From Ice Swimmer, stunning shots! The island in the photos is Harakka (“magpie”) photographed in May, February and March. The photo taken last May is from a sightseeing​ boat, the rest are from Uunisaari island, to which there’s a bridge in wintertime. Click for full size!






© Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved.


  1. Ice Swimmer says

    Marcus @ 1

    As Caine said, both. Though, I’ve never swum at at the Uunisaari (“oven island”, actually two islands) ice swimming spot (hole in the ice maintained with a pump and stairs to get into water). The photos are taken from the southern island of Uunisaari and the swimming facilities are on the northern island.

    Caine @ 3

    The building, which was formerly barracks for the troops in the island is now the Nature Centre Harakka of the City of Helsinki. They hold exhibitions and educational activities there.

    As rq said elsewhere, thank you for sharing my and other people’s photo and art!

  2. Ice Swimmer says

    Caine @ 5

    Well, in a nice weather it must have been nice, but it’s probably quite a windy place, especially winds from the south can blow from the open sea, which can make life quite miserable and wet in late autumn or winter. But yeah, the views are nice.

    Harakka is one of the many former military islands in front of Helsinki. Its eastern neighbour, Särkkä was fortified as a part of Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, a bit further east of the two (the latter picture link is a view to the southwest of Suomenlinna).

    Uunisaari has always (AFAIK) been non-military, there has been a sea bathing facility and some industry (varnish and oil making and coffin manufacturing), but all of those enterprises have been defunct. The factory building houses a restaurant nowadays. The red brick building in “Sailing in Xmas” is the one in Uunisaari.

  3. rq says

    The lighting is beyond beautiful. In all of them. The winter scenes have an ethereal quality to them.

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    Thank you, all! The ones taken in February (2nd and 3rd) could have looked quite different if they had been taken another day and time. Mirror-like new ice comes and goes, either snowy or it breaks or melts.

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