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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.
Eagles in the Sky and Terrific Sailing
09/12/2007



11 September

Northeast 9-18 knots predicted. Perfect for the jump to Harstena (where I also spent a night on my way north, definetely one of my favorite islands...) To take a shortcut I steered out to the open sea instead of following the inshore route. The only problem being that the forecasted winds was nowhere to be seen. I was awake early and hauled the anchor before 9am. The wind, after I had made good the first few miles on the leward side of the islands, turned ut to be a mere 4-9 knots. Dead running the boat speed was just 2,5-3,5 knots. Not too bad, but definetely not what I had expected. Course 180 degrees a couple of hours to the Gustav Dahln lighthouse that marks the entrance to Oxelsund and it's huge steelmill. Once at G.Dahln, a 20 degrees starboard turn towards Sandsnkans Lighthouse, from which there is 4 miles left to Harstena.
Another thing to really make this day was a tiny bit of mist and a drizzling rain. Then with three hours still to go, the wind died out completely and there wasnt much else to do than to fire up the engine again. Arrived to Flisfjrden at Harstena at 7pm as darkness was just beginning to fall. Not a sailing day for the history books...

12 September

It was not more than 15 degrees C in Rde Orm's cabin when I woke up this morning. A clear night and the chilliest I have experienced since I left home port. I was just fine under my warm duvet though and since I could see that it was sunny outside, it was not too hard to get up anyway. After breakfast I took the crewdog and rowed to shore. A few plastic bags in my rugsack, since I wanted to search for mushrooms and perhaps some lingonberries. Thus I spent a couple of morning hours in the forest. No mushrooms found though, and hardly the right type of terrain for lingonberries either. I did find quite a few black berries though. I cannot remember what they are called in english, but it's the ones that look like black raspberries and have thorns. Bjrnbr (=bearberries) in swedish. Must admit that they found there way right down to my stomach and not to the bags I brought to carry them in.
Anyway, both the crew dog and myself enjoyed the walk and the beautiful surroundings. On our way back from the village to the boat, we met a charming elderly woman leading a bycicle. She had been picking blueberries despite the fact they should be finished by now. I learned from talking to her that she was married to one of the men, born on this island, and that they had lived 6 months out of every year here since 1963 and the other 6 months of each year at the island on the west coast of Sweden where she was born. Some people get it all, don't they? A lovely personality anyway and it was nice to get some input on life here.
Upon return to the mother ship, a much needed hygienic effort then took place in form of a short swim. Yes short, the water temp did not admit the planned dive to inspect the through-hulls and propeller for barnacles. Apparently this summer is colder than usual, the temp in the sea is 4-5 degrees lower than a normal summer.
At 2 pm the anchor was hauled in and I set sail. By God, the forecast came out to be spot on today. SW 18-26 knots, from the afternoon veering to W and then NW and decreasing during the night. Hence I enjoyed a perfect inshore sail. Fore-reaching but I didnt have to tack even once. The boat did 6-7 knots most of the time on a flat sea due to the wind blowing from land. It was gusty as always with a land-to-sea breeze and I enjoyed every minute of it. At 7 pm I could drop anchor at Lng/Trss in perfect solitude at this otherwise so popular anchorage. I've got 25-30 miles left to the town of Vstervik, where I plan to pick up Sanna(who is arriving there by train to join me for the weekend) and get some much wanted laundry done.
Almost forgot; I saw an eagle again today, it's the forth or fifth time.

Close Encounter with a Submarine
09/10/2007



9 September

The low had passed by now. The wind had veered to NE 10-18 knots. At 2pm I left the jetty here and sailed south. Yes, I must admit having a hard fight with myself before closing my web browser down and getting underway.
A decent sail, wind on the beam, but lots of swell since last night. The wind was just about to weak to keep the sails filled on this course. Thus a lot of flapping and the the boat was rolling quite violently on and off. I passed Landsort's lighthouse and turned west. My target was Rings, and those of you with good memory knows that I spent a night there on my way north too, in mid June.
Happiness is not a permanent condition however, and shortly after passing ?-ja, the island that hosts Landsort' lighthouse, the wind died completely. After a while I had to give up and fire up the iron genny. Almost three hours later, in complete darkness I slowly motored into the sheltered 'lagoon' between Rings and it's neighbor islands. All went well, and I was quite fast to hit the bunk.
The weirdest thing of my whole trip, happened just before Landsort. First one of the navy's ships came quite close to me while heading the opposite way. Considering the nearby navy base, it was not such a big surprise. A while later, a navy airplane crossed my path on low altitude. I reckon this made me make the mistake of my life. Straight in my course line, I saw a strange subject. At first a took it for a small powerboat at a distance. The wake didn't seem right though. When it came closer I suddenly realized it was a submarine! The tower above the surface, the swell breaking over it's hull and causing all that odd looking spray and wake.
It was a bit creepy that it did seem to slow down, and just laid there right ahead of
me. I wasn't more than 40-50 meters away from it when the cold reality hit me. It was not a sub,it was a shoal with one of those rounded rock constructions on top of it. Jesus! ...and here I was steering right at it.
A quick glance at the chart revealed the embarrasing truth, and quickly I steered away from this potential little boat-killer. (Above this text you can see a picture of it, doesnt look to bad for a submarine does it?) By the way, a couple of years ago we met a sub,in exactly this position,with the tower above surface, just outside the harbour of Kalmar, a bit creepy it is...

10 September

This is not a day for the history books. A Southerly 16-27 knots predicted, in conjunction with- yes, another low passing by - veering to East and decreasing during he night. OK, that means I will sail tomorrow, and stay in the bunk reading most of today. Oh, yes,almost forgot to mention that I did some deadly important maintenance work on the boat too. A lightbulb in the aft lantern needed to be changed. Over and out ;-D

Nynshamn - the End of Stockholm Archipelago
09/08/2007, Nynshamn

7 September

Weird enough, I awoke early today again. Grey sky, quite chilly. North-Northwesterly light breeze predicted.
So, time to follow the birds and continue south. The grey skies cleared almost completely during the day, but the wind was very light and came from West. Thus, back to the tacking business. Long-short , long-short the course line mostly 220 degrees. I thought of different ports for the night, when the wind died completely in the late afternoon. A new forecast warned about a front passage with heavy rain and near gale force winds from Southwest. Not exactly my dream scenario of a pleasent sail.
Much to my convenience, it ocurred to me right then, that I really needed to provision soon enough and that I hadnt made a blog entry since Dave left.
Nynshamn has a guest harbour with some 300 berths and just a couple of hundred meters to the town centre with it's shops and other tempting features of the civilization. Tempting? Yup, after a couple of weeks among the remote islands, a wifi, a piece of fresh meet and some fruit can be VERY tempting.

This harbour is a lively place. Huge ferrries to Gotland and Poland. Minor feriries and passenger ships to some of the larger islands nearby. The yacht harbour was f course less lively. Just a handful of sailing boats, among them a Rassy 35 flying the german flag.

Despite the traffic and the wake it creates I slept like a baby during the night.

8 September

Mostly sat in front of my laptop, getting updated on 'the real world' including tonnes of e-mails.
I did restock on food also, and I can proudly present that today's dinner consisted of a fresh crab fish from Donegal, Ireland and tomorrow I will enjoy lamb chops. Ehrr, yes I did have a couple of Guinness together with the crab. A superb contrast to the menu of the last few weeks .
A decision was anonymously taken to stay put here until tomorrow. Haven't seen much of the near gale winds today, just an occassional shower really, although the clouds move by at at very fast pace... and the near gale is now predicted to come from North to Northeast during the night, and continue for most part of tomorrow. Hence it seems lie a brilliant idea to sale south tomorrow. Rde Orm loves a strong to hard breeze and I consider it refreshing too.







new pic's
09/07/2007

- a bunch of them - here:

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

On my own- in the true sense of the word
09/07/2007, Nynshamn

4 September

This harbour was very unpleasant to spend the night in. The swell and wake from passing vessels managed to create a standing wave behind the docks in the basin, causing the yachts to roll violently and to move up and down along the dockside. At 5.30 in the morning the ferry left harbour. Unable was I to get back to sleep after that, and decided to get ready for an early start. Said goodby to Nina and Hans for the second time and sailed south to Rdskr. Northerly wind increasing during the day to near gale force in the afternoon. Then slowly decreasing during the night, veering towards West in the morning. This forecast sounded like music to my ears, and I decided to perform the jump back to Sweden. 20 miles to Rdhamn, arrived at 3pm, and then 70 miles mostly South to Sandhamn. Sandhamn is the home of the Royal Sailing Society in Stockholm and the place where many regattas start from, among them Gotland Runt(circumnavigating the island of Gotland) Since I am without crew for the moment, the route via ?-zel, and Latvia and then to the eastern coast of Gotland was left to another year. The route along the swedish coast with it's many archipelagos and nice spots to spend the 'bad weather' days is a much more enjoyable option.
Rde Orm and I left Rdskr at 6 pm. I prepared some food for the next 24 hours, and hoisted the radar reflector again and hanked the trysail to it's track at the mast. Just in case.
This overnighter came out to be one of the most enjoyable I have ever made. I left Rdskr on course 230 degrees, a broad reach with jib and reefed main in winds of 22-30 knots. Helmer steered perfectly all the way to Sandhamn and the boat speed was 6-7knots until just after midninght, when the wind slowly decreased. I had the whole route programmed in the gps, and changed course 4 times during the night, including two gibes. The sunset was all dressed in red, the moon rised slowly after and the sky was clear and starry all night. There was quite a lot of commercial shipping though, since my route lay along the edge of the shipping lane most of the way. In the latter stages of the night, when the boat speed fell to 4 knots I hoisted the jib again. I took it down at sunset, since it was blanketed behind the reefed main anyway. A while later I shook the reef out and sailed close-hauled the last hour, due to the veering wind. Arrived at Lkholmen (Sandhamn) at 8am and fell asleep for a couple of hours.

5 September

Warm and sunny, the most of the day was spent just enjoying being completely on my own here. In July, there's difficult finding a free space to moor your boat here and now desoleted and quiet. A wonderful day, could be the last one this summer, wam enough to allow me to relax in the sun for a couple of hours. The chores of today consisted of washing a couple of t-shirts and underwear and to move the boat a little more than a mile to a natural harbour. A crusing sailor's life is hard, remember? ;-) Anchored in a protected 'hole' between some islands, under the interesting name of Vildgrytan (Savage Pot) Needless to mention, I hit the bunk early and slept like a dead oxe.

6 September

Lazy morning. Overcast sky. Stayed in bed looong this morning, reading and listening to weather forecasts. SW light breeze veering to NW during night. No hurry then. It seems as Niklas (my nav teacher colleage) will be coming to crew for me in a week or more. I decide to enjoy the solitude until then just slowly cruising south from one sweet spot to the next. But with a steady, favorable breeze I will take some longer jumps.
Yesterday,when grabbing a beer from under the florboard in the forecabin, I noticed that there was milk powder all over the not-so-deep bilge in that area. Thus, the chore today, was to clean this little mess up. I can here proudly announce that so I did.

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Who: Magnus & Isabelle
Port: Falsterbo -Sweden
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