Cultural delicacies

Famous captains, vessel owners and builders of sailing ships made the small village of Kabli famous all over the world over 150 years ago. Here in the coastal villages from Häädemeeste to Ikla were built and launched some of the first long distance sailing ships. In Kabli village in the summer of 2011, the 150th anniversary of launching of the first Estonian, timber built, long distance sailing ship, the Markus was celebrated. In honor of this great anniversary and in memory of famous sailing ship owners and builders under the leadership of the Kabli Village Society, a wooden sailing vessel, a yawl was built in the Tartu Barge Yard.

A yawl is the type of ship of Ruhnu. These small coastal riding sailing ships were designed for sailing farther away from Ruhnu. Yawls were also used for transport of goods and for transport of rocks and trees, also for moving cows and horses between the island and the mainland. Inhabitants of Ruhnu often sailed to Riga, Tallinn and Kuressaare on their yawls to sell their goods. Even farther trips, such as to Helsinki and Stockholm, were not unknown for these vessels. Building of yawls began in the 1860’s and their history ended in the 1920’s, when the manufacturing of larger ships began. Today, not one yawl has been preserved from those times.

The name "Kaja" is derived from the name of the home port and the type of vessel called KAbli JAala. In addition to Kaja being a beautiful Estonian woman's name, the word "kaja" (echo) means a reflected sound and a later reflection of an event. Thus the ship named Kaja is a reflection-memory of those days when in Kabli beach, ships stood on the slipways and embarked to distant seas to explore the world and earn their living. Though the completed sailing ship is seaworthy, it is located on the square of the museum park at Kabli community building as an exhibit, where those interested can explore the vessel. In the future, the village society wants to exhibit the sailing ship on the sea.

From June to September, by reservation, history lessons are organized by the side of the ship which details the history of the local sailing ships. In the mansion of Captain-ship owner Markson you can partake in a program where you will hear of the deeds of glorious captains, enjoy a little concert on a home organ and explore the quintessentially preserved mansion, which is introduced by a successor of the famous family. Many of the local coastal captains received their education in Heinaste, in the modern Latvian border town Ainaži. The former school building is located there today and is now the Museum of the Maritime School.

History lessons of the history of sailing ships (in Estonian, for groups by reservation):
Malle Alunurm
+372 56 653 630

Excursions (in Estonian and English; by reservation for groups):
Kaire Käära
+372 56 980 136

Ainazi Maritime School Museum
+371 6404 33 49

View Romantiline Rannatee in a larger map