It was lovely to have friends Andy and Sharon join us from Finland and spend the weekend with us. Our first guests onboard and great to see that finally summer had arrived in the Baltic – teeshirt and shorts weather + plus enough wind to sail. The picture at the top of the page, Andy took and is the view from our boat in the marina at sunrise.
Our destination for the weekend was a little natural harbour called Ladau. We had just anchored when we noticed a man waving us away from a house – resisting the temptation to wave back – we moved the anchor to appease this unfriendly native. We were much further than the 200m required by law but we would rather have peace and quiet. Mags and Sharon went swimming off the boat a tropical 21C – though still not hot enough for me.
It was a lovely evening just chatting and laughing in the warmth of the evening sun. Some young kids of one of the neighbouring boats kept us entertained. First catching a fish, followed by a drunk father trying to kill it and filet it. Then the enterprising kids did a tour of all the boats proudly displaying their wares in a plastic bag. We even got the sales pitch in English – but it was an old couple that took pity on them and parted with some kroner.
The next morning was glorious but not a puff of wind as we set off. Fuel stops are few and far between in the archipelago and fortunately there was one close by and we were able to top up the tanks. Our gauge still showed full – yet we were able to fill up with 130 litres! We are still trying to solve the fuel tank gauge problem but I think we are going to have to replace the sender. There was still no wind and we motored back – taking it in turns to helm – as it was just too hot standing in the sun for any length of time.
We wanted to ensure we secured a place in Malma Kvarn, which is a lovely traditional harbour lined with little red houses. We were meeting Adam and Lynne, who we had met a few years ago at a talk about our trip round Britain. Adam had noticed we were in the Baltic, so had emailed and we had agreed to meet up. Getting up early meant that we actual got the best of the day – a great sail in full sun. However, within about an hour of arriving it was pouring with rain. We had invited Adam and Lynne on board for Dinner and we had a lovely evening, great company + a present of British teabags – they clearly knew how to impress Mags!
As we had to catch a flight in the evening and we had a 5 hour sail ahead of us– we had a 7 am start, which is obscenely early in the Baltic. Up on deck you couldn’t see more than 200m – thick pea souper…. fog. The Swedish forecast was again spectacularly missing this vital piece of info. We set off with Mags glued to the radar and fog horn in hand. Rocky passages take on a whole new meaning in the fog. The scary bridge wasn’t so scary this time around mainly as we couldn’t really see it! After about 3 hours of motoring it finally cleared and we wound our way back through islands. We came across a pair of white tailed sea eagles fishing – you cant miss them with the size of their enormous wing span and their white tail feathers.
15th-16th Aug With the boat being built in Falmouth and my mother living in Suffolk, the 2 had never crossed paths. I was very keen for my mother to see Carra. So when she came to Finland it was the ideal time to have a surprise visit to see Carra in Sweden. I knew it wasn’t an option to go sailing. My father had spent 3 years building a 17ft wooden sailing boat to discover my mother hated sailing. She did take secret sailing lessons on her own to see if she could conquer the fear of the wind and sailing… to find she couldn’t.
Whilst a trip out on Carra wasn’t an option, we did take the safer more stable option of a ferry ride into Stockholm, which is an hour long trip and we could let her see some of the beauty of the archipelago. We wandered through the narrow cobbled streets of the old quarter, having lunch just off the market square. As luck would have it as we left we bumped into the changing of the guard. The best way to get a view of the city with a relatively short time is by bus – so we had a guided tour round the very grand Royal City.
Next came the main point of the visit. She was thrilled to see Carra and I was so pleased that she could, as sailing and Carra are so much part of what we enjoy doing. We had a meal on board but too soon it was time to take her back to her hotel. We stayed on board whilst my mother stayed in a lovely old hotel over looking Vaxholm Harbour.
Vaxholm is an old traditional harbour town with wooden buildings. It is located at an important strategic seaway hence it has a massive Castle built on a near by island. Vaxholm is a relatively small town yet apparently is built over 70 islands. We had an enjoyable meander round the streets before it was time to head back to Finland.