Day 30: ‘Scaping Stockholm

Day 30: Tuesday 13 August 2019 – sailing the swedish archipelago – fa

It was the 13 August, luckily not a Friday.

After putting, not enough at it turns out, water in our tanks, we squeezed our way out from between two other rally yachts.  Unfortunately one of those yachts untied and then dropped one of their fenders, when trying to make our exit easier, which resulted in their captain putting her head down between our two boats to retrieve it – as we were reversing.  Scary.

We then refuelled at possibly one of slickest fuels stops ever.  A row of different pumps almost confused Andrew – and the two young men who came out to attach their lines made Angela and Suzanne redundant with their mid ships and stern lines in hand.  Our first time sailing with crew, and our first berthing was a doddle. What service.

This all meant we left Stockholm a little later than anticipated.   We pushed south into the archipelago.  A really nice sail out of the city turned into an uneventful and grinding motorsail into the wind and a choppy sea even as we opted to stay on the inside as much as possible.  Gradually we found the lee of some islands and wiggled through to Nynashamn, bypassing the anchorage and tieing up in the marina.  

We chose the marina rather than anchoring due to a raw water pump that was doing it’s best to turn to spray seawater all over Crystelle Venture’s engine bay.  A quick nip of the centre gland and engine check proved a new pump, strip down or repack wasn’t required.  

Berthing was to booms, a strange invention that requires the boat to nose up to the pontoon while tieing to light floating booms either side.  Not pontoons, as you can’t walk on them.  The trick as we found is to pick booms only slightly wider than the boat.  And these were only slightly wider, needing a firm push to wedge the boat in and then a firmer push to get fenders in.  On leaving we needed to engine reverse out rather than drift back with the wind, as we were tightly held even without ropes in place…

A great marina, with clean facilities including a free sauna.  Definitely somewhere we could have spent longer, although the town was fairly small and without too much character – although their church was light up like a candle and rang out hits bells pretty frequently.

Nynashamn also has a fantastic smoke house on the harbour front. Great selection of cheese and smoked fish – even had english Black Bomber cheddar cheese, which has to be one of the very best.

Smoked fish in hand we congregated in Crystelle Venture for wine, fish and salads.  Together with “the boat following”, previously known as “the boat leading” we made plans to tackle the ominous Draget Kanal the next day, with an 0800 start and a non-spraying engine.

Our daily stats

We were underway for 6 hours, with the wind gusting 5 -6 at times, motor sailing for around 35 nautical miles with roughly 5 and half hours of engine time.

The marina cost 350 Kr including electricity.

You can hear more about our time in Stockholm in our podcast Stormin Stockholm, episode 30 of our 2 in a Boat podcast.

Day 23 – anchoring in the archipelago

Helsinki to Sundskar anchorage

We set off around 9.30am, put up our sails and were soon sailing the inshore route behind the islands, moving into beautiful clear waters and clear skies.  We were sad to say goodbye to Helsinki.  We’d enjoyed a fabulous crew meal at the yacht club the night before – as well as a sauna, and a shed load of washing.  

Unfortunately the tumble dryer couldn’t match the washing machine, and we left with our saloon looking like a chinese laundry – a makeshift line hung up to try and dry the last load of washing.

Our trip to the island of the street of chandlries had been interesting and fruitful. It’s not often you get asked to leave a chandlery at 3pm on a  Saturday afternoon because they are closing.  But yep, they all did.  We had lunch of the local delicacy of fish soup – basically salmon and potato – very delicious, in a restaurant overlooking another marina.  Bit of a busman’s holiday…

Mid morning we caught a glimpse of our first sea eagles, as we wove our way carefully through the guide poles between small islands.  

Beware the gusts that come between islands!  These are strong and can almost knock you over.  We were caught out – and Andrew’s full glass of squash went tumbling down the companion way, over the newly washed clothes – of course!

Others from the rally had taken the outside route, and appeared to be battling against a strong headwind and rain.  Around lunchtime they started to move into the inner route and we met and past a number of the other boats.  

Barosund had been one of the recommendations of the speaker at the crew dinner.  He said it would be like sailing in a swimming pool.  Not sure that some of the other yachts would quite have agreed with that on the outer route – but here as we drifted through the islands, we understood exactly what he meant.

Having learnt the lesson the hard way on arrival in Finland – we knew we would want to find our anchorage in day light.  Andrew had earmarked a few on the chart – and we discounted the first – as too small and possibly also belonging to someone – there was a buoy.   

It was getting close to 6pm, the wind was picking up and our swimming pool was becoming quite choppy.  Luckily our next choice proved just the ticket – some carefully following of guide sticks, and we were hunkered down in an anchorage made for one.  The small island of Sundskar was to be our berth for the night.  

We dropped both bow and stern anchors, and settled down to some mushroom risotto for dinner.

Our daily stats

We made 51 nautical miles in 8 and a half hours, averaging 6 knots.  We sailed for an hour, motor sailed for 7 and used 7 gallons of fuel.

You can hear more of our thoughts about Helsinki and our time there in our podcast Episode 28 – In search of vikings.