“Hey, your sailboat, isn’t that a Najad 34?” I asked the guy sitting in his boat in Hanö harbour. Our boat is a Najad 34 and I was pretty sure their boat was as well. This is by the way a sure-fire way of striking up a conversation with a fellow boater – ask about their boat and they will talk forever. It was a Najad 34, a bit newer then ours, his built in 1978, ours in 1975 and his came with a space related story, but more about that later.

On Friday we where still at Mörbylånga, where the last blog post ended. The idea was to leave early and use the strong winds to our advantage, it was blowing from the north and we where going to the south. Perfect fit for us. Too bad we didn’t really plan for how strong the winds where going to be when we moored. We realised Friday morning that we could easily handle the strong winds out on the water, but we had problems leaving the harbour. The winds where pushing our boat sideways and threatening to smash in to the meticulously renovated wooden cruiser laying to our port side. We didn’t dare risking damaging it by loosening the lines. Finally, in late afternoon, we got our boat neighbours and the harbour master to help us leave the mooring. We should have asked for that much earlier, as it was now we couldn’t really make any long distances and to add insult to injury the winds died down after a couple of hours of sailing. At 23:30 we arrived at Kristianopel. Too late to really see anything of the tiny hamlet.

On Saturday at 07:00 we left Kristianopel again, this time aiming for Christiansø. The wind forecast looked promising with 8-9 m/s easterly. Unfortunately the forecast and reality where far from each other. Around 11:00 we where floating around just outside Utklippan more or less becalmed and when the wind came, it came from south west. Instead of trying to beat into the winds we decided to go to Hanö instead, another island we had heard would be a good spot to visit.

Magical forrest in Hanö

Hanö turned out to be as cosy as described, the island has a small village situated around the harbour, the rest of the island is a nature reserve. Walking around the reserve you pass through forests looking like something form a fairy tale. The feeling of being in a saga just gets stronger as you keep encountering fallow deer in the forests. The spell is broken however, when you reach the beaches, not because they look any less magic in itself but you get woken up to the harsh reality of what we humans are doing to our oceans when you see the plastic littering the sea sides. We found plastic ranging from fishing equipment to polish yoghurt bottles and Russian detergent (we think its detergent at least).

Welcome to the world of the plastic beach – east Europe version

Returning to the harbour at Hanö, as I said, asking about a boaters boat is a great way of starting up a conversation. In this case it ended up with the owners of it inviting us for a evening coffee and telling us about the former

Leia – the spaceboat

owner and history of the boat. Turns out Christer Fuglesang’s – the only astronaut in Scandinavia – father had been the first owner of the boat and in the early eighties he, Christer and some friends of his, sailed the boat to the west indies and back. The boat was formerly named Wind Lady but the new owners changed it to the aptly space themed “Leia”.

Simrishamn city center

This morning we got up at 05:10, to be the first boat to leave the harbour, or so we thought, we where third. We set course for Simrishamn. This is a very cozy little town on the Scania east coast. We are completely charmed by it. Here we met my cousin Maria and her family. Great to see them again after so many years! Tomorrow we are leaving early once again, with the intention of reaching Falsterbo, we do not have the winds with us however, so we’ll see how that goes.

Simrishamn church