Us on the road home

We started driving south after the wedding in Umea after several very nice days with the family.

Skuleberget lies very close to the coast. It is possible to sail there but, time had not allowed us to do so. We now stopped on our way south on a rainy day. Luckily, the clouds lifted and we were able to take the ski lift to the top and walk around the 295 m high mountain top enjoying the impressive views. Skuleberget has the highest old coastline in the world. We found it near the top at 286 meters above today’s sea level. The walk down to the car on the ski slope was a bit slippery but we made it safely.

We had planned to visit many of our sailing fiends whilst sailing home along the coast. We still wanted to see them and managed to visit some of them with the car instead. We also stopped in the lovely small town of Trosa. A harbour we would have liked to visit.

Walking along the river in Trosa

Last stop on our little road trip was with Birgitta and Leif in Timmernabben. Leif was duty “harbourmaster” and had reserved a nice spot for Sally. Unfortunately, we had to disappoint him but we were never the less treated royally.

Looking enviously at a boat on a mooring outside Pataholm

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Sally on the road home

We sorted out all the arrangement and found a transport home for Sally. Eva went home Thursday to return Monday with our car.

Torgessons, a transporter from Orust, was going to deliver a boat to Lulea and was passing Gavle with an empty trailer on Wednesday. This was perfect for us and at a very fair price. We had great help from Jens in figuring out how to lift the boat. He suggested Fliskar (Fliskär) marina. They have a mast crane capable of 600 kg which is enough for our rig. He also helped us find a mobile crane to lift the boat on the trailer.

The engine did not cooperate when we tried to start it to go to Fliskar yesterday. We did not dwell too much over this, just called Jens. He promised to tow us out with his boat. He did so most expertly and gently in the afternoon and put us by the mast crane. Unfortunately, the crane did not allow us the vertical lift we need for our keel steped mast.

We had to reschedule the mobile crane for today to allow time to also lift the mast. No problem in principle but, instead of having plenty of time to take everything of the mast and prepare it for transport the job now had to be squeezed to a very short time.

Sally ready for transport to Vindo Marin for the winther.

All this made our day today very mixed. The transport arrived early and the crane arrived on time at 1 pm. Until then, we had very little to do but to drink coffee and eat lunch, then started a hectic activity as the very expensive mobile crane clock was ticking.

Everything went smoothly with two very experienced and careful professionals and with help from friendly club members lending a hand as they were passing by. In a little more than two hours the rig was lifted and the mast stripped clean and Sally loaded.


We started our drive north late afternoon after winding down some. We are on our way to Evas son Daniels wedding in Umea (Umeå) on Saturday with some extra time on our hands. We had decided to visit Mellanfjarden, a nice old fishing village that we had not been able to fit in as we passed by. We had secured the last room in the small hotel there yesterday. Tonight, we had a nice dinner in their dock side restaurant making completely different plans for our two remaining weeks before work starts.

A sudden end to our sailing

We came back to Granskar (Granskär), where we celebrated Midsummer, one month ago, on Monday after a 900 nm tour to the north. It has been a fantastic month in excellent summer weather. We had spent the day close reaching in easterlies giving us a quick run down from Kusokalv.

The next day, we went in to Gavle for provisioning. Last time was Lulea, 9 days ago and there was very little food left on-board. On leaving Gavle, the engine failed us in the narrow, dredged fairway. We tried to get the sails up but there was not enough space so we got stuck in the mud.

We were just outside the harbour, only some hundred meters from the rescue vessel of SSRS. They came out, after a few phone calls, and pulled us free and towed us back to the harbour. The Swedish Sea Rescue Society offers a service to their members where we can call for assistance; this was the first time ever for us.

We have had increasing problems with the fresh water cooling water system for quite some time now, having to fill water before we start up the engine. What happen today was that as we increased power a little more than normal to go against the head wind, pressure in the system increased and a hose connection came apart. We heard the “bang” but taught that we maybe had hit something in the water. We learned differently as the temperature alarm sounded.

We also got help to contact a mechanic who came the same afternoon. His conclusion is that the cylinder head or gasket is damaged as there was quite a lot of exhaust gases in the cooling water. From what we see today, there is no water leaking into the cylinder(s) so we are able to move the boat short distances under our own steam carefully and at low revs. The repair is difficult, maybe time consuming at this time of the year, and costly. We have decided that we will replace the engine instead. We have moved to the marina and are now trying to puzzle together a lift out and transport of the boat to our planned winter yard who will install the new engine. Eva has gone home by train to return by car early next week when we hope to have everything organised.


Today has been a wonderful summer day on the sea. Clear blue skies and a very moderate wind around 6 knots. The Code 0 was unfurled as we were out of the rocky entrance to Bakspan and we managed to sail almost all day with only tacking to get around one point. The wind headed us and increased and we had to tack among the rocks the last bit.

It was not the fastest sail but very nice and relaxing – a change from all the rather tuff sailing we have done lately. We arrived after 10 hours and 35 nm at the eastern anchorage at Kusokalv (Kusökalv). It has an SXK buoy but nothing else but trees. The buoy was occupied but there was just room enough for us to anchor inside.


Today was another long day at sea. We started early (before 7 am) as the wind was forecast to be from the N or NE until around 10. But, it died down shortly after the gennaker was up. Then a weak E came up and we changed to Code 0. It turned quickly to SE, i.e. headwind and then grows in strength and we find ourselves sailing with genoa and main barely laying our course.

We sailed south very close to the coast and managed to get quite far south on short tacks east. There were some other boats on the water, all of them behind us, and we were holding our own quite well gradually leaving all but one behind. The only one slowly gaining on us was an X38 Performance with fancy golden sails. We sailed as high as them to the wind but not quite as fast bit, it was OK – they should sail much better than us.

The seas grew choppy as the day progressed and sailing towards and around Hornsladet turned out to be a relentless and long slug to windward. We got a short break by motoring through the Balso (Bålsö) sound. We had some hopes for the SXK buoy at Kuggoren (Kuggören) but it was occupied so we carried on another 10 nm down to Inneston (Innestön).

Where is the enterance and the harbour?

There is a much protected old harbour, not visible from the sound to the W, called Bakspan (Bakspån).It used to have both shop and tavern in the old days but nothing remains today. The chart showed less than 3 m and lots of rocks in the entrance whilst our pilot claimed that range markers and buoys would guide us in but did not indicate from where so we motored up and down the sound.

We finally spotted the barely visible range markers through the binoculars and very carefully motored in among the rocks. There were no sign of any buoys, we later learned that there used to be some but not anymore. We made it safely in (but leaving we touched a rock without damage or problems, possibly being just a little bit of the range line but, it is more likely that the stated depth of 2.5 m is an old figure (the land uplift here is about 1 cm per year)) and moored up to the dock where we were welcomed by a group of friendly local people. We got the impression that they were quite surprised that we had found this hidden gem.

We joined in on the barbeque and spent a nice evening talking to a young couple that reminded us very much of our own situation 20 years ago. They had left their kids with their ex partners and taken of for a week on their own on daddy’s boat.


We have stayed in Skatan today relaxing after all the sailing we have done the last week. We needed a break and there were some minor things to do on the boat that gave us a good reason to stay.

Skatan is an old fishing village and one of the few on the coast that are still active. There are around 60 persons living here all year around and many more in the summer time. It was nice to stretch the legs after so many days sailing when we took a walk in the surroundings.

They smoke fish in the harbour and we feasted yesterday evening on some samples. Lunch today was a lovely char (Salvelinus/Röding) smoked this morning, we liked it so much that we bought another one to have later in the week.

If you look closely, you will see the smoke from the among the buildings to the right.

Today was the last day with northerlies but, we noted with some satisfaction that they did not last throughout the day. It made us feel les bad for staying the day. From now on there will mostly be winds from the south. But, on nicer days, we may catch some early thermal breeze from the opposite direction. Thus, we expect early morning wake up calls, less progress but hopefully nicer sailing.

5 days going south

We have used the last day’s consistent westerlies to north-westerlies to make good speed south covering close to 300 nm in 5 days. The first day started with some archipelago sailing and, sometime tacking in order to follow the fairways. The following three days has been offshore sailing in a very varying breeze from the shore. Around 15 knot but occasionally as low as 6 and sometimes above 20. Most of the time going fast, healed over in a confused sea. Not the most comfortable sailing…

Life can be good even on a bumpy ride.

We sailed part of the first day in company with Hubert and spent the night at anchor in the bay of our friend Anders. We had a nice and long evening with Annette and Hakan on Hubert and the next morning a long coffee with Anders. We anchored the second day in Kallvik (South of Bjuroklubb) as the SXK buoy was non-existent there and, stayed the third night at Jarnashamn (Järnäshamn) where there was a buoy.

Jarnashamn (Järnäshamn)

Yesterday, we entered the Highr Coast archipelago and enjoyed seeing islands on both sides of us. We had an interesting docking in Horsang (Hörsång). It was supposed to be 2 m of water at the dock, according to our pilot book,  but we were stopped by the sand one meter off. So, we moored, with the help of a friendly man on the dock, standing on the sand, and put out the fender-board to take us ashore.

Stoped by the sand just a meter of the dock.

We woke up afloat this morning as the water had risen over night. The day started by sailing/motoring the remaining 15 nm of archipelago before heading for open waters. It has been a tuff day with winds 20-30 knots gusting 40. Luckily, enough to the north to give us some slack, sometimes even a beam reach. We had a very bumpy and sometimes wet ride, with double reefed main and refed genoa, across the bays outside Sundsvall but, we made good speed and came into port at Skatan relatively early.


Yesterday morning was spent in agony. We (mostly Hakan) wanted very much to sail the rest of the coast to the Finish border. An easy sail in the western wind but, a long hard beat to windward in the westerlies forecast for the coming days. And, we have limited time. The decision was in the end to use the westerlies and north-westerly winds to return south.

There is lots of sand from the river around Lule

Prevailing winds in these waters are from around south in the summer. Now, we had the opportunity to sail quicker than expected on our return leg. We set of and the wind turned out to be stronger than promised, 15-20 knots, gusting 25+. Great sailing until we had to motor up the river to Lula (Luleå).

Lulea (Luleå)

We met up with Elisabeth and Per-Olov (Perra), sailing friends from Greece who are living in Lulea and had a nice day sailing with them today. The wind was strong as we sailed all around Sandon under double reefed main and heavy weather jib. Our friend turned out to be excellent guides and the islands came to life as they told stories about them from their youth and from older days.

We found a nice anchorage for lunch and celebrated our reunion with some bubbles.  Last time we met was on Arki two years ago and it was nice to catch up. After the sail, they took us sightseeing in Lulea. The present city was founded 1621.

An earlier city was located further up the river and the impressive church from 1492 still stand in “Gammelbyn”. There are well preserved old buildings and around 400 “church cabins”. These small houses were used by the constituency who lived over a large area and needed to stay overnight when going to church. Elisabeth told us about how she and her family stayed there when she was young.

Tore / Gardsviken

Today was the last day with southerly winds in the forecast so we decided on a long day trying to reach the northernmost port and navigable water in Sweden. A long and relatively fast sail took us up through the archipelago and in the end up the Tore (Töre) river. We sailed to the very end.

The archipellago outside Tore.

We had planned to stay in Tore overnight but, once there, we were met with torrential rain and, there was no suitable space for us in the smal harbour. To add insult to injury, we hit something on the bottom trying to find space. So we decided to go down river again. The cockpit cover was raised as protection for the rain and we savoured a nice cup of tea whilst gracefully motoring in the rain.

Reaching Tore. The yellow bouye marks the northen end of navigable waters in Sweden. The dark cloud was soon to open up on us.

We were in in Smygehuk, the southernmost point in Sweden 55 deg 20 min north, on May 28. Smygehuk is around 850 miles from here if you sail along the coast without detours. We have sailed 1150 nm since then and around 1 400nm since we left hone May 11th.

Coming down the river as the rain subsided,

We found the nice out harbour of Tore YC at Gardsviken (Gårdsviken) at the river mouth and enjoyed a barbecue dinner in the company of the crews of Azelia and Hubert. Nice to relax after a 70 nm day.

Café Hildur

Today has been a Code 0 day with light thermal winds all day. Starting by heading us but, we have mastered the trim to windward by now so we sail almost as high (curse over ground) with the Code 0 as we do with the genoa. The wind followed the sun and the last few hours were sailed dead downwind with the Code 0 on a boom.

Today we reached the northernmost archipelago in Sweden stretching around 100 nm from Pitea to the border with Finland at Haparanda. It is consists of low laying wooded island with lots of rocky and sandy reefs. So far it has been lovely and we look forward to exploring it.

We had planned to go to a pontoon on Mosesholmen in Haraholmsfjarden outside Pitea (Piteå). But, as we approached the dock a man called from another on the other side saying it was much better there. Having sailed the Med, we are careful with promises like that so at first we were reluctant but, this is friendly Northen Sweden so we whent for it.

He helped us with the lines and explained that this was the sunny side and mooring was free for sailboats. We thanked him and invited him and his wife for a glass of whine later. It turned out that Camilla and Ove were living all year on Mosesholmen and they were experienced sailors having sailed several times to the west coast with their X-boat.

Our evening view

Last year they bought a farm on the mainland opposite their home and started up a café named Hildur. It has proven to be a great success being one of the few such places in the archipelago. We had a lovely evening together and hope to be able to visit again on our way back.

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