Henn Avasalu's letter (YM Dec p. 16) "Sail the Baltic" attracted our attention as it demonstrates the warm welcome British and other visiting yachtsmen receive all around the Baltic as well as highlighting some of the advantages of cruising this beautiful and interesting area. Henn has been unfortunate in meeting few of us because we are out there in considerable numbers but by October we have laid up our boats and returned home.
As Joint Secretaries of the Cruising Association's Baltic Section we represent around 500 members all either sailing in the Baltic already or in the planning stages. Some 150 overwinter their boats somewhere around the Baltic, some long term, others for one or two winters. Last summer CA boats met in Helsinki for a rally, a few sailing all the way from UK but others coming from the Baltic yards where they had stayed for the winter. In other years rallies have held in Germany, Denmark and Latvia. (A photo from our rally in Riga, Latvia, is below).
The majority of UK yachts seen in the Baltic do belong to the Cruising Association attracted by its unrivalled knowledge about matters Baltic and the friendship amongst members. But we are not only Brits - as a worldwide organisation we count among our members yachts from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and, nearer home, Fr ance, Germany and several Scandinavian countries.
On a personal note, after 14 summers sailing in the Baltic, we heartily agree with Henn's description of the beauties and advantages of Baltic sailing. If the letter has attracted more folk to explore the Baltic and they are looking for information on how to get there and what they will find when they arrive - visit our website and join us in Baltic Section of the Cruising Association -
Graham and Fay Cattell
Joint Secretaries - Baltic Section Cruising Association