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 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.


After a very long period of fitting out and “restoring” after the renovation work on deck and cabin rooftop and the new engine, we are now finally sailing again.

We are slowly getting used to Sallys new look

We did a “short shake-down” cruise in late July before she was finished and then continued the work. Now most (of the important) things are in place and we are enjoying a few days on the cost. We will be back in Ljungskile Thursday and Friday for a number of “must do” things, plus loading up with more stuff and putting more things back on the boat. We are leaving again on Saturday for a four week sail in Scandinavia, weather permitting (or rather good enough for us to want to sail).

A beautiful day with Eva’s sister and her friends.

Our navigations instruments are slowly giving up on us, maybe not surprising after 15 years and close to 30 000 nm. So far this year, we have lost the AIS transmitter and one repeater instrument. And, yesterday the autopilot gave up. New things have been ordered and we hope to be up and running, except for the not so necessary repeater, when we leave again on Saturday. And you will be able to follow us on Marin traffic and similar sites again.

A thunderstorm passes the anchorage

The new teak deck is finished

A major milestone in this winters renovation work was passed today with a final touch on the new teak. It has been a long story starting already in august when the old teak was removed.

The old deck as we have started to remove some of the vents and fittings.

The tools of the trade

Some of the wood was in poor condition and came of easily but most of it had to be removed in small pieces with the pneumatic chisel.

It took more than a month of part time work for Hakan before all the old teak was gone.

More than 1 300 screws had to be “unplugged” and removed in the process

Next step was to grind away old glue and the old gelcoat (left) to a smooth and clean surface (right)

We filled all holes in the deck and cabin roof with epoxy using a syringe to minimise the risk for air pockets

Finally, two coats of epoxy to seal the surface

The new deck was laid by two skilled carpenters from Vakuumteak i Väst. They did an excellent job and we are very happy with the result.  The method they use gives an end result without any screws.

The teak was first laid on top of a plastic cheat. I was glued together in the seams. In this process a number of screws were used to fix the parts while the glue cured.

After caulking the seams, the deck was lifted of the boat in two parts and all holes from the fixing screws were sealed.

The two teak halves were then glued to the deck using vacuum.

After another period of curing, sanding to a smooth surface

We also cleaned out and recaulked the seal between hull and deck

And, Hakan put back all the fittings and trimmings (almost) in their old places. We were very happy with the result.

The pulpit and lifelines came up to prevent Hakan from falling of the boat and the deck was covered.

Saly has now left the assembly hall and is back in the storage hall where Hakan will continue the work. First on the list is the cabin roof wich will be painted. We also hope to be able to start up the new engine for the first time soon.

The new engin is in place but we are waiting for some more details before we can test it. More on the engin installation in a later post.

Sally on the move

Sally was moved today from the storage hall to the assembly hall. Here, we can walk around the boat and work on the deck. The lifelines have been removed and the pulpit is next. The new engine is by the boat waiting to be installed.

Sally is ready for the new engine and the new teak deck. The professionals will now take over after months of preparation work by Hakan. We will tell you about the different jobs as they are finished.

Proud winners

We have, for the second time, been awarded the Imray price from The Mediterranean sailors of the Swedish Cruising club for articles in Odyssé 2021 “Water makers in the Mediterranean” and “Shift to lithium batteries step by step”.

Last year it was for articles in Odyssé no 2 2020 and 3 2020 “Caught in Spanish quarantine” and “Two safe ports are better than none” ‘a clarifying account of the Spanish Corona situation and of escaping therefrom through nonstop home-sail along closed coasts’.

Happy New Year

As we write this, we have a lovely winter in Sweden with ice on the bay and some snow. Let’s all hope for a good year 2022. But first, let us tell you a little bit about our year 2021. We will be linking to our blog if you want to read some more, it is in English this year to inspire more to sail in our lovely home waters.

Hakans had an operation on his right shoulder last fall and it was gradually recovering during the spring allowing him to work on Sally finishing just in time for the season.

Eva started working full time in February as a Swedish teacher for immigrants. This kept her occupied until end of June and we had to change our sailing plans to adapt to this.

Our goal for the summer had been to sail the Baltic and Bothnian coasts. A time was now reduced, we had to concentrat on the Bothnian Sea and Bay. Hakan sailed Sally relatively quick around the south of Sweden, mostly with friends and relatives.

Eva was able to take a long weekend to sail around the southern tip of Sweden. We visited the southernmost harbour in Sweden, Smygehuk, on May 28th and had some very nice days together. Hakan continued sailing up the Baltic coast. He was visited by all his children and grandchildren in the lovely archipelago south of Stockholm

Hakans brother gave a hand on the last legs past Stockholm to Gavle, the start of “Norrland” as northern Sweden is called. The girls drove up by car and we celebrated a traditional Midsummer with sailors from sailing clubs in Gavle and continued a bit north before brother and wife left us.

We continued sailing north along the coast and in the fantastic archipelagos. We visited many nice fishing villages and harbours. The High Coast was among our favourites and there we climbed the highest island in Sweden, Mjalton. Continuing north we visited Eva’s son and old and new friends. We arrived in Sweden’s northernmost harbour on July 15th. This concluded a 1 400 nm sail along the coast of Sweden.

Our original plan was to sail east and to continue south along the Finish coast but, we did not have the time available as Eva had to start work by the end of the summer. Instead, we picked up a nice westerly that took us south again at speed.

By the end of July, we were back in Gavle. Leaving the town after provisioning, the old engine gave up on us so we ended up on a mud bank and had to be towed back. We did not want to spend money on a questionable and possibly costly and time consuming repair. As we had already decided to put Sally indoors on a yard this winter, she went home on a trailer.

We drove north again in our car to the wedding of Evas son before slowly driving home. We had planned to visit many of our friends along the coast whilst sailing home. Now, we only managed a few of them with the car.

Our summed did not end as planned. Looking at our misfortune from a brighter side, we saw the advantage of having one more month to work on Sally in the yard and we are really looking forward to having a new engine next year.

We absolutely enjoyed the Bothnian coast. Sometimes we felt like in another country, a country where it did not get dark at night and where fellow sailors still help each other to dock. Where in mid-July there was always room in the harbor and fees were very moderate often including electricity, laundry, sauna, barbecue area and company with other crews in the evening. We had a wonderful time and are forever grateful for all the new acquaintances and for the friendly welcome we received.

This fall has been one of work. For Eva full time as a teacher and for Hakan almost full time in the yard. October and November were rainy and depressing – as always. December have been much better with snow and many sunny days. We had a lovely Christmas visiting our children and grandchildren. One our Christmas gifts were to learn that our seventh grandchild is to be expected in the summer.

We are now looking forward to 2022. Hopefully, vaccine combined with springtime will eventually allow more freedom of movement including sailing in other countries. We are planning to sail in our home waters this summer and hope to be able to visit with our sailing fiends along the coasts.

We wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year

Eva & Hakan

Merry Christmas

This year has been a year in Swedish for us. We are well and at home in our little house by the sea. The weather is very wintery with snow covered fields and ice on the bay.

We will try and summarise the year shortly. Look for the next post. Why not register for updates, form at bottom of this (quite long) page.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas

Eva & Hakan

We have many found memories from our summer.

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