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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.
06/22/2007



5-7 June take-off


Here we go,at last. All this planning and longing for the adventure to come true.A high pressure system has literary parked just west of

Norway. This provides us with fantastic summer weather at the moment.


However it also results in very light winds, if any at all. I am eager to be able to take part in a meeting at Runmaroe, an Island in the

Stockholm Archipelago this upcoming Saturday. 260 miles in 2-3 days would be manageable provided some fair winds.


Sadly, this was not meant to be. The meeting, for the owners of Laurin kosterboats, was very entertaining last year in the end of August

when Rode Orm attended for the first time under my ownership.


The wind was very light, and furthermore NE, which meant beating the wind all the way. After 36 hours, I realized that I had to let go of

that meeting. Instead I had gone into the Kalmar Strait.If proceeding to Stockholm, I would have chosen the route between Oland and

Gotland which are the two largest swedish islands of the baltic Sea.

In the Kalmar Strait (between the mainland and Oland) I was completely becalmed for a few hours, then the headwind returned for my

prolonged amusement. I had no wishes of going social this evening, and so decided to take a nights rest at a tiny island called

Stora Hatten, where the Sailing Society of Kalmar, Vikingarna (the Vikings)possess a club house.


At 10.30 PM it had gotten quite dark, which gave me an opportunity to practise my night navigation skills among this shallow and rocky

part of the water. Guess what! To step up the challenge a bit, the temp. alarm on the engine started, and I was quite fast in turning

the engine off to avoid serious damage on it, caused by overheating. The situation suddenly had became a bit tricky. On my BB side a

couple of really nasty reefs. Ahead, a few rocks and some more of the same just showing above the surface. As an extra spice , the

shipping lane was right at my SB side.


Depth, 12 meters on the spot. In no time, my good old CQR went down, and was closely followed by the major part of my 40 meters of chain.

Now the good news. The anchor dug in nicely at first attempt, which was handy, since taking it up, setting sail and then going all over

again was not high on my list for Santa Claus...


Anyway, now, with the boat parked in a safe spot, and an alarm set on the GPS in case of a dragging anchor,I could have a look at the

engine. Needless to say, the engine room was hot like a good sauna. I have no idea of your preferences, but for me, sauna is great. In

the winter, when feeling cold. Not when I am already sweating. Some things in life comes without choice, and the examination of the

mechanical parts of the vessel had to be undertaken, regardless of such irrelevant circumstances as my sauna preferences. What strikes

me as most weird in all this, was my good mood. Normally, I should be screaming and cursing by now, but after 36 hours of solosailing, I

was in the best of moods. Didnt know that euphoria was some sort of bug that could hit you without notice.


The problem with the water pump was as simple as a nut come loose, and thus making the drive belt slip. This was an easy fix, and since my

hands were greasy and dirty by now, I thought I could aswell take the opportunity to check up on the engine oil, and tension of the

generator belt while I was at it. Still surprised over my good mood, I kept tinkering with the machine, even though I perfrmed a complete

maintenance n it a couple of weeks ago. When this manouver was luckily ended, the engine run for a few minutes to cool off, and my hands

thoroughly washed, it came to my knowledge that it was 1.30 AM. A bit late to start manouvering the boat, tongue-in-cheek, among the rocks

and reefs. Furthermore I felt that the Chief Mechanic was worthy of a bear and I good single malt whisky as a reward. Apparently the anchor

had set really good and so I lit an anchor light and got to sleep. An unusual passage, and 140 miles in 36 or so hours.


After a goo d nights sleep I wake up to a wind of 14-16 knots. The boat was hobby-horsing quite a bit in the typically short and steep seas of

Kalmar strait. After breakfast, I had a real work-out winching those 40 meters of anchor chain back on board. Did I mention that the wind came

from NNE now too?! A short trip with the iron genny working lead me to a bouy at St Hatten.

The rest of the day I spent here, taking a swim, and polishing the topsides of my little ship.



8 June


The weather forecast is just as good, but also just as dissapointing in terms of winds. Very light northerly winds... I must admit to getting

a bit restless at noon and decided to take a little step further north, despite the headwind. Needless to say, the wind died out completely

30 minutes after my setting sail. Iron genny touring is not much fun, but sometimes does come in handy. Exactly like last summer, I motored by the town of Kalmar and under the Oland Bridge. The photo is of Kalmar Castle. During all those wars between Sweden and Denmark, Kalmar

was a proud part of the swedish line of defence, and strongly armoured. According to the history books of the schools here, that is. According

to a danish admiral of the time; the swedish mariners was nothing but farmer boys, dipped in sea water. Who knows... the same admiral was then

punished badly by the british admiral lord Nelson and the British Navy just in front of Copenhagen. History is always written by the winners, right?


As for myself, I seek no battles at sea, except those against heat and calms. Well, the adventorous little trip of the day, ended in a sheltered little

lagoon among a series of islets, where I have decided to endure tomorrows calm, warm summer weather with a good book in my newly installed hammock

on foredeck, interrupted only by regular meals, and an occassional swim to freshen up.


Vacation? you bet!


Theres more to come...



9-11 June


The Doldrums in the Kalmar Strait seems like the concept of the day. Completely becalmed and with temperatures well over 30 degrees Celsius, it's not too hard for me to get an idea of how it must feel to be in the tropical doldrums. Sadly to say, I spent a couple of days, in my hammock, taking swims to freshen up and doing smaller jobs on the boat. The largest of these small ones, was to battle the barnacles on the propeller and shaft. All through-hulls had their fair share of them too. This was a task performed with a cyclope and an old dull knife to scrape those little buggars off with. Kind of refreshed my over-heated brain as a fringe benefit.


Anyway, at noon the 10:th, a sweet breeze came from SE. Just 2-5 knots, but whos going to make a complaint? Up went the drifter and the mizzen staysail and away we were at 2-5 knots boat speed. Yeehaaa! How sweet to be underway again.


Soon the island of Blaa Jungfrun ( Blue Virgin) was sighted. She lays there in the northern Kalmar Strait, always appearing to be blue at a distance, and always as mystical. Its not adviceable to anchor there albeit in very calm weather, and the rocky bottom has kept many a good anchor for good. According to the legend, All witches gather on this island the Thursday of the Holy Week, and who really knows.


I decided to keep sailing through the night, it was so energizing to get some wind at last, so on it went.


As soon as it got dark at 10.30 pm, the wind faded ut, and then came back from the north. First with a real gust for 15-30 minutes, that made me change to the jib and then it blew with a steady 3-6 knots all night. Dead ahead again, and pretty week to. Kept beating and tacking all through the night and in the late morning hours I got my reward. The wind changed direction clockwise, enough to let me stear a straight course. Went from the sea and back into the world of islands at Idoe Stangskaer where I took the shipping route towards the town of Vaestervik. In the evening I anchored at Torroe, an old pilot outlook from King Valdemars Sailing Route (13:th century) and til 1882.


12 June


Was spent sleeping and resting mostly. Winds still weak and from NE so no big deal...


This morning wasnt the best f them all.. first I found out that the water in my steel vacuum thermos was cold! Had to wait some five extra minutes here for my morning coffee. Thats bad, especially when waking up with a hang-over from all those hours awaken. What can go wrong with a steel thermos? I just dont get it... It looks OK, but its warm on the outside, indicating that the warmth creeps out of it somehow. Thats life I guess, it has served me willingly for a few years, so, Ill have to buy a new one at next town I ll enter.

This was one of those days when Capn Clumsy was at command. Last time he had a watch, he sailed three hours with the anchor hanging a couple of feet down in the wet. This time, guess what? Dont know how he managed to di this, but he somehow clogged the head, (sailor talk for toilet) and so I had to spend the better part of the late morning closely examining the reminiscense of yesterdays main menu from inside the pump and hoses. Great way of entertaining ones vacation, right? Problem solved: over and out.


The evening was a lt more entertaining. Had a long nice walk around the island and its historical places, dating back to the days of King Valdemar. Needless to say, I enjoyed the fresh air after the clogged head problem shooting earlier today.


13 June


Had a quite nice sail today, got me some 25 miles north. To an island called Harstena,where I enjoyed a meal of really fresh fish. The evening saw heavy clouds and a short shower. Temperature nw is down to 20 degrees and gone are the tropics... for the time being.


14 June


Gale warning towards the afternoon and the night. I took north, out on the open sea and had a marvelous six hour/ 35 mile trip. Running wing and wing in winds from 12-30 knots. The wind speed increasing through the day. Roller-coaster sailing... At 5 pm I had the boat riding at her anchor in a sweet spot in a labyrinth of islets that gave real good protection from the seas and the wind. The trees on the island were waving to me in the gusts while I enjoyed tuna salad and a glass of red for dinner. Refreshing day. After a week and a half without going shopping (provisioning)I am beginning to feel like going to town tomorrow, or the day after... except for the fact that my fresh fruit and grocerys are running out, and I am suffering from a slight miss the web-itis, civilization is not that tempting right now. Well see...

Facts of the boat
03/10/2007, Pukavik

A few facts on my little ship.

s/v Rode Orm (swedish for Red Snake; after the hero in a novel by Frans G. Bengtsson named Rode Orm

Laurin 32 designed by Arvid Laurin Rode Orm is a double-ender (koster design) with a full keel and rudder attached to the rear end of the keel. The design was a modernization of the old work boats and pilot cutters of western Sweden and Denmark

LOA: 9,81 Beam: 2,88 draught: 1,50 ballast: 2,5 tonnes displacement: 5 tonnes (ready to cruise with all gear 7-7,5 tonnes

This yacht was bult 1965 at Malm Aviation Industry. She has a cored deck and hull(Airex) which makes her very stiff, minimizes flexing of the hull, but also makes her silent and practically free of condensation below decks. Important in colder climes. She was first named Antonia and then Ark Sar III before the previous owner named her Rode Orm. I am the fifth owner of this sturdy little ship, and I bought her a year and a half ago.

Ketch rig: 49 square meters Engine: Yanmar 3HM 3-cyl. diesel 27 hp tankage: 60+60 liter of diesel 60 liter fresh-water tank all in the bilge. Fresh water in various jerry cans ranging from 2 liters to 25 liters

She has an Aries wind vane steering system that keeps her on course 95% of the time. Basically I take her in and out of harbours and then Helmer does a very good job.

Main anchor is 35"# CQR on the bow with 45 meters of chain rode. A manual Simpson Lawrence windlass makes anchoring safe and easy. As stern anchor she is equipped with a Danforth 30# on 14 mm nylon rode and 4 meters of chain. As a spare/storm anchor a foldable Fisherman type 40# normally lives its life at the bottom of a cockpit locker. A conical canvas type sea anchor is also on board.

The galley is equipped with a Taylor kerosene stove with oven. A piece of art. Brass and black enamel. Efficient and bullet proof too. A Refleks diesel heater keeps the cabin warm and snug even in temperatures well below zero degrees Celsius. The Refleks (a danish design used on many fishing vessels) is simple. No fans or electrical fuzz, fed from a gravity tank of 5 liters that is placed in the head.
The cabin is lit by three Stelton kerosene lamps made in SS. They also provide some 1000W warmth in a chilly evening.
I will equip the boat with a Lavac head before the summer(it sits in my garage right now). It fits into the same category of equipment as the stove and the Refleks heater. Easy-to-use low maintenance kind of bullet-proof stuff. The old Jabsco unit needs a new set of gaskets, and it feels like the time to up-grade that department.

An inflatable dinghy is stowed in the quarter berth when out on the sea.

The boat will have a new mainsail (w 2 reefs) jib (1 reef) and mizzen /also 1 reef point)l this year. Boy, will I enjoy that!!! The old ones are really worn out and baggy. A spinnaker, a 150% genua for light winds, a storm jib, a mizzen staysail and a trysail makes it possible to keep Rode Orm moving in winds from Force 1 to when nobody wants to be out on there on the water anymore.

The trysail is set on a dedicated mast track, parallell to the mainsail track and is sheeted to the quarters. This makes the change from a reefed main to the trysail in heavy weather as easy as possible. The boom will then be safely lashed to a permanent boom gallows.

Navigation equipment: A compass in the cockpit and 2 handheld ones in the cabin. Two handheld GPS units. A Garmin 12 lives its life at the nav table, permanently plugged in on the 12 V system. A Garmin 72 is a back-up and is used, upon need, in the cockpit kept in a pocket. Paper Charts (always! wouldnt trust electronics on a boat) and pilots. I do have a laptop and nav.programs and c-map covering the world. I do consider this more of a convenience than a prime nav .system though. Very nice as long as it works. A depth sounder is also a part of the nav table gear together with an Icom VHF unit with a masthead antenna. I carry a handheld Icom VHF as a backup and convenience to communicate with crew ashore for instance.

Future projects is a solar panel, probably before this years cruise. Before taking off on an ocean passage I would like to have a water generator and a new drogue too. I am not certain as to the drogue. Either a parachute type sea anchor or a series drogue.


This was kinda technical; for those of you interested in it.
Next posting will be more poetical for sure!

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Who: Magnus & Isabelle
Port: Falsterbo -Sweden
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