The Voyage of 'S/V Röde Orm' - Sweden

Come on board and take part in our adventures while exploring the world at the slow pace of a sailing boat. We left in June 2009, heading south to escape the northern winter... to start with. Currently in Algarve/Portugal taking it one day at a time.

13 September 2010
11 September 2010 | Nantes, Bretagne-France
07 September 2010 | Bretagne (or Normandie?)
02 September 2010 | still the same...
31 August 2010 | Rezè- Bretagne (boat in Rio Guadiana)
09 August 2010 | Rezé//Bretagne//France
18 July 2010 | Clisson/La Sèvre
15 July 2010 | Nantes/ Brittany
14 July 2010 | Nantes/Bretagne/France
25 June 2010 | Gamleby- Sweden
05 June 2010 | Mértola// Minas San Domingo
27 May 2010 | Alcoutim
24 May 2010 | of the River
21 May 2010 | Alcoutim/Sanlucar
21 May 2010 | Alcoutim/Sanlucar
16 May 2010 | Alcoutim
10 May 2010 | Alcoutim/Sanlucar
30 April 2010 | Alcoutim-PT// Sanlucar- ES
24 April 2010 | Ayamonte - Andalucia - Spain

04 July 2007
15 June

A light breeze from SE to E had me comfortably and effortlessly cruising northbound. Chose to go

out on the open sea due to the light air. Passed Landsort firehouse in the early afternoon. This marks

the southern entrance to the Stockholm Archipelago. My plan was to anchor around 9-10 pm at

Ornoe but today on a Friday night there was boats at every nice spot, and I still felt like being in my

marine hermitage. Its very deep water even close to land here, thus making it difficult to find a

good anchorage. I tried at one place, but after two attempts my temper ran out and I decided to keep


The breeze was favourable until 10 or so at night and I went on motoring three more hours after

that. Managed to manoeuver the boat into a quite crowded, but well protected anchorage just north

of Kymmendoe, an island most known because the author August Strindberg once spent some time

there, in a tiny cottage he is said to have built for himself.

16 June

When I awoke,most other boats were gone. Tomorrow I will pick up Sanna, my woman companion

who will cruise with me for two weeks, so I spent half an hour shaving and cleaning myself and the

boat to make the reunion a happy one.

Guess what; the wind had piped up to 20-25 knots again and -yes- it was NE, which happened to be

the preferred course for the day. I had just some 15 miles left to Runmaroe, where I should meet up

with a sister boat, and Sanna, my girlfriend. An old friend of mine by the name Hakan also was to

join forces with us for a party onboard tomorrow night.

Thus, those 15 miles took me some four hours of short tacking. Honestly, tacking is not Rode Orm

s favourite sport, nor mine by the way, but we did arrive at hour destination.

Here my my time on my own was to end, and so it did in a special way. 25 boats, who had

participated in a 12 hour single-handed friendly race during the day, came to anchor in the same

little bay. Out went the fenders, and everyone enjoyed the night in good mood.

17-19 June

Reunion and Party!

Gone were the summer weather. Heavy rain and hard NE wind gusting to 35 knots. I had to motor

across a strait, just a couple of miles, to pick up Sanna and Hakan in the afternoon. The boat heeled

15 degres with bare ples, and the visibiliy was approx. 200 meters in the rain. Everything went

well though, bunkered fuel and water at the dock and since Hakan came by car,he kindly drove us

to a food store to provision.

Then came Zappolina, a Laurin 28, a little sister ship with Nina and Hans aboard to party with us

and we had a wonderful night with food and wine and, just kept talking into the night hours.

In the morning the rain had gone, and we all took a morning swim before breakfast. Freezing cold;

approx. 14-15 degrees C in the water. Its deep here. Anyhow, that really washes any sleepiness


Unfortunately the disappearing rain took the wind away too, and we had to motor a few hours in the

afternoon to make it further north to Inra Hamnskaer in the Soederarm skaergard. A nice spot for

taking the little jump of 35 miles to Aaland tomorrow.

20 June

Clear blue sky again, although a bit chilly. Course 061 degrees to Aaland and 6-20 knots on the

beam. Great sail. We went in at Roedhamn, one of the outposts on southern Aaland. Tomorrow we

ll continue the 10 miles to Mariehamn, the capital of Aaland.

Aaland is a part of Finland, but they speak only swedish. It has 27000 inhabitants, and 10000 of

them live in Mariehamn. Aaland consists of more than 6000 islands and islets and is about 40 miles

across. Thus, many of these islands are inhabitated, and needless to say, navigation can be really

tricky here in anything but good weather. Very beutiful though and also very friendly.

21 June

Very light air made us barely reach for Mariehamn, where we moored in the eastern harbour. The

town is built upon a peninsula half a mile wide, and has a harbour on the western side too. There,

the huge ferries that goes from Stockholm via Mariehamn to Turku and Helsinki in Finland stops,

but the yacht harbour is very picturesque anyway. Especially so the clubhouse (w restaurant) of

Aalands sailing society. The eastern harbour is large, very modern, and has everything a boater

could ask for. It is run by Mariehamn sailing club by the way.

In the evening we had a walk to an area just a few hundred meters from the harbour, where lots of

wooden boats are moored, including a couple of schooners and one galeas. A boat building yard,

lots of art and handicraft and the lovely smell of tar and varnish over it all. Great time!

22 June - Midsummer eve

We had a walk across town to the western harbour, to visit the museum ship Pommern..

A four-masted steel barque, built in Scotland in 1903, she sailed the wheat trade between England

and Australia under the Aaland shipowner Gustaf Eriksson until WW 2 made an end to it. Eriksson

owned the largest flottilla of sailing ships in the world at that time. After his death, his children

donated Pommern to Mariehamn, where she is lying at her dock, well maintained with a very

interesting exhibition onboard that really shows how life were those days for the crew. She did not

carry any auxiliary motor, but a steam engine for her winches. Those were mainly used for lading

and unloading the ship. She carried 4000 tonnes of wheat and had a crew of 24 brave men.

If anyone wonder, I think we are way better off onbard Rode Orm. Life was really hard for sailors

those days.

Midsummer is the major party day in the whole year in the nordic cuntries. It goes all the way back

to our pagan days, and it seems like the christian church never could make it fade out.

Everybody is eating herring and fresh potatoes. Strawberries after that and beer and booze keep

streaming all night. Thus it was not a quiet night at the dock, and the morning after was as a result a

bit more quiet than usual.

23 June

Falling barometer and 23 knots of easterly wind had us change our plans a bit. Since the easterly

shall stay with us for a couple of days according to the meteorologists, we will go clockwise around

the main island instead. The plan is to spend most part of the coming week here, and then head NW

for the city of Gavle in Sweden, where Sanna is to leave for work again, and I will visit my parents

for a couple of days, before continuing north.

24 June

After a rainy night, the sun came back perfectly syncronized with us awakening. Due to new ideas

from the weather forecasting people, we changed plans. A light breeze from SW had us make a few

tacks to the south before we could turn east and slacken the sheets accordingly. We passed by the

islands of Sottunga and Degeroe, before we anchored for the night in a sheltered spot between a few

small islets. We had a short walk at the island with the inspiring name Skattskaer (Treasure Islet).

Unfortunately the only treasure we found was the immense beauty of the landscape. No signs of

civilisation here, except for the huge ferry boats between Stockholm and Turku, Finland, that

passed just north of the next island, causing a bit of swell.

25 June

This morning offered gray skies and rather chilly air. No swim. Darned cold in the water out her,

around 14 degrees C. We got under sail and the sun did not dissapoint us today either. Light air

inspired the skipper to show his more ambitious side and start some manoeuvers to hoist the

spinnaker. At this point, however, my old companion, CapnClumsycame onboard and took

command. Thus, just about anything that possibly could go wrong, went wrong. After half an hour

or so i managed to heave the m-xxxxx-r over board, (CapnClumsy that is) and soon after, I went

tired of battling that huge nylon bag. SE was the direction for the day, and thanks to the mild temper

of my female companion, Rode Orm steadily moved in that direction.

At 7 pm we tied up to the jetty at Hamnoe, Koekar. Koekar is the farthest to SE of the archipelago.

Hamnoe has never been habitaded according to files. But since it has a natural harbour it has been

in use at least since the 13-th century, and was a part of King Valdemars sailing route to Tallinn,

Estonia alng the the swedish east coast, via Aland and Turku skaergard to Tallinn.

Here at Hamnoe, during medieval times, a monastery of the S:t Francisco monks was very lively.

They even had the right to taxate the fishermen who periodically lived and worked with Hamnoe as

their base. After Sweden was reformed to protestantism, in the 16-th century, the monastery started

to decline. The ruin is well taken care of and today constitutes a very nice museum and is, together

with the beautiful chapel built in 1784 well worth a visit.

Since most of these islands are uninhabited, these signs of history and culture provides an extra

dimension to our cruise.

26 June

A large low pressure system is coming this way from the British Isles via the North Sea. Gale

winds, even storm strength in the southern Baltic Sea and heavy rain is forecasted. Around here we

are expected to be at a safe distance north of its centre however. Winds up to 23 knots and some

rain during the night.

The morning was very warm and only light airs. We spent it having a longed for shower and

chatting with a few other sailors here. We spent a while sorting out that huge multi-colored nyln

bag too of course. After lunch we set sail and headed north. First, back the same way we came

yesterday and then to NE, to Seglinge, where we anchored in a bay that seemed to provide very

good protection for NE winds during the night. The bay proved to be very shallow, however.

This came to our knowledge since I had spent some time contemplating the strange fact that the flag

pointed 60 degrees to SB, and the boat never adjusted. Unnoticed she had parked on the clay sea

bed. Suddenly we were in a hurry to winch the anchor in and move a bit further out in the bay. This

went well, and we still had perfect shelter from the seas, even if the rowing with the dinghy to shore

turned out to be quite long. The night was relatively calm, winds like 12-20 knots at most, and Rode

Orm rode calmly at her anchor as always. There is nothing that beats a full keel and a heavy

displacement boat when it comes to comfortable motion in my humble opinion.

27 June

At 9 in the morning, when I had to undertake the task of rowing the crew dog to shore, the rain

showed some really bad taste, and choosed to hit with its full potential.

I cannot claim us to be in any way encouraged by its presence. Thus, we spent the rest of the day in

the bunk having a good day of reading and writing.

S winds and occassional showers predicted for tomorrow. Well be back then in top shape!

28 June

After 26 hours uninterrupted heavy rain accompanied by winds in the 20-30 knot range, the sun

suddenly came to our rescue this morning. A very light breeze admitted our slow progress to the

NW 'cape' on Aland. We stayed in a sheltered bay doing the afternoon to swim and explore on shore

as the breze died out completely.

Then at 7 pm the breeze came back and during a couple of hours, it allowed us to make it those last

miles to the NW.

29 June

Saw us resting in our anchorage, since the wind pointed towards us.

30 June

After a few glasses too much of red wine yesterday, I woke up before 6 am. A beautiful, sunny

morning with a SW breeze made me row the crew dog onshore and while she did what she had to

on 'terra firma', I worked out in the morning sun on the mountain slope.

At 7 I winched the anchor on board and set sail. An hour later, Sanna woke up and served me

breakfast in the cockpit. Paradise on earth. Course 340 past the outer marks north of Getoe, then

285 straight to Gavle/ mainland Sweden.

We went out with the max genua and had a really nice ride, 8-12 knots on the beam and sunny.

The day went on, Sanna and I took our 3-hour watches and enjoyed the sail.

During my afternoon watch, though, the wind had piped up to 20-25 knots and Helmer, my Aries

wind vane found it too much work to steer. Rode Orm wanted to round up in the gusts. Clearly, we

were overcanvassed by now. After considering whether to wake Sanna or not, I decided to not do

so. Firstly, I took the mizzen sail down, and that sort of fixed the situation for half an hour or so.

Then Helmer 'told me I had to do something again. I took the genny down, to later hoist the jib,

and took a reef in the main too. Back into the cockpit I just enjoyed the sail for a little while before

hoisting the jib. To my surprise, the boat balanced perfectly and made a steady 5,5 knots under the

reefed main only, so I decided to spare myself the work, and on we went.

In the evening the wind strength decreased again, and we could hoist first the genny and then the

mizzen again. At midnight we took a mooring on the southern side of Eggegrund, the Light House

right at the entry of Gavle. 85 miles in 17 hours. Perfect sailing.
Vessel Name: Röde Orm
Vessel Make/Model: Laurin 32 ketch built in 1965
Hailing Port: Falsterbo -Sweden
Crew: Magnus & Isabelle
MAGNUS, Swedish skipper. Navigation teacher and a Commercial Yachtmaster. After many years of dreaming, recently sold off his business since over 20 years. Left swedish waters in June 2009 and hasn't yet looked back ISABELLE, Born in Brittany/France & First Mate. [...]
During 2008 we cruised during two and a half months in the Baltic Sea as covered in the older posts on this blog together with Magnus's 2007 cruise to 66 degrees North in the Baltic Sea. During this spring of 2009 we completed an extensive exterior refit of Röde Orm, and untied the docking [...]
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Röde Orm's Photos -

Who: Magnus & Isabelle
Port: Falsterbo -Sweden