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30.8.2005 Yacht Club Sindbad, Helsinki, Finland 
After two nights and a good sauna we motored the 50-mile strech from Lehtma to Hanko over the sunny and calm Gulf of Finland. Clearance was fast and easy, a copy of the crewlist was enough. Then we tied in the Hanko guest harbour. We felt pretty funny. We didn't quite know what to do. We called a few friends, went for a pizza, and were back to boat and in bed at 9 pm. The next day our friends realised that we are back in Finland. Päivi drove her motorbike to Hanko while Busse invited us to his cabin in Lappohja. The logistic solution was that Hannu drove Päivi's bike and the girls took Kristiina. Gosh, how shallow and narrow the route past the numerous islets and islands was. It didn't help that the chart was old and didn't match the buoys. We almost got lost because of Busse's instructions where two islands had changed place. But we made it, the 15-mile passage and docking without the skipper. At the cabin we naturally had sauna and barbecue, and sat long into the lovely summer night. Next day we motored to Elisaari, and what else, had a sauna and barbecue again. On Tuesday it was time to move on to Auli's parents' house in Porkkala, and meet all the relatives before the hulabaloo.

We tried the flags in Elisaari...

...and had a sauna.

Meetings: father (85 yrs) ...

...and Minna (14 yrs)

Then we had the very last passage, from Porkkala to Sindbad via Lähteelä. We were so excited that we left too early and had to slow down by reducing sails. The weather was fantastic, sunny and perfect beam wind. The first to meet us was Sindbad's second commodore Kotilainen, who brought us local newspapers. Handing those over, the two boats were so close each other that only a page could have fitted between. One of the most dangerous situations on our trip! Next yacht to meet us was Iiris from Kotka, and after Rysäkari came the boats from Sindbad: Merianu, Tucana, Victoria, Eveliina, JuLies, Finnbird, Harmy (sisteryacht to Kristiina).

Maréne brings newspapers on a rode. 
They went 7 knots, we 3. The collision was close.
On the right Iiris from Kotka.

With horns and flags we arrived to Sindbad, our home port. The crowd was big, hosted by Tommi at Café Meri. He started an interwiev immediately and after that started a hugging line. It was fantastic to meet so many friends! We were astonished of all the gifts we got, million thanks to everybody! It was great to return feeling that people had been waiting for us.

Photo: Leena Aro.

Photo: Leena Aro.

Photo: Leena Aro.

Photo: Leena Aro.

A dream cannot be fullfilled without other people nor without an effect on other people. The journey was not easy time for our parents, who hided their concern to support and interest. Thanks to them!
Our brothers, Jaska and Antti, have taken care of all the things at home, fullfilling our wishes and needs from taking care of the business to sending a dishwashing brush. Without them we would not have made it, so special thanks to world's best brothers.
Thanks to rest of the relatives, they have helped and remembered us.
Thanks to friends - old and new. Meeting people has been one of the best experiences on our journey. So many has helped us, given advice and presents, invited at home or shared a meal. Unforgettable moments.
Thanks for all who sent us feedback or mail. It has been fun to get e-mails from unknown persons. That has inspired us to update the homepage.
Thanks to crew and visitors. Alltogether 19 persons sailed with us, sharing the joy, fear, inconvenience and pleasures. The youngest has been Anni 11 years, and the oldest Olli 70 years.
Thanks to the sponsors. The material support has brought its own share of responsibilities and content.

Of all the people we met during our journey we remember: Risto, Markku and Ville (m/v Ferdinand around Iceland); Carsten and Margit (s/y Kristina on the Faroe Islands); Raimo and Martina (the best cook in Greenland); Jean-Guy (a pile of charts); Paul (unforgettable evening in Quebec); Liz; Bill (blues in Chicago); Laura (s/y 7 Roses, tough solosailor with the dogs Stella & Sultan), Michael (the captain of LaVida and our crew on Welland canal, we met him three times in different parts of America); people at Turner marina; Maciej (helpful Polish in California); Mejías family in Cuba as well as Iliana and Olli; Lissu (world's best crew); Heka and Marja (hospitality and unforgettable moments in the Panama jungle); Jukka, Jorma, Markku; Riku, Iiro and Marja (s/y Cassandra); Henry (s/y Arlesienne) and Titta; Gustav and Tina (s/y Caminante); Andy and Lisa (s/y Indefatigable, idea to sail to Alaska); Bo and Vivi-Maj (s/y Lorna) as well as the rest of the Swedes; Ray (Visby 1998, Opua 2002); Dennis and Xenia (hiking and sailing in NZ); Robert; Pilviö family and the rest of the Finns in NZ, especially Liisa K.; Peter and Lyndall (s/y illywhacker); Nicolas and Dominique (s/y Chaski); Mike and Delphi (s/y Trig); Paavo-Paul (who introduced us the Alaskan Finns); Pirkko and Antti (hospitality and unforgettable stories in Alaska); Maria and Timo; Minna; Nina (humor and rapid changes) as well as Phil and Don; Richard (the best sauna in Seward); Aldona in Kodiak; our neighbours in Cordova: Jean and Sylvie, Danny and Deidre, Bruce and Lilli as well as the rest of the villagers. Mikko in Nanaimo; Ulrika and Baden; Shane and Stephanie as well as Leo and the others in Sointula; Ossi and Sisko; Jukka (hospitality in Nicaragua), Irmeli and Tapio (s/y Marita), Eija and Ari (s/y Arctic Lady), Raimo and Hannu (s/y Noomi), Riitta and Pekka (s/y Sarema), Verena and Harald (s/y Miss Sophie, plenty of miles together). And our crew: Bosson, Jonna, Juha, Antti, Lissu and Jukka.

A dream come true
The journey has been very much what we expected. The hardest things haven't been sailing or handling the boat, but changing the lifestyle. We have to confess, that in the beginning we even missed work or some similar activity.
We have lived four years a different kind of life, and experienced wonderful things. All this have given us strenght to work, and respect the ordinary everyday life more than before. We have met people and lifestyles that have opened our eyes and broadened our narrow opinions. We hope to maintain the wide thinking from now on.
The best gift, however, has been the awareness that it is possible to fullfill your dreams. It takes work, courage and giving up something else. But it is possible.

After the return hassle, we put up a new home on dry land. Not too far from the harbour, however, reaching out from the window we might see a mast or two. The new home has a couple of more squaremeters than Kristiina, it doesn't rock and roll. Shower is not at the balcony and the fridge has a door. When you open that door, food will remain on the shelves (I suppose).
Hannu returns to work for the LVI Tekniikka Aulin Ltd. Auli lives as a freenlance writer as long as someone makes a good offer. She writes a book and enjoys the role of an aunt.

Some statistics
4 years, 3 months and 15 days i.e. 1545 days
43.742 nautical miles (twice around the world)
23 countries and three autonomous areas (with own flag)
19 states in USA and 5 states in Canada
98 harbours with a fee
268 anchorages
51 fuelling stations
5 over 2000-mile passages (from 16 to 23 days)
230 homepage updates
6078 card plays

The homepage will remain here for the time being and we will add some new photos to various parts. After a while it's available also on CD.

Twenty years from now
you will be more dissapointed by the things that you didn't do
than the ones that you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbour.
Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore. Dream.

To these words of Mark Twain, which I wrote on my notebook at the Vancouver maritime museum, we end the logbook of Kristiina. Thanks for sailing with us. Keep the curiosity and dreams.