Pirttisaari is off the southern coast of Finland, easily accessed via the (free) ferry that departs from Kalkstrand. This is the Gulf of Finland, unlike the “sea” as I usually know it! Not a ripple on the water before we boarded. However the wind soon came up and we wrapped up tight against the cool breezes.
We shared the ferry with some tradies who got off at the first stop at Bodö island, their spirit levels clues to the work they had ahead. At the first stop, the narrows of Pirttisaari, one passenger handed over a few shopping bags to a couple who were waiting at the wharf. They had a small three-wheeled electric cart to get the bags home. There are no cars on these islands. The other two passengers on the ferry were obviously headed on a camping trip, with backpacks, bags of food and supplies, and a trolley to cart their gear once on the island.
It was interesting to observe the small details of island life. When we docked at the wharf, the deckhand passed over a bundle of newspapers to a woman who had come down to meet the ferry. Later, when we returned to catch our ferry, a man rowed ashore to collect his newspaper.
Harry’s mother spent many summers in her youth on this island, visiting her grandparents and staying with her aunt. Harry himself visited as a child. Off we wandered, following the track into the island and his childhood memories brought him to the two summerhouses once owned by his family members.
This island was soft: soft sounds, soft underfoot on the track and soft with its moss-lined forest floors. We came out of the woods and wandered along the hard, granite shoreline.
The rock slabs were beautiful, greys, blacks and occasional sparkles of pinks. I kept imagining the rock cut and polished, perhaps for a kitchen bench top, and then the memory came to me. I once had two beautiful polished pink and grey granite steps put in a home I was renovating.
We wandered the tracks, along the shore, through the forest, and brought ourselves back to the wharf to await the return ferry inside the little shelter hut.
The sun had gone and the skies were clouded over. We snuggled tight on the deck as we returned to the mainland.