To the Baltics and back: July 2013

23 June to 04 July
In this period, we tidied the boat, booked our flight, collected the hire car, drove from Vastervik to Arlanda, Stockholm, flew home, rushed around dealing with home based matters, helped with the Village Fair, then got up at 03.00 on Tuesday 02 July to fly back from Gatwick to Arlanda, collect another, somewhat battered hire car, drove back to Vastervik, unloaded our bags in the middle of a rain squall, opened the boat, unpacked, drove to the out of town supermarkets in the rain, shopped for 4/5 days, carted it all back to the boat and stowed it, returned the car, walked the three miles+ back  to the boat, ate two ice-creams, walked  to the town quay chandlers, bought three rock pins, checked out the bunkering pontoon layout, then on into town to buy reproofer for R’s ‘ Snug (the Borkum electrical rainstorm stripped all the waterproofing out of it!).
Sprayed the Snug, which dried pdq hanging on the back of the boom in the warm breeze and sun.

Finally paused for breath by having dinner at the ‘usually closed’ until now restaurant at the commercial Gasthamn  (just round the point and quite ex pensive berthing fees), dined on real Swedish dishes at last, not pizza or euro-pub grub.

As we had been given a free night by the WSSW HM, we spent the 04 July checking the boat over and stowing things ready to start for home.
As we flew back, we acquired our third Swedish grand niece in Stockholm.
Mother, Elder sister and Baby doing fine, Father exhausted apparently!

We have decided to start back for EYH-we’ve seen Stockholm city and it’s crowded archipelago before,  all  our Swedish Family objectives have been achieved, and the Swedish sailing season closes down pretty much after 01 August, Danmark and Germany following by the end of August.

We are tempted to overwinter Tringa in a nice heated shed up here, but what will we sail in the autumn and winter?
05 July
Woke to our alarms at 08.00 , showered, said our goodbyes, left an ECA burgee in thanks for their hospitality, slipped and motored over to the town bunkering pontoon, and by 11.45, we were motor sailing away from Vastervik, heading for the island of Ido, a former pilot station, now a local nature reserve and beauty spot, where we arrived at 13.30 after getting back into the groove/etiquette of Tjust archipelago rock hopping- let the deep keeled steeler or highly varnished wooden Folkboat take point!!

A cloudy morning gave way to a sunny afternoon and evening.
Very narrow entry, between the pontoon and the stbd channel spar buoy, which you do not go outside!!

The skerries breaking surface just outside the channel indicate why.
Arrived in time to have a beer and “fisherman s lunch” served in an old style wooden fish box at the resturant overlooking the Hamn. A nice selection of smoked and cooked fish with sauces and bread.

We went up the old lighthouse and walked all round the island in the pm, helped a few yachts in(Swedish sailors seem to be like us in that respect, unlike some French sailors), ate on board, met a young Brit, born in Redhill, who is a Swedophile, on his 4th holiday visit to Vastervik, who then had to dash for the ferry!
Wind picked up at 20 .15 C’EST to a f4+ for a short while.
Did our passage planning for Saturday with the intention of sailing down through the beautiful and unspoilt  Tjust archipelago channels then along the  mainland side of Kalmarsund, rather than the Ôland side again.

Long term, we hope to sail along the coast, around the bight, visiting some of the harbours from Karlskrona,right  round to Ystrad again, then maybe Malmo, the Danish Belts, perhaps Omo and Svendborg for old times sake.
Then the Nord Zee Kanal, Cuxhaven, the Friesians, and so coasting down to a Channel crossing and home to EYH.

Saturday 06 July
Woke very stiff after all that walking/rock hopping/stair climbing on Ido yesterday, got away at 10.00 and motor sailed through the Tjust and Misterhult archipelagos in company with the German boat, Mutsch, whom we met on the way up to Gotland and then at Ido yesterday.
When we all emerged into Kalmarsund, we waved and went our separate ways again, they across the Sunday to Oland, we along the coast towards Oskarshamn.

It was a fine sunny day, with a steady f3/4 from E or NE, and we averaged 5kts, under genoa and engine, in company with 3 or 4 other yachts, including Mutsch, some of the inter island channels were very narrow, twisty, and shallow, forcing even the small sports mobos to slow down(there are penalties for creating excessive wash or wake in Sweden).
At around 15.00, we were off the Simpevarp nuclear power station, but decided to give its Gasthamn a miss(well, R has sailed from Bradwell marina, and we’ve passed Dungeness a few times!).

The mini archipelago S of the Simpevarp peninsula has a ‘fairway’ through it, but it’s twisty, narrow, and studded either side with rocks awash, dangerous rocks and goes down to 3m in several places. Even a dedicated pair of rockhoppers like us looked at the charts, the chart plotter on zoom, and thought better of it, even in the calm conditions today. Even our very patriotic and a bit gushy Swedish Pilot book warns of the shoals and difficulty in mooring there.

So we crept around well outside of it, even then we had a scrape on the 10-6m contour, with a half raised keel until we reached the first pair of buoys of the channel into Figeholm.
We motor sailed in, in company with 4/5 other yachts, and all found room in the marina run by the very welcoming local boat club. Free electric, wifi, water,  showers etc. We made good use of our stainless stern buoy pickup hook, and got in and moored without drama, by 16.05.

Alice then spent some quality time shooing small fruit flies off the boat. They were in the cockpit in hundreds on Ido this morning, and despite the breeze, the citronella lamp oil, and the efforts of ourselves and several spiders who also boarded last night, we still had several hundred on board at Figeholm.
The overnight webs on board were full of fly corpses.

The good news was, that according to Alice, they are not the stinging sort of fly. After a massacre or two, and a breeze blowing across the cockpit, their  numbers reduced enough to let us eat our fried chicken, potatoes, carrots and spring onions in the sunny coc

Sunday 07July
It’s so pleasant here in Figeholm that we agreed to stay another night.  Shopping at the Konsum meant we had enough for bbq tonight.  The Cobb BBQ can smoke as well as cook food, so we had oak smoked Greenland prawns and grilled lamb chops with potato salad  and spring onions, under the quayside trees, an excellent meal and a warm sunny evening.

Monday 08 July
Set off for Kalmar, the third town in Sweden, with a very large port for yachts, being the old ferry port for the town until the bridge was built in  1972.  It takes 150 vessels, but they don’t say what size!  It certainly takes about 1 00 thirty something foot vessels.
At 240 Skr a night for us,  its not good value for money in high season.
The high season  overflow porta cabin loos near our pontoon were quite compact, being two WC and 2 shower stalls but nowhere to put your clothes wet or dry!  We had a difficult, stressful time looking for a suitable bows to mooring inside, so as we’d seen the nearly empty along side outer pontoon at the entrance, we went back to  it.
The whole Gasthamn was quite soulless, however, a fifty foot Dutch yacht  called Siobhan, complete with rigid sailing tender (about 4m long) in alongside tow arrived, and R helped him to secure alongside close  to us, he’d worked in Scotland, and became very chatty, and we all had a pleasant evening.

Tuesday 09 July
Left at 09.20, the Dutchman helping us off, he had ordered some parts for pickup here, to make good the work of a ‘professional’ dockyard in Holland, which had damaged his alternator, anchor windlass, and other items during their “refit” last winter, while he was busy working. He normally did all the work himself, and wished he had this time.
There followed a slow, sunny, pilotage day down channel southwards, into a cold wind and current, and a steady stream of yachts running North under spinnaker/poled out sails. We were often only making 2.5kts of boat speed. A complete contrast to our fast sail past Kalmar on the way North in June.

Eventually, with 12+nm still to go to Sandhamn and its tricky entry channel, with the cold wind and sea on the nose increasing, we decided to turn into the channel to Kristianopel when it came abeam.
The entry channel was relatively easy, but narrow at the start and shallow-only 3.6m at some points, but the S wind and chop was angled down it now, 13kts, with higher gusts and full keel was needed.
So we slowly reefed the main as we surfed down the channel, balancing useful boat speed against pilotage needs, looking for the widely spaced lateral spar buoys.
R was apprehensive again going in, every  Hamn seems to have a different set of mooring options, and you don’t know what’s vacant until you are between the breakwaters, or how shallow parts may be. The S wind made it hard for R to slow down enough for Alice to rig both fenders and warps “for every option”. Both Helm and Crew exchanged strongly held views about “the need for speed”. Crew pointed out that even the Swedes got it wrong in their own hamns, so Helm should relax a bit more!
However, once in, the long stainless steel hook worked a treat on a vacant stern buoy, and the next door leeward German yacht helped us secure to the quayside rings in the crosswind.  Everyone seems to do this, turn and turn about, in simple self interest.
By 16.40, we were moored safely, after 23.8+nm to windward. Alice had a short nap, while R explored the harbour and Town, then the Helm treated the Crew to an excellent Swedish smoked fish dinner and strong beer at the outdoor cafe hut next to HM hut whilst observing other yachts mooring techniques. We fetched  Ice creams from the other cafe across the Hamn square for dessert( no ice cream desserts on cafe menu) and chatted to the two girls running the cafe, which is open until 21.00, weather permitting.
And so to bed, after checking the weather for tomorrow- doesn’t look promising.

Wednesday 10 July forecast gives N/NW 13m/s(26kts/f6) today, with heavy rain from 15.00hrs,and HM’s got a forecast for N/NW 15/16m/s( F7) later today. The Karlskrona long entry channel is aligned South to North from seaward. 90% of yachts here are sitting tight today. Banking, Shopped, topped up Swedish SIM in am.

Then we watched the clouds and rain split and go landward or out to sea and miss the hamn and its shallow mini archipelago to the N, just like low tide at Emsworth, and a steady stream of soggy yachts and mobo crews coming in from seaward.

But the first rain squall came across the hamn at 14.57! Bang on forecast. 15.40 saw the really heavy squalls start, sheets of water running off the quayside into the Hamn, low vis, and still more soaking crews coming in.

HM gathered a “volunteer” shore party to receive them, including R, at least the rain was warm and R got to watch lots of N European berthing examples including a lost overboard boat hook, missed stern buoys, a towed tender entangled in another yachts stern line, entwined stanchions, guard wires and fenders.

HM got 86 yachts into the harbour on 25 June this year, he must be very good at jigsaws, as Gasthamn guide quotes a max figure of 50(90) berths for here. Shepards Wharf on August Bank Holiday isn’t in it!

Alice is pleased about the rain, as she has been scrubbing the dirt from the cockpit teak grain all the way down from Kalmar, and all today and wanted some serious rain to rinse it off. It looks really clean and bright now, we hadn’t really a chance to clean it regularly on the way North, too cold and wet or tired most of the time.

R spent the pm as above plus rigging extra fenders and warps and a rolling-hitched bridle on the stern line after chatting to HM and a German heading up to Stockholm, whose wifi German Met forecast indicated that HMs f7 forecast might be on low side later tonight and tomorrow.
Steady top F5 all rainy evening, several nearby yachts busy adjusting warps and fenders in dressing gowns etc, when ‘Colours’ performed  at 20.30 C’EST.

A Swedish Princess 40′  Mobo*, our leeward neighbour, has just two tiny 40x10cm fenders a side, so it’s a good job we have deployed four large grubby 90x36cm ones a side, and ‘Big Bertha’ to save his gleaming topsides from the leverage effects of the 12 large yachts sardined into windward of us.

* (White” Skippers” yottin’ kep, early pm arrival with much noisy bow thrusting, and subsequent regular  genny running rather than using silent shore power like the solo Mobo Dane next to him, who arrived quietly last night)
21.00, Wind steadily increasing into a F6 with each gust. Bed soon perhaps, in hopes of not too bouncy a night ahead.

Thursday 11 July 2013
All but one yacht stayed put today, and two more came in to seek refuge from the storm. The German yacht did not take its pet Macaw for a walk today, too windy. Sea foam blowing across the quayside from the windward side again.

We passed the time walking around the ‘ramparts’ of Kristianopel, which took about half an hour. The ‘town’ was founded by the Danes to keep the Swedes at bay but was finally sacked by the Swedes in 1658 when the country expanded to its shore line of the present day. The rest of the day was engaging in shopping for supper and at the craft shop for presents for friends and neighbours.

We  spent an excellent evening in the campsite’s bar, restaurant dance hall tent, with a Swedish sailing couple on my left and a Dutch sailing couple on our right, we had a very funny evening telling tales and jokes, some of them, clean and generally  enjoying ourselves, listening to the resident musician who specialised in Elvis and Tom Jones in both English and Swedish versions.
Wind finally began to ease around 16.00 to a F4 .

Friday 12 July
Lovely sunny morning, good forecast, so off we went towards Karlskrona, the home of the Swedish navy from 1658, Sweden having evicted the Danes out of Blenkinge County. Arrived in reasonable time, and found a berth fairly easily.  Finding a place to eat which did not sell pizza was a long and foot weary task.  However, well fed at last, we retired early so as to ‘do’ the Maritime museum tomorrow.

Saturday 13 July 2013
Did our laundry first thing before the Royal Dutch Navy sail training vessel booked all the washing machines again.  Fresh water rinsed and lubricated the main and foresail furlers and swivels.
In pm, Went round all the Maritime Museum galleries, the traditional boatbuilding and historic ships boats and royal barge sheds. Then had a shrimps and chilli burger supper on the floating cafe in the marina to favour our tired feet.

Sunday 14 July
09.00, left for Hano or Horvik on another pilotage day towards Ystrad.
The Karlskrona archipelago bridge only opens on “work days”,  so outside it is. Cleared the Karlskrona entry channel 10.30 and turned on course.
Wind and sea on the nose, 10-23kts, mostly overcast, some sun, broad tacks up the coast on main and motor.
Got fed up at about 17.00, turned into the archipelago channels E of Karlshamn, wound our way through and entered the Karlshamn Boat Club hbr and berthed at 18.30. This is back to back on land with the Karlshamn Vagga Fiskhamn, but not another 30min to windward!c
Had trouble berthing, as wind now gusting hard, and the ‘green’ vacant berths all too narrow for T2, finally some kind Club members ‘sorted’ a wide Y boom downwind berth for us and the current WC/Dusch code.
Quite a stroll round to the Service buildings, but, hey, we are securely parked for the windy night ahead. Tired after 30.4nm into the Baltic chop, turned in early, after a meal aboard and a stroll around to the club buildings.

Monday 15/072013
10.25, Left after settling hbr dues, towards Hano, engine off at 10.50, when clear of Karlshamn entry channel and had a terrific sail at 5.9-6kts under full genoa only, in 14-26kts of NW wind.
Then about 1.5nm from the Hano hbr entrance, we received a VHF Gale Warning, and approx 10mins later, closing the Bonsacken shingle reef at the
NW end of Hano we surged ahead under a 30kt gust.

Time to reef the genoa for the final stretch, and confirmation that our plan for a shorter trip today was a good idea.
Furled genoa, started engine, rigged fenders and lines for alongside and surfed downwind into the almost empty harbour, the wind in the spray hood giving us at least an extra knot.

Turned into the upwind West quay, nice big yellow bollards to get a line on, got a forespring on with help of a very seamanlike young 12 y.o.from a mobo astern and parked first go despite wind gusting hard onto our weather bow.
12.55hrs, Rigged thick fore and aft springs, two bow and a strong stern line, with good chafe guards on all, as NW swell sweeping into hbr, we are point boat on the quay and bobbing up and down nicely.

Helped others come in, a steady stream, during the pm, as the wind and swell steadily increased.The harbour entrance  is very straightforward, compared to some of the other hbrs nearby, and we get no reflected swell as first boat, unlike those who sought shelter further in.

Gave the helpful lad a copy of the PBO ‘Cockpit Companion’ in English, which pleased his Dad, as the lad is mad about boats, and has just got an ‘A’ in his English course. So gift hits all the right buttons, boats, English, and Technical terms.

A noticed four halliard signal hoist on hbr mast. We seized our ancient copy of ‘ Browns Signalling’ and went over to decipher it: ” Welcome / to/ Hano/ 2013″/ it read.
21.30 local speed demons out- a rideable lawn mower and two push bikes burning rubber along the Tarmac track behind the ferry quay!

Tuesday 16/07/2013
Walked, no, scrambled, along rocky foreshore, due to a land navigation error, onto the Bonsacken reef, then up a proper path to the ‘English Cemetery’, where 15 British sailors from the Napoleonic Wars lie buried on a headland with wide views over the Sund.
There are worse places for your bones to lie, if “you must go abroad, fighting for strangers”. The RN hold a memorial ceremony whenever one of our warships passes by. HMS Plymouth erected a cross on her visit in 1973, which you can see clearly approaching the hbr from the N.
Just up hill there is the grave of a local mother and her two children, who died in the 1834 cholera epidemic.

The wide Sund between Hano and the mainland was a Baltic Trade Convoy Rendezvous, where up to a 1000 merchantmen and their warship escorts gathered at a time, prior to sailing back to Britian with their vital cargos of Russian hemp, Stockholm tar, Riga balsam, pitch pine, and vip, masts and other timber for the Royal Navy to replace storm and battle damage.

Then uphill again to the lighthouse, and down the track into town. We lunched on smoked salmon salad at the cafe, then rested our tired feet in the cockpit while the sun came out, the wind and swell increased yet more again, and more yachts came in.
A read, and R did some Blogging, while being reassured by other nationalities Skippers arrivals, that he was not letting his Country and Clubs down if every single mooring was not RYA textbook and first time, high winds.

18.00 saw the island fire siren and wheeled fire pump being tested, (remember, no cars, just a hbr tractor/front end loader, and wooden houses!).
Some children had great fun with the spray, once the formal test was underway, and the team were doing the checklists.

19.15hrs, Not many boats in so far today, the high winds have affected people’s plans?
Two sails in sight, one far to the S, hull down, one possibly closing from the N. otherwise nothing.

Wednesday 17July 2013
Set off from Hano this morning, after collecting our two free bread rolls from shop, in a good,steady North Westerly 6 to 8 metres per second (which is the scientific way of measuring but most of Europe uses Knots when referring to wind at sea,oh well, some country has got to be different!) otherwise 12 to 16 knots. We set both sails, turned the engine off and had about 80 mins of a stonking sail. Then the wind dropped below 9knots, our speed fell to 2.5kts, so on with Mr Yanmar to bring us up to 4/5knots.  Sun was quite fierce, sea  was flat,so we took turns to read our books, while the other one kept a 360 degree lookout over a nearly empty sunny blue sea.
Making good time, we skipped Kivik, the apple orchard capital of Sweden, and its apple sculptures, Arhus,and the Absolut Vodka distillery, the Brand founder I.O. Smith, being a local boy.
Finally we motored over a mirror calm sea into Simmrishamn, the Swedish ferry port for the Danish island of Bornholm, about 30nm away, which we visited on the way North.
The Gasthamn was pretty full, but we were invited to raft alongside a Swedish couple, and ferry glided gently alongside in the light breeze.
The wind got up again around 19.00, which relieved the heat. We wandered around harbour and town after getting our Tallycard, which accesses and charges for facilities and shore power usage.
Finally bought our ice creams at the harbour, and decided to eat on board, as cafes, restaurants and kiosk prices all reflect the length of time the Town has milked the Tourist/Ferry passenger ‘passing trade’ to Borkum, particularly since the fishing fleet declined. A complete contrast to Hano and all the small ports further North.
A 40ft Swedish yacht crewed by three lads rafted on to us at 20.30, just as R was starting ‘Colours’. So no mega early start South Thursday!

Thursday 18July 2013
Away just after 09.00, having overslept. Good 5kt sail under genoa alone from Simmrishamn down to the ‘Cape Horn of the North’-Sandhammaren. 100′s of shipwrecks there over the centuries, and Skillinge hbr, just N of the Cape has multiple SRS lifeboats, up to ‘ rescue cruiser’ size. Indeed, Ystrad has a SRS  rib and a medium size lifeboat to cover the W end of the Cape.
Once round the corner, another story, another hard slog, wind and waves bang on the nose, WSW 16-24kts regular, with 28kt gusts the highest speed we noticed.
Still, we were berthed in a pretty full Ystad hbr by 15.40, in one of two Y boom berths that changed from red to green flag in the time it took for us to motor past them to the bottom of the pontoons, turn round and start back.
Just as well, WSW gusts to 28kts came howling through, bringing ever more yachts in.
Yet the sky is blue, hardly a cloud, and these high winds are WARM, and no rain with them. How unlike our own dear Solent weather!
As soon as you berth, it’s off with the LJ’S and sailing jacket, shirtsleeves and shorts.
So “No Complaints” then, about this Baltic weather pattern.
Alice retired to sleep soon after a simple supper, having nursed a headache all day, which refused to respond to asprin.
A tired but restless R wandered over to look at the Regatta tents etc of the SC, which is hosting a 10 day “Ystad Sailing Week”- loads of folk boats and J24s, all flying a sponsors battle flag.
Then he walked to the end of the breakwater promenade, which was still being built on our way N. All the area round the HM office has been finished, and a new 7 ton crane installed. The whole thing was a building site on earlier.
Later, he followed the sound of music into the hbr cafe, where he spent a convivial evening with a Swedish sailing couple and a Danish sailing couple who had seen Tringa earlier, further N. Also on the table were two younger Local couples. Everyone sang all the old favourites- Wild Rover, etc, and one song that had to be sung in a South Swedish accent according to the band!
I had to do a song as the furthest  sailed guest. So i warned them about my singing, and recited two or three verses of McAlpines Fusilers instead, which was new to them!
Good  fun, that went on until after midnight, even if one young local was in for trouble when his wife got him home- he’d had a few too many Irish Coffees, and managed to knock my nearly empty(!)beer over the table and my shorts,  then later his coffee onto the Swedish lady sailor, who took umbrage, unsurprisingly.
Nice lad, shame about the limb coordination when ‘having drink taken’.
His much more sober pal also very firmly sorted out a “mistake” by one of the male bar staff which would have left me shortchanged by 400Skr (£40.00 approx.) which he saw happen and promptly took up the cudgels on my behalf. Thank you very much, David.
And so back to bed, A still asleep.

Friday 19 July 2013
We Both slept late, having decided not to move today, as weather Fcast indicates another windy day with chop bang on the nose. Fcast Wind much more favourable Sat and Sunday for our trip westwards.
A feels a bit better today, headache gradually clearing.
Finally had coffee and rolls at 11.00hrs, then showered and strolled up to the town to shop at the Coop for the next 2/3 days as we head towards Skanor and the sail over to Danish waters, hopefully to see some of the places we stopped in 1998.
Tonights planned roast chicken dinner did not happen, as despite spending the afternoon cooling our Amstel 4l beer keg, (bought in Holland and tapped last night) it was still frozen solid inside, so the giblets could not be removed.
Alice produced home made lamb burgers from the mince we’d bought for SpagBog instead!
Another band on at theSaturday 20 July-Sunday 21 July
Saturday 20 July
Woke up at 07.00, coffee made and thermos flasks prepped, and on our way out of Ystad by 07.55. Muesli breakfast enroute, not much wind, 10kts or so, but on the beam, so fast trip down to the headland E of  Trelleborg ferry port.

Wind  then picked up to 16-24kts, but on the nose, of course, still 5kts motor and all sails up wind past the ferry port, where three ferries are coming in or out in rapid succession, with Rostock  as their other destination.

Approaching the Falsterbo end of the Falsterbo/Skanor canal, we realise we will not make the 15.00 bridge lift at the N end, so motor very slowly up, jill about with several other yachts for 20 mins or so, pass thru on the 16.00 lift,  and in minutes, are moored in the Falsterbo Boat Klub marina.
The Cobb BBQ is finally persuaded to light, and the chicken eventually roasted while we shower, walk the long mole, walk to the kiosk for ice creams, plan tomorrows trip, seek wifi, weather feasts, photographing the sunset over the Malmo bridge, etc.
F/cast; Not a lot of wind and on nose tomorrow.
Sunday 21 July
“No plan survives contact…” How true. R slept straight through the 07.30 alarm, A woke up, thought ” .. Just another 15 mins snooze”. As  the Sleepers awoke, we realised it was too late for Plan A, Praesto in Damark, also Plan B, Rodvig.
Plan C engaged- late breakfast, during which wind picks up to 11-13kts, have we made the wrong call. A little later, our club neighbour turns up to wash the flies and spiders webs off his boat, and they get starlings on blackberries as well! “The winds in the wrong direction”-sure enough, bang on the nose for crossing the TSS’s( a Scandinavian equivalent of the Nord Hinder Gyratory System in The North Sea) between Sweden and Danmark.
So we stayed, A cleaned more of our teak deck, R cleaned the Cobb, both of which jobs took most of the hot pm and a long shower each afterwards.
Then, to the restaurant. marina restaurant tonight.

Monday 22 July 
well an early start nearly put off by indecision about which  way to go next, go north and motor sail 4nM north then go South East, or wait for the Bridge to open at 0900 hrs (they do not open at 0800 nor at 1700 otherwise it is every hour on the hour from 0600  to 2200 April to October).  We decided on going North then SE to Præstø an important port for us in 1998.  A rejoined D in the Wayfarer,  Yellow Misfit in Præstø. A had taken the car and empty trailer N to Hamburgso nearish to Gothenburg and then travelled by train to Næstved via Copenhagen and bus to the port.  It has grown quite a lot, however there are still many Wayfarers in the dinghy park.  The sail was in sun and some wind but not enough to keep speed to 4knots so Mr Yanmar helped.
Arriving our lines were taken by a young Dane, who then kept D in conversation for about 40 mins to practice his English, he  had lived and worked in Wheathampstead, England  several years ago.Now with three daughters  he felt the need to practice before his eldest daughter caught up with him. Danish children start to learn their first foreign language at 8 years  old.

Tuesday 23 July 2013
Warm, sunny, an ideal Laundry day, two machines full and only one washer, and another person wanting sheets and things washed in between our two loads, so it seemed to take forever, along with a power cut for about half an hour. A went into town, which has been pedestrianised with cobbled stones. Very attractive, she also found the cash machine which only dispensed the equivalent of £50 notes ! Ate our evening meal at the cafe then to visit the Wayfarers who were racing whilst we ate.

Wenesday 24 July 2013
Overslept, so did not get away until 11.00am, so no diesel top up, as HM only there 08.00-10.00 Mon-Fri. and we saw him going off in the workboat with his mate!
Very light winds, water very flat, and very very shallow; 2.7 in a channel if you are lucky through the Stege Bucht, but nice and deep under the bridge at its end, then twisty and shallow again up to the next bridge*and into Vordingborg N. The hbr was full, so we slipped just outside to an well used anchorage we had noticed on the way N. Spent a quiet night there with 2 German, a Swede, and a Dane. It rained in small hours, but cleared by 07.00.

Fun getting the anchor up in am, finally came up with a large ball of mud and lots of weed. Motored out to the “channel” (2.6m as opposed to 2.0m) and only got stuck once, bit of reverse and ” right hand down a bit, Chief” got us back in the pipe. By the time we were in the channel’s ” deeper water” (2.6-3m), 90% of the mud had gone, but we were still chucking the weed strands back two days later in Omø.
Arrived Bisserup 17.45 after a good 5kt run to Knudsson Rev W cardinal, then beam reach with genoa, full main and 2000 revs to the Safe Water mark- looked like a huge beach ball! Not much wind all day, N 7kts as good as it got.
A got v sunburnt on neck and shoulders cleaning the boat’s teak deck above the aft cabin on our last day in Sweden, so became v tired and slept from 18.00-20.00. Self tidied boat, blogged, etc.

Not much changed in Bisserup in last 15 years, now 2m depth in some parts of hbr, newer shwr and toilet block. Channel is better marked too.

We had icecreams, and then portions of chips from the kiosk for supper on the boat, while a fellow senior sailor, a Dane, played a selection of trumpet solos on the quay, finishing with ‘The Last Post’ in time for Danish ‘Colours’.
Everyone applauded each number, and his tunes matched the still, calm, warm evening. We took a Guiness round- never knew a member of the “brass section” who didn’t need a beer or two.

*  Met a Danish totally unseamanlike flybridge mobo at the Sjaelland-Farobroens  Bridge, whose navigable  arch is only 26m high, gap between piers max 40m wide, shallows either side and he planned to overtake us 10m off our port side, at 20kts+ while we were actually under the bridge, dragging a 2-3m wash. That would quite easily have smashed our mast up against the arch top or thrown us against a pier. Vigorous hand signals and shouts from us finally got the message into his middle age crisis riddled brain just in time, and he took way off.
Even so it was a bit iffy and we were thrown around a lot under the bridge, so could not get the boat name and report him to Lyngby Radio (Danish CG).
He and his blonde “co-pilotess” did actually look back several times, so maybe he’s still waiting for a Colregs rap on the knuckles, because he went off toward the Vordingborg S hbr much much slower. Well, you do have to be able to navigate a bit carefully and quite slowly to get into Vordingborg N, be you motor or sailing boat.
Fortunately such helms, while pretty common in the Solent, are rare up here, where sailing and motor yachts normally respect each others problems, and share the waters amicably and help each other moor (it’s those cross winds and gusts among the Baltic Boxes!)

Thursday 25 July
Another pilotage day to Bisserup, another trip down Memory Channel.
Fun getting the anchor up in am, finally came up with a large ball of mud and lots of weed. Motored out to the “channel” (2.6m as opposed to 2.0m) and only got stuck once, bit of reverse and ” right hand down a bit, Chief” got us back in the pipe. By the time we were in the channel’s ” deeper water” (2.6-3m), 90% of the mud had gone, but we were still chucking the weed strands back two days later in Omø.
Arrived Bisserup 17.45 after a good 5kt run to Knudsson Rev W cardinal, then beam reach with genoa, full main and 2000 revs to the Safe Water mark- looked like a huge beach ball! Not much wind all day, N 7kts as good as it got.
A got v sunburnt on neck and shoulders cleaning the boat’s teak deck above the aft cabin on our last day in Sweden, so became v tired and slept from 18.00-20.00. Self tidied boat, blogged, etc.

Not much changed in Bisserup in last 15 years, now 2m depth in some parts of hbr, newer shwr and toilet block. Channel is better marked too. Hbr Very full.

We had icecreams, and then portions of chips from the kiosk for supper on the boat, while swifts/swallows chased insects round the masts and a fellow senior sailor, a Dane, played a selection of trumpet solos on the quay, finishing with ‘The Last Post’ in time for Danish ‘Colours’.
Everyone applauded each number, and his tunes matched the still, calm, warm evening. We took a Guiness round- never knew a member of the “brass section” who didn’t need a beer or two.

Friday 26 July
Both Slept late again, both tired but too hot to sleep properly, even with hatches open, wind scooping, insect nets, etc. photographed whole rows of swallows on our guard wires in am.
Finally left Bisserup at 11.10 down the shallow channel, and m/sailed in W2/3m/s, the 12.3nm to Omo island, another 1998 Memory Channel ‘ must see again’. Arrived Omo 14.35hrs, hazy day4-7/8ths all day, after having to dodge the ferry in among the “flaks”, he on way out, us on way in.

Saturday 27 July
Very hot, humid and not much wind in daytime.
Stayed on Omo, hired bikes from cafe in Kirkgarde harbour, by the hour, half or whole day, cycled 1.5km to the village of Omo proper, shopped, cycled back with a lot of shopping; R fell sideways  when dismounting by the jetty, as the shifting weight in rucksack on his shoulders, unbalanced him at the crucial moment.
R  Seems to have bruised the gluteus maximus badly, but by then right away cycling right round the island with A, kept it from stiffening up.
Saw a sea eagle quartering over the wheat and barley fields which cover most of the island, and supply the long straw for the thatched roofs common on the isle. Then saw the artificial eyrie just outside the village to the east.
Lunched  in Omo at the Leon cafe, on beer, ice creams and coffee, too hot even for cake, bought some more supplies, then cycled back to boat, sorted things out, showered and rested, esp. R’s bruises.

Skies hazy all day, then in pm, cloud built up, followed by the Line squall at 20.15, 25kts then the rain set in for the night and how. Jetties went in 5 min from busy, jolly, bustling, to empty, windswept, and sodden. The harbour cafe just shut up early for the night 5 min after the rain hit.
A wet and windy night followed, our sleep was disturbed from time to time.

Sunday 28 July
R woke late, v stiff and sore in impact area, so quiet day, chatting to friendly young German couple with 3 daughters next to us, busy crabbing with ham on a string.
Very,  very hot and humid again, so A cleaned the teak some more, while a stiff and hot R rested below, blogging, emailing, downloading pictures from his camera to the PC and uploading data to the project for our travels South so far.

R managed to hobble to hbr cafe, so we had a beer together and chatted to a Danis sailing couple. Then A didn’t feel like eating supper, so went for a shower instead. R dined at hbr cafe on two dab fish fillets and pommes frites(up here ‘chips’ are crisps, like the USA),  and was joined by ” a daughter of the island” and her hubby who were visiting her Family here.
A came back from her shower, and we all chatted happily until 21.00, when the cafe closed with instructions as to where to leave our glasses, cans, bottles, etc.
So we went off to bed, about 22.00, yet more wind, but still very warm.

Monday 29 July
Left Omo  at 10.50, having filled up with 165l of diesel. Just in time to have to dodge the 11.00 ferry on the way in! How have we upset him?
Sailed happily along until 12.45, when wind died before we cleared the TSS, and with a tanker bound for New York heading our way, on with the engine again. Wiggled down another channel through a rev(reef), 18 degrees C in cabin shade, wiggled down the channel  to Svendborg Port, on Fyn,  past it and under the bridge and along the main ship/inter island ferry channel to the Rantzausminde marina, near where the Danish Wayfarers have a permanent campsite and the 1998  W International Rally took place.
Arrived 18.00, ‘boxed’, icecreamed and dined at hbr kiosk on the usual standard menu, walked around SC and village. R still stiff, so could not make to the W site some way down the road. No wind all pm, glass calm. Temperature 20 degrees C in shade.
Slept fitfully .

Tuesday 30 July
Woke late again, left Rantzausminde 11.00hrs. Sunny and windy all day, a lot of German yachts about going N.
A twisty, narrow channel pilotage day again, heading for Marstal, on Aero, the  ’yottin Mecca’ per Danish and German sailing free guide book.
Narrow first channel, Hojestene Lob, shared with quite large inter island vehicle ferries, who do not hang about.

The Fcast was for a top F4, later F 5, we got a steady F 5/6 on the nose most of the way down, then steady F 6/7 on the beam down Very narrow and shallow Birkholm and Bredholm channel and up the Mandens Grund yacht channel, 3.6m, into. Marstal, with about 8-10 other yachts. No jib, 1/3 main, did about 5kts  off the wind in B&B channel, but several German yachts tore past, everything up, about 8+kts, then weaved all over the place in front of us as their depth alarms went off???

As the channel was about 5m max, not wide, and it shoalled v quickly either side to sub 3m quite often, and you often only got a Single Lateral buoy or Cardinal to mark it, A and R decided that 5kts was OK.
Upwind slog into lee of Marstal at 2kt motorsail. Harbour pretty full, but found a space on No 10 Bro(pier).
Bit of an awkward, skewed berth,  and wind on stern qtr, but parked safely, with care and many willing helpers.
Windy all pm, increased with sunset, then the rain arrived!

Wednesday 31 July
Said goodbye to friendly German family crammed into old plywood 9m next to us- quick hop to Bogenkop today for them.
Quite a lot of wind Fcast for today, up to a F6(22kts=11m/s) and given how the Danes and Swedes tend to underestimate wind speeds, we are sitting tight, rather than sailing for the Kieler Bucht today. Circa 25- 40nm to the Kieler Bucht marinas, so bit less wind and on a better angle to cross the TSS would be nice.
Shopped for food to last until Rendsburg in the Kiel Canal, where huge shopping precinct only 400m away.

A Checked out the Eider Canal as a alternative route back to North Sea, but the bridges are 5m, a bit low, plus it is only 1.2m deep in several places, so even Tringa at 1.3m min would be in trouble. So we’ll have to give it a miss. Shame, as R had to miss it out in 1998 too. Probably never will travel it now.

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