Huga Kusten, red and white.
A cold swim can mean a brain freeze.
Our Danish helpers.
Fermented herring, ready for shipping.
The Louisiana Art Museum.
Second Summer on the Baltic Sea, Pt. 2
June 30th, 2011
Sundsvall, Sweden 62*23'N,17*17.8'E
We have been exploring Sweden's eastern coast in the Gulf of Bothnia for the past few days. After leaving Stockholm, we meandered through some of the surrounding archipelago - the "Skargard"- a huge area of thousands of protected islands that are coveted by vacation home dwellers and boaters. It is well marked and there are many guest harbors, marinas and natural harbors to tuck into at the end of the day and when the depth permitted, Onora would find a secure place to drop her trusted 200 lb anchor. Most of the time, we stuck out like a sore thumb but usually boats gave us plenty of swing room.
A lovely spot was Mellenfjarden(61*57'N, 17*20'E), an old fishing village where rows of red wooden boat sheds line up along the water's edge. Above the boat shed there are living quarters and adjacent is the obligatory deck where you can watch the water world go by. There is a small guest harbor, an area for RV's and a small hotel on the quay and during July, it is a busy spot and one of many along the coastline.
The weather since leaving Stockholm has been summery and sunny, warm and light winds. We sail whenever we can and motor when we must but we can cover 50 - 60 miles a day because of the long daylight hours as we continue north.
Sundsvall, a large town of 50,000, has all the amenities we need to get Onora ready for our guests, John and Gail Ward, who arrive tomorrow night. Grocery store, WiFi, chandlery, laundry and a few good local restaurants are all that's needed to keep the captain and crew happy, for now.
July 11th, 2011
Ratan 63*59 N, 20*53 E
We had five glorious days with the Wards onboard exploring Sweden s "Hoga Kusten"(High Coast), A World Heritage Site. This is a hilly area covered with pine trees and beautiful pink Nordic granite. It is a great cruising area with many guest harbors and natural anchorages. We motored sailed in the light winds and once our anchor was set, both John and Jim went for "quick" dips off the boat, aka "brain freeze" swims. Gail and Jeannie knew better.
There was time onshore for hiking, biking and eating out but we were unsuccessful in our attempt to sample the local delicacy, a local fermented herring, that even the locals don't like!
We arrived at the Yacht Club in Holmsund, Umea where the Wards would leave us but first we had time to see some of the recommended sights: a sculpture garden, downtown Umea, and the local museum. Whew! Then they were gone and life onboard seemed too quiet.
Ratan, where we are now, is listed as the "best natural harbor on this coast" and we are the only sailboat here. This town is historically important because in 1809 the Swedish fought the Russians and lost, thereby ceding a piece of Finland to the Russians. It was the last battle fought on Swedish soil and there was a huge loss of life on both sides.
After lots of deliberation, we have decided that this is as far north as we will sail. We need to be in Copenhagen in less than a month and that is more than 600 miles away. The forecast is for the wind to be out of the north and northwest for the next few days and we must take advantage of that situation and start heading south.
August 6th, 2011 (pt.1)
Holliviken, 55*25 N 12*50 E, The Falsterbo Canal
We had a beautiful overnight sail from Mariehamn to Lango, Sweden, which is in yet another small Swedish archipelago. It s the first overnight passage we ve done in a long time and because it s just for one night, it takes a huge toll on your system. It s hard to fall asleep when it s your off-watch and then once you do, it s your time to be on watch - ugh! Having a favorable wind is always a plus and once our anchor was snug in Lango, we both crashed for some serious shut eye.
Over the next ten days we cruised down the southern coast of Sweden, alternating between quiet anchorages and busy marinas. It s the end of July, the month of vacation for Swedes, so everyplace is busy and we must call ahead and reserve a place for Onora. We stopped for a couple of days in Karlskrona, 56* 10 N, 15*35 E, the maritime capital of Sweden. We soaked up the local history at the museums, listened to a fabulous piano concerto and gorged ourselves on the "World s Best Ice Cream". Yikes!
- Click here for Part 2 -