Fri May 29, 1998
|Day 1. Lou II, Bill and Rick Viggiano
arrive in Finland via Iceland at 5PM. The flight over Finland reveals the vast
amount of lakes here, about 188,000. I think they might be counting puddles but
still... We rent a car and drive to Nautor's factory, 40km away. Here we
meet Rolf, the Project Administrator for Nautor. Big job. He steers us to Tom
Bloomgren, Sales Manager, who is waiting "under the clock" in downtown
Pietarsaari. With these precise directions, a map (in Finnish) and a description of
Tom, tall thin driving a Volvo, we head down to the clock. Bill and I had fun in
Iceland making fun of the names of the streets but here they don't even use signs!
There are also no stop sign at the intersections which becomes very obvious, very
quickly! We find Tom waiting for us "under THE clock" and head for the
boat. WOW! Holy SHTIENKIES! Big! After ogling for a few minutes Tom show us to
the hotel we'll stay at while the finishing touches are put on Risqué. Lou, Jacky
and Tom arrive about midnight. We ride to the boat so they can take a look.
Plenty to see because it doesn't get very dark here in the summer.
Day 2. We're short some luggage, (all of Lou, Jacky's and Tom's) so we make arrangements for that to be delivered to the hotel. It's not that hard as most of the people in Finland also speak English. The factory isn't open Sat or Sun day so we mainly work on the electronics with Rick all day.
Day 3. We spend most of the day making lists of things that need to be finished, changed or fixed on the boat. Nothing major, just little things. We pick up Eric Hood from NorthSails at the airport at 5PM. We've known Eric for a long time. He, along with Harry and Buddy Melges, have put together the sail package for Risqué. Eric is over to make sure everything is "spot on."
Day 4. The shipment of gear from the states hasn't arrived yet so we can't go sailing until tomorrow. All of the safety equipment and sails are inventoried and lists are made of parts we need from the factory. The Nautor factory is inland about 15km just to make things easy! We get a full tour while we're there, super cool! They are building about 15 boats at a time in various stages. Nautor builds about 30 boats a year. We were able to get in Nautor's super boat, a 112 foot mega sailboat, about 1/2 finished. Just when you thought you we're the coolest kid on the block.....
Day 5. An early start so we can get out sailing today. The factory techs are on the boat from 7AM until 4PM, so we plan to sail at 4PM. Sails are put on, lines rigged.... 4PM. Jacky christens the boat, "Risqué" and we're off. It's raining and cold but who cares at this point. We get our first taste of Arctic sailing, 44 degrees, 16 knots of breeze and rain. It seems allot colder than the temperature reads. 4 hours later we're back cold but really excited about the boat. It sails very well and all the sails look great.
Day 6. More sail rigging in the morning and provisioning in the afternoon. Our storm trysail, a small mainsail used in extreme conditions, doesn't quite fit on the mast track. Different sail track systems. Back to the loft for a refit on it. Sailing is much better today as it's nice and sunny but a little on the light side, 4 knots. We've put up all the sails except the storm trysail so we feel good about them. Eric volunteers to stay an extra day to make sure the rest of the sail rigging is installed correctly.
Inbound from our first sail, 10PM