August 22, 2010
The SW winds continue, and we are heading into it, so we have to motor sail nearly all the way to Oxelsund this morning.See Great Sailing Mystery number 1.
This is where Solero will be spending her winter , at Oxelosunds Batvarv. She will be inside a non heated shed. Hopefully the new one, that they are just starting to construct, but is supposed to be finished in 3 weeks. Hopefully she will not get too dirty with the local coal dust from the port in that time.
We do a terrible approach to the jetty, which puts us both in a bad mood, as its our last ‘arrival’ for the season. Still, nothing was hurt or broken, except our pride. We have 2 days at the Promarina putting her to bed, then 2 nights at accomodation at the Batvarv (which gives me a chance to get the sheets and towels done before we go) The facilities at the Promarin are excellent. 3 new pontoons. Brand new shower block and a laundry which is included in the nightly price. I make sure I get my money’s worth with 12 loads in 2 days. We can tie up alongside as it is quiet, which makes all the trips to the laundry easier.
I get a lull in the wind to go up the mast. We need to measure the height of our wind indicator and antenna to see if we can make it under the bridge for the Gota Canal next year. This gives me the opportunity for a quick photo too. And i can’t resist sharing the dog walk one too. Sorry, dear reader, I can’t find a translation for the talking dog. I can only imagine it means “That’s better” or “Cop that”.
Only shame is a swing in the wind which makes our position subject to the SE swell. The outer pontoon is floating rather than a wall, so it doesn’t stop the swell at all. At 8pm we would like to move to the inside of the old fixed wall, but the depth is insufficient for us. So we have a noisy jerky night on our final night aboard. It is a downside to this marina if the wind is SE, and you find yourself on any of the outer 3 pontoons.
Lots of cleaning and washing and polishing to do. We take up the floorboards to vacuum between the cracks and find another bloody filter for the freezer, which is gummed up with algae and mineral crystals. Shame the book didn’t mention this one. Time to defrost the fridge and freezer, clean the oven and cooktop, pack our clothes into boxes, put the manchester in bags…..and on it goes. What fun ! We have an extra pair of hands with Christie aboard.
In the end we find we have left enough time for all the jobs, as we were only guessing how long it would all take.
We meet Mike and Jacqui from Condor, who are also wintering at the Batvarv. More poms ! I think the Cruising Association members have recommended the Batvarv, so there are a few British boats going in. We vie for the washing machine.
We do manage a faultless and redeeming approach at the fuel jetty. Then Mike and Jacqui accept a lift round the corner to the Batvarv, where Dave does another great approach.
Christie leaves us on Wednesday to fly out, and we have a dinner with Mike and Jacquie. We share the Germans’ champagne gift and some stories. They must think us terribly boring after Dave and I start yawning at 9 pm. Mind you, we both have been awake since 04:00 thinking of all the last jobs to be done, and I was on the boat at 06:00 accomplishing some of them. So we are both completely knackered. We all enjoy the fish at The Sailor Restaurant and have a lovely meal.
You would think after 3 months on board, I would have had plenty of time to measure up the companionway for a fly screen. Well no! Apparently I haven’t. So with only an hour to go, i have the tape measure out !!
Dave and I sleep like logs. Luckily we have set an alarm. A last delivery to the yacht of a few things, a kiss goodbye, and we leave our baby for our 08:15 taxi and our flights home.
We hope she is ok without us.
August 21, 2010
With some sadness at the end of our trip, we head for our last night at an anchorage. We head back to Ringson, as its pretty windy today , and it provides a good all weather spot to go. In fact, in our 3 visits, we haven’t been there in good weather yet !
We choose the ‘outside’ route instead of the narrow marked channel, and hope to get the gennaker up for our downwind trip. The Wind Gods are listening and as we prepare to get the gennie out, the wind increased from 10 knots to 20, and we have to shelve that plan. So it unfortunately we won’t be seeing it again this year. Travelling beam on to the swell, we have a rolly journey. A thunderstorm brews. We are able to miss the worst of it, but even on our edge the rain pours down, so Dave and I get saturated. At least the wet weather gear has had a good fresh water rinse now !!
Of course, once we have anchored the rain stops. Perfect timing. And we have a lovely sunset for our last night.
Dave whips up some terriyaki chicken and fried rice. Love the apron !!
August 20, 2010
The next morning we have to deal with the matter of our German Attachment.
By the time we surface, the german chap is already in the water with his mask and knife ( and in bathers thank goodness), trying to cut the rope off his propellor. He is not making much progress, coming up breathless and shivering each time.
Dave offers him a sharper knife, then gets ready for the definitive rescue procedure. He dons wetsuit, and using our air compressor and regulator, is able to stay down there long enough to get the job done.
They are very appreciative. Warm Dave up with a glass of rum and cup of tea, then give us a bottle of champers by way of thank you.
All sorted we have a walk ashore across the little islands which are linked by suspension bridges. Suddenly I spy civilisation – a car park. And now I realise the last time we saw a proper road with cars and every thing, was back in Stockholm. The islands we have been to have gravel tracks and quad bikes or tractors.
We head west to meet up with Helen and Richard from Hornpipe – a British boat ( we first saw in Mariehamn, and have been passing without chance of a meeting ever since). We want to get the gennaker up one last time, so we head past our anchorage up wind, in order to sail back down with the gennaker. But the wind increases and its too strong now. Bugger. We anchor at Langskar.
We have drinks and lovely flambe (more like flaming Richard !!) prawns on Hornpipe. I have promised Pasta A La Whatevers Left Over as it is our last week on board. This turns out to be Swedish meatballs with pasta (though the locals love their potatoes, and would normally have their meatballs that way). Helen and Richard are into their 4th Baltic season and we have a great night swapping stories and lies ! Their boat has done 15,000 miles since they got her, so we have a lot of catching up to do – having passed 1400 miles on the way here today.
August 19, 2010
I’ve added a bit to the end of yesterday’s post, so go back and read it NOW, or this bit won’t make sense.
Have you read it ??
First of all, we had a terrible night. The wind changed, we are no longer protected from the swell. Its bumpy and noisy and rains all night. Whose idea was it to come to Landsort ??? CC What a shame after such a good day yesterday.
The chap near us (but perpendicular) to us yells at 6am that his stern anchor is not holding and he will be coming alongside. So fenders out on that side, move our lines to give him room, and help him with his lines in the rain (he doesn’t get his wife out of bed to help. Mind you Christie sits this one out aswell). Luckily with shore power we can turn on our heater and dry out afterwards.
We have to wait all morning for the rain to stop, so we can be on our way.
Just as we are preparing for departure, we see a helicopter overhead. Then it lands in the marina yard. Then the paramedics evacuate my patient !!! What? A helicopter for a couple of scratches on her leg. You must be kidding. The taxpayers should complain. Bloody hell ! What did I miss ?? She does walk to the chopper I hasten to add, so not needing resuscitation.
I was able to email the marina master later and found out she had a swollen arm and sore ribs the next morning, and is on warfarin. So the took her off for xrays, which were all ok, no fractures.
We sailed off to Aspskarsfladen, with intermittent rain. Its a great bay. quite sheltered from all but the south. Plenty of room to anchor, but not so many mooring rocks, so fairly quiet. We are the only boat initially.
Others come in through the afternoon. We have a nice dinner bottle of red, and I declare at 9 pm (after our crap night last night) “lets go to bed”.
Dave, standing up, sees some navigation lights coming towards us through the dark and rainly night. And closer, and closer. He heads up stairs to say don’t anchor too close. A voice in the dark [imagine German accent] says “Ve have a problem!”
Understatememt. All hands on deck !
They have fouled their prop and anchor on someones anchor buoy, and are drifting without control down onto us. It was lucky for them we are where we are, other wise only the rocky shore would have stopped them. We catch their boat and secure them to our side.Full of adrenaline now we don’t go to bed till 11pm – so much for an early night.
August 18, 2010
As you can see, the next day is chalk and cheese with yesterday.
Beautiful sunny day with a light breeze. Its shorts weather today!!!
Time to head to Ola Island and Landsort.
We have a great (if slow) sail over there, and tie up alongside as requested in the email from the harbour mistress. Its fairly full when we arrive mid morning. Someone leaves their alongside berth and we slip in on the corner of the quay. We have power (the batteries will love a good charge), washing machine (one of those European super efficient jobs that takes 2.5 hours to do a load), and hot showers, all for about $30 a night.
After an hour or so later, when 5 more boats have left, the harbour mistress comes over and and says ‘you are very big and taking up too much room. Can you move and take a buoy’. Why didn’t she say that when we first arrived ? Alright, we will move.
Luckily there is a buoy behind us, and Dave rows a line out so can we pull ourselves back. Now only the bow is taking up space on the quay.
We hire some bikes and go to explore the island. It is famous for Landsort Lighthouse. The oldest Swedish lighthouse, built in 1678. But NOT the oldest lighthouse in Sweden – because they have an older lighthouse that was part of Denmark at the time it was built. Its hard to keep up with all the wars and changing of country boundaries when you read the history over here. Ola is very pretty as we ride through the trees and into the town with old timbered houses. It has a small harbour for the pilot boats, complete with pub looking over the water. Perfect spot for lunch.
After lunch its back to do some more washing. Then I tempt Dave and Christie out for a walk to a ‘giants kettle’. I have seen them mentioned in the guide book before, but we have never been close enough to go and see one. They are circular holes in the rock formed in the last ice age. And this one is the largest in Sweden.
Well, it was a little underwhelming. Its 3m wide and 4m deep. Though it is filled with murky dark water so I am believing the guide book for the depth. And its a great place to breed mosquitos. So there are many many of them. Run away !!!
My doctoral services were called upon for the first time.
We saw a yacht come in further up the marina, and the Swedish lady jumped off for the dock and fell in the water. She managed to climb up the (fortunately adjacent) ladder. No doubt embarresed aswell as cold and wet. We were in the middle of dinner, and another couple from the next door boat gave her assistance. Her husband sprinted back with a first aid kit and they bandaged her leg. So all seemed under control. Half an hour later she was still sitting on the dock in the same place, so after much prodding from Dave, I went to have a look. She has some very minor skin tears, nothing deep. So I got my kit together, and gave the wounds a good antiseptic wash, bandage, and suggested a tetanus shot soon. They were very appreciative, and she seemed otherwise fine.
That’s my good deed for the trip.
August 17, 2010
Still windy. Still raining.
Shall we move ? Where to ?
It doesn’t look too bad…..
We (well, I ) vote for heading back to Landsort to stay at their guest harbour. We will have power and showers, but no water.
Unfortunately it means working back into the NE wind. But its only 20 knots. And its stopped raining now. Forecast if for no more rain, and wind to ease off.
We set off, with a reef in the mainsail and furled in genoa, and its not too bad. After we get out from behind the islands and into the more open bay we see more wind. At least its not raining….
Then it starts raining – now being blown into our faces at 25+ knots. Solero is coping well with the swell and sailing well. Not so much fun now its raining. We decide Landsort will be too far in these conditions and decide to bail to a bay on north Asko for the night. Good back up plan Dee.
Now the lightning and thunder start. Its really not much fun now. We drop our sails and head for a bay on the south side, turn off the electrics and hope the lightning doesn’t strike us. At least here we have some high hills around us.
After a game of scrabble, the wind is easing off, thunderstorm has passed, and we sail around to the north side which will be better shelter for the night now the wind is changing direction. Miraculously there is a break in the clouds and its quite pleasant now. The bay is very calm and sheltered, with only one other boat. Time for some dry clothes and hot dinner.
What a day – ‘May we never speak of it again’ says Dave.
I have to explain the boots.
I needed a pair of sea boots, and having not found any in my size in Australia, decide to look in Denmark. I could have bought some $200+ Dubarry flash ones…. Keep looking says Dave. And looking. And looking. Nothing in my size.
Eventually we were in a Chandelry looking about, as one does, in EVERY chandelry we pass, when I spied this very fetching, bright yellow, last pair, on special, childrens boots for $20. They are complete with colour coded port (red) and starboard (green) heels. Fearing I would never find a more suitable pair (ie not bright yellow) I buy them. And of course 3 days later I find a shop with navy blue boots in my size, same price. Too late!!! I must admit mine are very warm and dry.
August 15, 2010
The weather is going downhill, now the ‘summer’ is over.
Very changeable. We had a beautiful day yesterday, and this morning our departure is delayed by a thunderstorm.
We head downwind and would like to overnight on Oja Island, where Landsort lighthouse is. But its blowing 20-25knots and the harbour is not well protected for this wind direction. So we continue on toward Ringson. A natural harbour with all round protection 12 miles away, that we have been to before. Last time we were south of Ringson arriving and departing, this time we come from the north. As we head through a narrow channel Dave and Christie spot A RESTAURANT off the starboard bow!!! The Savo Krog. The First Sea Lord (Dee) is quickly summoned to the bridge and she immediately orders the ship to alter course to intercept. After the disappointment of Uto, this restaurant isn’t going to get away. It is open (its the last day of the season), it has a landing jetty out the front that we can tie up to, and its in a picture postcard pretty place. The crew are ordered to change for battle, and with knives (and forks) at the ready we board her. The First Sea Lord is very impressed and quicky downs Dave’s beer. The food was great, and it didn’t take very long to decide . They had one entree, 4 mains and 2 desserts. If you like potatoes, you’ll like it here (any Swedish restaurant for that matter). What a find.
Its only half a mile post prandial sail to our anchorage. Made all the more pleasant by the bottle of red consumed with dinner. We anchor in Ringson, just a stone’s throw away from our position 6th July, when we arrived cold and wet. So much better way to do it this time.
Monday has its revenge. Its really windy and rains on and off all day.We are going to stay put.
Rosie and Richard (the kiwis) arrive in the afternoon and we have drinks on board Bronzewing, then adjourn to Solero for a meal. Great company and conversation.
August 13, 2010
We have a plan, and its a fine plan.
Its now a week since we were at a marina. We would like to have a night at Uto so we can give the batteries a good charge, fill up with water, and do some washing. A dinner at the restaurant there would do very nicely too. Not to mention a shower !
We arrive through the narrow channel to find someone has tried to reverse out of his berth near the ferry terminal, see’s a BIG ferry coming into said ferry terminal, panic’s and promptly managed to get his stern anchor line caught around his propeller. Ferry can’t berth properly and therefore takes up half of the (north) harbour while boat with anchor round propeller blocks the other half. It’s a ZOO declares Dave. We wait a while as the ferry is close to where we need to drop our stern anchor. (No buoys here, you drop your stern anchor 3 boats lengths out then motor nose in) Then we wait some more. Then some more. Another two boats then decide that they would like to leave, make more room. The ferry finally moves in a bit closer to its position, and we have some room to manoeuvre now. Drop the stern anchor, head for the (NW) jetty. Dave is telling me to ease the stern line, as he can’t go forward to get to the jetty. But I don’t have any pressure on it. Then he realises we are aground ! The chart has 2.5 to 3 m, the bay doesn’t. Whose idea is this bloody harbour anyway!!!! Bloody restaurants (Dave again)
Quick ! Get that anchor up ! With the ferry still sticking out into the harbour we don’t have much room. I get covered in mud getting the bloody thing up as quickly as I can.
We have another look on the NE side of the harbour. The depth is no better and we bail. Just as we decide to do that another ferry comes charging down the narrow channel and Dave manoeuvres to one side still cursing and hoping that we don’t go aground again. Polite wave from the Ferry captain for our giving way. (not that there was any doubt he’s BIGGER that us). Fortunately we can anchor on the southern harbour (there is plenty of room, we are one of 4 boats there) and dinghy in. So we can do some shopping and have a look around, but no electricity/water/showers or laundry- bugger !
Its a lovely summer village. Quite quaint.
The harbour is channelling the wind so we go elsewhere for the night. Now no restaurant dinner either. Double Bugger.
Ranohamn for the night. Its a bit deep at 10m, but plenty of room to swing. The narrow entry channel stops any swell.
The next day is very light for breeze, and forecast to be nice and warm. We are going to have a day off and stay here – unusual for us. Normally we only have a day off when it is raining and horrible. To have a day off on a nice day !!!!
We take the dinghy to the next bay for a swim at a Swimming Rock. Good idea because the water is clearer, and there are no insects on the rock. But the water is colder, so we are in only briefly. A swim goes something like this :
Dive in (‘splash’), then “Oooohhhh. It’s COLD”
Followed by (as you swim back to get out) " cold spot, cold spot, cold spot, warm spot, cold spot, cold spot".
Dave is looking forward to the Med, where the water will be a lot warmer.
Back on our boat there is time for some cleaning, then another swim off the boat.(Cold spot, warm spot, cold spot, cold spot – not as cold here as the bay has the narrow entry, but the boat keel seems to eddy the water as we swing in the wind, churning up the deeper/colder water).
Bronzewing appears through the entrance gap (our kiwi friends on a trimaran). And we have a lovely evening with Rosie and Richard over for drinks and nibbles.
August 12, 2010
We know the drill now.
Sandhamn is much quieter than when we visited a couple of weeks ago. But we don’t want to stay the night, so we go straight to the harbour buoy and tie up, dinghy in for a walk and some shopping.
Yesterday as we came home from lunch and again today as we arrived we saw a bunch of people sitting and standing on a particular rock near the entry to Sandham – a Sightseeing Rock, we must go.
So there is a picture of The Sightseeing Rock, one taken from The Sightseeing Rock, and one of Dave and I on The Sightseeing Rock. As you can see we had a very exciting time in Sandhamn.
Pushing on we aim for Bullero, but on the way we see a protected bay on an outer island, so we drop the sails and stay at a great anchorage called Biskopan. The water is pretty clear here so we enjoy a swim. Cold though.
Our explorations ashore find a fire, already built and ready to light. So after dinner we head back for a sunset fire (minus marshmallows- what were we thinking in Sandhamn while we shopped? Obviously not about an evening fire).
What a beautiful sunset.
Mosquitos aplenty though. The smoke held them at bay for a while.
August 11, 2010
Christie would like to tie to a rock in the outer skerries, so we are off for a day trip to the rocks…..
We head out to the Bjorkskars Archipelago and find a lovely spot for lunch, but not good enought to entice us to tie to a rock for lunch. We do have room to anchor. The anchor drags on the rocky bottom as we are setting it, we decide someone has to stay aboard just in case, so Dave stays on board after lunch while Christie and I go ashore for a walk.
We head back to Ekno after our lunch and walk, and get back in time to get our spot back. We are joined later by another boat, but we already have the gun spot !!!
So that is another day on the blog map that looks like we haven’t gone anywhere…..really we did ! 2 hours out and 2 hours back !