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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.
Exhilirating beam reach
08/01/2008, at anchor...

SW 16-20 knots. I woke up already at 6 and foiund the wifi to be more stable. Uploaded pictures and sent a few e-mails. We left Ruhno around 10AM.

CaptainClumsy had quite a performance when we motored out of the harbour. Rde Orm is a full-keeled heavy displacement vessel. This has quite a few advangtges, but at least one disadvantage. Her turniing radius is about the same as a small tanker. This feature makes manoevering in tight quarters, erh...interesting to say the least.

I misjudged her ability to turn around the head of the jetty considering the wind direction, and ended up in close contact with the bottom right at the breakwater. Since the wind pushed the boat onto the shoaal, it wasnt possible to get out even in reverse gear. However, a swedish couple in a Bruce Roberts 53, noticed our predicament and helped us with a long line. They could get us out of trouble with their huge genua winch, and soon enough we were underway.

Thank you - 'Joyride' hope to be able to give you a hand if needed sometime.

The original plan was to go 45 degrees to the tiny island of Kihnu (Kin) but this gave us an unnerving oint of sail, with flogging headsail in the choppy seas that build tremendously fast on these shallow waters. Mostly between 10-30 meters deep.

We decided to head north instead, to the next largest of the Estonian islands; Hiiumaa or Dag in Swedish, and then north across the Bay of Finland to the archipelago around Hanko (Hang).

The wind veered soon enough to West, and increased rapidly. The mizzen came down, then a reef too. we were still making 6,5 knots most of the time and this was actually superb sailing. I e as soon as we got used to teh seas. In 25-30 knots of wind, they grew rapidly and started t break. Not higher than 1,5 meters but short and VERY steep. This was, as a new experince even for me with many years of sailing in the Baltic Sea. Rde Orm rode the waves very nice as always, soft in her mottion even under these quite extreme circumstances.

When the wind decreased in the evening we anchored in 6 m depth in the shelter of a tiny island a couple of South of Muhu, with it's busy road ferries between the mainland (Virtsu port) and Muhu (Kuivastu port)

To Run in a dead calm
07/31/2008, Run; situated in the centre of The Bight of Riga

We arrived at 11PM, in the dark, starry and warm night. decided to anchor a mile outside the port. The weather was dead calm, so we falled a sleep to the slowly rockng motion of the boat in the gentle swells.

Dead calm in the morning too. After some 'fixing and tinkering' with the engine and some dry lube in the rigging at 11 AM, we felt ready to make our entry. Making jokes about 're-claiming the island for Sweden we came into the fancy, brand new marina. Built last year with funds from the European Union the slips were almost shiny. 20 guest berths, showers and a sauna (unfortunately too warm for me to even think of trying it out)

The island itself has 60 year-round inhabitants. 3 times as many during the summer. Swedish people were living here from at least the 13th century and to the WW 2. All names are still in Swedish and in the church, built 1644, everything was in swedish too.

Beautiful, a bit sleepy island with some very nice houses recently built in the traditional style.


Look at the footage here:

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

Run - Home of the Vikings?
07/30/2008, Ruhno (Run)

After a few of a sailors typical chores; such as provisioning, bunker of water, and washing some sheets and towels in the washing machine at the service building in the marina, we set off att 3 pm for Run (ruhno in Estonian) some 35 miles to the ESE of Kuressaare. Run has been a part of Sweden for more than 700 years, before it became Estonian at the time for there independence after the Russian Revolution 1917. The entire population was swedish-speaking and they were evacuated to Sweden in 1944 when the Soviet Union was about to take control of the young Baltic nations.

Unfortunately King Neptune is not on our side. A calm day made us motor all the way... not our favourite cup of tea...

Fairy Tale Castle and modern Spa Hotels
07/29/2008, Kuressaare, Saarenmaa - Estonia

We took off quite early to go to Kuressaare, the capital of this island. Unfortunately the wind was very weak, after a mighty rain squall just after we took off, and at the end we had to motor for 5 hours to make it.

Kuressaare was a pleasant surprise, a neat harbour at the end of a long dredged channel, and this mixture of old wooden houses and super-modern buildings that we are now taking as typical feature for the Baltic countrys.

A true 'fairy-tale' Castle as the icing on the cake. Big, well mantained, and complet with digged out water canals surrounding it and some impressing towers.... one really expected to see a Virgin leaning out a window in the tower, watching for her brave Knight to save her....

To Estonia meeting Seals and the Border Guard
07/27/2008, Srve, Saarenmaa, Estonia (sel)

We decided to undertake the leap to ?-sel (Saarenmaa in Estonian) approximately 100 miles to Eastward. ?-sel is the next largest ialand in the Baltic Sea and although it as once been a part of Sweden, it's Estonian nowadays.

We left at 11 AM and the sailing was superb ! A close-hauled leg at som 2-18 knots of wind. The sailing was so great in fact that I, who generally never hand steer more than absolute necessary, sat at the wheel until midnight. 13 hours in a row, must be a sort of personal record. Exhilirating as it was, it obviously had to see an end. Around three AM in the morning the wind died out. Again. Dead calm. For five hours we were becalmed, and the swell was such as to give us but little rest in our bunks.

8AM the wind started to pick up a bit again, and soon the sails were hoisted.It took us until the afternoon to make it round the southern point of ?-sel, by the lighthouse Srve. Since we were tired by now we didn't feel like pressing on in the very light breeze. Instead we anchored on the eastern side of a sand reef south of the light house. This gave us good protection from the waves, and the wind was predicted to continue from NW and light too.

A little while after our arrival, two men in green uniforms and high rubber boots in the hot weather came towards us in tiny boat with an outboard. They turned out to be the Border Police and claimed to do a routine control. After briefly lookiing through our papers, and asking where we came from and where we were heading next theu took off again. I guess that either they never saw a boat anchor at this potentially exposed spot before, or they just thought it would be fun to take a closer look at us.

A little while later, after I had taken a short swim from the boat to freshen up a bit, we got another couple of visitors. No offense to the Estoninan officails, but these newcomers were really welcome. A very curious baby Gray Seal were playing around the boat for ten minutes, watching us closely like he was trying to figure us out. Then he disappeared only to be back a little while later with his Mum. They both examined us and Rde Orm carefully, and dived around the boat for a while before they got bored, or hungry, or whaever, and disappeared.

In the evening the wind increased and veered to north, thus making our anchorage very unpleasant due to the choppy seas that had us rolling heavily all night long. exhausted as we were, we slept fine anyway.

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Who: Magnus & Isabelle
Port: Falsterbo -Sweden
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