Sunday, 29 November 2009

It's a wrap

Covers up and the last few things taken off. Ready för winter...

Friday, 16 October 2009

Hauling out

A grey and wet Friday- and Mata Hari is back in the boatpark. ...with the guys from the boatyard as efficient as ever :)

Friday, 9 October 2009

Night shift

It's that time of year when the mast has to come down... And this year it was an evening job. It was somewhat dark by the time we motored back to the berth...

Monday, 7 September 2009

Panel Games

One of the things that's always been a bit hit and miss on the boat is the lighting. More specifically the Nav lights. The lack of a sternlight we solved a few years back, but the white navlight on the mast was more troublesome.

Eventually we diagnosed a dodgy contact on the switch panel and decided it was a good time to update the full panel rather than find a switch to fit. So we bought one... And there it has sat for the last year or more waiting to be fitted. Until now...

We were back early after lunch on Sunday so I took the chance to pull it all apart and make the change. The panel is the same dimensions which made life easy even if the screw holes were not.

I was able to simplify the wiring a little along the way, but most of the rat's nest behind the panel stayed as it was . It's sound, and it works.. And it is at least a little neater than it was.

A quick shuffle of the fuses then to suite what's connected and bob's your uncle.

The surprising thing is it all works too... :-D
...excpt maybe the Wallas heater but that's another project...

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Night watch

Just desserts...

Yet another sunset

Yet another sunset

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Double vision

The trip homeward took us as far as Mörtö-Bunsön. There were lots of boats but there's plenty of space and deep water close in... a little too much deep water in fact! It's ten meters deep not far off the cliffs. I added extra line to the anchor and dropped the hook a bit further out than normal to get a good lie - and then ran out of line before I got to the shore!

It was super weather, and once the heat started to ease in the afternoon we went off for a walk and picked a few blueberries to have with breakfast (picking up a good few mosquito bites along the way). Coming back through the trees I wondered who it was standing washing down my boat?!?! ... until I got closer and saw that it wasn't Mata Hari at all, but a very near twin that had arrived while we'd been gone. Kul!

Thursday, 6 August 2009


We sailed in light winds to Stavsnäs, dropped off Pål and took on new supplies. It was a lumpy trip with lots of motorboat traffic.
From there it was a couple of hours pleasant sailing to the south side of Nämdö...
Despite a number of other boats already being there we got a quiet spot and a great sunset. :)

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Lost in space

We left Stora Nassa on a cloudy morning, and more or less got out of the islands before mist set in... Sometimes a boat would appear, or a skerry, but mostly we sailed in a circle of grey keeping track on the GPS.
As luck would have it though, the mist broke as we reached the shipping lane past Sandhamn, and we completed the trip in bright sunshine on the last of the day's breeze..

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Night life

Once the sun has dipped, and dinner gone the way of all things it's time to cosy up in the cabin with coffee and some good chocolate...and maybe a little whisky :)
The oil lamp was this year's investment - scoring highly on cosiness factor, and saving on the battery.

Sunday, 2 August 2009


We have arrived... A fine fast reach past Möja and on across open water liberally scattered with rocks and lighthouses to Kallskär.
Now we are here in the outer Archipelago... With the grill on and salmon sizzling :)

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Mirror Finish

We started the day on Vindalsö under grey cloud with a fresh westerly, and ended up here at Grisselholm after motoring across Kanholmsfjarden.
The sun is setting, and the water is like a mirror...

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Simple sailing

A day trip in the archipelago... but today I've swapped Mata Hari for Nörve, a rowing boat with spritsail... but no rudder! if you don't count a steering oar
- though it steers quite nicely just heeling the right way :)

Friday, 10 July 2009

Midsommar by sea

Six hours by boat; sun, showers, squalls, hailstones and becalmed. Interesting sailing...
This entry a test for mobile blogging :)

Monday, 18 May 2009

Back to civilisation

The nights are still kind of chilly, and the sleeping bag was pecularily inviting so breakfast didn't get a look in until after ten. ..and by the time the second round of coffee had been brewed and we got bored of watching the wee fish under the boat it was almost midday. Staying longer was tempting.. but it was sadly time to lift the hook.

We lay head to what little wind there was in the bay and so hauled out without the motor. We were a little nearer the shallows than I'd planned by the time we has the genoa unfurled and then had a second go at hoisting the main after snagging a baton in the shrouds - but isn't that why they call it a shake-down cruise?

Happily we had tail winds again as we tracked back - this time plotting a course around the shoals instead of taking the main channel back into Mysingen.  This turned out much easier than the last (and only time) we'd tried it before when, close hauled, we met twelve kayaks crossing our course....

On Mysingen

We had a good five knots heading north but then dropped into a wind hole when we came past Lindholmsgrund - watching the windex gyrate in all directions as we tried vainly to catch a steady breeze.  In the end it came back in the east and we had a good close reach all the way back to Gålö -  and good winds all the way in to Karlslunds.  A very pleasant home stretch to finish the weekend.  Toppen!

Consider the season well and truly started!


15 May 2009
St. Notholmen to Karlslunds: 11,9nm
Paul, Pål, Kia

Slumming it

Ship's victuals...
Starters: fishroe with dill & a squeeze of lemon ...
Main course: grilled salmon filé with grilled vegetables and home made thyme & potato salad...
..and last but not least
Our famous grilled pineapple desert


Birds on the wing..

Rafts of eider gaggling on the open sea, grey geese honking as they fly loudly over the treetops, terns swooping and diving, fishing in the still evening air. A pair of cormorants, black arrows heading for some distant rock - a sea eagle flapping lazily overhead.

Swallows dipping low over the water ... oystercatchers smartly turned out in black and white, wheeling to attention. A laughing gull*, checking out what leftovers the barbecue might bring, and a lone swan sailing sedately by .

Back in town you notice spring has arrived with the chatter of chaffinches and the twittering tits in the linden trees over the road...
Out here in the archipelago there's a whole new range and variety of bird life to enjoy....
*translated from the swedish..

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.
W.B Yeats

It was a fine and sunny day for a sail... upping anchor after a lazy breakfast and heading off with the wind at our tail - at least for the first stretch.
Past Björkö we turned south into Mysingen while the wind had veered, leaving us close hauled down towards Utö - and tacking to come up towards the gap at Kulbäling. Another couple of tacks through the entrance saw us lined up for the narrow channel and an easy close reach through. (One of the starboard pins has gone... I should check the shipping notices and see if it's permanent?).

Through into what for me is the start of the outer archipelago, and a short reach to our destination - though there are so few boats out we could pick any one of a hundred places to creep in to.

On the water. against the wind, it was a bit chilly to be honest, but once ashore in the lee of the island it was , put simply, idyllic..... unspoilt nature - and us.


14 May 2009
Kolnäsvik to St. Notholmen: 11,6nm
Paul, Pål, Kia

Sunday, 10 May 2009


It was planned to be the first tour of the season - a short trip out for a bit of lunch. We got to the boat on friday night, ready for an early start, and made dinner on the spirit stove and settled in for the night... to the sound of raindrops hammering on the deck.

Breakfast time was not much better. A long lie in was rewarded with looming clouds and a forecast for 10m/s winds. So, after a pleasant breakfast of croissants and muesli (not in the same bowl you understand) we drew up a jobs list. Some were things that needed doing before sailing - and some were good to get done anyway: re-installing the freshly varnished board with all the cleats for the control lines, cleaning the anchor locker, sorting out the chart collection, freeing the spinnaker halyard (which was round the jib halyard on the roller reefing), polishing the topsides where the crib had been, sorting out the lockers down below, and taping up the bottlescrews on the shrouds.. no snags and no untimely surprises.

Between all that and a leasurely lunch in the cockpit, and the odd cup of coffee, we never did quite make it to sea... but by the time we were ready at the bus-stop for the trip home it was looking like it would be a really nice evening for those that made it out.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Back in the briny

Ok... This is the Baltic. Back in the not so briny.

Which way up was it?
On Monday I took time out from a hectic week at work to get the boat back in the water - which actually isn't that strenuous as the marina takes care of all the hard work... And then yesterday was the day for putting the mast back up.

This is our ninth season and it is still a job which we start with a certain trepidation. That said, this year it went quite well - we got the boat and crane positioned so the windex survived the lift.. but did have an interesting exercise to get the topping lift back the right side of the spreaders.

One of my pet hates is the boats that moor up under the crane and then go away to see where the mast is. Thankfully it was quiet this year and we had just one boat ahead of us on the crane. Once the mast was up and secure we motored back to the berth to finish trimming the stays.. ..and to re-install the spaghetti. Halyards, downhauls, cunningham, kicker, outhaul...
.. and then of course, fit the sails - with the usual conundrum of which are the right battens (We have a bit of a mix since one popped out in a blow a few years back and disappeared to Davy Jones'...)

All in all it took most of the day - with the odd coffee break thrown in - but now we have a sail-ready boat again... Barring one small job...

Now where are the charts?!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Beauty is skin deep

Doing the hull this year has been the least work it's eveer been and it is looking pretty much as good as it's ever done.

Last year iit got a good going over that has lasted welll. Before waxing it this year the was some matting of the surface - on the port side that has been the sunny side all summer for the last five seasons - but not that much. It got a wash over with yacht cleaner and then a good going over with TCnano Gelcoat Protection (loosely translated). - The 'wonder wax' we bought last year. Wipe it on.. Allow to dry and polish off... Standard stuff.

But - the results are good. After one coat there was still some sign of the matting but the rest of the hulll looked great. Two coats for an all over shine you can see your face in, and a third for good measure to hopefully last through to next year.

So hull sorted, and onto the deck - which missed out on a good clean last year. The pale colour is more forgiving but the surface was flat and dead looking with plenty of small dark sooty flecks - not to mention lots of grubby marks around the cockpit.

A rummage round the car and the cockpit lockers failed to find
any polish so it was another trip to the marina chandlers to see what'd do the job. After a few minutes reading the various jars, my horoscope, and the dregs in the coffee cup I plumped for something by Turtle Wax.

It turned out to be a thick pink liquid with a smell not unlike 'Windowlene'. Another rub on, wait, rub off product. And this too seems to really do what it says on the tin - well, plastic bottle. Some of the marks in the cockpit needed elbow grease to fix but the rest rubbed up easily.

Of course - it is just a polish, so once the hull had it's sheen back it was out wiith the TCnano to seal and protect the surface.

The only thing now is we need to watch out on the deckhouse roof. It's slippery!

(The photo shows where the control lines come though the coaming to a plate forward of the hatch - currently demounted for varnishing)

Saturday, 18 April 2009

All in one

This is it... The weekend where we do everything needed to get Mata Hari spruced up for the season - or failing that, at least ready to launch.

Last night we were here after work and managed to tape up and put on a coat of anti-fouling. Today, despite being bright sunshine one minute and lonely snowflakes the next, turned out to be good day too. Antifouling finished, the hull washed and waxed (twice) and cleaning and polishing on deck and in the cockpit well underway.

Seeing the boat get back it's lustre - and a bit of sunshine makes the new season seem just that bit nearer. Great!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Men At Work

The covers are off... and the work has begun. There's still snow on the ground - but it turned out to be a mild day and we got done pretty much everything we planned. Sorting through last year's paint, polish and brushes to see what's usable - rubbing down the hull below the waterline (Thanks Pål!) - and cleaning out the lockers.

In doing the latter it looked at first like we'd got a leak - in spite of having the covers on. It turned out to be a bottle of 'lättöl' - low alcohol beer (!) - which had burst open in the cold weather. That and a locker full of empties says we didn't do such a great job preparing for the winter.

On the other hand the hull is still looking great - just what we wanted to see. It's going to need a wash off and a repolish but the rubbing stays in the cupboard this year. Finally!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Ancient or Modern

Well, right now the outboard is in the wokshop. Typically, it's not a case of "It's shot you need a new one" - but nor is it a case of "We can fix that no problems...". The impeller looks OK but the pump housing is worn. ...or it might be crud in the cooling channels in the block.
So maybe it's fixable... And maybe we will be shopping for a new engine.
Shiny and new would be nice- reliable and clean, for a price. But the old heap has character and a fair amount of TLC invested. I'm hoping we get it back in working order!

Monday, 2 March 2009

What goes round comes around...

With a flourish of pre-season enthusiasm Pål has shipped off the outboard to the workshop at the marina to see if they can fix last seasons problems with cooling water.  Their prognosis matches mine.. most probably the impeller...  and if they can get it apart they will fix it.  But if after 25 years it's not going to give in to a little TLC we'll be faced with buying a new one.

So today we have been at the boatshow checking out the alternatives (I didn't know Johnson had disappeared!).  The going rate for a 5hp 4-stroke seems to be about 12 000 kronor...  somewhat more for a 6hp like we have today... so I have my fingers crossed that the old faithful will see reason and submit to treatment.