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?!