WARNING long story and many pictures!!
Sweden is a big country. Bigger than:
Germany, Poland, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, New Zeeland etc
I recently sailed around the southern half in less than five days.
It all started by a friend, Håkan, who is part owner of a world famous Najad Boat Yard, building the most beautiful yachts:
He called me on the phone and asked if I could help delivery sail a yacht to the other side of Sweden, Västervik.
’From where’, I asked.
’From Henån, Orust’ (where the Najad Boat Yard is situated)
'What is it for yacht’, I asked.
’It’s a 'Scanner 391' (39 ft or 12 meters), it's a trade-in yacht for a new Najad and we sold it to Västervik'.
'Who are the others', I asked.
’It’s only you and another man, who you not met, but he has delivered some boats for us before’, I'm sure you will fit fine together',
replied Håkan gaily as always.
’The day after tomorrow (Friday), and we would appreciate if the yacht would be in Västervik on Wednesday or Thursday!’
’OK’, I said and thought 'A man's got to do what a man's got to do' and thought of John Wayne or rather me as John Wayne...
Departure 11:30 am Friday 11 july 2014 from Henån, Orust, in this yacht which had no name, and worse, we later found out, no Swedish Flag, a bad sign!
Since I'm member of a society, 'The Swedish Light House Society', and it has a marvellous little book, 'Fyrhandboken',
(Light house handbook), with all important lighthouses and the history of them, it always was in the cockpit.
I had only sailed 20% of the trip before and Per perhaps 40%!!
We started in the northern part of Sweden’s West Coast, with a rough archipelago, very few islands with grass or wood on them, but thousands!
So we went at sea, here doubling a famous lighthouse, Måseskär, (Seagullrock)
The last lighthouse before we rounded in the south, Pater Noster, no translation neccessary, north of Gothenburgh,
We sailed the whole day and night. Here I’m alone when Per is under for a few hours sleep, time 4:30 am Saturday and I havent seen a boat for hours,
and still not had an hours sleep...
It was the ferry from Norway on it’s way to England
Per after two hours coma in morning sun, sun comes early here this time of the year
Finally we doubled Kullens lighthouse at the ’bottom’ of the West Coast,
and we were in the part of Sweden called Skåne. I always believed Skåne to be small – it wasn’t. I had an idea of rounding passing some wellknown cities and then through to the Baltic Sea. It wasn’t so. We sailed until 21:00 in the evening before we moored at Falsterbo harbour. Wet after rain and quite hard wind in the evening.
We hoped for some electricity from land so we could charge the batteries and put on the heating. The electricity on land for the harbour had broken down since all id-ts were trying to watch fotball on TV in their boats !
So we kept sailing against Falsterbo, here we double Hakens lighthouse on the Swedish island Ven in Öresund between Sweden and Denmark
You can see the 'Fyrhandbok' in the cockpit!
And then we should go under the enormous bridge between Sweden and Denmark, Öresundsbron (Öresundsbridge),
it connects Malö in Sweden with Copenhagen in Denmark, and for once we felt sure to pass under
Early after the wet and cold night at Falsterbo and nearly 2 days at sea we were out sailing again
Up early sailed the whole day in rain and sun and landed on the East Coast at last, were we slept in harbour 4 hours before we went over Hanöbukten, also called Sweden’s Biscaya because of similarity geographical and not least in weather.
Started with sun and fine siling for two hours then Beaufort 8 and rain! 70 sea miles open sea with big waves rolling in on starboard side.
We took in 2 reefs and set a small headsail and still 8-9 knots.
At last we landed in a small harbour with electricity and we got warm and fell at sleep in the saloon, we didn’t have the strength to go the few steps to our cabins.
Next day started as usual at 06:45 am and sailed that day, passed Kalmar Castle,
kept on sailing and in the twilight we sighted Blå Jungfrun,(Blue Maiden),
it was magic moment in my siling life (50 years)
Here Doc is a bit tired after 4 days with perhaps 8 hours sleep...a man's got to do...
We soon got fast visitors, the ferry from Swedens biggest island, Gotland, somebody in the military says it's our only aircraft carrier,
it's also closest to Russia, or should we say Sovjet Union again?.
At last we were close to Västervik in the moonless night, black and a very tricky archipelago, hard to find more than one light house, rest were light buoys,
even harder finding!
The entrance fairway was long about 6 sea miles archipelago with a lot of shoals
At 04:00 am Wednesday 16 July, we moored in Västervik after having sailed 450 sea miles which is more than 830 km, in less then 5 days!
I still have beautifull memories that I will enjoy as long as I live,
but also got this, which no doc can prevent!
Enjoy life, it's short, so make it as full and long as possible!