We left Rodloga early and sailed north towards Kappelskär, then turning NE towards Aland (Åland).

The gennaker was unfurled and used in almost all the way across. It is around 30 nm open water separating Sweden and Aland (Finland). The SE wind picked up as we approached Aland so, the gennaker was furled and replaced with the genoa. We do not like to sail in more than around 15 knots (7m/s) with the gennaker as furling is very hard work in stronger winds.

We had made good speed on the crossing and decided to continue to the marina on the east side of Mariehamn. The marina was very crowded, but they had a berth at the end of a dock for us. Stepping ashore, we understood why. There was a music festival starting the same day.

We had heard, they made an awful lot of noise, and seen several powerboats flying past us on the way over. We think there were some kind of rally and we later saw them moored together in the marina.

Aland (Åland) has been an autonomous and demilitarised region of Finland since a 1920. Its only official language is Swedish and the capital city is Mariehamn.

We left Mariehamn via the Lemstrom canal and had a wonderful downwind sail across Lumparn. More varied sailing and even a few short tacks before we could ease of as we entered Embarsundsleden. This is a narrow passage with a little more than 2 meters depth in some places. Nice and quiet downwind sailing took us east to Andbergsfladen near Bano (Banö) where we anchored for the night.

The archipelago from Aland to mainland Finland is huge, some 100 by 50 nm. There are islands everywhere you look and you can sail in protected waters for a day in any direction you like.

It is called the Arcipellago Sea (SW Skärgårdshavet, FI Saaristomeri). Such as large area requires a lot of ferries of varying types and sizes.

The charts are much better today when the Finish armed forces have released a lot of data. We can sail freely over large areas. Hakan remember the large uncharted areas from last time (1985 – he is getting old…). Still lay-lines are used to guide heavy traffic. You can see the next one in the woods in front of the sailboat.

You will also find many bays suitable for anchoring. Almost always good holding in clay or mud, even in shallow water. You may stay anywhere one night without permission except close to houses.

We had another lovely sail in sunny weather yesterday sailing up passing Seglinge and Kymlinge to the small hamlet and marina at Lappo. Arriving around 4 pm we got the last boy on the dock.

There is a lot of boats out and about and the marinas seems to be full. However, as the archipelago is extremely large, and we do not see so many boats whilst sailing or anchoring.

We took a 5 km walk today along a nice and well-marked trail over the island. True to the naval tradition, the trail was marked with white stones, similar to the stone cairns along the fairways.

It was nice to stretch the legs after days of sailing. Lovely landscape and some nice views. A shower felt good before we set sails again – leaving Aland for Finland proper.