Stora Alo and Fyrudden

We left Vestervik after breakfast in a light northerly (nignt/morning thermal breeze) But, it did not last long into Gudingen. Gudingen is a deep fjord/bay just north of Vastervik stretching 15 miles NW.

We sailed about half of it through a nice wooded archipelago with farms and homesteads on the larger islands.

This old shortcut would have saved us 6 nm but the bridge is somewhat low. Nowadays, it is only used by smaler powerboats.

As usual in this part of Sweden some of the nice stretches include narrow and rather shallow waters. Our Navionics chars are very detailed and accurate and most parts are also well marked.

We were headed by the sea-breeze (SE wearing S in these parts) as we were leaving the bay and had some nice upwind tacks before we could turn north and run up the coast in a following wind.

We spent the night at Stugviken on Stora Alo (Stora Ålö). This is the centre for the local section of the Swedish Cruising Ass. (SXK). Some docks with nice new red stern buoys and a number of buoys provide plenty of room for members and guests in a beautiful and well protected bay.

Skallkar (Källskär) where most of the Astrid lindgren ”Saltkran” was recorded isom 50 yearws ago. We almost expected to se ”fabroer Melker” falling into the water…

We had a nice BBQ and dinner on the dock with fellow sailors. And, as usual, we picked their brains on the coast ahead of us.

Stora Alo, quiet before thew season but, the beer tasted just as good as always.

We motored early next morning to Fyrudden where we took on fuel before mooring up for the day. Jesper caught an early buss to the train that would take him home. Friends visited on their way to their boat that has been stuck in Berlin for more than a year due to Corona. Hakans younger son with two small boys (1.5 and 4 years old) arrived for some days of adventure in the area.

Vastervik

Today has been another sunny and warm day with light and variable winds however, by noon it settled into a reasonable thermal wind. We have had a lot of gennaker practise unfurling and furling in changing winds and jibes.

First detour

We have followed descriptions from fellow sailors and valuable advice from our local support. Leif and Bengt have been most helpful on their respective home waters. Instead of joining the main fairway north we started by very slowly sailing west into the archipelago up a sound that felt more like a river.

Sailing up the river

Then turning north behind the island. These waters appeared unmarked both in the guides we had an on our electronic charts. Luckily, real life proved to be better with some very helpful markers part of the way. AL this was done under sails in light breeze or motoring. The gennaker was then unfurled in the more open and straight main fairway.

Turning north we found helpfull markers

The archipelago is very beautiful and still quiet as the summer season has not yet started. We did not see any other sailboats on our detours and only a handful in the main fairways.

Second detour

The second detour cold bee done entirely under sail as we had a following wind by then.

Vastervik (Västervik) is a nice small town. We went all the way up to the marina at Slotsholmen. Very conveniently located near the city where we treated ourselves to burgers and beers.

Krakelund

We had another early start today leaving the harbour at 7 am. The gennaker came up just outside the pier. We had breakfast at the table in the cockpit whilst ghosting along at a few knots in a light following breeze and in extremely calm waters.

Breakfast view

We crossed over to the mainland and the beginning of the archipelago south of Vållö. This is the start of a 250 nm long almost uninterrupted archipelago with protected fairways and thousands of anchorages. Some say it starts further south but not for reasonably sized keelboats.

We followed Enegatan, a historic fairway used by the small sailing crafts in coastal trade over the centuries. It is in parts quite narrow winding its way through the rocks. It is very well-marked in most parts.

It passes the old stone quarry in Vanevik (Vånevik). The query was once commissioned to deliver the stones for Hitlers large victory monument, a delivery that never took place.

Narriw and winding, we motored with care

The winds were light but stayed this far around south. The gennaker was furled and then unfurled as the wind shifted and sometimes died down behind the wooded islands. We also used the engine to motor through the trickiest parts of the route.

A very beautifull archipellago

We decided to leave the narrow fairway and to take a shortcut across the bay outside Oskarshamn directly to Krakelund (Kråkelund). The wind had become stronger and more varying by then sometimes giving us a 7 knot reach under gennaker and shortly thereafter less wind on the nose.

Krakelung with the caracteristic pilot tower looking out to sea

It finally settled in NE and around 8 knots giving us a close reach and some short tacks the rest of the way. We were lucky to find the SXK buoy at Krakelund free so we tied up for the night after 10 hours of interesting and very varying sailing. Nice sunny summer weather all day and a glorious evening in dying breeze.

Borgholm, Oland

Today has been the first realy warm summer day this season. Unfortunately, the day was almost completely without wind from any direction. We managed to sail some spells in very light and varying breeze with our Code 0 but most of the distance were cover by utilising the “iron genny”.

Sailing towards the bridge

We past the narrows and the bridge between mainland and Oland, without any problems (height 35 meters), and continued north to Bornholm.

Kalmar castle has for centuries guad´rded the narrows
A short spell of two knots of wind gave us close to one knot over mirror like waters nort of the bridge

Bornholm is a popular summer town with a lot of people partying during the popular summer holiday weeks. We saw a slow start and Bornholm has by far been the most lively place we have visited so far during this trip but, that does not say a lot as all the others have been more or less deserted.

Morbylanga, Oland

Hakan returned to Karlskrona yesterday evening with a friend. Wakeup today was early and we left the marina by 7 am. Motoring and then gently sailing east whilst eating breakfast took us to the first adventure. There is a nice shortcut going east from Karslkrona. Hakan had sailed it in the 1970-ties. The old bridge was an opening bridge and no problems but, the bridge today is fixed with a nominal clearance of 18 meters – our mast is 19.5.

Will we make it?

Summer time low water, safety margins and the arch of the bridge played in our favour and, as with similar bridges, we cleared the bridge by at least half a meter. Following the bridge are some nice and well-marked narrow passages through rock-strewn shallow waters. Kind of scary at 7.5 knots…

Safely past the bridge.

We made it safely to open waters and had a beautiful, sunny and warm close reach (a first this year) up the sound between Oland (Öland) and the mainland in light winds. Our bellowed, and now restored, Code 0 gave us reasonable speeds almost all the way to Morbylanga (Mörbylånga).

We left all our sails to our sailmaker for service last fall. After some days he called and told us that he, for the first time, has seen a Code 0 that was worn out. We have used it a lot and it has been left hoisted in periods during longer sails. Sun is not kind to the special cloth used in the sail so he had remove the outmost panels, Now we have nice new bright white tapes along the leech and foot and a slightly smaller sail than before.

Rewarded after a long day at see.

Morbylanga is a quiet little village with some shops and restaurants. We took a short walk and ended up with drinks by the harbour.

Karon

A light breeze gave us a nice gennaker reach half way to the Blekinge archipelago yesterday afternoon. We were headed for Karon (Karön) outside Ronneby on good advice. Also this day forced us to motor but this time due to lack of wind. The archipelago is small with narrow channels and often shallow waters. But, it is well marked and beautiful. We motored carefully a long way in shallow water and had no problems at the guest pontoon at Karon.

Karon is an old summer island now owned by the city. It is home to some nice summer houses and a restaurant from the early 20th century. It offers nice walks on well-marked paths and interesting houses. By tradition, and recently more strongly regulated, the properties have not been allowed to put up fences or in other ways block passage.

Not many people sail during working days in May.

We sailed to Karlskrona this morning and picked up a car to take us home for work and Corona vaccination. Hakan will return shortly to continue sailing nort.

Karlskrona is an old naval center still in use by the modern Swedish navy.

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Hano

Yesterday started early. We left the harbour of Smygehuk at half past six in order to catch a nice NW breeze. We made good speed eastwards averaging close to 7 knots. But it was a very cold wind. Our tactic played out and the wind did not die out until we had rounded the SE corner of Skane – Sandhammaren.

Dressed for the occation.

After some motoring a new breeze from E picked up and we were again doing 6-7 knots. The gennaker came up as the wind gradually turned S and lost some of its pressure. We had the sun in the cockpit by then and had shred most of our clothes. It was really nice as long as you stayed behind the sprayhood. But the nose got a frost bite it you stuck it outside into the wind.

High speed ferries at 34 knots keep you on lookout.

We were by now a bit into the bay of Hano (Hanöbukten). It is infamous for its waves and we had a really confused swell from different directions. It completely knocked the waning wind out of the sails. So, instead of a quiet afternoon reach, we had to motor the last few hours to Hano. 12 hours at sea had taken us 74 nm.

That evening we experienced a first for us. We heard someone call “Hello Sally” from the dock as we finished our dinner. “We saw you come in just had to come and see you.” Johanna and Marcus told us about how they have been following our blog for several years. They were on a weekend sail from their home port in nearby Ahus and were themselves planning a similar trip to the Med as the one we have done. We had some nice chats over wine that evening. Over coffee the next day, we asked for local advice on the area and where to go next.

The beens that spilled from the trolls sack.

Thus, todays walk got a bit delayed before we eventually headed off to explore the island. Hano has a long history. It was the Baltic base for the English navy during the Napoleon war 1810-12 and there is an old English graveyard on the hill. Our first goal was the northern tip of the island. It is very unusual with its pebble reef. It is called the bean sack and legend has it that a troll living ion the island was going to visit her children on the main lad bringing beans but the sack broke and spilled the beans.

Walking up to the lighthouse.

A more plausible explanation is the retreating ice cover at the end of the last ice age. The wonder is that the pebbles stay in place. They are moved back and forth in the braking waves and pushed around by the winter ice. Still they remain in place. The nature of the island is in places quite barren. It has a considerable population of red deer and we saw some hidden among the trees later on our walk. The view from the lighthouse 60 above the sea is magnificent.

Smygehuk

Today also started with work but, as it is Friday, we quit early. The rainy, cold and windy weather of earlier this week seems to be on hold for some time now and we were able to sail in pleasant but still chilly weather. Temperatures ashore are quite decent but, as the sea is only around 10 deg C, the wind is cold. Longjohns, hats and mittens are still in use.

The sail started with a fast open reach south with 7-8 knots under main and genoa. What a change from yesterday. But jibing to go east after Falsterbo put us dead downwind under main and genoa wing and wing with more moderate speeds.

The reefs south of Falsterbo streaches far out to see and the waters around them are dangerous. We stayed at a safe distance (never below 6 m of water)

We sailed past the southern corner of Sweden today passing two capes; Falsterbonaset, with its long and dangerous reefs is the SW corner and following that, the breakwater in Smygehuk, the southernmost point in Sweden 55 deg 20 min nortth. We decided to stay in Smygehuk for the night and went straight into a pontoon in the small and relatively shallow (2 m according to this year’s almanac) harbour. The echo sounder is showing 1,5 m (out draft is 1,8+ m ) but we seems to be moving so we think we will be OK leaving under our own steam tomorrow.

Smygehuk, the southernmost port in Sweden 55 deg 20 min nortth

From her, it is around 850 miles to the northernmost port of Tore (Töre) at 65 deg 54 min north. The summer is probably not long enough to take us there and back home again.

Skanor

We had a late departure today after work. We left Lomma with a very positive feeling. Lomma was a natural port for customs, shipping and trade a 1 000 years ago owing to its location at the mouth of the river Hoje. Hoje was the main transport link to Skane’s cultural centre at the time, the plains surrounding Lund. Industrial development started 400 years ago with brick making and later cement factories.

The nearly 8 km long bridge is part of a 16 km connection between Sweden and Denmark.

The city has now undergone a complete redevelopment as a pleasant modern suburb to Malmö. Our dock was conveniently located with healthcare centre, library, restaurants, fishmonger, bakery, butcher and grocery within a few hundred meters walking distance.

Long, sandy beaches scattered with bathing cabins.

We motored for a few hours in very light winds down the Oresund and under the impressive bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark until a light breeze allowed us to sail down to Skanor.

Town hall and old square in Skanor.

Skanor sits far down on Falsterbonaset, a sandy spit of land stretching SW into the Baltic. It has a long history and some nice buildings in the old centre. It also boasts beautiful long beaches and is a tourist favourite in the summer. But, as with other ports we have visited so far, most things are still closed.

Lomma

The rain did finally give up late last evening. It allowed us a walk up  to the 13th century church from which you have nice views. Ven is about as close to Denmark you will get in Sweden as it sits between the two countries .In the old days al of Southern Sweden was part of the kingdom of Denmark and Ven was part of the administrative district of Skana, now Swedish. These were a lot of debate over the Island when Denmark had to give up Sothern Sweden in the 17th century.

Denmark from Ven. Unfortunatly, not easy to enter in these Corona days. We are used to compleatly open borders sins the 1950-ties.

The famous astronomer Thyco Brahe was a Danish nobleman who lived on the island. King Frederick II granted Tycho an estate on the island and the funding to build Uraniborg where Thyco Brahe built large astronomical instruments and took many careful measurements. Unfortunately, it was too late for us to take a look at the museum.

We left early this morning in some rain. And, as yesterday, the forecast was wrong but, this time in our favour. The rain cleared and did not reappear. The passing to the small city of Lomma was wet anyway in strong breeze choppy seas heading us. No tacking today and a relatively quick passage averaging 5,5 knots over ground despite considerable current against us.

Tucked in snuggly as far upp the river as one can go in Lomma.

There will be a change of crew tonight as Eva arrives and Anders reruns home with our car. Next days will be mostly working for Eva and to some extent also Hakan. We may get some late afternoon sailing if the weather is favourable before we continue on Saturday for a few days.

The start of this season has been a complex puzzle to pies together with work, Corona vaccinations, family obligations and more. We will not be able to sail continuously until last week in June.

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