|Mariehamn, Aland Islands|
The day started early, when we arrived at 1:00AM. After securing the boat and deciding that we're "not that tired" we went to a local night club and had a couple of beers. The one man band cracks us up as he sings CCR and Deep Purple in Swedish!
Today, again, begins with boat maintenance, putting the dinghy together, scrubbing and general cleaning. The dinghy turns out to be a cinch to put together. We also done a little rearranging in the storage compartment, called lazarettes, so that our unused gear finds its way to the bottom!
We just returned from a day at the maritime museums here. There are two, one a traditional building and the other is a 514 foot square rigger called PROMMEN. The PROMMEN, the more interesting of the two was a grain trader sailing back and forth from Australia with wheat. After the introduction of the steam ships, a man from Mariehamn, Gustva Erickson, started buying the old sailing ships in the end owning 18. Mr. Erickson realized that although the steam ships needed less people to operate and were timely, the sailing ships were still faster and for him more economical to run. Mr. Erickson only hired sailors under the age of 25 because "they are more sure footed and less apt to be washed overboard." He also didn't insure the ships themselves only the cargo as it was worth more than the ship itself.
Mariehamn also boasts the second best maritime museum in the world only to the museum in Greenwich, England. It has exhibits on all aspects of sailing from the early Vikings to modern cruise liners. Perhaps the most interesting part is the complete aft decks of an old square rigger completely restored inside the building!
Unfortunately a camera operator malfunction rendered all the pictures erased! Again! One of these days I'm going to bring extra batteries!
As you can see from the sidebar, my Dad nicknamed the local music festival "Clobberfest!" The fest is really small, one stage, one band and 4 restaurants. The most interesting part of the evening was the bachelor and bachelorette party's attending the fest. It seems the people in the bridal parties dress up in theme, i.e. a dog and puppies, a doctor and nurses..., and then people are suppose to give them money to get the bride/groom drunk. Interesting concept...Its pretty funny to see.