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2005 — Expedition to the Finnish town of Kotka

HISTORICAL AND PATRIOTIC EVENT “ROADS OF VICTORIES — ROADS OF PEACE!”

PARTICIPATION IN THE KOTKA WOODEN BOAT SHOW

Date: July 20 — August 5, 2005
Route: St.-Petersburg (Rus) — Primorsk (Rus) — Vyborg (Rus) — Kotka (Fin) — Hamina (Fin) — Vyborg (Rus)


On the 10th of July the sailing-motor boat Bylina put out to sea from Staraya Ladoga, the first capital of Russia in a solemn atmosphere. This sailing was helding in the context of the international historical and patriotic event “Roads of Victories — Roads of Peace!”. The Government of Leningrad Region invited three experienced Smolensk travelers from the sport-expeditionary club “Viking-Nevo” to join the crew of Novaya Ladoga Sailing Center in St.-Petersburg. Sergey Suhoruchenkov was appointed captain’s mate, Max Pryazhevsky acted as navigator and Alexey Vasiliev was the ship’s doctor.

The crew of the ship:

The participants of the patriotic event from Leningrad Region and city-hero Smolensk set the high goals — the immediate contact with the history of homeland and paying the honours to the fallen and live war heroes in the places of martial glory.

The place of the expedition’s start reveres the memory of the first warriors in the Nothern Russia — the Ruric’s armed force which took under control and protection the lower of the Volkhov river, the begging of the important trade and military route from Scandinavian countries to the Black and the Caspian Seas. The Ladoga fortress was not only the origin place of the State system but also the base point of the Russian defence.

The seafarers visited many interesting places in Kronshtadt. The Italian Ponds, the Peter’s Park, the Fortress of Kronshtadt, the Sea Cathedral which designed for 5000 people, left the unforgettable impression. The travelers acquainted with dioramas “The Swedish landing defeat on the Kotlin island in 1705” and “The defence of Kronshtadt in 1941” and also the map of Russia in  XVIII century.

On the 22th of July Bylina came to Primorsk, the famous and one of the biggest oil port of Russia and Europe. It situated in the deep-water part of the Bierkezund Strait in four miles to the south-east of town. The next stop was in Vyborg where the rich and interesting program waited for the travelers. The city administration organized the meeting of the crew of Bylina with the veterans of the Great Patriotic War, placing flowers on the war heroes’ grave, the excursion to the old Vyborg castle.

After passing the boundary and customs checking Bylina set the course towards the Russian-Finnish border. The open sea area which surrounded travelers several previous days changed to the pictorial Vyborg skerries. In fact only 10 years ago this locality was inaccessible without special permission and represented the huge boundary zone between Soviet empire and other western world. But even now the view of the deserted area from Vyborg right to the border is rather painful.

The Finnish history of these islands is already overgrown with the wild grass totally, but Russian history did not leave anything after it yet. It was the feeling that this locality is still belongs to the military unconditionally, and they continue to control the life of this pictorial land for some reason. And you can feel the military magic still, though its power is getting narrow now. This feeling becomes more sensitive during comparison the Russian boundary zone which lies from Vyborg up to the last Russian island Bolshoy Pogranichny and the Finnish frontier post on the Santio island.

After short contact with the Finnish bordermen the travelers sailed to the Suuri-Pisi island which situated at a distance of three miles from the border. The guest harbour of this island seems to be made special for the Russian sailors so they could have a rest and muster the strength almost in home surroundings after difficult sailing. Next morning the crew had breakfast with the Finnish bilberries which was grown on the island in abundance, and after that Bylina set the course to the pictorial bay on the Lehmäsaari island and then to the town of Kotka.

The international Wooden Boat Show was arranged in this small port-town for the fifth time. About 100 wooden beauties from all around Finland and neighbour countries took part in the show. The wooden boats were exhibited in the open air as well as an indoor exhibition area in the Kotka Wooden Boat Centre.

Kotka

KOTKA

Year of foundation: 1878
Population: 54 778 people
Overall area: 750 km²
Area of land: 272 km²
Area of water: 478 km²
Coastline: 170 km
Number of island: 400

Species of flora and fauna, the symbols of Kotka:
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)
Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)
Beautiful Demoiselle (Agrion virgo)

Kotka was the scene of many historical events. The most important in northern Europe sea battles took place straight in front of the town. As a result tens of different fortresses were built in the town. Then the saw-mills appeared and the industrial town came into the period of heydays. The port was developed fast and Kotka became the important state export port. Among these changes the citizens were living their lives as well as at present time. The sea always played the very important role against a background of all this. The citizens have the special attitude to the sea. If you will listen intently you can hear fragments from the past and expectation of future in the sea wind.

One of the best places on the open air berth was assigned for the Bylina, the only Russian boat invited to the Wooden Boat Show officially. The original look of the historical Old Russian boat which was built by shipwrights from Novaya Ladoga according to the traditional Ladoga fishing boats (soyma) awaked the great interest of many show’s visitors. Unfortunately Bylina did not win the first place seemingly because of not realizing that this boat saw many storms and came to the festival under its own sails and was not brought by trailer as many others boats.

Many thousands of coast visitors celebrated the Kotka Maritime Festival, the biggest sea carnival in Finland, in the neighbourhood of the Wooden Boat Show. This year the festival had the rich program for any taste: sailing regattas, rowing races, theatrical performances of street artists, special Sea Days for the children, sea songs festival and big open-air concerts. The festive atmosphere was made by many summer restaurants in the port and also by military ships, sailing vessels and floating cafes.

Every day the crew of Bylina was visiting the swimming pool in Kotka. After coming there for the first time the young sailors said that they were in paradise. Besides the open area pool the spring-boards, saunas, hydro-massages, tennis and many other things could be found there for three euro only. And even on Sunday and on Tuesday when it’s free the swimming pool was not full of people.

Almost all Finnish friends of the Viking-Nevo club saw off the Russian crew back home. They arranged the great party at the Arvo Reijonen’s summer cottage not far from Hamina, but this time for the Viking-Nevo club only.

The financial support of the Viking-Nevo participation was provided by Smolensk Council of Russian Defence and Sports Technical Organization (ROSTO) and firm “Technosat”.





Sailing boat Bylina
Sailing boat Bylina
Meeting with the war veterans in Primorsk
Meeting with the war veterans in Primorsk
Participants of the patriotic action in Vyborg
Participants of the patriotic action in Vyborg
Meeting with the war veterans in Vyborg
Meeting with the war veterans in Vyborg
Vyborg
Vyborg
Vyborg
Vyborg
The rain
The rain
Bylina on the Suuri-Pisi island
Bylina on the Suuri-Pisi island
The bay on the Lehmasaari island
The bay on the Lehmäsaari island
Kotka Wooden Boat Show
Kotka Wooden Boat Show
Street theatre
Street theatre
Kotka Wooden Boat Show
Kotka Wooden Boat Show
Bylina on the Kotka Wooden Boat Show
Bylina on the Kotka Wooden Boat Show
Swimming-pool in Kotka
Swimming-pool in Kotka
Swimming-pool in Kotka
Swimming-pool in Kotka
The port in Kotka
The port in Kotka
Bylina on the Kotka Wooden Boat Show
Bylina on the Kotka Wooden Boat Show
The rowing boats competition
The rowing boats competition
On the Kotka Wooden Boat Show
On the Kotka Wooden Boat Show
On the Kotka Wooden Boat Show
On the Kotka Wooden Boat Show
Captains
Captains
On the Kotka Wooden Boat Show
On the Kotka Wooden Boat Show
Fishing on the Lehmasaari island
Fishing on the Lehmäsaari island
Visiting Arvo Reijonen
Visiting Arvo Reijonen


 
 
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