Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Saturday May 16th 2009, Mariehamn to Rodham

Orchids on Nato

After moving pontoons to find one with water we filled the tanks and motored a very few miles south to anchor off the Nato nature reserve. Ashore we found another stunning spring meadow of orchids and anemones carpeting the forest. The reserve was alive with birds, flowers and photographers. The latter lying face down in the meadow grass or bent double with bum up in the air and face in a bog. A couple of horned grebe were nesting where we docked the tender and we enjoyed the usual display of red breasted mergansers, terns and eider.

In idyllic sunshine and with very little wind we raised the anchor and motored a few more miles to the guest harbour at Rodham where we picked up a buoy and  tied the stern off onto the nearby jetty. The old pilot’s harbour is tucked in tightly between islands on the northern side of Rodham. Unusually there were a few other boats sharing the harbour with us. A couple of motor boats and a small sloop. Ashore there were some very good composting toilets and a replica of the original pilot’s house.  The harbour itself was closed until June.

 The island was sculpted out of pink granite and had few trees apart from the low lying, scrubby juniper. On the exposed south side the Baltic was mirror calm with raft after raft of eider all “coo-ing” to each other in the evening sun.

Granite coast on the south side of Rodham

Sunset from Rodham Guest Harbour

Rodham Guest Harbour