To the Baltics: Monday 17th June – Friday 21st June

Monday 17th June 2013
Well, checked the weather using the local campsite wifi facility ad the high winds which  we were experiencing were due to go down to F4.  So we left at about 0900when the wind was down to 20 kn, by the time we reached open sea the wind was down to 18kn. after a 4 h sail the wind had dropped to 8 kn so on with the motor so we could arrive in Visby before midnight.
We arrived after the HM had closed but they ran a telephone service and had the numbers for WC etc.
Tuesday 18 June
Checking in this morning was a very long process as they wanted our name, boat name, addresses, e-mail etc. How different from Bursvik where HM, if he turned up, only wanted boat name for  his NCR receipt book!   We’ve had a very hot sunny day enjoying the old fortified town (fortifications to keep the peasant farmers out, not facing the sea) and very many shops and restaurants actually open to take our money. The chandlers was our first port of call, firstly for charts for the journey to Stockholm and seondly for a long stainless steel hook, about 105cm  long to be able to get a rope through the mooring buoy at the stern and then to be bows to the quayside.  It is a simpler system than Danish and Baltic German boxes but does require a hook  if the buoys have short ‘handles’, A’s arms are not long enough.  The hook might work on Alderney’s buoys as well.   Tomorrow we hope to go to the mainland.

Wednesday 19 June
Left Visby 08.15, as you have to return access cards and the electricity tag to settle how much you owe (Visby  is one of those ‘book in no more than 30min after arrival or phone this no. If shut’ harbours) and HM team not there until 08.00.
We were aiming for Valdermarsvik, further north towards Nyakopping, or Loftahammar, but a wind shift and sea state  made Vastervik more achievable for today’s run, though further South than we hoped.

Good wind today too, in 12-19kts range and steady, giving 5.6-6.5 kts boat speed all day. Bit of a grey, cloudy’ rain anytime now’ day though, though warm.
Got to start of circa 4nm twisty channel into Vastervik at same time as small coaster, so got free pilot in from seaward- the marks are either short fat buoys or very thin spars, anything up to half a mile apart, and hard to see against the land or setting sun.

Quite challenging pilotage at the end of the day, but all the ports on this coast are set well back up rock/shoal/islets strewn channels, and this one is well marked and lit.
18.55 arrived at WSSW Club, C pontoon, just as rain finally started. We both  got very wet before we were moored safely bows to.
Then R finally succumbed to cold he’d been carrying as laryngitis for the last two days, and collapsed grumpily into bed, stating it was not just ‘man flu’, and our grand nieces had given it to their Uncle.
A also showing symptoms now. Very plain pasta for supper and an early night.

Thursday 20 June
Rose late, both definitely not 100% and showing it, ‘squeak, squeak’ being normal communication mode. Both a bit grumpy and feeling low, sky grey and rainy til evening, then sun came out. Quite warm, and bugs out!
Walked over causeway to town, had kebab and pommes frites plus some beers; and Morale improved- sometimes you need a plate of chips(UK meaning not USA)!
A Bit of Sunshine also helps morale.

Friday 21 June Midsommars Eve
Everything is closing by 14.00 today that possibly can. Club pontoons a hive of activity as 90% of Committee and  Members load up with crayfish and aquavit and head off for the skerries and islets. Most of the Town is getting out too, in anything that floats, to judge by the traffic in the main channel.
R a lot better today, his voice back to normal, and not so drained, but A still ill and slept most of the day.
So in am, R booked air tickets home for next Tuesday, 25/06/13, while A slept, as several friendly senior Club members think we will be able to leave T2 here for a week or so.
Final berth/details when they all get back from Midsommars festivities, and sort out who is stuck with the duty HM job!
The Club harbour is much more sheltered than the Gasthamn just along to the N, (on the old match factory site)and is only 150Skr a day with electricity.
We are about 150 road miles(say 3/4 hrs drive) from Arlanda airport, so will hire a car from local Avis, and see a bit of the countryside+big shop on return at Mega ICA open until 22.00 just outside town.
Today was cloudy/ showery in am but sunny and bright by 16.00. Humid and warm all day.

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