As we slowly motored out of the port of St. Petersburg, we passed by hundreds of huge housing blocks where hundred of thousands of people lived squished together. Block after block after block, every building looked the same; grey, ugly (personal opinion) and big. It was a huge contrast compared to the super fancy inner city of St. Petersburg where everything was made to look gorgeous and impressive. But because of the high prices in the main city, many inhabitants of St. Petersburg live in those housing blocks built in the time when the USSR still existed.
It was a very important moment for me to see both sides of the super impressive city of St-Petersburg. The city was built to impress other nations of their immense wealth while the actual inhabitants where left outside. We wanted to stay longer to enjoy the culture some more but because Russia was hosting an icebreaker festival, we had to leave.
As soon as we wanted to set our sails to continue our journey to Estonia, we got news of a big storm with winds up to 70km/h just ahead of us.The crew decided to anchor in the cover of a small island until the storm passed. I remembered the last time, when we were caught in a huge storm, where we didn’t have the luxury of anchoring behind Hog Island, a time were we couldn’t see the horizon because the huge waves blocked our view.
It was the feeling of being truly powerless, the feeling of not being able to do anything, the feeling of being in the hands of nature. It makes me realize where, we as humans, have come from and where we are today, how disconnected from nature we really have become. Nature is not only sunshine and rainbows. No. It also has a destroying part but that is the perfect balance: one has to experience both to really experience nature.
While at anchor, we experienced something magical: snow at sea! It was around 6pm when the watch started to notice little itty bitty snow flakes falling on their noses. The brisk cold combined with the fresh flakes reminded many of Christmas chills that weren’t experienced during the hot Christmas equator crossing. As we all came back from the frosty breezeways, we were welcomed with Frank’s famous seasoned steaks.There were no leftovers. Finally, to wrap up the first day at anchor, most people got to catch up on missed sleep because of anchor watches.
After the storm had passed, 1 day later, we continued our short journey to Estonia. Sadly the winds were not on our side so we had to motor the whole way to Estonia. When we arrived shortly after, we could see the beautiful city Tallinn lightening up the pitch dark night. It was a beautiful view, from the famous TV-tower, where the former citizen fought for their independence, to the newly built skyscrapers that lit up the sky. We were all wanting to go to explore the old medieval city of Tallinn but school had priority so we anchored one last time for a day just in front of the unique city. Before we had shore leave the next day, we could enjoy a beautiful sunset one last time.