(YouTube video #8)
Part 1 ended that I anchored in Karlskrona. From there on 28-5-23 around 1300, I raise my anchor and continue my way through the island area around Karlskrona, an area I soon found out with lots of Seagrass. Close to the outlet to the sea I anchor again, again in seagrass, after removing this clump from the anchor again I try again, I don’t put any engine power to make the anchor dig in, because that doesn’t work here anyway. So I let out extra chain to keep the Asmara in place. That seems to be working. According to reports, there is no strong wind tonight, so we gamble on it. I am awake early at 0600 and we are still in the same spot. So after a Yoghurt fruit breakfast and a cup of coffee, I raise anchor and leave for the open sea. This. time again for a long stretch of 10 hours towards Kalmar, where I want to spend the night. Not my favourite place but I need some shopping again.
The wind is NW 2 Bft but it will pick up some more. The sea is calm and at noon the wind is South 3. Straight ahead so, the Genoa is out SOG around 5 knots, straight ahead skipper. At 15.30 the wind picks up to 4-5 and the rising waves get a bit higher.
At 17.00 I moor alongside in Kalmar. My Canon camera uses a compact flash card to store photos, but my Compact Flash reader is broken, the pins are so bent that I give up after an hour of fiddling. If I want to keep using the camera, I need a new reader anyway, so I go out to score that. I find a shop in the harbour that sells one, 265Kr (€22.90). So me happy again and it works fine. Then I find another shop where I score two bottles of wishkey. When I go to the harbour office the next day to pay, the lady doesn’t ask when I came but only for how many nights and people, so I answer 1 night, 11-metre boat, 1 person. To which she hands me a label with 31 on it and I pay 1 night €24.- A day earned.
On 31/5 at 07.00 I sail out of Kalmar harbour to sail further north along the Swedish east coast. The wind is ZW 3 the Pressure 1026Mb, still under the high-pressure area that the Netherlands also gets some of and that is usually North wind and therefore cold. I decide not to make another long stretch today and look on my plotter. for a sheltered place on the coast to anchor. I find a kind of Fjord which comes out at Timmernabben, so I plan my new route there. That, of course, is another betting route between shallows. Just before my destination, the water and wind are calm again. I throw out my anchor at 1230 in 3 metres of water, when a boat with the harbourmaster comes along and says I can also moor in the harbour, well, why not.
So I raise my anchor again and cautiously sail into the harbour. There are only small berths for smaller boats, but at the corner of the pier there is a concrete floating jetty 3 boat lengths long, so I moor there on the inside. Later, another German moors on the outside next to me. According to the information board in the harbour, an overnight stay costs 100 kroner (€8) but the harbour does not open until 15 June, so we moor here for free. It was also a good choice to berth on the inside because, as predicted, the next day the wind picks up to 7-8 Bft perpendicular to the jetty with peaks of 35-40 knots.
With 4 lines, I lay fine and off the jetty, but I had to help the Germans because their fenders slipped out and their boat was almost 3 cm from the edge. The three of us managed to push the boat off and and put some extra fenders between. The temperature dropped considerably to 10-14 C.
I managed to get some drone shots last night in almost windless weather, so I have decided to stay here until Monday as the wind will be south again, few waves.
That will then be a stretch of about 11-12 hours again, but if that works out I will only be sailing routes between the islands from then on, which will be considerably quieter sailing. So the shearing area is now clearly expanding and I need only cross few large stretches of open water.
Today Saturday, 3 June, a man came to me and said they had to start repositioning the pontoon, as the storm has caused it to be completely skewed, so I moved to the outside of the harbour to reposition alongside it on a concrete jetty.
Just launched Youtube Video number 8
Did a wash today, with bedding, now hanging nicely in the wind. Got pizza from the supermarket for today and Sunday.
Between the Isles (Youtube #9)
Monday 5 June left 04.40 (I was awake and it was already light) for a long stretch of 10-12 hours to reach the skerries. With such an early departure, it should be possible to find a nice spot somewhere around drink time. The wind on this stretch started at North 1Bft temperature 11 degrees, but later to N3, N1, SW1 ZO2 and around 1630 OZO3-4, waves of cross and getting nasty. But it doesn’t last long now by 1500 we sail a wider course and the sailing gets better at 1630 we are between islands and at 1730 I moor at an island called IDO. There are four boats here, two large motorboats, a small sailboat and a large sailboat. The next morning when I go to check out the restaurant higher up, it is closed, no further directions, On the jetty there is a sign to pay, when I try that it doesn’t work. Well then it doesn’t.
The next morning, 6 June, I left at 11 a.m. and arrived in Vastervik at noon. Unfortunately, I Googled all I could but couldn’t find it, so I moored the boat against an industrial quay and walked into the village. Nobody can tell me anything about the bridge, so I take a light lunch with a beer, make some film and get back on board. Goodbye Vastervik. At 16.30 I cast off in a divine bay but very narrow for anchor, which is also on the chart, not enough room for anchor swing. But I do it anyway, I’m not going to lie by myself with my nose against such a rock, throw out the rear anchor, run the boat forward, brake with the rear anchor line, run forward, jump off the boat, go on your snout, no that’s fun when there are two of you. So boat laid down with a relatively short chain, I only had to move my anchor again once in the 4 days I was there.
Saturday, 10 June, some more boats moved into this bay, all facing the rocks, which generally slope very steeply into the water. This is marked on the chart as so-called “Mushroom” spots. Two ladies, aged around 30 come sliding past me with a sailboat of about 9-10 metres with outboard motor. In the middle of the small bay, the outboard motor stalls. Frantic attempts to get it running again before mooring fail. Meanwhile, the boat is slowly drifting towards the rocks. One of the ladies runs to the front and strips off all her clothes down to her underwear, grabs a long front line in her hands and yes, jumps overboard into the cold 15-16 degree water and starts swimming towards the rocks with line in her hand, the lady in the back has meanwhile thrown out the back anchor and is ready to celebrate this line. The first lady, with the front line in her hand, meanwhile clambers onto the rocks and and briefly shakes off the water like a drowned dog and looks for a good position to attach the line to, usually a tree to throw her line around it.
The cooperation is optimal, the first lady goes to haul the boat to shore and the second celebrates the stern line, until the boat is practically against the rocks with the tip, then the first lady climbs back on board with the line in her hand and fastens it on the foredeck. There you are. Chapeau! After wringing out the rest of their clothes, the ladies lie down on the warm rock in the sun. En passant, a hefty lady on a sub-board paddles by wearing a thong, I thought it was worth a photo. See Youtube no. 10
On Sunday 11 June, I decide to go up further along the skerries again. and raise anchor at 08.00, destination we’ll see. I make a short sailing day today, around 13.40 I also consider anchoring against a rock, but when I’m close I decide against it. I look for an anchor possibility, but in the middle it is 15 metres deep and I would have to put out at least 50 metres, I only have 40 metres. When I want to sail further between the islands, I see a sign for Electric cable, height 10 metres, I am 12.5, so no option either. I now have to go back again and sail around the island because behind it I have plenty of room and the water is 5-6 metres deep. After getting there, I throw out my anchor in 5 metres of water with 20 metres of chain. With power reverse, the boat comes to an abrupt halt, I am lying like a house and no longer set an anchor alarm.
Lots of sun, but solar panels don’t work
I decide with so much sun each that I do need to do something about the glitch with my solar panels. The last few days little wind and a lot of sun, now the batteries do drop off very quickly. I decide to replace the regulator after all. This costs me another day of figuring things out, but that’s the only thing I have enough of, “time”. I consult Dekker Zaandam where I once bought them, but they no longer have them and it takes a week for them to get them. On the internet, I find one that is in stock. I call them to ask if they can also send them to Sweden, well that’s no problem. Now I just need to find an address in Valdemarsvik close to the port where I can send this to. Most websites of Swedish ports, including Valmarsvik, do not have an English description, so I have to make do with Swedish, fortunately if you call someone they all speak good English. The tourist office sends me a text message with the address at the port where it can go so I’m happy and regulator ordered. Now just hope it goes well, otherwise I’m €120 again.
Arrived today 15-6-2023 0m 13.00 in Valdemarsvik, booked for 3 days (3 get, 2 pay) so on Sunday. Received my new solar panel regulator with some strugglings, will install tomorrow and hope it will at least work again then. Meanwhile still lobbying for a ramp through the canal, got a Swede via social media who saw a lot of interest in it. Will possibly meet him in Valdemarsvik. The weather has improved considerably in terms of temperature, but then there is virtually no wind.
Charging the batteries with the new regulator is working well again. Haven’t heard anything more from the potential boarding party.
Last miles Mem
On Lord’s Day, Sunday 18 June 2023, I detach from Valdemarsvik at noon and continue my way out of the bay. It is completely cloudy, drizzling and sometimes a bit more, the temperature is 16.6 degrees and visibility is very limited about 200 metres. But we will have to make do with it. So my destination for today is a relatively short trip of 13 miles, Gryts Varv. In that port, I can refuel some diesel. Around 13.30, the fog has lifted and there is a breeze of East 3 Bft. so Genoa is rolled out and at 1000 rpm on the engine we head north at 4.5. Kts.
At 15.30 I moor at the diesel pump. Diesel costs € 1.82, which is a different price than I’m used to, but I fill up with 310 litres, which means I now have about 800 litres on board. With that I should make it to Helgoland I hope.
After refuelling, I move the boat to the mooring with electricity. Overnight 250 SEK (€ 21.41)
I have now also booked the Gota Canal 7990 SEK (€684.25) and that includes the 21 ports along the Gota Canal, allowing me to stay in each port for 5 nights incl. water, electricity and showers.
The next morning Monday at noon I leave again and drop my anchor in a spacious bay at 1.12pm. The wind then is still variable East 1 Bft. At night, around 05.30, I notice that the weather gods are getting a bit more tempestuous, and when I check the wind, I see that it’s now straight in the bay, blowing from the west at 15 knots and peaking at 15-30 knots. So I decide to move. A little further on, I see an island with lots of tall trees, which always catch a lot of wind. So I lift the anchor and sail to the leeward side of the island and find myself in calm water. The island is called Yntholmskar.
On Friday 23/6, I anchor at 09.50 with destination Mem lock, where I moor at 13.30 before the lock with a current pole. I go to report to the canal office with my payment receipt. I am of course given extensive information about me, things I had mostly read, a skipper guide, a sticker for on my boat and two passes for service buildings along the route for toilets and showers. All very well taken care of. I also tell them that I am sailing solo and unfortunately could not find a crew member, no problem according to the steward lady they will put my line around the rings, so chapeau. I also tell them that tomorrow morning, Saturday, I want to go through the lock.
Next part (3) Gota channel