Short Cut or Long Way Round

6th June

We hadn’t really appreciated the beauty of Ringson when we had arrived late last night. Judging by the movement of the top of the trees it was clearly windy outside but it wasn’t apparent in this sheltered haven. About half the banks were bounded by reeds and exposed rock in the rest, some of which had a few boats hanging off them and a couple of boats at anchor it – clearly we weren’t alone in thinking it was an ideal spot! If we weren’t on a timetable we would have happily have spent a few days here chilling out but……

We had been warned about the mud that would be on the anchor so we had the deck wash set up and it was all cleaned before stowing. By 9am we were out of the harbour, the sails were up and we were speeding along at 7.5 knots. There was a rain shower and out came the Sowester (fleece lined Mags would add)

WP_20150606_12_50_08_ProGoing anywhere in Sweden there are 2 ways: the long way around and then the short cut – the latter always involves very intricate routes, and this was no exception. Doing this at speed wasn’t an option – so we stowed the yankee and put a second reef in and it made it less of a white knuckle ride. It is amazing that it can go from 54m to 3m in a very short distance. Once the other side of the islands we then were exposed to an uncomfortable swell which meant sailing downwind wasn’t an option… on went the motor, down came the sails. After an hour or so we fell under the shelter of the island of Uto and so lost the swell and we were soon cruising along at 6 knots with just the yankee up.

A narrow entrance - and you can see only the rocks that are above the water in this picture
A narrow entrance – and you can see only the rocks that are above the water in this picture
Looking out towards the entrance at Gronskarfladen
Looking out towards the entrance at Gronskarfladen

We had a lovely sail through the outer edges of the Stockholm Archipelago. The entry into Gronskarfladen was narrow, shallow and a dog leg thrown in for good measure. When visible rocks above the water are only 3 metres either side of you, it concentrates the mind! We dropped the anchor about 8pm and soon had a beer in hand, relaxing in the cockpit.

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