Monday, July 22, 2019

Navigational Treasure Hunt on an Island with a Maritime Archaeologist

That's how I sold this family event to my kids and it was no surprise that they jumped at it. Even I was intruigued. I had to spend some time plotting out how I was going to get to the Pentala Archipelago Museum (Saaristomuseo Pentala) on the island of Pentala near Espoo, but it was worth the effort. The weather was warm so a day near the sea was just the ticket. 

We took a boat from Suononsalmi, but you can also go other various ways listed on the Museum's Info page. It's a beautiful trip, just long enough to entertain the kids. 

Beside the cost of the ferry ride, visiting the island is free unless you want guided tours to any of the buildings which run throughout the day. We did a truncated visit to the Fisherman's Shack and the Shore Building and climbed in the woods a bit as we were there for the organised event. The museum areas are lovely and have great information boards and signs. We found out that our Maritime Archaeologist Christopher Olsen had helped to make the exhibits more accessible to English speakers which is greatly appreciated as that is often a complaint I have of tourist exhibits even in the capital. 

The treasure hunt was a bit of a misnomer in the kids' eyes as they didn't get to find any actual items, but they did pick-up lots of titbits of knowledge as Christopher explained to them what a Maritime Archaelolgist does and took us on an adventure through time learning about different navigational methods used in the past. They got to try their hand at map making, building a quadrant and a compass which they enjoyed. 

My eldest said it was really fun, but it was hands-on SCIENCE! and that's what he loves. The event is aimed at older children, Little Miss 5 Year Old was a bit all over the place, but she did like that she knew they used the North Star for naviagation and got to tell Christopher repeatedly (sorry!)

I totally forgot to take pictures of the workshop as I was helping the kids draw, tape, take pictures of dragonflies, etc. You'll have to just go and try it out. There are two more chances to attend this family workshop on 11 August in the morning and the afternoon. Check out the link above. You need to pre-book the morning event, but with the afternoon one I still recommend going a bit earlier to a) explore the island and b) to give them your names as the group is limited to 8 kids (unlimited adult helpers). 

Enjoy these last weeks of summer freedom. 

Watch out for the wolves on Pentala!
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