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

The Storm that never showed up

06 September 2007 | Houtskr - Finland
24 August

I had a faboulous hangover, didnt wake up until 11 am actually. Anyway, after a couple of aspirins
and a triple espresso, life kinda' returned to my poor body. Made it to town, where Dave took the bus to ?.bo while I did some provisioning. Back at the boat I made an oil change in the engine compartment. Not the funniest task to perform on a day like this. Sitting head down in the cramped engine department in a hot day getting oil all over up to my elbows... well,now it's done and it feels good not having to consider this chore for another 100 hours of motoring. Next summer that is. I decided not to leave the dock today, mostly due to my condition. Went to town in the evening to have a steak with french fries. Not my favorite dish normally, but after several weeks on 'boat diet' and with this hangover it felt as the right thing to do. After sailing with crew for the latest four weeks, I must admit that it is a weird feeling to be on my own again.

At 'Captains's Makasiini' the bar/restaurant we were in yesterday (not too many to choose from here, remember?) I had the much sought after steak, and together with it, I was involved in a surrealistic conversation. A Finn in his early sixties came over to sit at my table. He had a kinda' cowboy hat with the text -'fantastic Thailand'- written on it. So what's so surrealistic about it, then?

Well, it soon was revealed to me that he knew approximately 4 words of english, 4 words of spanish, and about 3 words swedish. Nedless to say this fact severely limited our possibilities to enjoy a meaningful conversation(since I do not speak a word of finnish myself). Much to Seppo's credit though, he did not let this fact at all distract him from making a serious attempt to tell me his life story. If I got it right - 'would surprise me if so - he lived in spain since 11 years and was married to a Thai woman who were presently in Thailand to renew her visa. Anyway, I am deeply impressed that he had managed to pull away all this, given his, 'ehrr', limited knowledge of language.

Speaking of language, a few of you might have noticed that my written english has improved significantly during Dave's stay onboard. Yes, you got it right. Obviously I took advantage of having the opportunity to make him edit my texts. From today, however, I must rely on my own capabilities again.

25 August

Since there were no sailing yesterday, I opted to be an early bird today, and left the dock at 5.30am.

The forecast of last night promised a SW wind gusting to gale force, later in the afternoon veering to W or NW. Hence my tactic was to motor the first 6-8 miles at a course of approximately SW then turn to SE and eventually almost Eastward. This tactic came out quite nice. Since all today's sailing was to be within the ?.bo/Turku Archipelago I reckoned I would not have to deal with any large seas. When I took off in the early morning light, there were a very light Easterly breeze, probably the landbreeze from the night,slowly decreasing. All according to Murphy's Law, the gale force winds came exactly when I had a five mile stretch in the open sea, before turning port to 140 degrees. Needless to say, the wind was head on too. I was really content with the offshore oilskins(foulweather gear) originally for the Swedish participants in the VOR Race a few years ago, that a friend gave me before this trip. (Thank you Hans!) A superb, lightweight and durable goretex outfit that came on really handy now. The seastate was weird. The waves had a long stretch obviously and when they came in on the shallow water(5-10 meters) where I was, they soon grew to about 2,5 meters, very steep and only about 4-6 meters long. This gave me an extremely uncomfortable ride, with spray allover the place and green water regularly flushing the deck all the way to the companionway hatch. Anyway, I won't have to wash the decks for a couple of days now, and Rde Orm rode extremely well, as always, on the choppy seas. This little fight only lasted for a couple of hours though, then I couldturn to 145 degrees, and by then I was on the leeward side of a large island. Now I had the sailing experience of this trip! Close-hauled on the starboard track, with a nearly flat sea and gale force wind. Rde Orm healed to the rail and plowed her way through the water, on her hull speed for hours on end. There was absolutely nothing that could stop me from sailing on now. This was way too fun. Quite similar to dinghy sailing, but in a boat displacing almost 8 tonnes. I forgot all about my planned destination and just kept sailing at a course that let me go n enjoying the ride. At 2 pm I was completely exhausted, since I only had some fruit and water, and I could do with some decent food by now.
Thus I anchored in a bay for some lunch and a nap. When I set sail again, the wind had veered as predicted but also decreased to 15-20 knots. Too bad. Anyway a quite nice reach, but after the sailing I had this morning, it felt as though we hardly made any speed at all. A glance at the GPS told me otherwise though, 5-6 knots steady.

Anchored again in yet another sheltered bay at 8 pm and had a late dinner and a glass of red wine before a fell asleep, exhausted but completely happy.

26 August

Slept until 10. A quick swim helped me to really wake up, then breakfast and a double espresso gave me my strength back. Grey skies and showers, perhaps thunderstorms predicted for today. Thus I felt no hurry. Fully content with yesterday's sailing, I wouldn't mind reading and relaxing under decks for a few hours. I am planning to go to a small port at Nagu, a few miles from here, but since it is Sunday today , all the weekend sailors from the area are probably filling the harbour up. Later in the afternoon they will have been gone again to their home port.
After rowing the crew dog to shore in the inflatable, I took on the job to brush and clean all the teak trim on Rde Orm, expecting the predicted rain showers to help me with the final rinse. This tactic worked a treat, a sudden squall really washed the decks. A minor incident was that during the squall the anchor dragged. Obviously I must have been a bit sloppy (or too tired) yesterday not to asure myself that the anchor was properly set. I don't really know what made me react, but just as I was writing yesterday's entry, some unfamiliar sound made me take a look through the hatch. The stern of the boat was just a few meters away from the rocks on shore! I probably set a new inofficial world record getting into the oilskins, firing up the engine, and winding the anchor chain. All went fine, though, and as a reward for his fast action, the skipper was served yet another double espresso. Nothing much more worthy of a report happened today. The remains of the day was spent below decks, with a good book and an occasional cup of... you know what. ;-)

27 August

Finlands Met Office hit me with a storm warning this morning. Dead calm, sunny morning with my brekfast in the cockpit... The Finn's call for a full storm from windspeeds of 43 knots, in Sweden they do from 48 knots, but anyway... definitely a serious gale. Hence, after finishing my morning coffee, I studied the chart within a radius of 15 miles from my present position to see if there were any ports that I could tell from the chart only, they should be 'idiot-proof' stormholes. Since I could not find any, I decided to stay where I was. Very sheltered from all directions, but I had my doubts as to the holding power of the seafloor. When I winded the anchor up yesterday there were very little mud on it, suggesting that the bottom here is rocky. Hereafter I undertook a rowing excursion in the dinghy, to explore what was hidden on the other side of the island to my north. An even more sheltered 'lagoon', with a bouy that looked sturdy enough. Obviously it was private, but no one was in sight, and a Finnish storm warning must be taken seriously, so I moved Rde Orm over to the bouy, and kept the main anchor and it's chain ready, should the bouy show any tendencies to move.
Satisfied with these precautions, I enjoyed a formidable thunderstorm for an hour or so. Really strong wind for 20-30 minutes. The center of the squall passed a couple of miles away. And then guess what? Almost dead calm for the rest of the day...and the night too! Was this it? The Storm with capital S.
In the evening I got a phone call from Nina and Hans on Zappolina, (the Laurin 28 - smaller sistership) that we partied with near Stockholm in mid June. They were now cruising this part of the ?.bo archipelago, and had arrived Jurmo today. That's just 30 miles south of here, very close to the southern outpost, Finnish Ut, of the archipelago. If this predicted northerly severe gale, would decrease tomorrow, I will definetely make the sail down there to join them. According to them, Jurmo offered a very interesting and beautiful landscape, reminding of the mountains, even if that may sound weird.

28 August

The night was calm as I said already. I slept very well and felt a bit surprised that it was completely quiet when I awoke. Rowed the crew-dog ashore and did some exercise/work-out on the cliff. Then a swim, the personal hygiene scheme, right ;-) and breakfast. I just love these mornings! The forecast had now diminished to mere 18-30 knots Northwesterly, to be seen later during the day. They keep postponing it over and over again. I am getting a BIT tired of staying at the same spot now. Anyhow, it could have been a lot worse, this is a very NICE spot to be stuck at. Phoned Nina again, and we agreed that tomorrow I will have a go at the 30 miles South to Jurmo to meet her and Hans on this favorable wind.
Well, the wind didn't show up during all day. At 19pm it was still predicted, but now during the night. Well see about that, I sure hope I can leave in the morning.
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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