Energy Observer left Helsinki yesterday to cross the Gulf of Finland towards Tallinn for its 40th stopover, before its Russian stopover in St Petersburg.
After an intense rhythm of events in Antwerp, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen and Stockholm, the team began a second phase of its Odyssey in Northern Europe. The thousands of enthusiastic visitors during the stopovers will give way to thousands of miles during long journeys to reach the Arctic Circle in August.
Tallinn is now a major stopover in the Gulf of Finland. Estonia’s capital, the most digitalised country in the world (Skype, one of the favorite communication tools of the Energy Observer teams, was created in Estonia) is also an organic farming model, with nearly 20% of its agricultural land cultivated in accordance with an eco-responsible model and placing the country in Europe’s second place, just behind Austria. Tallinn, whose old town is one of Energy Observer’s partners, UNESCO, World Heritage Site, will be the last European stopover before St Petersburg.
The nicknamed Venice of the North, this imperial capitalhas 400 bridges and is home to iconic monuments such as the Hermitage, the Admiralty and the Winter Palace.
These majestic shores are not unknown to our Captain and founder Victorien Erussard, who had once participated in a multihull race arriving in Saint Petersburg, though since then the challenges of the region have considerably expanded. Today, the boreal forest represents an irreplaceable lung for our planet, especially since the threats to the Amazonian forest are multiplying. Karelia and all of Northwest Russia are more than ever the cultural and historical heart of the largest country in the world, now one of the key actors for the future of our planet. Any environmental policy conducted on a massive scale will have a mathematical impact on the entire Earth and the new Russian generations are today undoubtedly aware of the environmental challenges of the 21st century. Karelia wants to become a pilot region in renewable energies and investments are multiplying.
At the end of this incomparably important stopover, Energy Observer will switch to intensive navigation mode, with more than 2400 nautical miles to go before leaving the Baltic Sea and heading towards theSpitzbergs, this year’s Northern European highlight. The passage through the White Sea has long been considered, because it is much shorter (1700 miles) and unprecedented. But the uncertainties and constraints of a passage on low-traffic inland waterways, with many locks and regulated canals, finally got the better of this project. Energy Observer needs space, to develop its new wings and their hydro-electric production potential, with wind and waves, to prepare for next year’s major ocean crossings. At the end of June, an intense learning phase will therefore begin, which should enable all the embedded technological bricks to work in perfect synergy in order to reach the Arctic Circle on time whatever the weather!