July 2013 - Finland, Aland Islands, Sweden, Gotland
July 31, 2013
July 30, 2013
Hi Everyone, We heard from our Swedish sailing friends Carin and Lars and discovered they were at a family reunion this week. We decided to plan our week to arrive in Abbekaas and meet up with them. We haven't seen them since Israel 2008. Wednesday we had a quiet day as we motored down between Oland Island and mainland Sweden from Kalmar to Sandhamn. We moored alongside off the end of the quay. Not a lot here mostly a small restaurant/store, maybe 20-30 houses and a farm nearby. Lots of families on the docks with kids running and playing. The marina had bicycles on the dock free for our use. So after dinner we rode around the neighborhood.
Sweden | Baltic Sea | Karlskrona
Sweden | Baltic Sea |Karlskrona | Artemis alongside by hotel
We left early Thursday morning for Karlskrona, Sweden where we moored alongside by the hotel. The city was an old naval port and it's a series of islands connected by bridges. We walked the grounds of the Naval Museum but didn't go inside. Great central square with the usual shops and restaurants and a MUST visit ice cream parlor. We bypassed this as the line to get in was so long! It was a nice town to just wander around in.
Sweden | Baltic Sea | Hano Island | English Cemetary
Friday we went to Hano Island Sweden, . Just a small village but the ferry boat arrives on the hour to bring day trippers who want to hike, swim or have a picnic among the rocks. Great well marked hiking trails. We spent four hours walking to the lighthouse, English cemetary, a secluded beach, and then a forest walk on the southern part of the island making a full loop back to the boat. We've been so spoiled with this beautiful weather. We've had a little rain during the night very little during the day.
Saturday we went to Simrishamn, Sweden another medieval town. Pretty cobbled streets, painted houses and a festival going on in the main square. The music up town was very good but way too loud to enjoy. Where as the music in the harbor was pretty bad and we were glad to close up the boat and dampen the sound.
Sweden | Baltic Sea | Abbekaas | Artemis alongside in Abbedaas marina
Sunday we met up with our friends Lars and Carin in Abbekaas marina, Sweden. It's a very small marina with a few alongside spots where we were able to moor. Lars and Carin invited us aboard Ymer for cocktails along with their relatives from America. They had a week long family reunion with 40 people. Some living in local homes others staying at a B&B in town.
Monday we took a bus with Lars and Carin into the city of Ystad. Very pretty, cobble streets, Hanseatic town so some of the red brick buildings we saw through out the Baltic, ornate mansions and many colorfully painted traditional Swedish cottages with beautiful gardens. We had lunch in a cute courtyard and then visited the Krukmakaren (art and craft workshops)and the 13th century monastary. Great town. The marin would have been nice to stay in but our friends were 8nm further west. We were invited to have dinner with Carin and Lars family at Carin's nieces house. Lovely home, lively fun conversation and great lasagne:-) Big families are so much fun. It felt like a Pribyl or Fraher gathering.
Rain during the night and early morning. We decided to head for Hollviken in the Falsterbo Canal about 28nm. Good bye to our friends but we may see them again in the next weeks as the pass through Copenhagan/Malmo area on their way home to Gothenburg. Wind on the nose and waves building slowing us to less than 4kts under power. But we were able to take a better heading as we approached Gislovs Lage our alternative harbor so we decided to continue on and we were able to sail the last 10nm. We arrived in the canal 20 min before the bridge would open but we were out of the waves. We had 25+kts of wind when we were berthing the boat at Hallviken but we were able to find a "box mooring" wide enough to handle us that we could head straight into the wind. Glad we didn't choose to move on to Malmo as the winds have really picked up and are gusting 30-35.
The marina has bikes free for our use so we plan to ride through the nature reserve to Skanor tomorrow. Much easier than digging our bikes out:-) The marina manager was excited and proud to have Americans in the harbor. He also manages a new marina in Bergen Norway. We are only 21nm from Copenhagan so we are in a good position to cruise around this week and then meet up with our son Justin, wife Chris and 18 month old grandbaby Sara arriving Aug. 5 for 10 days. Hope all is well and thanks for the emails. Love Sally and Al
July 22, 2013
We left Stockholm last Tuesday and traveled one of Stockholm's "back entrances" through a narrow fiord like canal Baggensstaker to Saltsjobaden (almost an inland like area) Gorgeous passage. We were able to start sailing once we were into Saltsjobaden. We found a lovely anchorage near Uto called Ranohamn. Many boats were anchored and tied to shore and a few anchored but it was a big well protected area. We were able to grill porkchops and enjoyed a lovely evening. Lots of Swedish families out cruising. It's so fun to see them doing the same things we did with our kids when they were young.
Wednesday Unfortunately a boat arrived in the night and free anchored not knowing where our anchor was and when we woke at 7AM Al yelled there's a boat out there. Now he does dream these things but in this case there was a 40+ ketch alongside of us nearly close enough to touch. We decided to get up and head out early. We sailed then motored to Kappelhamn on NW Gotland Island about 65nm. We anchored outside the harbor off some cute farms and summer homes.
Thursday we sailed off anchor and had a great sail for 6nm then we had to head right into a SE wind. After sailing 5 hours and only gaining 12nm to destination we gave up and motored the last 16nm to Visby. Visby is a beautiful medieval walled city on Gotland.
Great to just wander and snap pictures of beautiful flowers and neat old houses. We tied alongside the NW breakwall in front of the "party boat" The guys had set up camp at the picnic table on the quay. They slept all day and partied (we assume) all night. We didn't hear them after 10:00 as we walked all day and tired old Grandma and Grandpa went to sleep. Gotland gets over 700,000 visitors per year (mostly Swedish) We never felt there were that many tourists around.
Saturday we had a full day of sailing. (62nm) Wind slightly ahead of the beam but some big 2 meter swells rolled us a bit. The wind died as we approached shore. We were headed for Kiddeholmen anchorage near Oscarshamn. The diagram showed 3.2 no problem we draw 2m. But the entrance looked very narrow we approached oh so cautiously. Crunch! We hit bottom and chickened out. We went two miles to Oskarshamn Ernemar Marina. Great spot. Tied alongside paid app. $18.00 a night including electricity. Did three loads of laundry and Al got many boat projects done on Sunday. He re-seated a prism, rewired the alternator leads to use the internal regulator as the external regulator quit, mixed epoxy to replace some bungs and fix some screw holes that hold our enclosure and finally he washed the boat. I think doing laundry was the easier job:-)
Monday we had a great 42nm sail to Kalmar, Sweden. We were sailing 7.5-8 knots for 26nm then our course change forced us to furl the jib, tried the staysail for awhile but finally sailed with just the main for the final 15nm. Kalmar we picked up a stern buoy and enjoyed visiting with neighboring boats for the evening.
Tuesday we took out our bikes. We took care of provisions first then touristing. Great city to ride bikes in. Another walled city with cobbled streets. We visited the 12th Century castle. Nice tour in English. Lots going on for kids. Just fun to enjoy. Planning to head south tomorrow maybe Kristianopel or Karlskrona area depends on the winds. Hope all is well. We enjoy emails:-) Love Sally and Al
July 15, 2013
Stockholm What a beautiful city. Very impressive buildings everywhere you look. Great bike trails throughout so we felt comfortable riding everywhere. Saturday after we arrived and got settled we got our bikes out. We rode over to Gamla Stan (Old Town). Actually once there we walked our bikes about as the streets were very crowded. It was a gorgeous sunny 27C day so lots of people enjoying the day, sunning in the parks and along the waterfronts too. Gamla Stan is three islands connected by bridges and lots of ferryboats.
Medieval alleys, and 17th 18th century buildings. Stockholm is very clean and lots of flowers even on the bridges as you cross back and forth between the islands.
Sunday we visited two of the many museums, Vasamuseet and Skansen. The Vasamuseet is built around the sailing ship Vasa. The Vasa was a newly designed warship with two gun decks but she never made it to a battle. Vasa sank in 1628 on her maiden voyage 25 min. after leaving the dock. The wreck was salvaged in 1961 after 333 years under the sea. 98% of the reconstruction is original. Fantastic exhibit, beautifully displayed and in English as well as Swedish:-)
After lunch we went to Skansen an open air museum like no other Open Air Museum we've ever experience. Perhaps Skansen is so successful because it was founded in 1891 when the first buildings, farmsteads were purchased and moved here from different regions around Sweden. The oldest building is from the 1300's. Each day different regions inside Skansen have different activities. Many buildings have guides in traditional dress to answer questions and show you how the family lived during that time. We had the good fortune to experience a music festival at the Manor House. Three young musicians (flute, violin, cello) played several pieces by Bach. Very enjoyable and talented young ladies. The buildings are set among gardens and countryside that is typical of their origins. There's a small zoo and Scandinavian Wild animals area. There are fences but the animals live in natural habitat much like the Minnesota Zoo. The farmsteads have cows, pigs, chickens, sheep geese..