Sunday, 20 May 2007

In the swim!

Runmaren: click for album

There is this magic with the weather, that when you get away from the land the sun shines...

The forecast for Saturday was winds gusting over 20m/s so we opted for the short tour to be home on Friday; and a trip to Runmaren . Not an island we've visited before although we've sailed past many times.

The trip there was around three and a half hours, mostly close hauled or reaching. After checking out the smaller bay on east Runmaren and finding three boats already moored in the 'best' spot we motored round to West Runmaren and the more open bay there. There was just one other IF for company as we came in to the cliffs. Good deep water close in - but not too many spots where it's easy to step ashore. ... and as I later found - not the best holding for the anchor. ( I was a bit stingy with the anchor line)

It was lovely, with the stern pointed west for the sunset.. and still calm water all around. In May the evenings are still chilly, but there are far fewer boats around so you get these lovely islands almost to yourself. The island itself is part of the Utö nature reserve stewarded by Skärgårdstiftelsen - and it's easy to understand why as eider swim in rafts off the cliffs, and oystercatchers wing past piping.

Supper was beef, pan-fried on the BBQ (I left the rack at home), and grilled bananas doused in Grand Marnier. Which, with a little red wine, is just the thing to leave you feeling relaxed and mellow as the horizon darkens and the stars come out...


Morning, still and sunny, saw the first dip of the year. We stretch the mainsheet back to the backstay when we're moored for more room in the cockpit - and oops!... that was the shackle going over the side as I loosened it to move it back. No spare on board - and I think I can see it down there... and a weight and a line to mark where it is, 3m down...
Splash! ...and brrrrr... it's cold!

Sadly I didn't manage to find the shackle - but the water was actually a lot warmer than I'd feared. It won't be long before swimming is back on the agenda for real. :-)

And the mainsheet? We robbed Peter to pay Paul and swapped out a shackle on the boom downhaul for a smaller one...

17/18 May 2007
Karlslunds to Runmaren: 19.6nm round trip.
Paul, Pål
Thurs: Variable S-SE 2-4 m/s
Fri: SW 0-2 rising W 5-6 m/s
See it on the map...

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Obscured from view

After a grey morning it was nice to find sunshine as we headed out from Karlslunds. The wind was light and on the nose... just nice a gentle sail for the season's premier.

It turned fluky as we beat up to Havtornsudde and the main channel, but steadied for a comfortable close reach all the way across the sound. The sun is warm, but the wind is chilly on the fingers.

West towards Mysingen the horizon was grey... fog on the way, creeping closer, swathing the islands and swallowing them up.
But it was still clear and fine as we furled the jib, and dropped the main to motor in to the narrow entrance.

Inside there were just four boats, all moored to shore on the south side in the late afternoon sun. So we were alone as we dropped the anchor and nosed in to the shaded shore on the other side...

The boat is soon shipshape and we decamp to the shore laden with the grill & all the essentials. Experience says it's a short walk through the woods to the sunny side - and fine views out over the sound.

As the coals got started we watched terns fishing from the rocks as the sun slowly set into the fog still spreading out towards us. ..and to the east more fog coming, from over Ornö behind us. As the lamb cooked the far shore disappeared and then island after island -until, as the fruit kebabs sizzled, even the horizon was gone.

Still, silent, calm... the glassy water indistinguishable from the grey sky beyond. Far from Stockholm in another world, obscured from view...
12/13 May 2007
Karlslunds to Kolnäsvik: 9.5nm round trip.
Variable S-SE 3-5 m/s
Check where we went on the map...

Saturday, 5 May 2007

101 things to do after breakfast.

Getting the mast down is the first step. Untie everything and wash it down. Refit the spreaders and the outer stays.. and then sort out the mess so everything will arrive in the right place when it gets upright. A bottlescrew that has a damaged thread and a trip to the chandelry at the shop. Not forgetting a new Windex (how many is that now?).
Lift over the mast to a trolley and carefully wheel 9m of mast out past the parked cars to bag a spot on the quay.

What sort of idiot moors a thirty-five footer on the quay half blocking the mast crane? We squeeze Mata Hari in to lie alongside and practise that peculiar ballet of getting the mast into position and the stays fastened on... and if someone can tell me a cast-iron technique for keeping the windex out of the mast-crane then do, please!

A spectator - great! .. stood impatiently watching with a mast on the roofrack of his Volvo, sticking out a good eight feet in both directions. A triumph of ingenuity over road safety! It turned out to be the mizzen for a (different ) 35 footer. Nuff said.

Just let's get the backstay in place and we can be off back to the berth to tension up everything. Boom, topping lift, main-sheet, kicker, downhaul, cunningham - hoist the genoa onto the roller reefing - Fit the the mains'l, boom cover, sprayhood.

..and refit the refurbished connector for the mast navlight. (Thanks Micke!)

All done :-)
Almost. The lamp's still open circuit. no.. yes.. ermm.. oh. an intermittent connection in the switch.

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day.. and we're ready to sail!

Refreshing the parts...

Despite the rather snazzy tackle to lift the mast up and down in the mast shed it's still not the easiest thing in the world to get just your mast to the outside and ready to lift down. Halyards and stays, despite being well tied in, seem determined to snag at every opportunity. Which would be ok, but clinging onto the edge of an RSJ five feet up it's a little tricky to deal with a snag over THERE...

"Can't we take that one instead? It looks like it's from an IF."
Sadly no.

But we get there in the end, and I step down to terra firma ..accompanied by an ominous ripping sound. My jeans, wearing thin, are unexpectedly sporting new ventilation (!)

Friday, 4 May 2007


Friday, and all those last minute jobs have run out of minutes. Sjösättning has come!

Karlsunds has it well sorted. On time the crane arrives and with it the trailer that will carry her down to the water. I've seen a bit on tying the strops together to stop them slipping, but here they just get on with it. Strops on, slacken the bottle screws on the cradle and lift. Be careful with her.. as two tonnes swings in to the air.

But no worries. Once on the trailer the supports close to grip her and it's off through the rows of boats to the slipway. So many boats with the covers stlll on, work barely started. It's nice instead to be putting her back into her element.

Despite having tested the sea-cock was water-tight once we'd changed it there's still a small apprehension lingering as she glides off the trailer to lie by the quay. Small and fortunately unfounded.

And so I whisper sweet words to the outboard and smile as it sputters to life on the second pull. Cast off! ...and we back slowly away from the quayside before swing the bow round to face away. Slip her into gear and head off to find the berth, the sun shining and ripples gurgling under the bow.