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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 Sum Up of 2468 miles at sea
10/12/2007, Falsterbo

Almost 2500 nautical miles on the GPS during a four month cruise.

I'd like to share a few random thoughts here with a perspective from two weeks onshore after completion of the voyage.

2500 miles divided in 120 days equals 21 miles/day. So what did I actually DO all those days, when I didn't sail?

-I haven't got an idea. A few of them I was at anchor due to no wind, or too strong winds (from the wrong direction i e)and a few more kept me busy exploring on shore. Apart from that I just don't know.

2500 miles in four months equals 7500 miles in a year. Actually that's more than the average full time cruising sailor travels per year.

2500 miles is roughly equivalent to an Atlantic crossing east to west from the Canaries to the Caribbean. Without any comparisons otherwise, I do believe I've seen and visited a few more interesting places en route.
When playing with figures, a straight line from the hauling port of Pukavik to Tre and back to Falsterbo is approx. 1500 miles, so I sure have zig-zaged a fair bit.
I motored a total of 85 hours or approximately 400 miles or 16 % of the total distance.
I weathered 5-6 gales, all except 2 at harbour or anchor. All in all, calms are (as always) more frequent then gales and I have experienced a fair bit of very light winds, with boat speed in the range of 2-4 knots.

Did I get fed up with sailing? -Unfortunately not. On the contrary, I have come to realize that this lifestyle is for me to stick to, in the foreseeable future. Hence I am going to spend the winter selling off my house and other shore-bound belongings and take off on an open-ended cruise starting in the summer of 2008.

There will be more to come...

Sweet Sunday Afternoon sail
10/07/2007, Falsterbo

Sunny, and a light Westerly breeze. Crispy/chilly but really sweet, no sweat, little afternoon sail.

A couple of hours northbound and then back, coffee and cake.

Sanna, Felix and Annie onboard plus skipper. Myra the crew dog spent a free watch on shore.

Over and out

A Boat Move of 1,5 mile
10/01/2007, Falsterbo Canal

Yesterday, we moved the boat under the opening bridge. From 1 Oct and for two weeks the bridge will not be in working order due to maintenance.
Rde Orm is tied up north of the canal now in the guest harbour there, awaiting the final 15 miles to Malm, where she will be moored during the upcoming winter.

A Sleigh ride in the Gale
10/01/2007, Falsterbo Canal

28 September

Now's the time! The forecast this morning says NE 12-24 knots increasing in the afternoon to 24-32 knots. This would make a fast and fine ride south, around the 'corner' at Sandhammaren and then due west to Falsterbo. Around 110 miles, thus I have a decent chance of arriving Falsterbo just after sunrise tomorrow morning.
I set sail at 10am when the fog lightened up. Nearly no breeze at all, I had to hoist the booster (large lightwind headsail in thin nylon cloth- an early sort of gennaker)to make any headway at all. At noon I could take it down again and broad reached, course 210 degrees under main and storm jib. At 2.30 I reefed the main, then the second reef at 3.30. I passed by the town of Simrishamn, some 6-7 miles away out at sea, at sunset 6.30 and by then I took the main down and lashed it thoroughly to the boom. It felt like the boat made too little speed through the water so I decided to hoist the mizzen sail with the storm jib. The forecast at 3.50 predicted the wind to increase to 35-45 knots during the night. I didn't want to have to take the main down during the dark hours, hence I wanted to hoist the mizzen, which is far more easy to get down in a hurry, when need would be.
The reason for this gale is a high north of me, and a low further south. These weather systems kind of cooperates to strenghten the NE winds to gale force. No falling pressure on my barometer and no rain with the hard wind.
Anyway, back to the manouever of hoisting the mizzen. To do it, I would need to make the boat go to windward, thus avoiding the battens to interfere with the shrouds as I am hoisting the sail. Flying the storm jib only, the boat is not willing to point at windward though, a beam reach was as high as it could be. Hence I had had quite a hard job to get that mizzen sail up. When I eventually succeeded in this, it was only to find out that this was a bit too much sail area under the present circumstances, plus it made the boat wanting to round up in every gust. OK, lesson learned, got the darn sail down again and lashed it too the boom. This was a 10 minutes wrestle, as the boat rolled violently in the following seas, which was growing quickly in size. From now and until arrival at Falsterbo I preceeded under the tiny storm jib alone, and we made 5-6 knots boat speed during the evening, then 7-7,5 (!) knots during the later part of the night. The boat balanced perfectly, and Helmer , the wind vane, steered so fine allowing me to spend most of the night hours resting/dozing off on my bunk. Every 20 minutes I had a thorough look around the horizon for commercial shipping and then I went back to the bunk again. This is a quite busy shipping lane so there were a few ships to avoid close encounter with, but I had set my waypoints a bit closer to the shoreline to stay away from them. This meant shallower water and the corresponding larger seas. It's always a trade off...
Rde Orm rode fantastically well to the seas. Every 10-15 minutes there came a couple of waves about twice the average size, and the sound when the boat rode on the breakers reminded me of standing under a water-fall.
At 10.30pm I jibed as I passed Sandhammaren's Lighthouse and steered due west for the rest of the night. It was exhilirating and refreshing to spend the night on the bunk, just enjoying the motion of the boat, and the wind howling through the rigging. The only mishap, was when I woke up and took a GPS reading as of 187 degrees. It took me a couple of seconds to realise it read 187 instead of 287. Christ! The boat had jibed by itself and was now heading towards Poland! When I got out into the cockpit the cause of this soon became clear to me. One of the lines from the vane to the tiller had broken, so a nightly repair was called upon. This was actually a lot easier than it may sound and soon the yacht was back on the correct course again.
At 4.30am Sanna gave me a phone call. She was on her way to work, and volunteered to drive by the entrance to the Falsterbo Canal to have a look at the seastate and to see if the spot I had in mind for berthing was free. Much to my content it was, and despite the incredible boat speed during the night hours, I figured that it should be almost full daylight before I arrived. A cup of hot chocolate and some raisins provided a boost in my level of blood sugar, and then I returned to the bunk to get all the rest I could.
As always, the sailing itself does not bother me, but entering harbours in hard weather, without crew, always do. As mostly, those worries turned out to be unnecessary, the entering between the piers and the manouevers of berthing was no problem at all. It was something else that bothered me this time.
When I had 2 miles left to the piers giving shelter to the basin, it was time to steer 355 degrees. This was not possible under the storm jib as I have described previously. I took it down to motor the last stretch heading 50 degrees from the wind. Due to shelter from the coastline, the seastate was much less severe now, but the wind speed was still at it's high. The 30 hp engine could hardly provide speed over ground, just 1-1,5 knots and the boat healed 15-20 degrees solely due to the windage caused by the rigging. This was nothing to be bothered about, but the 'hollow' sound from the engine exhaust gave me a hint that it was not getting enough cooling water. Time for some logical thinking and then a fast decision.

To the Bb side (leeward) there were shoals all over the place and no more than 50-100 meters away. Thus, If the engine would fail, my only possibilty to save my boat from grounding would be to set the storm jib again and head due south, away from the shore line. Then I could heave to, and wait for calmer weather to sort the cooling problem out and then head for port again. I decided to have a go at port right away. Running the engine on low revs just enough to make headway. If the temperature alarm would start beeping, I would have to switch to the plan above. If the alarm would start while I was entering the basin, I figured that I could still run the engine the few minutes it would take to the dock without any serious damage being done to it...
It all worked out fine, apparently the engine got just about enough cooling to not sound the alarm. I must admit that it was quite a relief to tie the docklines this time.
It took me an hour or so to get the boat shipshape again (including tensioning the belt driving the water pump and trying it out) after which I celebrated with my last beer. Then I was 'unconsious' for three hours until Sanna came to pick me up on her return from work.

This led to my first night spent in a bed in a house for four months.

P.S. Later in the afternoon I checked with the Met office and they reported wind speeds during the night of 32-40 knots, gusting at 45 on and off. Quite a blow!
As long as the day light allowed me yesterday, I could see lots of migrating birds heading the same way as me. One exhausted little fellow was a passenger on Rde Orm for a few hours. I fed him some cheese and I want to think that he did well and had a lucky voyage south when he finally left.. The picture above shows him sitting on the mizzen sheet. D.S.

Back at a Favorite Place
09/26/2007, Skiftesn

25 September

Weather forecast said rain all day and variable winds. I woke up to a sunny and crispy morning without any dew at all. I had my cabin heater on all through the night. When I got up on deck it became very clear that it doesn't like being run at low flame at all. Everything on deck was black and sooty! Well, sometimes one has to swab the decks anyway, right? This was the day, apparently.
This kept me busy most part of the morning and I got underway at 1pm. A very light breeze made Rde Orm barely make way south to a cardinal bouy, then I could easen the sheets, turning west. The plan was to move the convenient distance of 12 miles to one of my favourite places around here. Skiftn, just half a mile suth of the well known island of Tjr. Nearly as soon as I could easen the sheets turning west, the wind died completely. After 10 minutes, I gave up and fired up the cast iron genny. Then what? Exactly! The wind came back from west, with a couple of rain showers and some fog to keep it company. Great. I considered wether I should turn back, but decided I really wanted to spend a night at Skiftn, since it would definetely be the last time in the foreseeable future. Thus I mtored an hour and a half, then found myself anchored for the night at the much desired spot. An other little mishap to lighten me up was that my radar refused to work when called upon in the showers... will call the supplier tomorrow... Even, when sailing, some days are a bit less great than others... A much more enjoyable incident was my trial of the new dinghy. A pleasure to row, I offloaded all frustrations circumnavigating this island powered by oars!

26 September

We all make mistakes, but a wise man don't repeat the same one twice. I remember once reading this someplace, and I did run the cabin heater for a couple of hours n high flame yeasterday night and turned it off before going to sleep. This payed off, no sooty mess on deck to deal with. A calm and foggy morning it was and I went for a row to shore with Myra the crew dog after breakfast. It came out to be a half a mile trip to Tjr, where be both had a nice walk before returning to the mother ship. The rest of the day was spent relaxing in the sun, with a short break to clean the bilge area of the yacht. I am resting for the ride south, since gale force or near gale force NE winds are predicted for tomorrow. This means I will make hull speed at least.

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Who: Magnus & Isabelle
Port: Falsterbo -Sweden
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