I was going to send this post yesterday, on the midsummers day, but we had no cellphone coverage on the island of “Kallhamn” in Saint Annas archipelago, here we spent the midsummer together with some friends. We had an island almost to ourselves, as is customary in the archipelago. 🙂
We have spent some days in Oxelösund fixing all the things we wanted to fix in Nynäshamn and meeting friends and family. It turned out to be the right decision to reach Oxelösund on Monday and spend some days there as the winds have been quite strong. Tuesday had winds of 17 m/s with gusts over 20/ms. It felt good being moored in an harbour with such winds, even though the harbour in itself is a bit exposed and roly.
Apart from fixing the boat and receiving visitors we got to know a Dutch couple sailing their Bavaria 44 “Tranquillo” to Stockholm and back. Always fun to talk to other sailors, especially those who are from other nationalities and with different customs. Apparently people don’t use a aft anchor in the Netherlands, they where a bit curious about how and when to use it. Here in Sweden its something very common to use.
On Thursday, after the winds settled down and the boat projects advanced a little bit (boat projects seldom gets completely done) we sailed away from Oxelösund to reach the little island of “Pirumskären”. Here we spent the day exploring the island and fixing our inflatable dinghy. Turned out it had a hole in it when we unpacked it for the season. Our friends Lenny and Anna arrived in the evening. As the wind direction was changing and the wind picking up they suggested that we should change location for a calmer night, a wise decision it turned out. We went to Kallhamn, just a nautical mile away, this offered better protection. During the night the wind did change direction and it did pick up, we could hear the whistling in the mast and was glad we had moved to a safer spot.
Yesterday was midsummer. This is quite a big holiday in Sweden and it’s my favourite holiday. If you are not from Sweden you might not have heard of midsummer, its a relatively unknown holiday in most other countries. We basically celebrate the summer solstice, a very pagan thing to do. The church has tried to cover it up by naming it “Saint Hans Day”, the name never stuck in Sweden, but our slightly more religious neighbours the Norwegians actually refer to it as “S:t Hans”. The celebrations are still very non-commercial, we meet with friends, eat well, drink well and might also dance around a May pole and ornament our head with crowns of flowers. If you are superstitious you gather seven types of flowers and sleep with them under your pillow, supposedly this will make you dream about the person you will marry. We did no dancing, no flower picking and no ornamenting but did both eat and drink well.
We are now in Arkösund, where we met up with my brothers and are now preparing for the continued sail south. The winds look low and undeceive so this will get interesting.