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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 Thunderstorm and a meeting with a Pilot
07/21/2008, Vndburg, Ljugarn - Gotland

20 July

Woke up at 8 AM from a tremendous thunderstorm that kept us in the v-berth for a good hour-and-a-half.

The rain poured down like from a shower tap on full pressure.

A bit lazy as we were after the crossing, most of the day was just spent tinkering with all those odd jobs around a boat.

Late in the afternoon we took off for a slow sail to the little fishing port of Nrshamn, further north. we arrived at 10PM and hit the bunk almost immediately.

21 JUly

Left early to arrive Ljugarn at mid day. We are to team up with Staffan on 'Dorinda' here. S is a retired pilot and he sails a L-28. He is also the one who gave us the tip about The Curonian sea in Lithuania. He is now on his way there himself.

We had a potluck BBQ party at the dock in the evening, and had a very nice time. The mighty high pressure system seems to hae parked outside the Norwegian Coast now, and that usually means very stable nice weather and light variable winds for days to come. So we intend to enjoy life at its fullest, and just make short hops northward along this coast, until the winds will give us a fast and easy crossing to Latvia anf Estonia

Overnighter to Vndburg, Gotland
07/19/2008

Sun from a clear blue sky, and a light SW breeze saw us leave in the morning.

There were some swell at sea, and this combined wth a rather weak wind made the sails and booms hit back and forth dispite our rigged preventers. We made a decent speed of 4-5 knots but as everyone knows, who'd tried it, a sail like this is not that nice for any longer stretch of time. After a couple of hours we decided to change course for Vndburg on the SE tip of Gotland. A beam reach at 5 knots with the booster, main and mizzen was a lot more pleasant.

It looked to be one of those spectacular sumer nights, with a clear sky and a full moon (!) but just before sunset, and sadly enough, they skies turned gray, and we were denied the spectacle.

As a sailor you have to take is at it comes, and at 2,30 in the morning, the wind died out completely. Becalmed and still 60 M to go. Down with the booster and then we both hit the bunk to get some sleep. Since it was officially my watch, I woke up when the wind came back at 4,30. Hoisted the booster, sheeted them and set Helmer, the trustworthy old Aries windvane to work. Then a 15 minutes cat-nap as usual.

We made 3-4 knots the rest of the trip and arrived at Vndburg in the afternoon. It is a small fishing harbour with no village or other signs of human settlings nearby. Actually it is two harbours. The first one, buit in the 20-ies when the fishing fleet was motorized and needed better shelter from the sea. This harbour has been exposed to sanddrift over the years and has a depth of a mere 1,50 meters now. The new harbour, was built with dynamite. They simply blewed the limestone away in teh early 80-ies to make a 4,5 meter deep harbour for the now bigger trawler fishing vessels.

Shortly after, the fishing declined here as elsewhere, and the harbour is now mostly used a few busy summer weeks for guesting pleasure craft.


Out of Klaipeda harbour and back again
07/17/2008, Klaipeda, Lithuania

Beautiful sunny morning again. After breakfast, and on the request of the (today) ambitious skipper, the whole crew undertook some of these moments of hard work that sailors have to do. Not too often, I am glad to add.

Anyway, with the oldest and most worn docking line found on board, as a tool, we keel-hauled the boat. This action was caused of the discovery I made upon diving in the home port to inspect the lower parts of the whale's (sorry boat's) body. Since I discoverd a few colonies of barnacles here and there I have been at unrest. So we got rid of them and the old line came up from the not very clear water, not unlike a shaving brush in appearance. To anyone who didn't already discover it... barnacles are razor sharp.

As an interesting aside; I recall an article I ead a couple of years ago. As to undesired growth on the bottom of your boat. ( Is there ever desired growth?) In mid July, if you go uop a river or whatever fresh water you can find navigable, for a few days, will kill the 'baby' barnacles off, since they attach to hull this time of the year. This procedure have now been effectively undertaken as to Rde Orm's noble submerged parts. With great interest I will follow-up on this by diving on her every now and then during the rest of the season.

As I think I have previously mentioned, It's three years now since I gave her a new antifouling paint, and it's starting to show, even though the growth in the brackish water of the Baltic is nowhere nere as bad as in the warmer seas.

The skipper also climbed the mast with kind cooperation of the first mate. This action waas called upon since the radar reflector needed to be better attached to the upper shread and the mast not to rotate under way. When hoisted in the Bosun's chair and ready with this chore, I kindly asked my first mate to release the halyard that secured me, so I could climb down again, she first refused. Blackmailing me to take a more active part in washing the dishes and related kind of work on board she made me make a somewhat vague promise before letting me down again.

Mutiny, should need to be disciplined. I am considering how to best take action and will let you know when I've come up with a good scheme...

At noon we felt ready to set sail again and start the next leg of the trip - 120 M to Ventspils, Latvia or to Vndburg on Gotland, Sweden.

Interestingly enough, Lithuania is the only country facing the Baltic Sea, where there are no weather forecasts in English on the VHF. Internet is not that easy to get access to according to our experience, so yesterday evening I hooked up our SSB reciever to the computer to get a couple of weather faxes. Don't no if my schedules where to old and thus not valid any more but we could not get anything there....

So, since it was sunny and the barometer had been rising for 6-8 hours we thought it wqs as good a day as any for an overnighter. In NIda we saw a (then) 2 days old forecast predicting SW Force 4-5 Beaufort.

When we reached the entrance and had to fire up the engine to make it between the breakwaters, a tremendous thunderstorm caught us. 30-40 knots of wind on the nose, and the choppy confused seas around the piers, combinde with a downfall of rain seldom seen our mood somewhat faded at a fast rate. A mere cable lenght outside the piers I realised that the wind was more NW than SW. This would mean forereaching 120 miles to Ventspils or beating towards Gotland. No, no way! This is a pleasure trip, so the tiller hard to port and back to the same spot to anchor. Basta!!!

Did a few more attempts with weather faxes during the evening but without success.

Back to Klaipeda
07/16/2008

More provisioning. We decided to really stock up on things that were cheap here. Since we will continue this cruise for 2,5 months more, this seems like an obvious thing to do. So what could that be?

Beer, wine, some canned food, especially fish of various kinds.

After stowing away all this on the boat we sailied back the approx. 20 miles to Klaipeda where we anchored just south of the harbour, a few cable lengths outside the channel. During night we got some entertainment in for of squalls with heavy rainfall.

To Nida
07/15/2008, Curonian Sea

The wind had switched back to SW, and since our course to the town of Nida is 259 deg we had to motor again. That said, I'd rather motor the few miles here in the Curonian, and have a nice SW to carry us the 110 miles north to Ventspils in Latvia at our nest leg.

At noon more or less, we moored in the little port of Nida. The harbour master didn't really approve with the spot I chose for us, so upon his recommendatons we crossed the basin to pick a mooring bouy tright opposite to his office.

After lunch on board we felt ready to take a walk to the top of the highest of all the sand dunes south of the town. 54 meters above sea level was not only the view terrific, but there was a beatiful sculpture there too. An obelisque, 6-7 meters high with signs and inscriptions in the Runic alphabet on it thrilled the pagan in me. The Viking Heritage is apparently alive here too.

After we returned to town we provisioned at the supermarket. A real pleasure price-wise. Wine are as expensive as in Sweden but the good local beer is cheap as is quite a bit of groceries and canned food.

The evening ended at a reataurant right at the dock. A modern type of Pizzeria called 'Cili Pica' . On the wall a huge flatscreen showed Rod Stewart music videos from the 70-ies (?). The pizza was really good, thin and crispy and we returned to the boat in good mood.

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Who: Magnus & Isabelle
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