There are a number of saunas travelling between Finland and Estonia each day inside passenger ferries, but no sauna has ever made the crossing on its own before.
Janne Käpylehto plans to change that this year by being the first person to sail a sauna across the Gulf of Finland from Helsinki to Tallinn. He expects to complete the 80 km route in about nine hours, which will provide plenty of time to enjoy the leil (löyly in Finnish) and cool off by jumping into the Baltic sea along the way.
The voyage won’t be easy, but Käpylehto — a former NASA engineer and serial inventor — understands the challenges ahead. He built the solar-powered sauna craft himself with help from his friends and he will make the journey with a lifeboat, spare engine, communications equipment, and an expert navigator.
The voyage will only take place once the wind speed is predicted to drop below 5 metres per second for three consecutive days so he has enough time to get to Tallinn and back on calm seas.
As well as being another sauna loving nation, Käpylehto chose Estonia as the destination because he’s a big fan of the country and has spent a lot of time here visiting friends. He usually goes by ferry, which takes between two and four hours to make the crossing.
To say that Käpylehto has an interesting background is an understatement.
After helping NASA, his specialism in material physics and reconstruction mathematics led him to become an author, inventor and serial entrepreneur. His most famous invention is the ‘ice carousal’ machine, which can silently spin frozen surfaces — sometimes with saunas on them.
You can learn more about ice carousals on his website here or just sit back and watch this mesmorising video:
We don’t yet know when the daring sauna voyage will take place, but one thing is definitely clear: We need more people like Käpylehto in this world!
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