Vilsandi

The island of Vilsandi , Kihelkonna Parish , Saare County , Estonia is located in the Baltic Sea . It covers an area of ​​some 9 square kilometers and is the westernmost populated island in Estonia. The surrounding waters are shallow and rocky and many travels the Baltic have perished nearby. The island of Vilsandi can be reached by boat by Saaremaa . Much of the island is now part of Vilsandi National Park, which grew from a bird reserve founded in 1910. It is a highly sensitive ecosystem due to the area by many migratory birds breeding and nesting ground. Hunting is absolutely prohibited. This park is a popular tourist destination not only for local Estonians, but also people of Finland who are visiting Estonia in greater and greater numbers.

History

In 1703, a Dutchman Johann Doll ran aground and sank in the Baltic Sea. Doll managed to get ashore to a nearby island “Felsland” meaning rocky island. He has become known as Tolli talu (farm) and Felsland, known as Vilsandi.

“Landscape of Vilsandi”, by Estonian artist Konrad Mägi (1913-1914).

Due to its location alongside a maritime trade route, it was important to seafaring nations that Vilsandi have some shelter for shipwreck survivors. This was especially important to the Russian Tsar and the first shelter on the island was built in 1806. This was followed by the construction of a 37-meter high lighthouse in 1809. A lifesaving station was built beside the lighthouse in 1859 and a telegraph line was installed in 1883, mainly to run aground. [1]

The earliest known family settled on Vilsandi in 1826 and in 1896 this family took over the surname of Mänder. Over time, as the letter “was not familiar to the various non-Estonian seamen in the area, some family members changed Mänder to Mender because it was easier to spell. By 1860, 18 families lived on the island. In 1934 a census recorded that 32 families and 169 people lived on Vilsandi, followed by fishing (flounder, cod, salmon) and seafaring. The surrounding ocean is shallow with some depths to 22 meters (72 feet). In 1931 a seabird museum was built on Vilsandi and before World War II (1939 – 1945) There were about 200 permanent residents on the island and about 3,000 – 5,000 tourists that would visit during the summer months.

In 1870, the British ship Admiral ran aground near Vilsandi and many barrels of a new product, petroleum – the oil economy did not exist yet – washed ashore and was used for fuel at Vilsandi’s lighthouse and island homes, replacing firewood and flax oil.

Artur Toom (1884-1942) was commissioned by Vilsandi’s lighthouse in 1906 and was instrumental in having the small Vilska Islands just northwest of Vilsandi designated as a maritime bird reserve in 1910. The islands included a sensitive marine ecosystem used by a multitude of migratory birds breeding and nesting grounds. [2]

World War I

Vilsandi sea rescue team circa 1922.

During World War I, in October 1917, Germany launched Operation Albion , a massive fleet of over 300 ships and 25,000 soldiers, to occupy Saaremaa and other Baltic islands to try and force Russia, who governed Estonia at the time, to surrender. The invasion began at Vilsandi and was first noticed by Artur Toom, Vilsandi’s lighthouse keeper. [3] [4] In 1941, Toom Was arrêté by the Russians, accusé undertaking of counterrevolutionary activities and spying for capitalist countries, and leur envoi to a Stalinist work camp Where he perished in 1942.

One of Vilsandi’s residents was Jaen Tear, a well-known seaman and shipbuilder, and the largest ship-owner on the island. Jaen Tear’s grandson, Jaan Elmar Teär, was born in Kuressaareon 24 December 1930. In 1941, Jaan Teär’s father and uncle, who were being held by the Russians at the Bishop’s Castle in Ja Kuressaare, the capital of Saaremaa, were executed.

Vilsandi has produced 16 ship captains or Master Mariners, some of whom were related to Peeter All (1829-1898), a noted resident of the nearby island of Loonalaid . Such captains include Peter Mender, Johann Kalmar, Siim Roos and Johannes Mänder. Kalmar, Mender and Roos worked in the Russian Far East and China prior to World War II and in 1930 co-founded the Estonian shipping firm Merilaid & Co. [5] [6]

World War II

On 19 September 1944 about 40 of Vilsandi’s 155 inhabitants escaped by boat to Sweden, evading a blockade by the Kriegsmarine . Records show that 96 people escaped from Vilsandi in 1944, during the war, followed by one who escaped in 1956 and another in 1959, by which time only 46 inhabitants remained. Of the people who were able to flee the Russians, the majority settled in Sweden and others headed to Canada and the United States.

In 1945, after World War I had ended, the Soviet Union was all closed to the public for national security reasons.

Today

Vilsandi became part of an Estonian national park in the early 1990s and only a few people live there year-round. Many tourists visit in the summer months, some of which explore, by kayak, the approximately 100 small islands including the park. Tens of thousands of waterfowl in the national park as most of the baltic gray seals .

Climate

Vilsandi has one of the most maritime climates in Estonia and makes it more and more comfortable. Vilsandi is usually the part of Estonia which receives the most hours of sunlight during a year with its weather station statistically the most sunshine in Estonia.

[ hide ]Climate data for Vilsandi (1981-2010)
month Jan Feb Mar Apr may Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec year
Record high ° C (° F) 8.1
(46.6)
8.0
(46.4)
15.0
(59)
22.4
(72.3)
27.6
(81.7)
29.7
(85.5)
32.1
(89.8)
31.0
(87.8)
24.2
(75.6)
19.7
(67.5)
11.8
(53.2)
10.2
(50.4)
32.1
(89.8)
Average high ° C (° F) 1.0
(33.8)
-0.1
(31.8)
2.2
(36)
7.2
(45)
12.5
(54.5)
16.5
(61.7)
20.3
(68.5)
19.9
(67.8)
15.3
(59.5)
10.4
(50.7)
5.6
(42.1)
2.7
(36.9)
9.4
(48.9)
Daily mean ° C (° F) -0.7
(30.7)
-1.8
(28.8)
0.2
(32.4)
4.3
(39.7)
9.4
(48.9)
13.5
(56.3)
17.4
(63.3)
17.2
(63)
13.1
(55.6)
8.6
(47.5)
4.0
(39.2)
1.1
(34)
7.1
(44.8)
Average low ° C (° F) -2.6
(27.3)
-3.9
(25)
-1.8
(28.8)
2.0
(35.6)
6.8
(44.2)
11.2
(52.2)
15.0
(59)
14.9
(58.8)
11.0
(51.8)
6.7
(44.1)
2.2
(36)
-0.9
(30.4)
5.0
(41)
Record low ° C (° F) -28.5
(-19.3)
-26.0
(-14.8)
-19.4
(-2.9)
-7.5
(18.5)
-1.2
(29.8)
4.2
(39.6)
8.3
(46.9)
8.1
(46.6)
0.4
(32.7)
-4.2
(24.4)
-10.8
(12.6)
-17.0
(1.4)
-28.5
(-19.3)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 47
(1.85)
30
(1.18)
34
(1.34)
28
(1.1)
31
(1.22)
48
(1.89)
49
(1.93)
68
(2.68)
64
(2.52)
70
(2.76)
70
(2.76)
51
(2.01)
585
(23.03)
Average relative humidity (%) 85 86 84 81 80 82 81 80 81 82 84 85 83
Mean monthly sunshine hours 36.0 64.2 136.0 211.7 306.4 295.9 320.8 262.2 177.5 101.4 39.9 24.1 1982.4
Source: Estonian Weather Service [7] [8] [9] [10]

See also

  • List of islands of Estonia

References

  1. Jump up^ Armas, Luige, “Vilsandi tuletornist, päästejaamast, linnuriigist ja stelle loojast.”, Eesti LoodusISSN 0131-5862, 1980 No. 5, pp. 314-319.
  2. Jump up^ http://vilsandi.islander.ee/islander_eng.html
  3. Jump up^ http://onmilitarymatters.com/pages/90310.htm
  4. Jump up^ http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/11541/
  5. Jump up^ Mender, P., Thirty Years a Mariner in the Far East, The Memoirs of Peter Mender, A Standard Oil Ship’s Captain on China’s Yangtze River,ISBN 978-1-60910-498-6
  6. Jump up^ Võsari, Heljo Roos, A Captain’s Daughter,ISBN 978-0-80596-370-0
  7. Jump up^ “Climate normals-Temperature” . Estonian Weather Service . Retrieved 28 September 2016 .
  8. Jump up^ “Climate normals-Precipitation” . Estonian Weather Service . Retrieved 28 September 2016 .
  9. Jump up^ “Climate normals-Humidity” . Estonian Weather Service . Retrieved 28 September 2016 .
  10. Jump up^ “Climate normals-Sunshine” . Estonian Weather Service . Retrieved 28 September 2016 .

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