No if, ands, or butts
06 July 2015
Some of the best made plans are just meant to be changed. We were not quite sure if we should sail to Stockholm via Estonia and Finland which would mean missing a large part of the Swedish archipelago, or slow things down, and explore the best cruising grounds in the Baltic, the "Blue Coast" of Sweden. We took twenty four hours and had two lunch meetings before choosing the later. Now that we are ten days into it and only 35 miles from Stockholm, we can agree we made the right decision and only regret that we don't have more time!
Of course it helps that the sun has been shining and things have warmed up so we could cut the umbilical cord that provided heat. We have been swinging on anchor again having minimal internet connection, and firing up the barbie every night for dinner. We are learning with the help of Tina and Magnus how to anchor Swedish style and you can see from the pictures we did an American modification. Up until now, I really didn't believe Torben when he said the Swedes hammer a pin in the rock that you tie your bow up to! (Maybe he doesn't make up half the things I think he does!) I tell you, it takes nerves of steel to head your boat into a solid rock, and you have to have lots of faith that the stern anchor will hold! (Tivoli would be difficult because her bow pulpit does not have a step or a ladder which would make stepping on the rock more lady like.)
There seemed to be this fascination for the Swedes to be able to step off the bow and have a party on giant, granite stones. Perhaps it is the sport of schlepping all the gear back on the boat via the bow pulpit after drinking and eating, seeing who may slip and fall in. Or maybe it's the warmth of the stones that provide warmth through the evening. We celebrated the fourth of July on such a rock. The American flag flying high in the rigging. We barbequed and partied with Tina and Magnus until the sunlight disappeared.......
Torben has been doing a very professional job of navigating. The detailed charts on the IPad are wonderful. Super accurate. The rocky islands, are actually mountain tops that date back two billion years ago. To compare, the Alps date back only 2.5 million years ago!
Torben will strategize our routes for hours before casting off and only twice, we have slowed down and spun circles taking time to sort out the labyrinth of islands. We've passed through narrow 80 foot deep passages where it seemed our sides would scrape the rocks and I would think him to be crazy if it wasn't for the other boats ahead or following from behind. The scenery is breath taking. Small red summer houses nestled in the woods can be seen if you look for them. I believe we have discovered another cruisers paradise. Now if we could only do something about the winters!
(photos added in album)