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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.
A Wet Ride to Kristianopel

20 September

Autumn, really. It never even got to full daylight today. A kind of dark gray dusk all day. Low skies, threatening to offload all their containts in form of rain any minute. Had a walk with the crew dog after the usual morning routines. The night had been very windy, and the SW winds sort of blew right through this entire harbour, causing the boat's movements jerky and uncomfy. The small industrial harbour here, was a bit noisy, and smelled of timber and saw dust. Another, very familiar smell was that of pig urine, as the farmers fertilized their land with it. Autumn. The rural smell reminds me of 'home' ( I am living in a farming district) and how close I actually am now. Approximately 150 miles left. The fact that this wonderful trip is soon coming to an end really fills me with mixed emotions.
All this made me not want to stay in this port. Period. The forecast was near gale force winds from SW. The worst direction obviously, a direct headwind. In the morning hours the wind speed was more like 14-20 knots, and the meteorologists have been wrong before so I decided to take the short leap to Kristianopel further south. That is a nice place where I can comfortably wait for the winds to change to more favourable direction.
Hence I left at 11.30 for a few hours tacking along this shallow coastline with lots of reefs making it a necessity to stay at least a couple of miles to the east of shore.
All went well, as usual, the wind increased gradually though, and the tacking under reduced sail was a very wet business.Everyuthing from stem to stern, including myself was saoking wet from spray when I reached port at 3pm. Sven-Erik, the harbour captain here showed up shortly after my arrival, and kindly enough he offered me a cup of coffee and a chat in his cosy office. The first time I met him here was in 1982, so it's a kinda' 25 year Jubilee now. Sven-Erik is one of the few men still alive who has been working on the sailing ships of the 'old days'. It's alway interesting to hear him tell a tale or two from his experience.
Kristianopel is a very interesting little town in itself. Very picturesque with old wooden houses and a church built in 1624, it was once the fortification of the Danish here at the former borderline between Denmark and Sweden. City walls and towers are still visible dispite several battles held here in the 17th century. In 1657 however, Sweden finally beat Denmark, and at the peace treaty held here, Denmark lost all it's provinces at the mainland Sweden. I guess this was the starting point for Sweden's ambitionsto expand it's territories and power throughout Europe.
At this spot I will stay until I get following winds for the last leg round the southern coast of Sweden to the city of Malm, where Rde Orm is planned to be berthed for the winter.

The Day of Minor Breakdowns

18 September

Let's face it. Nothing really came out the way I would have wanted it to. Northerly wind near gale force predicted. Would have been terrific for me, heading south. Dead calm it was all day. Drizzling rain until noon. Decided to start motoring at 10 am, assuming that the wind would soon come. Ended up motoring for eight full hours, and moored in the Borgholm-?-land guest harbour. At 6.30 when I had dinner on board, the northerly started to increase. I begin to think that the Kalmar Strait has a curse hanging over Rde Orm and me. For years now, I either get calms or 25 knots headwind. At least I made some distance today, and did NOT get a headwind.
Had a walk in town before dinner. It's such a weird feeling to walk the empty streets of a place that is sooo hectic and full of people during the vacation period.
The Mets keep talking of N -NW winds near gale force. We'll see about that tomorrow.

19 September

Well, bad luck. This morning the Met Office suddenly changed their mind, SW 14-20 knots were the Mantra for the day. Got underway early,at 8.30, after some trouble leaving the dock. Smart as I were yesterday night, I berthed on the windward side of the dock. Obviously this caused me some minor problems getting away. All went well though. I sailed close-hauled all day, but I didnt have to tack until almost at Bergkvara in the southern part of Kalmar Strait. Even though I was aiming at Kristianopel, 12 miles further south, I settled for Bergkvara. The reason for this being the simple fact that I have never been here before. Also, I could make it to port before dawn.
Off season as this is, I havent seen many yachts lately. A few in the Stockholm archipelago last weekend and then almost none. (not counting the ones at the race in Vstervik) In Borgholm Port there were only two more yachts in the guest harbour. None of them seemed to be manned. I saw no signs of people there. Today, when the sailing was, well, semi-rough, I spotted 4 more yachts out there. One going the opposite way, To smallish Polish sailing yachts heading south and one german single-handler in an IF-boat (Folkboat made in GRP) Since I have been sailing an IF for years (wonderful boats BTW), I was happy when I found out he was going to Bergkvara too. Sadly, he didn't seem interested in any kind of socializing, though.
After more than 2000 miles on the log this summer, it should not come as a surprise that a couple of minor mishaps, or breakdowns, occurred today. Firstly, one of the lines to the Aries windvane parted due to constant chafe, and then the Bb lifeline let go when I left harbour in the morning. Fixed the lifeline with a rope, and changed the lines t the vane too. Then upon arrival to port, I nticed that the idle rev's on the engine had become too low. Fixed this too. This whole operation took me about thirty minutes. A cruising sailor's life is hard, remind you. Lol.

Carbon Copy Sail?
09/17/2007, Vstervik

17 September

After the usual morning routines, we motored the few miles to town and tied up to the city dock. This saving a lot of footwork. We had an early lunch in the cockpit, before I followed Sanna to the train. She must be back for work tomorrow morning. A quick stop at the grocery store for a few more items and then I left the dock at 3pm. Sunny and near gale force SW wind which is supposed to decrease during the late afternoon. I hoisted the mizzen sail at the dock and the jib soon after. I had prepared the main with a reef. We did fine with these sails for the first few miles, since the gusts were really strong. At the strait by Spr Bk I hoisted the main, and shortly after I could shake the reef out as well. I had a long close-hauled sail to ?- Ekn. Back to the same place as two days ago. There the wind almost dropped, and I motored for yet another hour to Stora Vippholmen, where I anchored for the night. Following winds predicted for the next two days. Great, I will be able to make a fine leap towards home port then.

An Out of Season Weekend Sail and how we 'won' the Race
09/16/2007, Vstervik

14 September

A gray and drizzling morning welcomed me when I looked out of the companionway hatch. Well,
no gale force winds anyway. I was quick to get underway, by motor, to get to the Town Guest Harbour ( a busy one during summer, with 500 guest moorings available). After more than a week the hot shower and a shave was sooo enjoyable. After that, most of the day was spent washing sheets, towels and clothes.
During this time I had a walk with the dog in the surroundings, including two more yacht harbours. A handwritten sheet of paper on the wall of the clubhouse caught my attention. It advertized a second hand, but never used(!), inflatable dinghy. Since my present dink, in reality more of an enlarged bathing toy than a serious dinghy, I called the phone number on the ad. The man answering came to pick me up in his car just ten minutes later. I recognized him immediately, Tony Wrdig, a retired navy officer, who has been giving lectures to my fellow nav. teachers and myself at the beginning of this year. This sure is a small world after all!
The dink was defintely 'as new' and we made a deal. Upon return to Rde Orm with this new 'sibling', it was time to pick up Sanna at the train station. A happy reunion...

15 September

When I arrived to the Guest Harbour yesterday, I soon found out that there was a sailing race taking place here this weekend. 112 starting yachts was to sail to Byxelkrok on ?-land today, and back tomorrow. Approximately a distance of 32 miles one way. They all took off at 8am, before we woke up for sure. Pretty rough conditions, with winds in the 25-40 knots range predicted for today from NW and decrasing and veering to W or SW for tomorrow.
Sanna wanted to have a look at the town before taking off, I stayed in the boat due to a sore foot. Thus we did not leave harbour until 2pm. The wind was hard and gusting a lot. Since we were only going some 12 miles south to find a nice island to anchor at for the night, I thught it was a splendid occassion to try the storm jib for the first time. Hence, we left harbour with only this tiny, red sail hoisted. In all honesty, it left the boat a bit under-canvassed. But in the gusts we made 5,5 knots and 4-4,5 in between. Since we found this to be sooo comfy, we were just to indolent to bother with hoisting the mizzen too. Broad-reaching like this a couple of hours took us to our chosen spot for the night, ?-stra Ekn.
During this short sail, we met some 25 boats heading the opposite way. All participants of the race, whom apparently had had mishaps or simply given up the race. The weirdest thing was that most of them motored against waves and gale force wind. I am never going to understand those guys... Anyway we were fine, without any drama whatsoever we kept sailing at our mderate speed, never having to worry about anything breaking or so. Upn arrival we enjoyed a supper of fried salmon with rice and aioli, mmmm.

16 September

Gray skies again today and believe it or not, very light wind from SW. We did not experience more than 15 knots at most today. We got under sail around 10 in the morning and broad-reached back north, needless to say with full sails. Just before the narrow strait at Spr Bk a small powerboat slowly approached us. The man in it observed us very thoroughly for a little while, after which he steered up to us and wondered how things where going. -Just fine, I said a bit surprised. -Are you fishing? I wondered. -No, just taking a little trip,he answered. -Might be the last trip this year, he went on. Then he drove off. As we wondered about this curiosity from his side, we happened to take a look over our shoulder. There came all the racing boats on the same course as we, but a couple of miles behind. The coin fell down. This guy in the powerboat thought we were actually leading the race! We had a good laugh. Then we were quick to go to Skansholmen to tie up to a mooring. We justabout had time to prepare a picnic basket with our lunch. We then sat at the terrace of the clubhouse, lunching, while all the participants rounded some 100 meters away hoisting their spinnakers in front of our table. Grand ending of an out of season weekend sail,don't you agree?
The wind piped up during the evening and night, gusting at gale force again from time to time. Didn't bother us much, though. We contently spent the remains of the day in the cabin with the diesel heater making it warm and comfy...

On top of the Hill
09/13/2007, Spr

13 September

14 degrees in the cabin when I woke up today. Sunny again, fine. Got under sail at 10 and had another day of grand sailing. One could wish for the water to be 10 degrees warmer and the air 15 degrees, but then I would be the King of Tonga, and this a quite different story. A lazy broad-reach some 25-30 miles south. The wind was a bit lighter than predicted, and when isn't it? 14-22knots, almost flat sea and gusty. I dropped anchor at 2pm in a small bay on the SE side of Spr, where the Bk is on top of this quite high island. The bk is/was seen from long distances out at sea, showing where the entrance to the town of Vstervik is found. I reckon it's 25 years since the last time I walked to the bk. Therefore I did that now, and documented it in pic's for you to see. Nice place, or? After having dinner, and discovering that the altitude of this island hide the evening sun from me, I decided to make a neat little move of 2,5 miles closer to town. Thus I anchored at Skansholmen, Westerviks SegelSllskaps club island right in the middle of the channel that forms the entrance. King Karl XII decided in 1717 that the town should have an armament here to protect it from enemy attacks. When this did no more seem plausible, the sailing society of Vstervik made it their summer home.
The plan is to get into the town's guest harbour early tomorrow morning, get some washing done and then pick up Sanna at the train station at 6pm. Oh, and there's yet another gale warning issued for tomorrow and they day after. We'll see...

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Who: Magnus & Isabelle
Port: Falsterbo -Sweden
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