Having given up on Stora Brändö (No 98) I noticed 4 or 5 stern buoys off the west side of the adjacent island. Three boats were already there, but a couple of buoys were free. There were signs making it obvious that this was a sailing club island and many of these don’t welcome visitors. But I picked my way through the rocks and hailed a couple on the shore. Unusually they didn’t speak any English, but seemed friendly enough and took my lines, steering me clear of shallow rocks to the north. Soon I was snugly tied up.
Then I noticed that a conference was taking place between the denizens of the other three boats on the island. This involved much gesticulation towards Zoph. A deputation of an elderly couple was dispatched along the sea front, clearly to speak to me. Bugger, they were obviously going to try and fling me off their island. Would I put up a fight? “Good evening” said the fairly elderly man when he had reached me. “This is a private club island… and you are very welcome to stay here”. Phew, thank god for that.
Pretty soon they were having a beer on Zoph, then I was having a beer on their boat and we were exchanging email addresses. It was all very friendly. They expressed the view that most club islands and harbours would welcome outsiders if they weren’t busy. I’m not sure. A lot of them can be pretty standoffish. But this lot were very friendly indeed. I took a short walk right round the island. These buoys would be pretty exposed and crap in a strong westerly, but for that eventuality there were other buoys round the other side of the island.
Locate Stora Bredskär on the map and find more adjacent harbours and marinas here.
Disclaimer: While Martin Edge and Sail in Finland have taken every precaution to ensure that the information in this post is correct, it is not a replacement for proper charts. Safe navigation is the responsibility of the skipper and Sail in Finland assumes no responsibility for accidents occurring while entering or leaving the harbour.