We sailed from Mjalton to Ornskoldsvik (Örsköldsvik) yesterday to pick up Evas son Daniel and his wife to be. They had a days break from work and came by car from Umea (Umeå) yesterday evening and have sailed with us today.
We made an early arrival in order to provision and to continue the search for a dress for Eva to wear on Daniels wedding in August. This has been an ongoing process that finally came to a conclusion this afternoon.
Today we sailed in headwinds down to Trysunda. It was nice to be able to show our guests some real sailing as we tacked south in a challenging breeze under genoa and reefed main. Trysunda, Swedens most beautiful island according to some, is one of the few harbours on this coast that gets really crowded. It was nice to arrive just before lunch finding several free slots on the dock.
We had an ice-cream and a nice walk on the island. Trysunda has a long history as a fishing village. Originally build around the sounds between three islands, hence the name Trysunda meaning three sounds. But, land uplift has changed the landscape and the sounds have dried out crating one island with a protected bay in what is left of one of the sounds.
There was also time for a refreshing (18 deg C) swim and lunch before
heading back to Ornskoldsvik.
The plan was to have our cooling water pump replaced tomorrow. The mechanic had been booked and spares ordered but, today we learned that there was no Volvo Penta pump to be found anywhere so the repair had to be cancelled on late notice.
Now, we have to continue adding new cooling fluid (mostly water) almost every day and postpone the repair until the winter lay-up. Our VP engine is in practice a Perkins so we will search for spares from them instead. Earlier, we have found the delivery time to be longer but, the cost to be around 50 % of “marine spares”. This is probably a better solution in the long run but, it is very annoying for the time being and we are of cause worried that the pump may break down completely even if many (hopefully knowledgeable people) assures us that the chance is slim.
We motored out of the three consecutive “bays” from Haggvik. The sails were unfurled and we started beating to windward in light winds once we were in in more open waters. We were joined by another boat after a narrow sound and that brought out the racing devil in Hakan. The code 0 replaced the genoa and Sally pick up speed. To our surprise we also sailed higher to the wind than the other boat that soon was left far behind.
The plan had been to change to Code 0 later but now we had to tack with the large sail that has to be furled and unfurled each time we tack. We rounded the famous lighthouse Hogbonden (Högbonden) and headed north. The thermal wind turned clockwise and we turned westwards. In the end we found us dead downwind as we were approaching Mjalton (Mjältön).
Baggeviken on the south east side is a protected lagoon with several pontoons to more up to. It is a very popular place and provides easy access to the trails on the island.
Mjalton is the highest island in Sweden reaching 236 m. It is a tradition among sailors to walk to the top and put a stone on the mound of stones on the top.
We took a detour through the national park before the final climb to the top.
Lunch on the top was a welcome reward for our efforts and it has been some time now (Milos in Greece comes to mind) since we last had such a magnificent view during lunch.
We took a swim in the sea when we were back on the boat. Water temperatures are just high enough now (18-21 deg C) for a quick swim.
Sailing the “High Coast” offers three kind of winds; downwind, headwind and no wind. We experienced all three of them yesterday whilst sailing approximately the same heading. Luckily, we had mostly following winds but some furling, motoring and unfurling was necessary to cope with the effect of high wooded islands.
We arrived at Haggvik (Häggvik) in early evening. The entrance was narrow but well-marked and the small dock offered excellent facilities. We decided to stay today and started up laundry early in the morning before taking a hike to “Stortorget” 135 m above the boat.
This area is subject to land rice. What we see today was 2 500 years ago a large bay. The lake below us was as late as 200 years ago connected to the sea allowing the material to the church in nearby Nordingra (Nordingrå) to be carried by ships all the way. In 500 years time, our harbour is likely to be a small lake.
Eva did in total 3 washing machines and managed to get all our laundry done and dried before barbeque on the dock and pleasant talk with the other sailors until rather late. The sun sets at 10.45 pm and the nights are not dark.
Yesterday was a gennaker day. It stayed up for most of 8 hours as we sailed north. The wind varied in strength and we had some calm spots behind a large island that required motoring but, for almost all the time, it was a long and pleasant sail in glorious summer weather.
We decided to cut across the bay outside Sundsvall and sail directly to Harnosand (Härnösand). Harnosand sits om a sound and there are two opening bridges in the city. They open three times a day during summer and we were a little bit early for the evening opening. We decided to wait and go through before mooring for the night. In that way, we had the freedom to leave whenever we wanted today. Passing the bridges reminded us of the canals in the Netherlands.
Harnosand is a nice little town. We had bears and hamburgers on the dock yesterday evening. This morning we provisioned and filled up with fuel before leaving around noon. Harnosand also marks a change in the coast and archipelago. The islands are larger and higher and the coast we are now sailing is referred to as the “High Coast” (Höga Kusten). Most of it is a world heritage area and it is extremely beautiful.
We are really excited to be here. This is our main goal for this summer
and we hope to be able to explore both by see and land. There are a lot of
A couple of ours motoring today has allowed us to catch up on the
blogging so there are several new postings today.
We woke up to another sunny day yesterday and the wind seemed to be less than forecasted. Ahead of us was a 40 nm long open stretch of water with few sheltered harbours. We learned that the forecast was right as soon as we left our protected bay.
The wind was from the north and out first tack took us towards the point outside Holick (Hölick). We had 20 knots gusting 25 on the nose by the time we got close to the point. No problem to sail in, we have done it often enough but, why if we don’t have to? So, we tacked and sailed in under the lea of Tunaolmen where we found our own private dock where we could tie up in calm waters and sit and watch the whitecaps outside from our sunny cockpit.
We had not heard or read anything about Tunaolmen and it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise.
There is a nice walking 6 km path all around the island, mostly in the protected old woods.
It takes you between the two bays with pontoons as well as to the small old fishing village.
Today has been an upwind day. Not as strong winds as yesterday but out first hour tack was under reefed main. The wind lifted us as we headed north on the next tack and we were able to almost lay our course in decreasing winds until the wind died out. We charged the batteries for a couple of hours before reaching the SXK harbour at Lillubban around 7 pm.
A short 15 nm upwind sail took us to Karakon (Kråkön) before lunch. Another narrow entrance to a small old fishing village. We were the only boat staying overnight at the small dock at the end of the bay.
We took a walk on the island after lunch. Tjis was another typical summer camp for people living on the main land. It was used from end of May to October and the system to distribute the fishing grounds between the around 10 teams fishing from hear was by lottery followed by rotation to give everyone a fair chance.
There was a small but well-kept chapel on the island and next to it a small red cabin for the priest.
Clouds moved in in the afternoon and rain fell in the evening. A strong breeze was blowing all around us as we lay in the lea of the wooded island.
We motored down the river from Soderhamn (Söderhamn) and started sailing as soon as there was room enough to tack. A light breeze gave us a pleasant sail and as we rounded the point and headed north, the wind became following.
We had a slow, sunny and most enjoyable sail following a winding old
fairway and then across some more open waters inside the islands. We were heading
for Skarsa (Skärså) with its very narrow and winding entrance.
It was narrow and winding but well-marked and we motored slowly to stay on the safe side. We found a nice municipal dock with water and electricity at a reasonable price straight ahead as we entered the harbour.
Skarsa was a thriving fishing centre a hundred years ago with 40 active fishermen, fish processing, salting, smoking and canning industries. Today, there is one fisherman from whom one can by smoked and sometimes also fresh fish. He was closed by the time we got there on our walk.
We spent Midsummer with Hakans brother Goran and his wife Kia. Eva and Kia arrived by car late Thursday, We left Gavle as soon as all luggage, food and drinks was on board and the car parked. Gavle (Gävle) had provided excellent provisioning but the harbour had little else to offer. It took us and hour to reach Granskär and find a spot at the dock. The evening meal was late and we went to bed soon after.
We had just enough time for a short walk around the island before the rain started. The traditional lunch had to be taken under the cover of our cockpit tent instead as planned on the dock with the other crews.
Luckily, the sky cleared and provided us a nice evening with a barbeque
in front of the small clubhouse on the north side of the island. We met a
number of local sailors and received a lot of good advice for our trip north.
We left quite early the next day. The wind was from the north so we started by motoring up the fairway to open waters and upwind sailing.
We reached Axmar in the afternoon after another spell of motoring through narrow and winding channels.
Axmar has a very interesting industrial history having had an iron mill from 1671 until 1927. The old mansion is gone but the mill still stands together with a number of other old buildings and a large park. The entire area is now a cultural reserve open to the public and we had a nice and educating afternoon walk.
The old harbour warehouse has been converted to a niece restaurant with excellent seafood. We had a lovely three course dinner and saved ourselves some galley work on board.
The next day saw us up quite early and as we motored out and up the narrow fairways. The wind was dead against so we continued under motor to Storjungfrun, an outlying island.
We had lunch after a walk on the island with its unique nature before continuing by motor on the narrow fairway towards Soredhamn (Söderhamn).
We spent the last night on a SXK buoy near the main fairway and continued up the river to Soderhamn on Monday morning. Goran and Kia left to go by bus and train back to Gavle and we provisioned for the coming week before lunch.
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We did quite a long stretch yesterday mostly in open waters. The wind
was dead against us as we left Oregrund at 7 am so we motored for three hours
before setting sails. By the, wind was steady but, still heading us, so we made
a couple of tacks. The wind turned slightly to the north as we rounded Brornen
(Björnen) lighthouse and turned eastwards and, we could ease of the few inches
on the sheets needed to give us speed
It was a quick but quite bumpy ride east for three hours before we entered the protected waters of the bay of Gavle. We have now formally entered northen Sweden (Norrland) as we passed Dalalven (Dalälven) shortly befor entering the bay. Aroun 450 nm coastlime now remains if we whant to reach the Finnish border.
SXK has an out harbour at Granskar (Granskär) where we spent the night. A brand new pontoon with electricity was available. The question is now whether there will be space available during Midsummer as we plan to come back on Friday morning.
Today we motored the 5 nm to Gavle where we have cleaned and provisioned the boat. We are now waiting for our wife’s to arrive by car late evening.
We had stable following winds yesterday. We started at seven with a nice breakfast sailing under Code 0. The Code was replaced with the gennaker shortly after breakfast. Four gibes took us along the fairways to Arholma where one has to go out in the open sea for around 20 nm. Another gibe at sea and then we were heading into a new archipelago.
We opted for a SXK boy at Sladdaron (Sladdarön) in an extremely well protected bay.
’We had some rain and a lot of mosquitoes in the evening but, our nets and cockpit tent kept most of them out of our way and we slept soundly after another nice day of sailing.
We had a slow start today as the planned distance was only 6 nm. It turned out to be 9 as we had to beat our way to windward. But, the weather was nice and the breeze perfect so no complains. We stopped early in Oregrund (Öregrund) as the forecast predicted strong northerlies (dead against) and rain today.
Oregrund is an old trading town on the east coast with a long shipping tradition. Almost all Swedish steal was exported from here during 17th and 18th century mostly to England where the “Argroun Irin” was highly sought after for its fine quality. There are well preserved wooden buildings in the old part of town.
We were lucky enough to find a kind man at the local museum that, despite the fact that the museum was not yet open for the season, gave us a tour and told a lot of stories from days gone by.
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