We are now in Vastervik (Västervik) on our final day together on the boat. Our friends from Timmernabben said they wanted an excursion and very kindly drove our car to Vastervik and we had a lovely lunch together.
We took the opportunity to go shopping in the afternoon. Having the car allowed us to go to the big shopping centre and by everything we had on the list for the boat as well as food for Hakans onward sailing. Eva is leaving the boat tomorrow to go home. She starts working Monday morning.
The sail across the Aland Sea went as planned with a close reach and reasonable speed. Until we approached the Swedish archipelago when a huge raincloud visited us. We took shelter under the cockpit tent and sailed on. The rain stopped after an hour as we continued south to the northern bay on Sjalbottna (Själbottna) nice and popular but with room for Sally to anchor.
The following day was a day of tacking and close reaching. We had a plan but there was not time, so we found another nice and popular anchorage in Korsviken on Ornso.
Eva was steadily and increasingly needing her pain killers for her back and they were running out. So, the plan for Wednesday the 2nd was to sail for Nynashamn, a rather big city, where there should be well stocked pharmacies. We started tacking southwards but, the wind increased and we took a reef in the main. After about an hour, the wind on our noose was so strong we had to take a reef also in the foresail which hampers our performance.
By that time, we were near Uto (Utö) and we said “lets skip another four hours of this and head in”. It was around noon, an ideal time to find a good spot in the marina. We had a pleasant afternoon with lunch ashore and walks on the island. Eva also had some time to phone the pharmacies. This was fortunate, as there was hardly any place in Sweeden with her medicine in stock.
She was able to locate two boxes in Trosa as the only place within many miles. And, they could reserve it for her for a day or two. We decided to leave the next day. The morning turned out to be very rainy. By lunch it was clearing up so we left, only to be graced with a torrential shower 15 minutes out of the harbour.
The rest of the day was nice as the sun came out and we could reach with good speed south before easing the sheets and heading east towards Trosa. We stopped to anchor for the night at Fifan (Fifång), fairly close to Trosa.
We motored to Trosa the next morning and into the river as far as we dared. We tied up when we had about 10 cm of water under the keel. Unfortunately, the pharmacy and supermarket were about a 2 km walk from the boat. Quite nice walking there through the nice old town with its wooden houses. We found a good butcher and a stand with smoked fish on the way.
Walking back was the problem. Carrying heavy groceries in backpack and bags tock its toll on Hakans back. But we got what we came fore and high-quality proteins – on par with Abo.
We sailed on in the afternoon to stop at another lovely anchorage. This time in Humleviken on Ringson. Part of a large natural reserve it was pure and beautiful nature. The anchorage is large with protected corners for any wind and very popular.
The winds were back to SW and thus in principal, on the nose on Saturday 5th. By motoring some in the archipelago and sailing when we could we caried on to Oxlosund where the waters open up. Frome there on we managed to sail with only tacking once to just north of Arkosund. Arkosund has free washing machines and was a godsent for dirty sailors with 4 machines to run.
By now, we became increasingly aware of the storm, later to be named “Hans”, that was heading our way with NE winds gusting above 40 knots (20 m/s). Most people sailing the cost go looking for a safe harbour in moments like this. But, we agreed with our English neighbours that the safest place to be is a good anchorage. We identified a few good alternatives.
We left early Sunday morning and basically motor sailed 40 nm to the best one. We almost made it before the rain but had to motor against wind and rain for the last hour or so. We anchored in the rather large anchorage in the lee of Smago (Smågö), and very close to Bjorko, and was rewarder with an Irish coffee made with Paddy´s and lightly whipped cream.
We anchored in 5 m of water as the only boat within sight. We let out an extra 10 m of anchor chain and lay safely through the storm that hit us in the late evening with torrential rain, strong wind, thunder and lightning. As the weather improved the following morning, we continued the remaining 13 nm to Vastervik.