Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tallin - Stormy Seas

On Sept 14th Aliisa and I went on a day trip to Tallin which is the capital city of Estonia.  It was an eventful day so I've decided to create two posts ...... One about the ferry trip and one about Tallin itself.  This is about the Ferry trip.

The day before we were to go to Tallin Aliisa's friend called her to say that there was a storm brewing in the Gulf of Finland.   We understood that it could be a bit of a rough ride but ultimately we ... nor it appeared anyone else on the boat ... knew what we were in for.

It was an early start as we had tickets for the 7:30 ferry to Tallin from Helsinki.  When I think of a ferry I have in mind something like the BC Ferries but this boat is more like a cruise ship.  It is huge by my standards.  This is one reason why I thought that a storm may not be too bad to sail in given this boat's size.  WRONG!  So we board the boat and go to the breakfast buffet to fill up and while we were sitting waiting for our boat to leave there was another one of these ferries (there seems to be about a dozen or more of them going all over : Stockholm - Sweden, Germany, St. Petersburg - Russia and other places) being towed into port by two tug boats.  It appeared as though they could not navigate preciously with the winds.  10 minutes after we get under way the waves that were hitting the front of the ship were splashing up on the window that we were looking out of from the buffet area.  We were on the 8th level.  Everyone was watching out the window in amazement at just how bad the weather was.  We eventually finished our breakfast and decided to go up one level to the front of the boat.  This was not easy to do as the boat was being thrown around pretty good by the waves and wind.  We staggered up and fell into some seats. I could see that the furniture was in a bit of disarray as it had been sliding around and that some people had used the sick bags that were available.  For me ..... as long as I could look outside I was ok but once I was in a closed space I was not feeling too good.  So now we are on the 9th level and still the waves that were crashing into the front of the boat were spraying all the way up.  It was like sitting in your car when you take it through the automatic car wash.  Each time the boat hit a wave you could hear the bang and feel the vibrations.  Aliisa has been on this ferry many times and had not had an experience like this.   

Usually the ferry takes 2 hours but since we were headed straight into the wind and waves it took 2.5 hours to get there.   It was the first time that I had been on a boat that size so I was really surprised with how the seas were able to throw this boat about.  I was not concerned for our safety or anything like that, I just felt queezy at times and awe inspired by the power of the sea.  I'm sure that someone who spends any amount of time on these ships would think that this storm was a non event but for me it was my first time being on a boat in this type of weather.

The below video gives a pretty good idea about the weather but of course a lot is lost.  It seems less intense watching this than being there but I figured I would post it anyways.  BTW ... The music in the background is what they were playing over the speakers. 


  1. Wow Rich.. Glad you made it safe... quite the adventure..

  2. Excellent commentary rich....feels like we are right along beside you the way you tell the story.

    and the video is great too.
    keep up the awesome posts

  3. Wow, that video was amazing Rich.........glad you made it safe & sound!!!!!!!

  4. By the way - Is HOLY CRAP the international distress signal now?

  5. I wonder how well would our little boats here do in this weather? This is definitely worth blogging about, especially considering that you made it to shore. I also appreciate that you left out the details on how you used the little brown bag(s)... The video alone makes me sick enough. - Martin



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