Waiting for less wind

Although the weather is fine with lots of sunshine and temperatures of around 20, the wind is too strong and gusty. I fled because of too high waves to Gronhogen on the southern tip of the island of Oland, Sweden.

The wind for the coming days does not lie, East 5-6 with gusts to 8. This will continue to be the case in the coming week. But I do not want to stay in this port so tomorrow morning I want to cross over to the islands near Kralskrona on the southeast tip of Sweden’s east coast to anchor there.

Saturday 15-8-2015 Gronhogen – Karlskrona anchor 34Nm
Left at 0430, because wind and waves are still reasonable then. It is still dark when I leave the harbour, but in the distance it begins to dawn. Once I am on my way, I follow the plan again to steer as far south as I can until, when I turn in to the other side, the wind and waves are behind me again. After half an hour the wind starts to pick up to East 5-6, gradually the waves become more uncomfortable and the swell higher. Soon I estimate 2.5 mtr.
Halfway through it’s all over again, everything that is loose starts to float again. There are those waves that I sometimes think, something will break, … but soon forgotten. What a lot that boat can have. Just before the approach entry, the Genua still has to go to the other side, so I crawl over the deck to the back and wait for the automaton to change course, then set sail, trim and quickly go back inside, where Simba is not waiting with the coffee, but is sleeping in her basket to see if nothing is wrong.
Once between the islands, the violence slowly subsides from behind, now stay well in the trench because it is not wide and shallows lurk everywhere.
After a while I roll into the Genua and sail towards my planned anchorage. Nice spot on the west side of the island, drop anchor at 10.00 in 3 meters of water, unfortunately peanut butter, anchor doesn’t hold, doesn’t dig in, boat keeps moving backwards. When I lift the anchor it is not even visible anymore, a large clod of eelgrass with mud and roots. I try this 6 times in different places but without result. This is not going to work here, the whole bottom is covered with eelgrass. Somewhat frustrated and tired I take the umpteenth clod off the anchor with the pick-hook and look further between the islands, I follow the indicated routes on the map, along shallows of 60cm under my keel, look again on the map I see a bridge drawn between the islands, a fixed one still, 5.20 mtr high.,. Grrrr! Again that whole shallow route back and follow another one with a bridge in it but that one is 15 mtr and I’m 12,5 mtr. In front of me I can already see the city, a big city Karlskrona, I don’t have to think about lying there until Thursday, so I’m still searching and I think I see a place, go there and drop anchor at 12.45, yes! It holds!
Now first some food, coffee and then clean up the mess of the seaway. There are no more closets opening these days, but there is still plenty of junk that could fly around.

Watch the video “High wave Oland” (Dutch spoken)

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Peter Mantel

Retired from aviation. Adventures with the Asmara. I sail with my two-masted cutter from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea.

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