Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Ski, sail, sauna, and swim

A fun day, starting with emergency skiing 🎿 the quickly disappearing snow on my local hill at 6am, continued with sailing ⛵️to Suomenlinna on Markus’ boat - thanks! From then on the company picnic day was just starting πŸ™‚ Lot more fun followed, e.g., a sauna πŸ§–‍♂️ and swim 🏊‍♂️ in the Suomenlinna boat harbor. 

Now I just need to go collect my car πŸš™ from the starting point πŸ’€ Did I mention interesting discussions πŸ’‘ and first time seeing new colleagues πŸ§‘‍πŸŽ“ ? And, why no meetings today? Because it is the Independence Day in Sweden πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ Congrats!

On the sailing we also went past the Finnish snake island (KÀÀrmesaari).

And in the sauna, we had an interesting discussion about the rocks for the stove. They obviously have to be changed regularly in order to clean up the debris from cracking stones. But are the uncracked stones ok, or do they lose their ability to function well also? The Saunologia blog article outlines nicely the cracking behavior of different types of rocks (see here). And this Yle article mentions that aging stone can become porous and lose its heat retaining capacity, but without describing the details. And Norwegian researchers have looked at the physics of sauna's heat absorption on wood here, but not dealt with the stones.

I have been unable to find any research results on other aspects of aging-related performance degredation in the sauna stove rocks.... does anyone know?

Information about guest boat harbor in Suomenlinna can be found here. And it is served by Cafe Bar Valimo few meters away, hosting both a restaurant and the sauna. Much recommended!

Video:


Ski:




Sail:




Sauna:


Swim in the harbor:


This article has also been published at TGR. For more skiing, sauna and swimming stories, check out planetskier.netplanetswimmer.com and saunablogger.cool websites! And of course the blogs for other stories in Blogspot and TGR! The photos and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. I never take photos of other saunagoers or swimmers and visit when there is simply no one else or the facility has been closed or booked only for me.











Tuesday, May 31, 2022

First time in a swimming hall since the pandemic started

 

I have not gone to public swimming pools before this. Now I did, as I was returning from the great skiing in Vihti, and needed to be fresh before going to the office. Good time to visit, though, 10am-ish, with the morning people already gone and pretty much no one else around.

And Kirkkonummi's swimming pool is nice and small but with all the right facilities (main pool, jumping platforms, kiddie pool, warm therapy pool, multiple Finnish saunas and a Turkish sauna ... good!

Link to the swimming hall's page is here.

For more sauna and swimming stories, check out planetswimmer.com and saunablogger.cool websites! And of course the Planetcaver, and Planetskier blogs for other stories in Blogspot and TGR! The photos and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. I never take photos of other saunagoers or swimmers and visit when there is simply no one else or the facility has been closed or booked only for me.

Monday, May 30, 2022

First cottage swim of 2022

 

Lame, but I did not swim in spring 2022 until May 28... but it was good, even if a bit cold still. Brr... but the sunsets and blueberry bushes were spectacular!

Sauna was also good.

All mice also gone from the cottage, defensive measures finally worked or the mice had better things to do during the spring? We will see, but a tentative win!


For more sauna and swimming stories, check out planetswimmer.com and saunablogger.cool websites! And of course the Planetcaver, and Planetskier blogs for other stories in Blogspot and TGR! The photos and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. I never take photos of other saunagoers or swimmers and visit when there is simply no one else or the facility has been closed or booked only for me.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Sutro Baths Tunnels

 

The Sutro Baths were luxurious swimming pools on the San Francisco seafront, in an almost all glass building, built in the 1890s. Complete with salt and freshwater pools, slides, and 30 swinging rings, and a springboard. It was served by two rail lines, one of these being the Sutro Railroad, another creation of Adolph Sutro, a famous engineer and industrialist and mayor of San Francisco! In the 1900s the facility fell into disrepair and it burned down in 1966. Today only ruins remain, including the pool basins, a settling pool, and tunnels. 

The tunnels are approximately at N 37.780777 W 122.514105. Note that there are multiple tunnels, the main walkable tunnel that is easy to spot, it goes through the cliff and opens up on the other side to rocky views of the sea. You can't continue, but can see the view. Inside the tunnel there are holes that lead to sea caves and cracks. I couldn't tell if these were there in the beginning, or if the rock has eroded since building the tunnels.

There's also a lower tunnel that is usually flooded. Apparently the lower tunnel was used to pump seawater during low tides to slowly replace the pool water; at high tide the water would naturally flow to the pools and replenish them within one hour. It doesn't seem to be easily accessible today, or at least one would have to be ready to use rubber bootss. 

While most of the ruins are at the seashore, if you walk to the observation area above the cliffs you will find more ruins, this is recommend for the views! From here you can also see (closed) stairs that lead down to an area above the lower tunnel. And from the observation area you can find further steps that lead to the Sutro Baths Trail and the Coastal Trail through the Golden Gate Recreation Area's beautiful park. Much recommended as well.

The entire area is dangerous, please be careful and do not fall from the cliffs or to the water. Don't go to closed areas.

More information about the Sutro Baths can be found here and here and here, in the Wikipedia article, or in the book "Sutro's Glass Palace - The Story of Sutro Baths" (Amazon link). More information about Adolph Sutro can be found in his Wikipedia article. Another creation of Sutro is by the way the Sutro Tunnel, a flood control tunnel in Nevada.

The Sutro Baths ruins, main area:

In their time, the baths looked like this (picture source is from Wikipedia, both pictures are postcards and in public domain, the first one is by W. C. Billington, the other one by unknown. What wonderful swimming places these have been!


The main tunnel (see also the opening photo above):



The lower tunnel:

Views from the observation area:

Coastal Trail views:

Other San Francisco views:

The author:

This article has also been published at TGR. Read more urban exploration stories from theurbanexplorer.net, and other underground stories from planetcaver.net. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko. The historic photos are in the public domain, and from Wikipedia. The last photo is by Paul Wouters. All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

DFW!


I'm on my way back from a work trip in the US, and making a rare stop (for me) at DFW. Interesting place, and the airport seems to work well, changing from flight to another is easy, etc.

More flying and travel stories at planetflier.com. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. All photos and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Moaning Caverns adventure tour

 

Moaning Caverns is a limestone-marble solutional cave in Vallecito, California. It is about 200 kilometers east of San Francisco, on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The main show cave attraction is the 165-feet high massive hole, but the cave extends further down in smaller passages under the big room, getting to a depth of 410 feet or 120 meters. An adventure tour explores some of these parts, which is why I was here. But there are other interesting aspects of the cave as well -- at the bottom of the main room there's a large pile of animal and human bones, presumably from whoever fell down to their fate here.

Bones covered by calcite deposits:

The main room has a staircase welded together from stairs of an old warship. Scary, but regularly inspected:

The cave is also interesting in that it has both limestone and marble parts. One of the tight squeezes on the adventure tour is actually between two beautiful slabs of white and blue marble, polished smooth by previous cavers. The slabs slope upwards and are spaced just barely far enough apart that a helmet fits in. Not much room:

 

Other squeezy parts of the adventure route include the Birth Canal, is a tight climb out of a hole right after managing to pull yourself out from between the marble slabs. There's also the "Meat Grinder", where you need to negotiate inconveniently placed rocks, like a puzzle where you have to fit your body just the right way to pass through. It turns out that this can involve painful grinding of the sensitive parts of cavers.

There's more, chimney climbs, rope-assisted descents and ascents, and smaller detours that require climbing skills.

What I found particularly interesting was a small room opening through a hole from the Lower Mud Flat. This room is decorated by helictites. These are small cave forms, like stalactites but which changed their direction of growth in different stages of their development, for reasons that are not fully understood even today. Direction changes might be due to capillary forces, wind, bacteria, or other reasons. 

Here's a picture of the helictites:

I ended up continuing my quest for 3D scans from caves. The entire cave is too big for my iPhone lidar sensors, which has only 4-5 meter range, when the big hall is 50 meters across. But I did scan two smaller rooms from the cave, the Lower Mud Flat and Helictite Rooms.

There's a nice rotate-on-your-screen version of these 3D models here and here. The corresponding 3D models can be downloaded in GLB format here and here, and in Blender format here and here.

Here's a snapshot of the Helictite Room model:


There's also a video of the models rotating around:


Nice cave forms:





But boy, do they have rules in the Moaning Caverns. Check this out:



And an advertisement for the expedition tour. $95, or with tax $115:


And here's me on site:


The Moaning Caverns website is here, and the wikipedia article here. If you decide to take on the adventure tour, ask for Tyler -- he's an expert guide and can take you to all places that you could possibly want to go to, and more :-)

This article has also been published at TGR. Read more urban exploration stories from theurbanexplorer.net, and other underground stories from planetcaver.net. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.