Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sailing among Espoo archipelago

I have had my first sailing experience yesterday among the archipelago in Espoo. It was one my colleagues, Seppo's sailing boat we took. We started from Kivenlahti and sailed around the Baltic sea for a bit over 2 hours.

On Tuesday morning we got an email from Seppo asking us about going for a sailing afternoon in his boat on the very next day. It was a very short notice because you cannot be sure about the weather in Finland several days before. Well, it was early enough for me and I decided to go. Few of our other teammates were also interested, so we were finally 5 in total - Seppo, Jarmo, Aulis, Mika and me. The primary plan was to sail for a while, stop in one of the islands, have a barbecue and then come back to Kivenlahti.

I was very excited about the trip since I heard about it. The next day I went to work with jeans and T-shirt, took my baseball cap and sunglasses with me. We left office around 16:00 and went to the harbor in Kivenlahti where Seppo keeps his boat. It was a very sunny and warm afternoon. Within 10 minutes we started the boat.

At the beginning the boat was running by engine. After around 15 minutes we were far enough from the harbor to get enough wind to put the sail on. Jarmo was with the wheel. Seppo stopped the engine and put the sail on while me, Mika and Aulis were helping him. He can handle it by himself but we were interested to participate in the activities :)

When the sail is up the boat was running with a speed of 5.5 knot. Sometimes there was heavy wind and the boat was really leaning on one side, almost felt like it's going to flip over, but the captain (Seppo) assured me that it's normal. So no need to worry because it wont flip over very easily.

After around half an hour of sailing Jarmo told me that I can take the wheel and try to control the boat. I was excited; bit afraid at the same time because I have no prior experience. But they assured me it would be fine. So I took the wheel and it was very thrilling when a heavy wind hits the sails for the first time. It felt like something is pushing the boat in one side but you have to do jig-jag movement to keep the boat in steady position and pace. Of course Seppo and Jarmo was assisting me continuously.

There were many boats passing by and all of them waved at us. It's a custom while sailing. I learned the proper way of waving :P Also, some good piece of information like boats who are sailing always get the priority over boats running by engine. So if you wanna get priority turn off the engine and put up the sail. Of course you need proper wind support :)

When we were thinking to stop in some island, suddenly, the weather became gloomy and we noticed few drops of rain. One part of the sky was really dark, so the sea may get a bit risky. So we decided to come back without stopping anywhere. We turn back and headed to Kivenlahti. At the time of return we didn't get good wind support. As a result, we had to rely on the engine several times. To be honest, it's much more fun with sail than with the engine :) I was with the wheel until we came very close to the harbor again. Seppo took the wheel from me to moor the boat.

It started raining when we came back to shore. It was a right decision to come back at that time but of course it would be interesting to stop in one of the islands. However, it was a spectacular experience for me - I had great fun, enjoyed it to the fullest. Additionally, it increased my fascination for boat to next level :)

Here goes some pictures of the day:

Kivenlahti harbor

This is Seppo's boat. He is already on board. Jarmo and Mika is on their way

Me with Aulis on the front side of the boat

Leaving the harbor

The boat is running with engine. Jarmo is with the wheel.

View of archipelago

Far enough from harbor to get the wind. Time to turn off the engine and put the sail on :)

The first sail is up

Both the sails are up and catching nice wind

Me with the wheel :P

The crew, except from the captain. He was busy taking this picture :P

Came back to harbor again

Programming Solution

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Relaxing trip to Stockholm

Last week Sharmin and me had a trip to Stockholm. It was again a boat trip with Vikingline. The main reason for this trip was to apply for machine readable passport for both of us. There is no Bangladeshi embassy in Finland. From Finland, the nearest embassy of Bangladesh is in Stockholm, Sweden. Since applicant's biometric information is needed for MRP we had to go there in person. Another reason of visit was to go to my cousin's home. They have been living there for almost 30 years. My cousin was eager to meet Sharmin and that is why we decided to give a visit and stay in their place

Our appointment in the embassy was on Tuesday, 11 June, 2013. We started our boat trip from Helsinki on Sunday afternoon with Vikingline Mariella. The weather was extremely nice. This is the first time for me to stay on the deck for hours. We had dinner in the restaurant. Also had a nice sleep at night since the sea was calm.

We reached Stockholm the next morning. My cousin's husband came to the harbor to fetch us. We reached their home, had a nice lunch and gossiped with my nephew, Mugdho. Unfortunately Sharmin was having breathing problem due to the cat they have. I didn't know she has a cat allergy. Anyway, we had to visit the doctor in the afternoon. We also roam around Stockholm downtown after that.

The next morning we went to the embassy of Bangladesh and submitted our application forms. Mugdho was accompanying us. We went to a Thai restaurant for lunch. The food was really delicious there. After the lunch we went to see the Vasa Museum. I liked this museum, specially the ship was spectacular. It felt like I was standing in front of The Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean :P We spent half a day there.

On Wednesday afternoon we took the return boat. It was the same boat as previous. This time the weather was even nicer. We spent several hours on the deck and saw the sunset in the sea. Had dinner in the restaurant and enjoyed the music in the dance hall. The next morning we took buffet breakfast in the boat. It was a nice breakfast with so many different kinds of dishes. This trip was a done in a relax way - we didn't go to many places and we didn't run at all. At the end, it felt like a nice holiday trip :)

Here are few pictures:

 On the deck on the way to Stockholm

 Lunch time :)

 Ship Vasa

 Near Stockholm downtown

 Beside a lake in Fastra Strand

 Me, same place :)

 Sunset from deck, on the way to Helsinki

Programming Solution

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Finn-Bangla cricket tournament, 2013

Cricket is not a popular sport in Finland. However, it's extremely popular in our country, Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi immigrant here in Finland are very much eager to play cricket but it's only possible during summer which is unpleasantly short. Still few enthusiastic people wanted to have a tournament among different cities in Finland. As a result, the first ever Finn-Bangla tournament took place in Tampere in 2012.

In the first tournament 4 cities participated - Tampere, Espoo, Pietarsaari & Jyväskylä. Espoo became the champion beating Tampere in the final. This year also people were interested and Espoo organized the second Finn-Bangla cricket tournament which took place in Olari (inside Espoo) on 8 June, 2013.

This year the idea was not just having the cricket game rather having some other activities so that most of the people can participate and enjoy the event. It was a whole day event with over 150 people. The weather didn't betray us, it was a bright sunny day. We arranged several events, such as musical pillow passing, spoon-marble race, mina-bazar (small fair where they sell their homemade snacks) for the ladies. For guys we arranged basketball and 100 m race. There were also race for kids. At the end of the day there were raffle draw, prizes for all the events and dinner. Aside from above mentioned activities there were 4 cricket matches. This time Tampere won the trophy beating Pietarsaari in the final. Espoo lost to Pietarsaari in their first match and secured 3rd place by winning against Helsinki.

The day was packed with many events and activities. Finally everything went well. We could execute everything how we planned. At the end of the event people were giving positive feedback and expressing their gratitude to us for organizing such a colorful event. I was part of the organizing committee, so I felt good and all the hardships I went through before the program were paid off :)

Here are some pictures from that day:

 Tent, organizers' corner

 Team Tampere

 Team Pietarsaari

 Team Espoo

Bowler in action

Batsman in action

 Part of the organizers

 Twin :)

 Small fair by the ladies. There were many delicious foods.

 Beginning of marble race

 100 m sprint

 Fastest runner among us


 Tournament trophy

 Prize giving ceremony

 Tournament winner, Tampere :)

Programming Solution