Winter sailing

Winter on the west coast of Sweden is normally grey and often wet with temperatures varying around freezing. There is snow one day and then rain a few days later But there are occasional crispy days when the sun shines on Sally in her winter marina.

Last Sunday (Jan 22nd) had promises of another such a rare day. There was a thin layer if ice in the marina as we walked out on the dock. But, Sally is on the outermost sida and the ice only reached half way around her.

No real problems leaving the dock but we had a bit of wrestle with some frozen lines. The deck was dry and not slippery at all. We set sails in a light breeze. The sun never made it through the haze so we warmed ourselves with coffee and turned back to the marina after an hour on the fjord.

Our new heating system keeps sally around ten degrees all the time at the dock. Whilst we were sailing, the temperature came up with the help of the engine and the old diesel fired hot air heater and, we could warm ourselves in the cabin with some soup for lunch.

It was all in all a very present albeit chilly experience. We can’t wait to go sailing again soon.

Nice and warm

Our new heating system is now keeping Sally warm. Our ambition had been to install it whilst indoors in the spring. It is so much easier to get access when the boat is empty. We managed quite a bit of the loop by installing bits and pieces together with other jobs. Then we decided that we needed to sail. The work was taken up again in late September and by early October; the system could be started for the first time.

Two of the eight rediators in the boat

We now have a water based “central heating” with eight radiators throughout the boat. We can heat the water with the engine via a heat exchanger on the cooling water loop to the warm water heater or by a 2 kW electric heater. The heater runs on a thermostat on half or full heat. We can also runt the engine loop “backwards with a pump. Thus, heating the engine and the warm water heater to prevent freezing.

We iuset isolation to prevet heat leakage but, the hose is exposed were we whant some heat to prevent freezing. This is an example from the toilet with the valves on theh drain fron the sink.

There is a loop around the boat to connect all radiators and heater. This was one of the challenges. We wanted the hoses to be hidden as far as possible and at the same time use them to prevent freezing. The later by running the hose along the engine exhaust, water maker, through hull fittings, water pumps, toilet etc. It was not possible to have it everywhere so we still ended up with a few electric heaters to keep everything from freezing.

Some places was a real squise . You can se one of the many airing vents to the left on the lower pipe.

The heating has been up and running for almost two months now and is working well. We normally run it on 1 kW and around 6 deg C on the thermostat. This “half power” manages to keep the inside of the boat around eight degrees above outside temperature. This should keep the boat from freezing on a normal winter on the coast.

The only place where we did nor succeed in hiding the hoses. And no – there is no door here..

The next challenge now, is to improve insulation and reduce condensation whilst we are on board.

Sailing home waters

We never found the time to tell you about how our summer ended. Work and life in general took up all our time. Well, here it is – finally.

The plan was to sail to Skagen, on the northern trip of Denmark, before heading home. The forecast for the coming days showed consistent winds between E and NE – dead on the nose. Not our favourite.

So we sailed on a close reach directly to the Swedish west coast. Sadly missing the lunch we had been looking forward to at historic Brondums (Brøndums Hotel), our favourite in Skagen.

The smal harbour on Kalvon has only room for a few boats

We had a lovely week visiting some new places on the coast before Eva had to leave to start work. Hakan sailed one more week before returning home. By then it was end of September with rain and wind in the forecast.

Moored alongside (impossible in season) at Lilla Korno
Picknic on Trosso a lovely walk from Kalvon
The archipelago is quite deserted by the end of september.

Laeso

It was nice to be back on Laesoe (Læsø). We have been here several times before and like the island. It is very flat, the highest point being some sand dunes around 25 m above sea level. This makes it very pleasant to cycle but, also sometimes boring as there long straight stretches of roads.

We stayed in Vesteroe (Versterø), the harbour on the west side of the island. This time we were somewhat disappointed that the small scale brewery just south of the village had closed down. If we understood correctly, they have now outsourced the brewing and their beer was no longer to be found in the local supermarket.

Laesoe is a centre for crayfish and it has been possible to by directly from the local trawlers. Hakan tried one morning but the boat he found did not have any but, they did have a most impressing lobster at €20 that was cooked before breakfast.

Three days going north

We left Aero after breakfast Saturday and sailed east and then north up Lillebelt west of Fyn. We had a mostly sunny downwind sail in a fresh breeze with the genoa on the boom to windward. The wind turned from E to almost S as we headed more and more north so the sails stayed the same almost all day.

We looked at the forecast and saw that the following days had favourable winds. The decision was then made to use this to take us closer to home in the hope that we may have some days on our cost before Eva had to go back to work.

Sunny downwind sailing with one reef in the main.

We found a nice bay on the south side of Kolding fjord to anchor in the first night. Having decided to carry on northwards, we left a little bit earlier yesterday. We were now going more eastwards so we had a long reach hard on the 20+ knot SE wind.

The current coming out of the Baltic gave us a push and we made good speed. We could ease the sheets turning north at Samso. The wind settled down and we thought it might be possible after all to enter the small, and quite exposed, harbour of Tuno, another favourite island.

But, just as we had shred the sailing gear and put on shorts, the wind came back in full force again so we had to carry on. We arrived after six in the protected harbour of Ebeltoft. This time, we tried the “Fregat harbour” by the museum, excellent, and cheaper than the main harbour.

Having spent several days here a week ago, we did not even go shore. We just had dinner and a good night’s sleep before sailing again half past seven today. The wind was again SE at 20+ knots. We sailed out doing 5 knots under reefed main only while we had our breakfast.

We had the wind and substantial waves on our nose after rounding up to go around the headland so we decided to test our new engine in ruff conditions for the first time. It worked well and we could not tell any difference in power compared to the old one even if we now are down from nominal 48 to42 hp.

We could unfurl the sails again after a bumpy and wet hour. A close reach and following current gave us 8+ knots over ground – still bumpy and wet. It is in conditions like this that you find out where you have your leaks. We found on in one of our new smaller deck hatches.

To our immense delight, and for the first time ever, there were no leaks in the forward cabin. And, noting from the renovated deck except from in one of our new smaller deck hatches. So, a winter’s work has paid off.

There are not so many good and nice harbours on this coast. Around 11 we had two choices. Vi could carry on close reaching to Anholt, around 30 nm and 4-5 hours away. Or, we could ease off a little on the sheets and head north to Laeso (Læsø) 65 nm away. The days are shorter now and it is getting dark around eight.

A litle over 200 nm during three days downwind and reaching .

In order to arrive in daylight, we needed an average speed over seven knots. Not something we normally count on for longer spells. We checked wind and current forecasts and they were favourable all day.

There is very little tide in these waters. Instead, the currents are dependent on surface pressure and a high was moving in over the northern Baltic punching water out along our way for at least another day. So we gambled, eased of on the sheets and sailed north, in the beginning averaging over 9 knots. The wind and see settled in the afternoon and the reef in the main was unfurled. We arrived in Laeso Vesterhavn around seven, having averaged close to 8 knots over 88 nm from port to port.

Aero

We left Lohals after breakfast yesterday and sailed down to Aero (Ǽrø). We had following winds and sunshine to the beautiful but winding Svendborg sound. And, then again down to Aero.

Svendborg sound

Aero (Ǽrø) is our favourite island in Denmark and we love the old town of Aeroskoping (Ǽrøskøping) where we always try to more in the old harbour. Here the fees are even more modest than in Lohals but, no bikes include.

Aeroskoping (Ǽrøskøping) is like a museum town were time stopped a hundred years ago. It used to be a centre for sailing costal traders. And when the trade died out, the town lost its drive – until the tourists arrived…

We have visited several times. This time around we cycled on the island. A 30 km ride on our small bikes took us on winding small roads to lovely scenery and the local brewery and, gave us sore behinds.

There are many beautiful cycle paths around the island. Our first followed the NE shore and then we took a shortcut across the island to another one close to the SW shore, which we left for the brewery in Store Rise. The local brewery has a variety of beers and ales. Our favourite is their walnut bear.

Voderup Klint, Aero where the lands is sliding down into the sea in giant steps. The lowest level, at sea level, is of clay with a lot of shells frpm a waqrm sea aproxx 120 000 years ago. It also acts as ”lubricants for land slides. The last major one was in 1834.

Lohals, Langeland

We left Samso early and as the wind was still from the NE. We decided to go east of Fyn. The forecast was for a gradual change over some days towards SE and in the end S so, with some luck, we would be able to sail all the way around Fyn with following winds.

By now, we are well into our holiday mood and it is quite easy to give up on ambitions to sail every day and long distances. Rügen and Bornholm will have to wait until another year.

Aproaching the Storebælt bidge, highr 64 m – we past well to the west of the main trafic lanes at ”only” 28 meters.

We made good way down the Storebælt towards the impressive Bridge reaching with our Code 0. We started discussing where to go after passing the bridge. This route was new to us. Hakan sailed here once at night in 1977 but, that does not count.

Our favourites from earlier sails were quite far away, south of Fyn. Then, we found a harbour on the west side of Langeland, near the northern point, that looked interesting so we decided to go there.

Lohals turned out to be a nice, small harbour well protected from the expected winds. The harbour fee was reasonable and included all services and free bikes. Hakan needed to work some today so we stayed

There was time enough between meetings for a 20 km cycling tour of this lovely island including a stop for coffee. And, returning to the harbour we found that the harbour grill had excellent fish and chips and bear on special offer. But, it was cash only so Eva had to cycle up the hill to an ATM whilst Hakan drank his first bear.

Ballen, Samso

We had a very nice and fast gennaker sail down from Ebeltoft yesterday arriving at lunchtime in Ballen harbour on the east coast of Samso (Samsø). There, we were met by good friends from our winter on the Algarve coast.

They have since then bought a house in the centre of the island and has now lived here for over four years. Unfortunately, we have not been able to visit them due to Corona restrictions until now.

They took us on a car ride across this beautiful island and among other things showed us two more nice harbours (for our next visit). And, we were treated to a lovely dinner in their home with lots of superb vegetables from their garden. It was so nice to finally meet again.

Our plan was to leave this morning but the onshore wind was strong and we felt that we were old enough and had time enough to wait for the wind and seas to settle. So, we have had a lazy day today with some work on the boat. We had a visit from our friend for coffee and a taste of a honey cake made with honey from their bees.

Afterwars, we got a ride to a farm with eco vegies and bought a rucksack full before walking back to the harbour. It will be an early night tonight and an early start tomorrow. We have yet to decide which side of Fyn we will sail.

Ebeltoft

Ebeltoft is a 700 year old small Danish town on the east coast of Jylland at the northern end of Samso bay. We made a short stop heat last time (2017) and this time we wanted to see more of this nice tow, said to be one of the best representatives of typical Denmark (of old?). Its old buildings and streets are to a large extent preserved. It is a bit of the normal rout but, well worth the effort of the extra 10 nm.

Entering the harbour we had a real scare. The engine stopped as we were turning to align to our mooring. Luckily, there was room enough to manoeuvre and speed to turn around and unfurl the genoa and sail out of the harbour. At anchor outside the harbour we checked filter and other stuff but, did not find anything wrong.

So we started again and the engine ran like clockwork, also under load. We dared to enter again after 30 minutes of motoring around. We did a more thorough check the following day. No dirt, air or water in the filter and, again no problems running loaded.

If anyone has similar experience, please let us know. It is very unnerving to have a problem without explanation and unable to replicate. Was it a one-time hiccup from dirt, water or air?  Can we trust the engine in a potentially dangerous situation?

We have now spent two days in this lovely town. It claims to host the world’s largest wooden ship, the gaff rigged naval ship Jylland built in oak and equipped with an auxiliary steam engine. It is on display in a dry dock and has its own museum.

The world’s smallest city hall stands on the town square (to the right in the picture). Every Saturday, like today, there is music on the square. Today, it was traditional New Orleans Jazz. Some of the members in the band had obviously had long experience of playing.

It was interesting to note that the local sports clubs did not run lotteries or sell simple street food. Instead, and (at least in our slightly prejudice minds) true to Danish tradition, they provided ample supply of reasonably priced bear to the audience.

A hazy evening on the bay outside the harbour just before sunset.

Sailing south

We have had a lovely peaceful day in perfect summer weather on the Danish island Anholt today. We took a long walk on this unique island after arriving yesterday evening. The island is basically a large sand dune and the eastern part is by definition a dessert. Our walk did not take us that far, next time…

The soutn beach lookin west
And looking east. Beyond the more lies the dessert, and you may not cykle there so it is a long walk.

Today we cycled even further and had a lovely lunch in the quiet garden of “Tanternas hus” (The old ladies house) in the small village. The old ladies turned out to be in their twenties; maybe they plan to keep the place for a long time.

There are a lot more boats in the harbor than last time.

We sailed over from Sweden yesterday after some days going south along the coast with cray fish party on Saturday and dinner with friends on Sunday. At anchor on Monday afternoon, we finally got our new AIS working. It is now possible to follow us again.

We had a hectic two days at home. On Thursday morning we picked up the new autopilot and it was up and running, steering the boat on a short test run, by nine in the evening. A major part of the work was to remove the old pilot and AIS without removing anything we needed in order to keep the rest of our old instrument running. We are still using the old motor drive for the quadrant, with the new one as spare.

Never a dull moment

A new autopilot meant the introduction of a third network on board. We now have the old and new Raymarine Seatalk and Seatalking respectively in addition to the NMEA2000. Friday was spent trying to make all three of them to communicate, and to supply data to our laptop. Most of it is working and, after the start-up of the AIS, the only thing we cannot see is AIS signals from other ships on our old E80 plotter. But, we see them on the computer and on our new i70 multi instrument so we were OK passing the major shipping lanes to and from the Baltic yesterday.

I denna blog skriver vi lite nu och då om båten och våra seglatser. Kontakt: sally@bikan.se +46708220250