Uto


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Uto is right at the southwest tip of Finland, and a natural place for a military base. The Russians first built one here on their western border with Sweden and enhanced it in the early 1900s to protect from an increased threat from Germany. The area is full of guns and military fortifications that appear to have been placed in standby mode with the infrastructure still maintained, but public access allowed.

The island also is known for being the location of the first lighthouse in Finland, built in 1753, and for the meteorological station that began making weather observations in 1881. On a more somber note, many ships have wrecked and lives have been lost in and around Uto. The most famous is the Estonia, that sank 25 nautical miles to the southeast with a loss of 852 lives in one of the 20th century’s worst maritime disasters.

On our last stop in Finland, we had a picnic lunch ashore and spent the rest of the day exploring the military fortifications, touring the area by tender, and walking through the picturesque town to the lighthouse and meteorological station.

Below are trip highlights from June 23rd at Uto, Finland. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Busy Season
A group of boats tightly packed onto a dock on the island of Hundholmen. It’s definitely the busy season now.
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Anchored at Uto
Anchored in the harbour off Uto, with the distinctive red-and-white Uto Light prominent above town in the background.
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Ormskar
Tying off the tender next to the old military dock on the island of Ormskar opposite the harbour from the town of Uto.
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Picnic
A picnic lunch on Ormskar with a view across the harbour.
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Gun
Uto is right at the southwest tip of Finland and a natural place for a military base. The Russians first built one here on their western border with Sweden and enhanced it in the early 1900s to protect from an increased threat from Germany. The island of Ormskar is covered with guns and military fortifications that appear to have been placed in standby mode with the infrastructure still maintained, but public access allowed. This is one of several large guns still on the island.
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Underground
At least a half-dozen underground fortifications are spread out across the island of Ormskar. The outer tunnels were open, but the doors to access the interior were locked.
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Sauna
One of several saunas we found among the fortifications on Ormskar. The Finns love their sauna.
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Pilot Boat
Pilot boat returning to Uto from sea. Uto has been a pilot station for centuries.
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Seascape
Beautiful seascape looking southeast from Ormskar.
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Fortifications
Looking northeast across some of the Ormskar fortifications.
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Boathouses
Tranquil scene at the village of Uto.
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Tiger Lillies
Striking bright-orange tiger lillies growing in the village at Uto.
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Meteorological Station
Uto is known for its meteorological station, that began making weather observations in 1881.
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Uto Light
Finland’s first lighthouse was built on Uto in 1753. That light was destroyed by the Russians in the Russo-Swedish Wars of 1808-09 and the current 79ft (24m) square tower was built in 1814.
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Walkway
Walking down an old walkway below the meteorological station. The land on the point in the distance still is controlled by the Finnish Military with access prohibited.
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Uto
View across the village of Uto to the harbour. Dirona is visible anchored just right of center (click image for a larger view).
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Draken Memorial
Draken Memorial on the southern tip of Uto. The ship went aground in 1929 during a storm just south of Uto en route to England with a load of timber. Many shipwrecks have occurred in and around Uto over the years. The most famous is the Estonia, that sank 25 nautical miles to the southeast with a loss of 852 lives in one of the 20th century’s worst maritime disasters.
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Shipwreck
We couldn’t find any information about this substantial shipwreck off the tiny island of Sundklapparna northeast of Uto. The hull is unusually narrow, with no evidence of propulsion gear and a railing visible on the opposite side.

Update 07/23/2019: Blog reader Harri Kinnunen told us this is the wreck of a barge that was cut off from tow in a storm in the 1990s and sank here, stern up, in 15m of water.

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6000 Hours
Our Northern Lights 12kW generator just reached 6,000 hours. We’ve had to replace a few parts along the way, but it’s generally been super-reliable.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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2 comments on “Uto
  1. Harri Kinnunen says:

    The shipwreck is this: https://www.hylyt.net/item/sundklapparnin-proomu-2779/#content (sorry, in finnish) . She was a barge that transported wood from Estonia to Sweden. Was cut off from tow in a storm sometime in 1990’s and ended up where she now stands/lies.

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