Getting Closer

23rd May

As we left the secure anchorage we touched the bottomed – clearly an unmarked rock as we were in 3m of water – but it was a gentle nudge at a very slow speed. So I wasn’t too concerned. But note to self always take the same route out. We then spent the next hour rock dodging as we picked our way through the meteorite field to get to the main thoroughfare. The wind was expected to be on our beam but instead we were head to wind and was much stronger than forecast. Once in the channel (still quite narrow) we hoisted the main sail and had some exciting sailing with the main and staysail up doing 7.5 knots – but when the passage got very narrow again we stowed the staysail so we had better visibility and to go a bit slower.

Just before entering the river that goes to Nykoping we took down the main for an hour long motor up a narrow river – with a completely different landscape from the rocky archipelago – this shallow river was bounded by reed marshes. We were planning to leave our boat here and Michael the harbour master had said he would meet us – so about an hour before we called him to let him know our arrival. We also wanted to know about depth at the fuel pontoon – at least 2.5m he said….. well when it got to 2m I went into reverse – so we didn’t get any fuel. Michael allocated a berth for us between the booms. It looked narrow but he assured us it was big enough and we would fit. We later found out it was 3.8m and we are 4.06 wide. We did fit …. only there was no room for fenders that weren’t having their life squeezed out of them. Not somewhere to leave your boat for a couple of weeks. The space we were supposed to have he hadn’t bother to reserve – even though he had known for a month that we were coming….. and a motor boat was parked in it. I wasn’t happy were we were. So he agreed to move the motor boat. So we left with all the fenders deployed but there was a strong cross wind…. Despite all attempts to fend off the result was a scrap down one side. To make matters worse the next berth was quite shallow and the keel hit an old anchor stone on the bottom which had been there from a previous marina which he failed to warn us about. It was a very frustrating way to finish what had been a great trip. All very frustrating -so we packed away the boat and then went to the marina restaurant for a meal.

23rd May

We had few hours of cleaning and stowing anything that was movable below as the marina had no security and a public footpath goes through the marina past out boat. The showers were great and we were soon wondering through the very attractive city of Nykoping, an ice cream en route to the train station. 6 hours after leaving the boat we touched down in Helsinki… she is definitely getting closer!

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