Sunday, September 9, 2012

Notes from Tallinn: part 7

Yesterday we took a voyage into the Tallinn Harbor on the Kajsamoor, a Norwegian cargo ship built in 1939. The boat is beautiful and piratical looking, with lovely maroon sails. We boarded at 1 PM for a harbor tour and lunch.

As we sailed gently across the harbor, the captain told us a bit about the history of sailing. I know this because I picked out the words "sardiinid", "rumm", "prostituutide" and "Francis Drake." I believe he also told us a bit about Tallinn's history as a port, because he mentioned "Tallinn" quite a lot. The talk was entirely in Estonian.

As he spoke, I cuddled in a blanket and there was a little bit of hail and rain.

(You'll notice a black dog behind me. That lucky little pooch got her very own bowl of fish chowder at lunch time, and then at the end of the journey could be seen eating a piece of CAKE, like, human cake with strawberries, off of a plate. No one else had cake. Only the dog.)

After the captain's tour, everyone milled around eating fish chowder and drinking coffee and wine. The captain approached us and spoke to us in Estonian. We replied by apologizing and saying that we only spoke English. He said in perfect English, "OH no! You missed everything!" And proceeded to give us a short version of his tour, which was fascinating! He told us that Kajsamoor, along with about 100 other cargo ships of the same build, was used during World War II to secretly deliver supplies to occupied Norway. The groups of ships was called the Shetland Bus, and only 3 of them survive today.

He also told pointed to a faroff island called Woman's Island, and gleefully told us it was named such because a ship was once passing through the Baltic in terrible weather, teetering on huge waves and blowing around in an awful storm, on the verge of sinking... and a woman was on board (BAD LUCK!) So they dumped her out of the ship near Woman's Island and then safely made it to port. Poor woman on Woman's Island...

Woman's Island in the distance, under dramatic skies.

It was a beautiful day on the harbor, with changing skies and gentle water. We sailed around for about two hours, with lovely views out into the sea and inland to the old town.

But next time I'll definitely bring mittens and a hat!
(Thanks Eric for the beautiful photos!)

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