Kalmar inlet

“Good bye and good luck going south in these winds” said our new found friend and boat neighbour, smiling as we left Kalmar harbour. We probably should have listened to his covert advice in his parting words. People who have solo sailed the Atlantic tend to have good ideas about sailing and he was one of them.

We where aiming for Kristianopel, a tiny village with a grand name. The danish King had grand plans for this once easternmost city in the Danish empire and gave it a fitting name for it’s future. His plans where foiled, as was also ours trying to reach it. Winds, waves and currents worked against us and after three hours of trying first to motor and then sail against it we decided to call it an (early) day and aim for Mörbylånga instead. Beating against the wind and current, especially in such shallow waters as Kalmar inlet is quite an uncomfortable experience, the waves get very choppy and steep. It feels like running over a speed bump every third second or so.  Kalmar inlet is especially famous for this and many skippers have horror stories about this small stretch of water. Turning Maybe around instead gave us smooth sailing and a speed of  between 7 and 8 knots compared to the 3.5 we where making before.

That’s kind of the essence of sailing: you cannot always go where you want to go at the time you want to go there. Its important to have a plan and event more important to change it according to circumstances. I read a sentence in a sailing blog somewhere that sums it up nicely “if you want to visit us on board you can pick a time or a place, but not both”.

The seal and very flat water in Kalmar inlet

Going back a bit, on Wednesday we left Byxelkrok and motored for nine hours down to Kalmar, this once and for all proved to us that there is no problem with the engine cooling system. Apart from that not much else happened that day; we saw a seal, where becalmed in Kalmar inlet and finally reached Kalmar. Here we bought an IR thermometer to be able to check the true temperature of the engine. Arriving in Kalmar we where greeted by the harbour master with the words “Sweden is in the lead with three goals to zero”, sounds great, I have yet to figure out against whom. I guess we won that match, yay Sweden.

Kalmar Castle

Kalmar once did play a big role in Swedish history, today I guess its mostly famous for the bridge over to Öland. There is a grand castle located just by the water. We went for a stroll in the evening and visited the castle.

 

Windmills are located everywhere on Öland, this one is in Mörbylånga

So now we are in Mörbylånga, a town not really famous for anything. It has been quite windy during the night and morning but its starting to settle down, we are getting ready to leave and are aiming for Utlängan tonight. This time we have winds, currents and waves with us.

 

Everything is going fine, so we keep on sailing! Hope all of you are enjoying the summer!

Happy belated Midsummer!

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. 🙂

Strong winds! 17 m/s average.

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.

Midsummer lunch

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.

Niklas and brothers

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.