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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.
neverending tacking...?
08/20/2007, Kask-Finland

3 August

Everything kinda' went wrong today. Our initial plans were to visit Haparanda Sandskaer National Park, a flat sandy island that lies to the South of Haparanda on the Finnish border. To visit you have to anchor on the E side of the island, however as the wind prevails from the south we would have had to tack (really tack) to get there, so we passed on that one.

Instead of a day of tacking we chose to visit Renskaer. Our voyage there included an initial two hours of motoring against wind and waves. The waves had a long fetch and (because of this distance) they had grown, this coupled with the shallow waters along the coastline made the seastate very choppy and unpleasant. Eventually, on changing our heading, we were able to sail close-hauled for a short time before the wind dropped. The waves measuring 1 meter coupled with very shallow depths made me long for tranquilizers.

The island of Renskaer was beautiful, boasting a couple of picturesque fishing villages. We had reindeer meat for dinner and afterwards retired to the wood-burning (not electric) sauna, this made up for a lousy beginning of the day.

4 August

Today we explored the island on foot consuming many freshly picked blueberries 'en route'. On returning to Rde Orm the other boats that had been moored were gone leaving us alone in the harbour.

That afternoon we tacked in a light breeze to another picturesque old fishing village called Brndskr, part of Pite skrgrd, SW of Renskr. An 18th century chapel made of logs sat on the top of the island, its floor boards were almost 2ft wide!

Unfortunately a pesky Southerly wind is predicted for the next few days, so our tacking business is going to continue for a while longer. In other news a mighty high pressure system is coming our way, obviously we dont mind that.
5 -6 August



Sunny sailing today back North to the town of Lule, where we took on provisions and tended to some work related matters.

Our voyage continued in the afternoon when we left Lule heading for Antns-Brstskr. A Southerly wind forced us to motor for a couple of hours. Upon our arrival we anchored in a sheltered bay for the night. That evening we sat in the cockpit of the boat and watched the sunset, the whole sky appeared to be on fire and moved through a dizzying erray of colours. I slowly sipped my way through a 2 litre bottle of home brewed beer that was given to me before leaving home. Evidently the beer had benefitted from stowage in a locker, underneath my bunk, for a couple of months. Thank you Aron!

7 August

We didn't really touch land on Antns-Brstskr, remaining on the boat for the duration of our stay. Today we had a headwind, as usual, forcing us to tack all day long before reaching Pite-Rnnskr, a beautiful place I dearly wanted to show Sanna.

We dropped anchor in a bay on the Northern side of the island and had a three mile walk to the village. On our arrival the village was deserted, compared to the bedlam of July 27th when I was last here, alone. However now that the vacation period is over, summer houses and ports are empty, leaving attractions desolate and eerie.

Looking forward, Sanna is due to leave from Ume on August 10th, upon which date an English chap by the name of David Gore (esq) or Dave, is joining me for a fortnightly escapade. I think it will be a struggle to reach Ume in time now due to the neverending headwinds. I imagine 105 miles of tacking will be time consuming and probably boring, as it will be, in most parts, a rhum' sea from here on. Technically the archipelago ends here, the coast further south is rocky and full of reefs.

8 August

Today there was a light Southerly breeze and we tacked all day to reach Bjurklubb at 8pm, Bjurklubb is home to a light-house and old pilot watch station. Later that evening Marianne and Roger, whom I met at Axmar earlier this summer during a gale, came to visit us for a cup of tea and a chat. They had an hours car drive from their home to this harbour, so it was very nice of them to drop by.

9 August

I told Roger about our predicament with the time schedule and he phoned an old friend in Ratan who offered us a car ride to Ume, if need be. The people up here in the north are really marvelous. The Southerly wind was an issue today and we cast off at 8am for a full day of beating the wind. We arrived at Ratan just before midnight and fell asleep, exhausted. We didnt see a single boat during this whole day, 'all the sea to ourselves'.

10 August

Synopsis, sunny and warm and hardly no wind at all. Rogers friend, Folke, was a really nice guy and was also quite interesting. A mechanical wizard, he converted old Range Rovers to diesel, installing new engines.

Odd jobs, cleaning and some laundry occupied most of the day. Folke drove me to Ume in the afternoon (in his home-made Folkeswagon lol) to meet Dave . I took the opportunity to go shopping at the same time for some much needed provisions.

Dave turned out to be an interesting character. He is studying medicine in England and has just completed some exams, previously he spent time in China studying Traditional Chinese Medicine. Sanna, Dave and I had dinner together before Sanna took the bus to Ume in the evening, catching the night train back to Stockholm. It was sad to see her leave and I will miss her lots.

11 August

At last! No more Southerly wind. An East to North Easterly 15 -25 knot wind was predicted.

Although Dave had little previous sailing experience, he opted for a Baptism of Fire and we decided to head directly across to Finland's side of the gulf. Needless to say, Dave's first aid box was well stocked up with seasickness pills and patches, should he feel the need to vomit en route.

We had an amazing day of sailing, making 6-7 knots COG all the way with the wind on the beam. As a bonus to Dave the seasickness pills were not required.

That evening we anchored for the night at Malskr, on the old route the mail boats used to take across the Kvarken in ancient times. Two finnish power-boats were also moored here, their occupants taking a keen interest in a large smokey camp fire on shore. We could not tie up to shore as the sea transpired to be to shallow. Thus we anchored off the coastline and inflated the dinghy so that we may row to shore and explore. Hords of mosquitoes expressed their keen interest in our blood, and the terrain was both bushy and rocky making staying on two feet a challenge.

We had dinner onboard and discussed life, death and medicine til midnight. That evening, when going to bed I accidentally stood on my doggys tail. Doggy must have thought it was Dave who had committed this attrocity and proceeded to nip his feet whenever he passed.

12 August

The mets had promised a light North Easterly breeze, but unfortunately it was nowhere to be seen. Dead calm, and a bit foggy all day. We motored for 8 whole hours (record of the year) to the city of Vaasa (Wasa in swedish). Mooring at Wasa Segelforenings (sailing society) well kept club harbour opposite the town center and enjoying a sauna in the club house.

This afternoon we learned about a 'flotilla' of yellow rubber ducks that are heading towards Europe. It was reported in English newspapers called the Daily Mail (June 27th) and the Times (June 28th). They have been travelling for 15 years now since they fell out of a ship in a container, during a storm. There were 29'000 of them. I'm sure it would be great to see! Plus apparently you can make 500 if you find one. (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1996553.ece) (http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/research/story/0,,999371,00.html) (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=397263&in_page_id=1770)

13 August

We took a walk to the town center today. On the way there we saw a lovely replica of an old mail boat from 1668(!) at the dock. Made from wood, in Estonia in 1996, currently serving as a charter boat.

We had lunch and a beer or two in town. Dave kept searching for an english drink called Pimms, that no one here, the skipper included, had ever heard of (exclaiming "Pimm's O'Clock" at every oppertunity). It would appear the weather Gods have turned their face away from us again. A weak Southerly breeze is predicted for the whole week. Definetely not what we are dreaming of, when we are to go south in narrow finnish waters. The waters here laced with rocks making tacking or any sort of excursions outside the routes unadvisable.

Later that evening an odd smell was detected by the nostrils of Dave and myself, upon exploration of this aroma we chose to partake in some laundry activities. Washing the dog and her rug, clothes and the footwear of both Dave and myself. Later that evening the cabin smelt like an alpine pine forest in the spring morning dew.

14 August

Wind South Westerly 8-15 knots. We need to move on, hence we motor for 6 hours to Molpe, another old pilots watch on an island facing the open sea to the West. It appeared deserted when we tied up to the dock. The sparse buildings on the island were locked and not very well kept, we saw a sign telling us that this is a part of a World Heritage Area, it was a weird place. The level of weirdness was compounded when we took a walk on a path leading round the southern part of the island. The signs, along the path, informed us that the area was used as grazing for sheep. However that must have been a while ago as the place resembled a jungle, full of mosquitos and spider webs.

Later that evening, back at the boat, two swedish speaking finnish guys (who arrived in a power boat), invited us to party by the camp fire, so we did. A minority of approximately 300 000 people along the coast of Finland have swedish as their mother tongue. This dates back to the time when Finland was a part of Sweden. We lost Finland to the Russians in 1809, after the battle of Ratan, as described earlier in this blog.

15 August

Wind South Westerly 10-15 knots. Today believe it or not, we motored for another 5 hours (adding up to almost 20% of this years motoring and all since Dave arrived) and then tacked for five hours to arrive at the island of Gshllan at 7pm. The weather predicted a gale later this evening continuing into tomorrow. This picturesque island boasts a lighthouse and a small fishing village of the past. It was very well kept and much to our delight had a perfect wood burning finnish sauna. That evening we decided we would: 1) explore the island. 2) chop some wood. 3) Light the sauna. 4) prepare and eat dinner whilst the sauna was warming. 5) have a sauna then sleep.

Part 1 passed without event, however part 2, chopping wood with a bent saw and an old axe was quite amusing, both Dave and myself suffered some minor cuts. Part 3 - lighting the sauna turned out to be one of the funniest moments ever on my trip. Whilst lighting the sauna I decided to recruit my old friend denaturated alchohol fuel (used for my stove) confusing it with parrafin I sprayed it into the lit sauna causing a fire ball to shoot out setting Dave's right foot on fire. I have never seen anyone move so fast to put his foot in cold water from the well. Dave also found this very amusing and suffered from hair loss on top of one toe, so no serious injury. 'I must now figure out some other way of killing him.'
Part 4 went well and part 5, the sauna, was perfect.

We both agreed that this was a perfect place to stay during the gale. During the night the wind was howling in the rigging and the rain started at the latter part of it. Unfortunately the gale is from the South, otherwise we could have sailed on.

16 August

I woke up once during the night, and lay in my bunk, listening to the howling sound in the rigging caused by the ever increasing wind. The gale and the rain it brought along with it really got going during the late morning hours. After lunch, we took a walk to the windward side of this island, and took some spectacular pictures of the breakers. When we came back to Rde Orm, we had visitors. A couple in a Vega, named 'La Loba', that moored a little further south on the island, came round for a chat. They were on their way home to Rne after a 5 week cruise to ?.land and then up the coast of Finland. They went back to their boat, saying that they would come back for a sauna with us later that evening.

Dave took on the chore of chopping some wood for the sauna, undertaking this task he somehow chopped his leg with the axe and came back to the boat, where I was busy in the galley. Dave asked for his first aid kit and sat in the cockpit. A quick glance revealed a clean cut approximately 2 centimeters long and quite deep on his right shin. Although nothing too serious it came in handy, that he just finished some medical exams and had that huge First Aid kit with him. Together we pulled the gash together and butterfly stitched it closed. After the initial 'shock' he came out fine and joined the rest of us for the sauna. 'Perhaps he will get himself killed?'

17 August

This morning a tremendous thunderstorm woke me early, whilst it was passing the wind speed increased dramatically. Next time we arose from our slumber the sky had cleared, although the barometric pressure kept dropping and the wind showed no sign of easing off.
We were hoping the wind would shift direction so we could leave the island of Dave's 'cursed' leg.
Unfortunately this was not to be and we spent a pleasant afternoon with Maria and Kjell in 'La Loba' drinking coffee and cocktails. Later in the evening, we all occupied the sauna as usual, after Dave and I chopped more wood. (Needless to say Dave kept well clear of the axe, perhaps to avoid another 'axeident'?)
A single malt in the cabin of Rde Orm rounded the evening off at 2am.

18 August

Still stranded here in this neverending gale, we 'seriously' considered starting to cultivate the land to maintain our provisions over the years we feel we'll be stuck here. After breakfast Rde Orm presented me with a special treat when the toilet fell apart, filling my morning with true delight. After an hour with my spanners, occupying the most confined compartment on board, the ordeal was over, for this time.
Today's forecast said the wind will decrease during the night but maintain the same direction. Eventually we may get to leave tomorrow. 'La Loba' left in the afternoon heading North with a tail wind, luckily for them. We will have to continue tacking tomorrow. It may not be too enjoyable, but at least we will get on with our voyage.

19 August

Finally, this morning we got underway! However, almost immediately the curse of Gshllan struck again. After a mere 20 meters of motoring off the dock, I managed to ground the boat in the mud two meters from the safe channel. (Although I would technically refer to it as an unscheduled surprise keel-cleaning.)

After trying in vane to free Rde Orm from these cursed waters, a finnish angel came to our rescue in a mini power boat with a 60 hp outboard. We hung our heads in shame, much to our surprise the remainder of the day passed without incident.

After 7 hours of the now too familiar tacking, we arrived at Kask (claimed to be the smallest city of Finland, population 1500) Wooden houses from the late 19th century line the parallel streets of this tranquil 'hamlet'. It didnt take us long to sniff out the pub and sample the local brew.

I went to bed sad that evening as Dave didn't celebrate my 'Name's Day'. In fact, Dave had no idea what a name day was. In Sweden each day of the year is attributed to a name and Magnus day is August 19th. I had become accustomed to presents galore - but not this day.

Dave's axe wound (now known as 'the scratch') appears to be healing well by the way, we had been worried about infection but it seems fine. Now he will be tortured with the itch!

heading south again
08/05/2007, Lulea

23 July
Today a historical event took place. First i crossed the 64-th degree north for the first time on my
own keel,then the vessel log passed 1000 miles since I took off June 4. The distance however, if I
had gone the shortest way here, would not have been more than around 650 miles.
24 July
A light SE breeze and mostly sunny. Relaxed sail in speeds between 3,5 and 5 knots. Course 40
degrees. Went to Skelleftehamn, 16 km east of the town of Skelleftea. Industrial area and a large
commercial harbour. A smallish but very nice and sheltered club harbour at Kurjoviken. I was the
only guest boat here tonight. A very nice attribute here is that they are lending bicycles to guesting
sailors. A tried out a trike and had a ride to nearest grocery store to stok up on perishables. A sauna
in the evening with a tremedous view at the fjord outside the club-house.
25 July
Warm and sunny and a light NE breeze, brought out the laziness in my personality and made me
stay here a day more. Did a few small jobs n the boat and chatted a while with an English couple
who were on there second year cruising the Baltic. They had laid the boat up for winter in Sweden
and then continued the trip next spring. The local people, sailors and others, were very nice as
usual. The further north, the nicer people.
26 July
Sunny today too. Dead calm in the morning. A light breeze was seen on the fjord at 10 am though,
and I got busy getting under way. Motored for half an hour before the breeze filled the sails and
gave me a decent reach for Pite Ronnskaer. This is an old pilot-and light-house and fishermanvillage.
Pite Ronnskaer is also the island of this archipelago that faces south. A low windswept,
sandy island. Charming red, small fisherman's cottages from the past, now used as summer houses
and a beautiful light-house in steel, constructed by the famous Gustav von Heidenstam makes this
island a very special place to arrive to on yur own keel.
Evert Anderssn, the old light-house master(!) showed us around and afterwards he and his wife
offered a cup of coffee in there well-kept cottage. I met Arne, on another sailing yacht in this tiny
harbour. He built his 37' ferrocement yacht himself during five years. Now he is a full time
livaaboard, cruising the Baltic from May til October and spending the winters at port not far from
where I live.
27 July
A few minutes after I left Pite Ronnskaer, the fog came seeping in. I have not seen much fog before
during this trip, but now I got a good opportunity to practice radar navigation for about an hour,
before the fog lightened. A quite long day sail, winding among the islands led me to the town of
Lulea. Lulea is known for a steel mill, the harbour to serve it and a technical university. A large
guest harbour with all facilities and accomodations for seafarers of all kinds. Tomorrow, my loved
one, Sanna will come here by train to join me for the next couple of weeks.
28 July
Rain showers all day. Sanna and I had lunch at a Thai restaurant down town, and then we did some
sight-seing.
29 July
Rainy and cold. Headwind. In the afternoon we motored for three hours to Kluntarna SE of Lulea.
Among other things to explore is 'Kluntgubben' (Klunt Man) a rock naturally formed as a man's
head as seen from the side.
30 July
We had a long walk around the island to see the 'old man' and the fishing village at the other end of
it. Labyrints made by people here 3000 years ago fascinates us today. Were they used for religious
purposes, or were they the 'dance halls' of their time?
In the afternoon we had a few hours sail to next island f our choice, Fjuksoen.
31 July
Another low pressure system with lots of rain and quite hard winds gusting at 30 knots from NE
made us bide our time in the cabin most of the day. In the afternoon, when the wind lightened for a
while, we moved a couple of miles to the next island. Just to get a new 'view' from hour 'window'. I
tinker with the generator and it's related gear. I am not satisfied with the charging current on the
house batteries.
1 August
Lets face it. This summer will not go to history as one of the best to remember. Weather-wise that
is. I will definetely remember it as very special. Being able to sail for four months in a row is a
luxury, and it's just great!
Heavy rain, and hardly any wind at all. Five hours of motoring north in the fjord leading to the tiny
town of Toere. Toere is the most northerly place you can go to with a keel boat in the Gulf f Botnia.
A big, yellow steel bouy says 65 degrees 54 minutes North. If you go to this bouy, you can put a
paper with your name and adress and the name of the boat into a letter box (!) on the bouy. The boat
club of Toere will then send you a diploma showing yu were here.
So this we did, and then, as magic, the wind came from W and we had a beautiful sail during the
rest of the day. We sailed S through the fjord again and then took E to get to see Haparanda
Archpelago before heading back south. Anchored for the night E of Halsoe.
2 August
I woke up at 6. Sunny. Went back to sleep. At eight clouds were taking over. We motored a couple
of hours to charge the batteries (yes, I did it!) to Seskaroe, a quite large island with a bridge to the
mainland and a big saw-mill at the waterfront. Do I need to say that it was raining heavy? We saw
a Finnish yacht that had grounded on a marked ground just outside the route to Seskaroe. We
slowly manouvered to get close enough to ask them if we could be of any assistance. They told us
they had phoned for a rescue boat, and it came just a few minutes later. Later, when they too,
moored in Seskaroe, they came buy to say thanks for our offer. We don't see many yachts r
commercial vessels around here, so it seems very obvious to try and help eachother out. The skipper
later told me the were busy talking with eachother onboard for a few minutes and steered
completely wrong as a result.
A new front passage with winds up to the 30 knot range predicted for the night. But then, cross my
fingers, a high is predicted. Temperatures reaching well over 20 degrees C and sunny weather for
the weekend. That could definetely be nice for a change. In the evening we fired up our diesel
heater to try and dry out all wet clothes and other gear.

the voyage goes on here now...
07/28/2007, Lulea- Sweden

All the previous posts (and some pictures) from my cruise around the Baltic Sea and the Botnian Sea and the Gulf of Botnia can be found here:

http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-w3StyOs8eqEUQBf73a3j1RS6TVw-;_ylt=ArSTJ2n.4mmxm9MYW6fjktSkAOJ3?cq=1


The picture is NOT rom Lulea BTW. Its the lighthouse at Pite Roennskaer some 40 miles SW of Lulea. One of Sweden's many beautiful lighthouses designed by Gustav von Heidenstam around 1900.

This particular one was moved to it's current location from Sandhammaren at Sweden's south coast (!) That must have been a tremendous project, given the technical limitations f the time.

Anyway, I cant get much further north in this water now. Just to the next bay to the west. At Toere, the bay stretches a bit further north than here, so the highest latitude on Rode Orm's GPS display will be there in a few days time.


A picture Gallery is to be found here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9218039@N06/

07/27/2007

15 July
Continuous raining until 5pm. Quite hard winds too. Its weird, it just occurred to me that this far, I
have had to reef the main just once. The couple of gales I ve seen has been spent tied up to a dock.
Ornskoldsvik held the first winter Paralympics Games in 1976. That initiative led to a fine
development curve for these competitions.
In the harbour there are two beautiful cranes. Very old, they look like something built with
'meccano'. Cute, and i got a photo of them.
16 July
Woke up with a bi smile on my face; the Sun is back. A fresh SW breeze let us run out f the bay and
then when we turned port, we got the wind on the beam and made a steady 6-7 knots. After being in
harbours and together with other boats for a while, it was a treat for my soul, to discover a nice and
sheltered anchorage, where I could spend the night in complete solitude.
17 July
The morning swim before breakfast felt great. Warm showers at harbour sure is a great thing, but it
doesnt beat the morning swim at sea. No long swim though, water temp. Being around 15 degrees
C. But refreshing.
I had an idea of taking the 60 M trip to Vaasa at the Finnish side of the sea of Botnia, but an easterly
wind got me to pstpne that trip. A fresh breeze made us glide along further north at the pace of 5-7
knots all day. More and more clouds gathered and just a few miles south of Umea Town, the wind
died out and it started to rain. Defintely a low pressure system on its way and bad weather coming
sooner rather than later. Yup, the forecast at 16pm warned for gale force SW winds and heavy
raining during the night and for tomorrow. I took a decision to go to Umea Sailing Societys club
harbour at the island of Obbola, just SW of the town. Provides god shelter from all winds except
perhaps E, and a very nice sauna with large windows facing the sea. My frozen limbs got to warm
up quite a while int that sauna, as the rain and wind battered the glass sections. After the sauna, a
short swim in the sea, and then a shower. The better part of the night was spent at the club-house
together with the harbour captain watching football on TV with a bear or two.
18 July
The rain went from permanent to heavy showers, and the wind became gusty. Signs of the center of
the low passing and the barometer starte to rise agian. In the afternoon a had a walk to the nearest
food store 2km away to restock a bit on perishables. Had a chat with a few other sailors in the
evening and read a while onboard.
19 July
I do not feel good today, like I have an infection or something. Decides to stay here another night.
The wind is still fresh to hard and from NW. Occassional showers and low temperature (14 C) does
not lighten me up. Perhaps a couple of aspirins will. I do some reading and in the afternoon I do
some ninor fixes on the boat. Whoever came up with the expression that cruising sailing is the
'equivalent of boat maintenance at exotic places' was right on the spot I guess. Even though I have a
sturdy boat equipped with simplicity as the guiding star, I do get my share of failures.
A battery charger- when at shore power- not more than a year and a half old, and used very
infrequently, apparently gave up n me today. Why is everything boat-related of such poor quality?
The pricing of this kind of stuff does definetely not indicate it.
20 July
I woke up early with a wish to get underway. The restlessness that gets me after a couple of nights
at the same harbour or ancorage.
Cloudy,and not too warm. A very light breeze made sailing possible, and we slowly made way
further north. 3 knots at least, sometimes 4-5. In the afternoon, when we were running dead before
the wind, I made an experiment. Took the main down and hoisted anther light wind genua. With
those two we made decent speed, just a little bit less than under spinnaker. The nice thing with the
ketch rig, is that there are always options. Another great thing about the ketch is how easy it is to
heave to. When I want to literaly parkthe boat I justr do as follows:
I steer downwind, and then walk up on the foredeck and take the foresail down. By that time the
boat will have rounded up nicely by itself, and I now take the mainsail down and belay it on the
boom. With the mizzen sheeted in the boat just lies there, very comfortably and pointing 45 degrees
to the wind. Great. Havent had the possibility to try it in winds over 25 knots yet, but that will
come sooner rather than later.
The harbour for the night is Ratan. In the late 18:th century it was ne of the most important export
harbours for Sweden. They had custom officials, pilots here all due to its natural protection against
preailing winds. The harbour is in a narrow sound betwen the mainland and an islet, half a mile
long.
At this time people were aware of the fact that the water appeared to withdraw from the sea each
year. (Today, we know that the land is still rising, as an effect of the latest ice period that ended
10000 years ago.) Anyway they constructed some smart equipment to make regular measurements
of the 'water loss'. This occupied among others the two top scientists of the country at the time.
Anders Celsius and Carl Linnus (later von Linn). They believed that the seas were slowly
evaporating.
Here at Ratan at 1809, the most blood-shedding battle on Swedish soil took place. Over 3500
thousand men met there death here when Swedish navy, infantry and artillery fought their Russian
counterparts. This battle, despite the fact that Sweden 'won' marked and end of the superpower
ambitions of the country, and at the piece treaty we lost Finland and Aland to Russia. A few years
before, all swedish-controled land in Poland and Germany was lost. France and Russia were nw the
dominants of Europe.
Strangely enough I cannot recall that we learnt anything of this at school. Even though I was born in
the North, I have never heard this interesting history of Ratan.
22 July
Stayed here at Ratan, after a bad night with fever and stomach problems. Decided it was time to do
the laundry. A chore, rarely done during shorter sailing vacations. Naturally, shower every hour or
so made me busy hanging the laundry to dry in the rigging, and then taking it down etc. repeated a
few times.
23 July
Today a historical event took place. First i crossed the 64-th degree north for the first time on my
own keel,then the vessel log passed 1000 miles since I took off June 4. The distance however, if I
had gone the shortest way here, would not have been more than around 650 miles.

07/15/2007

1-4 July

We made the last 5 miles to Engesberg, the harbour of the Sailing Society of Gefle(Gavle).

Sanna left for work again. She will rejoin in another three weeks. I spent this time with my parents,

only sleeping on board.

5 July

Jan W, an old friend of mine, came on board to crew for a few days. He crewed with me during four

weeks exactly 25 years ago, so we figured its about time to celebrate a Jubilee.

N to NE winds predicted for the next few days, and we had a NE 8-22 knots today. Since we are

heading north along this quite unsheltered stretch of coastline, we had to beat the wind today. Jan,

who hasnt been to sea much during the last few years, went seasick a soon as we came out on the

open sea, and the swell throw us around for a while. Short tack to east, then a long tack to the north.

This way we made some 30-35 miles to a sheltered island called Kusoekalv, where we anchored for

the night.

6 July

New wheather forecast for the next few days. Gale force Northerly winds, accompanied by rain and

dropping temperatures. A low pressure system SE of us makes this little scenario come true.

Hooray!

My bad luck with the Wind Gods seems never to change on this trip. We decided to go to the

nearest harbour to let Jan catch a bus and then a train back to Stockholm. As everyone knows,

staying on shore is a very efficient way of avoiding seasickness. We motored to Axmar Brygga in

the afternon. A neat little trip of 2,5 miles. The good part of this is that there is a very good

restaurant here, specialized in fish. The bad part is that this fact, seriously weakens my cruising

kitty. Anyway, we enjoyed the dinner.

7-9 July

Hard northerly winds, accompanied by heavy rain, kept me at the dock at Axmar. Read two books,

400 + 200 pages, did some writing and made good friends with the crew of s/v Sissela from

Skelleftea further north. They were on their way home from Stockholm and we had some good talks

over a cup of coffee, exchanging tips of harbours and we also had a sauna together a couple of

times.

10-11 July

At last! Not much sailing during the last week. NW changing over W to S predicted for today.

Untied the docking lines at 9 pm and got underway. He wind actually turned out to be E and in the

10-17 knts range. Lovely sailing, clouds disappearing during the day. I had 20 hours of perfect

sailing at open sea, 5-6,5 knots SOG, course around 020 degrees all the way, and Helmer (my Aries

wind vane) steering happily. I just kept going, to take advantage of the wind as long as possible.

After some 100 miles with 12 more to go to the town of Harnosand, the good time was over though.

A sudden 180 wind shift, waked me up and made me go on deck at 3 am, to sort out the sheeting.

Back to bed. Another shift saw me repeat the process. Then the wind died out completely and we

were there, with flogging sails in the swell. Not fun, and certainly not cmfortable, as everyone

knows, who has been trying it out. Then some wind, some hope, and the whole process over and

over again. Around 10, after having breakfast, I gave up and motored 3 hours to get to Vagnoe a

few miles E of Harnosand. Beautiful, sheltered islet, with the military having the opposite island as

a playing ground. Actually, my father spent the most part of his military sevice here 50 years ago.

Now it is the club harbour for Harnosand Sailing Society, with a club house, a sauna and nice

people all around.

The next few days, I want to spend a little bit further north, at Hoega Kusten,(high coast) one of the

supposedly most beautiful stretches along the swedish eastern coastline. Deep fjords, high islands

(Mjaltoen, the highest with a peak at 236 meters) and old fisherman villages at sheltered spots along

the way. Approximately 35 miles long,its lying there for me to explore.

12-13 July

Sailed some 10-20 miles a day, in the afternoon breeze. Just to get to another sheltered little

anchorage, and to see another picturesque fisherman's village at the seaside. Met some nice people

from Ornskoldsvik ( where Peter Forsberg, the icehockey star, came from) and we spent 3 hours(!)

in the evening taking a sauna together, chatting over a couple of beers. After heating up real good in

that sauna we took a swim in the sea. 10 pm and still light as mid day.

Before that sauna, the crew dog and myself walked/climbed up the top of theMountain at Mjaltoen.

14 July

This morning, really warm and sunny by the way, saw me waking up very slowly. I must admit to

being very tired after that walk, and especially, the loooong sauna. I probably didnt drink enough

beer yesterday to compensate for all the sweating.

After a slow breakfast, with extra rations of coffee, and a couple of lazy hours on deck in the sun, I

left the ancorage at 2 pm to do some sight-seeing cruising. Just a few miles to the east in the

narrow passage between N and S Ulvoen (wolf island) lies an incredibly picturesque little village,

with all its red wooden cottages, and the boat houses stretching out over the water.

From there, I runned wing-wing at 6 knots SOG to the next village, Trysunda, perhaps even more

beautiful. Who can judge between them. However at a Saturday, in the middle of the vacation

month, the tiny harbur was filled up with yachts already. I decided then to go for the Marina in the

town center of Ornskldsvik. A first class marina, with all facilities, including internet. Tied up at

the jetty at 8 pm and had a beer at the nearest bar before dinner. An interesting contrast to the old

villages, large, modern buildings of glass and concrete, restaurants, bars and lts of tourists. Cars and

land-born peopleI havent seen in quite a while now.

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Who: Magnus & Isabelle
Port: Falsterbo -Sweden
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