In the Gulf of Finland, a little more than 3NM from the island of Prangli lays one of the northernmost islands of Estonia – in the mercy of sea gusts holding its slick silhouette, the island of Keri. Distance to Keri from Leppneeme port is 18km, 33km from the port of Pirita. The island is so small that no real trees grow on it. More sporty spirits can measure its rocky shores by reaching the starting point within 20minutes from the start. 400 meters long and 80 meters wide, depending on the tide. On quiet days there are just a few meters from the shore to the door and by stories told, the waves of winter storms can reach all the way to the windows. Being more precise, the area of the island falls a little under 3 acres.
There is no spot on Keri where you could not see or hear the sea – the sea is everywhere and all around. A million-dollar view opens from every window on this island.
The island of Keri formed after the flow of ice melting from the last ice age, by the rubble brought here by the rivers and ice of the glacier. So by that I mean, the island is not that old. However, under the gravel, clay and shingle lay pre-ice age soil that contains organic materials and probably a whole lot of prehistorical forest and plantation is hidden somewhere deep underneath us. Keri is made out of a tight layer of clay, underneath it gas is being formed by decomposing organics.
The island, which is mostly covered by cobblestones and gravel, has played a major role for countless generations of sailors. This all thanks to a lighthouse established by Peter the Great in 1719, helping sailors navigate the Gulf of Finland for hundreds of years.
For now, Keri island belongs to the parish of Viimsi and is being managed and taken care of by MTÜ Keri Selts. Lighthouse is being maintained by the Maritime Administration.
There are several buildings on the island: Lighthouse with outhouse, cinema, boathouse, shed, sauna, shed for well, the main house for living, a new building for the generators and a weather station. In addition, there is a memorial for the crashed post plane Kaleva and a landing ground for helicopters.
During summers non-recurrent island watchers are maintaining and monitoring everything on the island. During winters the island is mainly empty, as it is very complicated to get onto the island due to hard weather conditions. During that period, random trips to the island are made to reload the batteries and run other necessary errands.
Differently from other historical locations, friendly Keri is not being hunted even on the darkest of nights. Silent but warm blinking of the lighthouse is gently guiding the way for the adventurers.