Sunday, 31 August 2008

Stockholm to Napoleanviken

27th August 2008

The front came over during the night with a moderate amount of rain. The wind did shift from light north easterly to warm south westerly but was seldom more than 10 knots.

We spent the morning in the Wasa Museum which houses the 300 year old wreck of the Wasa which sank in 30 metres of water on its maiden voyage. The top heavy ship, rigged with extra cannon by Royal Decree, proved unable to withstand a squall which struck just a few metres from her launch and she quickly sank. There she lay, undisturbed, until the 1960’s when she was painstakingly excavated and then salvaged before being towed back to a specially constructed dry dock. The black, anaerobic mud, had perfectly preserved her timbers and she now stands in a purpose built museum building within a few yards of the marina.

Initially we planned to sail back from Stockhholm through the canal system that first runs west from the city to Lake Malaren and then south through the Sodertjale. By early afternoon, however, the sun had come out and the breeze had filled in and the prospect of sailing eastwards seemed rather more temping than motoring through the canals. We left the Wasahamn at 1300 and drifted eastwards at a gentle 3 to 4 knots out of the city. After about an hour we turned south to enter the Baggensstaket which was mercifully almost completely deserted. We passed one yacht coming the other way. At the southerly end the sails came back out and we had a delightful, flat water, reach back to Napoleanviken. As we dropped the sails to motor into the anchorage a sea eagle circled to the south of us before disappearing off into the distance on a fast glide.

This time there were only 3 boats in the anchorage and we anchored in 5 metres in the north east arm of the loch. Arrived 1730.

Oxelosund to Napoleanviken

August 25th 2008 (Michael Schupp, Simon & Sally)

We had left Birmingham early the previous afternoon and, thanks to Charlie, our most hospitable of marina managers, who met us at the airport, we were onboard by early evening. The forecast was fine for Monday with a front arriving later the next day so we decided on a early start. By 7am we were underway and under sail.

A warm NNE gave us a fine close reach at 7 to 8 knots out to the Landsort Peninsula where we took the unmarked passage to shave some miles off the route. After that progress was slower and we began to tack into the north easterly. The motor went on for the next 4 hours until we were able to turn north and ghost along in the gentle evening breeze for the last couple of hours to our anchorage.

Passing rocks and shallows we gingerly entered an idyllic anchorage. We anchored just short of Seewolf II in about 5 metres. Michael took advantage of the sunny evening and quickly donned his speedos and jumped overboard. He removed a small amount of weed from the log’s paddlewheel transducer and then splashed around saying how warm it was. Of course it wasn’t warm as Sally quickly found out when she followed him. Never has a swim been so brief!

Dave and Helen from Seewolf joined us for supper along with their guests Archie and Farilie. We ate very well as did the mosquitos.

Log 70 miles.

Napoleanviken to Rano

August 28th 2008

It rained most of the night so there was no hurry to get up but by the time we had had breakfast the sun was out and the clouds were skittering eastwards. We motored out into the channel at around 1100 and turned south to enjoy a fast reach under reefed main and genoa. When the lead later turned to the south west we changed down to the staysail and tacked our way into a brisk westerly with true wind gusting up to 35 knots. Michael cheerfully helmed all of the way despite being assaulted by the odd blast of wind driven Baltic.

We had been pushing into the steadily mounting gusts for a couple of hours with water up to the saloon window when we checked the weather forecast to find that there was, indeed, a gale forecast. Always happy to retreat in the face of adversity we dodged into the comfortable shelter of Rano which had in it only one other yacht. Rather different to our previous visit in early July when there was a small armada there.

Log distance 25 miles

Napoleanviken to Stockholm

26th August 2008

The morning was fantastically sunny and started with a short dinghy trip to the polished granite head wall of the loch. The summit of this gave a fine view down to the anchorage.

The anchor came up at 1000 and we motored out behind a small schooner before turning north and entering the Baggensstaket. As we turned the red buoy that marks the entrance the depth gauge read just 1.2 metres beneath the keel and there it stayed for some time. The passage narrowed into a delightful green channel lined by deluxe summer houses each with their own jetty, bathing house, speedboat or yacht. As we neared the northern exit and just where it became impossibly narrow a ferry suddenly shot around the corner causing us to breath in a little!

We finally exited into the wide fairway that forms the main east to west approach to Stockholm. Now we were surrounded by speed boats, ferries, tankers, police launches and jet skis all whizzing along leaving us wallowing in their wake. By now the sky had become grey and as we docked on the outer pontoon of the Wasserhamnen Marina the first spots of rain began to fall (1300). We were a bit exposed to the swells from passing launches and ferries but it proved a comfortable enough dock for the night. The marina sold us Camping Gaz which seems a rare commodity in these parts.

During the afternoon we took a walk into the old town visiting the Palace and the Alfred Nobel Museum. Seewolf arrived an hour or two after us and proved, as usual, excellent company.

Oxelosund boat yard

August 30th

After taking down the sails and a general clean up we motored around to the fishing harbour only to find it crammed with boats. Eventually space was made for us and we docked under the crane ready for a lift out in 4 days time.

Rano to Oxelosund

29th August 2008

During the night the wind veered to the north giving us the perfect wind direction for a fast passage back to Oxelosund. Initially aft of the beam we shot off at 8 to 9 knots down to the short cut through the Landsort Peninsula where we reefed down to control our speed through the narrow passage. As we came through one of the very narrow passages with a 90 degree bend in it we spotted a sea eagle landing on a nearby fir tree.

Finally we sighted the plume of Oxelosund’s steel works and only started the engine when we came into the shallows off the south end of the steel works where the depth dropped to 0.5 metres below the keel.

We docked alongside the jetty back at the Promarina at Oxelosund.

Distance run 35 miles.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Shimshall II is currently in the North Baltic