Finland! on Facebook just to your right here. I will post information on all new material to Facebook so you can stay on top of what happens in Sail in Finland there and then hop over to this blog whenever there is some new, interesting material here.
I’m also trying out a couple of social media services that I have not used before to see how they might help getting in touch with more readers. The first service is Pinterest, which I will use to post sailing related photos from Finland. You can also pin most photos posted on this site to your on Pinterest pinboards using the “Pinit” button. I’m also make a first attempt at Twitter. I will post information on new blog posts to Twitter as well, but the plan is to mainly use Twitter to spread information about events and happenings in Finland. Not quite sure how that will pan out in the longer run, but would love to get some feedback on any of the social media components that Sail in Finland! uses.
SiF: Can the readers and followers of Sail in Finland also provide input on what to cover?
HM: Yes, of course! If any reader has a question or suggestion for a topic to cover, I would love to hear about it. I would most likely turn the question into a small blog post which would address the topic. If you have questions or suggestions, do send the in via the site’s questions page!
HM: You’re welcome, hope you all enjoy Sail in Finland!