Iltasanomat, Maarch 2011, Jari Alenius ©

This story is based on an interview and on my stories on Scorpiosail web site.

The Finns Made a U-turn

A Finnish couple cruising around the world took the warnings and dangers seriously. They decided not to venture into the waters plagued by Somali pirates; instead they turned their sailing vessel around.

- Our plan was to sail to the Mediterranean through the Red Sea. However, when we got to the Maldives, we decided to abort the plan because of the activities of the pirates, writes Henrik Lindblom from Helsinki on his web page.

The couple, who left their native Finland more than 10 years ago, will now be taking a one year planning break in Thailand. This change of route will affects their whole lifes, as the plan was to return to Europe this year - expressly by sail. (Translator's note: the meaning of this sentence requires explanation, see below)

Some cruisers have actually lifted their yachts up on the decks of cargo ships to be transported to Marmaris, but that does not suit the Lindbloms.

- Shipping is without doubt a wise decision, but it is not for us, really. We think we should finish this circumnavigation by sailing, it's a matter of principle, Henrik Lindblom explains to Iltasanomat in the Maldives.

The Lindbloms are not planning a return to Europe very soon if the situation in the Arabian Sea doesn't calm down. It remains to be seen which route we choose next year, but if there is no change, crossing the Arabian Sea is out of question.

Lindblom explains that he in principle can understand the Europeans, who are sailing across the pirate infested waters. Most of them have been on a long journey and they may have a burning desire to get back home.

The route around Africa is five times longer and would add an extra year to the journey.

- But I have to admit that I am surprised how many of them have decided to take the risk of using the direct route.

Explanation to the sentence that the decision affects our whole lifes: Our plan was to arrive in the Med in May and start looking for a house, maybe in Italy. We would then have swallowed the hook and sold the boat, not necessarily right away, but in the forseable future. We would like to live relatively close to our old parents and young grand children. When sailing on the other side of the world we are too far away from them. We have had 20 wonderful years, but we decided that it will soon be time for other things in life. Returning to Thailand, 1,600 nm in the wrong direction when we already were so close to the Med is a bit disappointing when you already have set your mind to new challenges. Postponing fundamental plans at this age really makes one feel that one is changing plans not only for next season, but for "the rest of your life".


Back to press index